Letter to the Editor: All lives matter

Dear Editor:

There has been a constant theme in many news outlets lately that I have noticed. No, not what celebrity had the latest breakup, not a recent political sex scandal, and not home videos of cats playing the piano. 

What I have seen is what appears to be the media’s sensation in showing officers of the law shooting young black males. It seems like you can’t turn on the television without a story fitting this narrative to the point where I’m starting to even get them mixed up. 

Now the way it has been framed is that law enforcement is doing this deliberately like they live in a land of lawlessness. I’m not naïve, I do know that they are people capable of mistakes, but my question is where is the accountability? If you look at the number of these cases many of them could have been resolved without deaths. People need to understand that if you listen to officers commands, are not aggressive, even if they are wrong then most of the time the issues can be resolved. Why would someone want to escalate the situation knowing that what it could ultimately lead to can only be detrimental? 

I am a black male. I was born from a white father and a black mother but I understand what it means to be black in America. I understand that there is discrimination but I cannot allow that to be an anchor that pulls me down. I recently was stopped by a motorcycle officer for jaywalking. I was non aggressive, explained why I did it, and ultimately wasn’t ticketed.  I was able to diffuse the situation because I understood that he was an individual, I admitted guilt, and took full responsibility of my action. This is what people need to understand. This is also what people need to pass down to their children so these negative attitudes towards law enforcement aren’t generational.

Do we really want to live in a community where law enforcement is hated? Not only that, but to me I find it a bit hypocritical because the real killer of young black males in the inner city isn’t police. It is gangs, it is crime, and it is each other so we need to recognize that. If you look at the Homicide Blogs online they consistently show in which areas crimes are more likely to occur, by which groups, and they almost never say “death by cop.” 

Just like I said earlier it all comes down to responsibility and we need to take it. I’ve lived in Atlanta, New York, Birmingham, Detroit, and now Los Angeles and the issues have been the same in all of these cities. We need to teach these kids somehow that this can only be hurtful to communities in the long run. That it could make policing less efficient  instead of taking a proactive approach, so officers might just be more reluctant to respond due to litigation, termination, or being attacked. What we need is a “black/all lives matter” that is directed towards gangs and a focus on accountability of our own actions.
 

Johnathan Quevedo
Downey