Baltimore police walk near a mural depicting Freddie Gray after prosecutors dropped remaining charges against the three Baltimore police officers who were still awaiting trial in Gray's death, in Baltimore, on July 27, 2016. Steve Ruark / AP, file

What It Means to No Longer Feel Protected by Police

October 10, 2016

When I began writing this piece, in mid-July, more than 500 people had died in police-involved killings in 2016. Since then, we’ve broken the number 800. These are just the names and lives that we know.

I grew up with the privilege of never seeing the police as a threatening institution. I believed that everyone was treated equally, and that the only people who got into altercations with the police were “bad people.” I knew of the possibility of “bad police officers,” but they were only as real to me as crooked cops were in television shows and movies. I never had any reason to fear the police or authority figures until I was much older.

That was because of my older brother, who was and still is a police officer for the city I’ve lived in for more than 20 years. He was and still is like a superhero to me.


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Feature image: Steve Ruark / AP, file