Don’t be afraid, they are here for you


Officer Slack conversing with a student over lunch. Slack’s job responsibilities include interacting with the community and the public in non-enforcement interactions.

Kyle Deutsch, Staff Writer

Reading the book “The Hate U Give” in Culture Clash got me thinking about people being afraid of the police.

The book written by Angie Thomas opened on “The New York Times” best seller list last year. The book follows Starr Carter, a 16-year-old black girl who lives in a poor neighborhood but attends school in a mostly white suburban school. She witnesses her friend, Khalil, being shot and killed by a white policeman.

The book gives a good insight on what Carter’s family had taught her to do if she was pulled over by the police. She does what she was taught, but her friend does not. While she follows directions given by the officer, Khalil back talks the police. He is also told to stand outside the car wth his hands up. Unfortunately, he leans back into the car to gesture to Starr everything was going to be alright. However, the policeman sees what he thinks is a gun, which turns out to be a hair brush, and fearing for his own safety, kill him.

From my and others’ personal experiences, we have had no really bad run in with the cops. “Through my life, I haven’t done anything wrong, or break the law, while I have talked to the police before, there is no reason for me to be afraid of them,” student of color Lal Lungmuana ’18 said.

From my experience, I was riding in two different cars that were pulled over. Both times the policemen were really calm and caring towards the driver of each car, assuring them everything was going to be ok, and why they were getting pulled over.

Police officers are people just like us. When some of my friends and I went out to a dinner joint, we noticed three police officers there, ordering food and eating it together just like we were. The police are not just some evil threat out there that wants to ruin lives, they are just people who do the job tasked and what is best for them and others.

Now we know can tell what the civilian side of the story looks like.  “Traditionally police have be viewed as enforcing laws, with enforcing laws comes sanctions if those laws are broken. Many people don’t want to face those sanctions even if they are breaking the law so that can cause some tension between the public  and the police just in the nature of our job. We do so many things to help the public on a daily basis but some people choose to only look at the enforcement side of our job.” James Slack. The important part to remember about this is that well, the police are just normal people too. They just want to A.) protect the people and B.) protect themselves.

“We regularly, as a department, encourage our officers to interact in our community with the public in non-enforcement interactions. We do many things, including having a School Resource Officer to connect better with the youth on a daily basis and other programs.” Officer Slack

If Khalil didn’t back talk to the police, or just did what he was suppose to do and followed orders calmly and orderly, everything would of been fine and he would most likely still be alive in the book and the whole book might not have taken place.

The police are people out there that risk their lives and help protect the innocent from what they deem could be harmful towards the general public. Which makes me wonder, why all the hate? Yes, I know I’m a white male. But I just believe the police are out there to protect me and other people. And most students I talked to agreed with me