Racial profiling must stop. It is a fatal issue when news stories like this and this are no longer shocking, only disappointing. My level of disappointment, however, upon hearing such stories, never decreases. It only spikes each time a police officer or neighborhood watch member takes the life of an innocent human being. In September, ex-Florida A&M University football player Jonathan Ferrell was shot to death by a police officer when he got into a car accident and tried to get help from a nearby house. The woman living in the home called the police when she did not recognize him. Let’s give this woman the benefit of the doubt–perhaps she was living with a childhood stigma. Perhaps she had a phobia of someone breaking in to her home. However, the chances of the woman calling the police if the person frantically knocking on the door was a ten-year-old girl would have slimmed down to almost none. According to Kelly Welch of the University of Pennsylvania, the term “criminal predator” is a euphemism for “young black male.” Unfortunately, Ferrell fell under this category, and was shot several times by the police and died at the scene. The police officers were responding to a 911 call regarding “breaking and entering” when he ran towards them. Why did the police officers feel the need to shoot him multiple times? He was unarmed. A relative story was reported about a Florida man that was shot 15 times–but luckily survived–by authorities on his own front lawn when they mistook him for a car thief.
In the case of the second story, a similar situation as Jonathan Ferrell’s was reported. Teenager Renisha McBride was “accidentally” shot in the face when trying to seek help from a homeowner after a car accident. However, details on this case are not clear as of yet. It appears that the 19-year-old was in the accident two hours before the shooting, so it is still unclear exactly what happened. Still, the shooting was ruled as a homicide, but no charges have been filed. When police tried to file charges, the prosecutor sent them back and is conducting further investigation. However, the fact that the shooter pulled his gun is a clear sign of him feeling threatened. Why are black women suffering from the same stereotypes as black men? It seems as though they are being dehumanized and when people pull triggers so quickly, it makes you wonder what we are doing wrong as a society, as a whole, to destroy the identity of an entire culture.