Social media helps bring light on police brutality

Social media helps bring light on police brutality

Melanie Calimlim, Staff member

Social media has always been a way for people to interact, post their thoughts, and share news all over the world. As of late, it has also been a gateway for broadcasting videos of police brutality. Social media is being used as a beacon in providing awareness of excessive force police use in certain situations.

On Oct. 26, a high school student from South Carolina was thrown from her desk — across the classroom — by a cop because she would not comply with instructions. The video went viral and has been a huge topic lately, even making its way on television for discussion.

Similar to other police-related brutality incidents, young adults on Tumblr responded with their outraged reactions to this particular event from South Carolina by leaving comments about how wrong the officer was in his actions.

I believe that social media is giving the younger generation a look into this troubling reality, which in turn will give them the motivation to rebuild a better justice system.

When these videos reach the masses, the ball begins to roll when discussions materialize with each click of the reblog button; a comment or the sharing of a link could change society. And then a movement begins. We each have a voice that is being heard through these outlets, and helps in propagating police misconduct.

However, some people commend and give their support to the officers who use force. These people say that those subjected to such physical force deserve it; this is because those being arrested may show some resistance, or may try to hurt the officers.

I understand the anger that officers may feel when people don’t comply. And yes, I understand they may even need to use some force, but never to the extent in which we see in these videos.

Let’s step back from the police aspect of this situation. If this were a parent punishing their child because they were disobedient, but they sustained injury, wouldn’t that be considered domestic violence? Now let’s add the title of police and the badge aspect back in. Are these police officers then justified in what they are doing? No.

The minute a suspect is subdued with what should be minimal force, there is no need to subject the person to any pain.

The mass circulation of these videos and outcries of the public tell us one thing: That police brutality isn’t a myth. Our police force isn’t perfect and they’re subject to mistakes.

Social media is the check-and-balance system that police always needed. 

In turn, this pushes authorities out of their comfortable little bubble of saving their own asses by covering up officers lawless actions, and forcing them to reflect on their misconducts.

Social media has already created tension with how the public views the power of authority and gives citizens a sense of urgency to speak-out against these wrongs.