The Effect Of The Police Brutality On The Civil Rights Movement
The Civil Rights Movement impacted many people of color, it brought them closure, freedom to speak, a way to walk the streets in peace without feeling threatened or afraid that something might happen. In this essay, the subject being discussed is the effect the police brutality had on the Civil Rights Movement. One might wonder how did the police and their actions impact the movement. My position on that question would be what violent actions did the police take to make sure the people of color didn’t get their rights.
One event that took place during a protest, many policies can and abruptly stopped the protest, this resulted in too many people getting beaten, pushed, and slammed to the ground. John Lewis in that situation struck someone and said “I don’t know what came over me” (March 152) he couldn’t hold in his anger no longer and showed action when defending himself instead of holding back and not showing the dark side that he beholds. John continued by saying “I found out that day, even I have limited” (March 153). Him saying this states that there is a certain limit that could be reached when over that limit we turn into our savage selves and have this urge to take action.
Another event that took place in the book March is when Annie Lee Cooper an African-American civil rights activist that held a place during the movement, Cooper was standing up for herself and struck officer Jim Clark, later officer Clark tackled Annie Lee to the ground and started beating her as the other officers held her down. Clark got Annie Lee’s attention when she said: “ain’t nobody scared around here” (March 164). By her saying that she wanted to get the word out that the police won’t scare them away they won’t do anything to change the people of colors mind of winning their protest. Another example that shows the police took action to stop the African Americans from gaining their rights is when Annie said: “I wish you would hit me, scum” (March 165) at that moment Clark looked back at the cameras to make sure he wasn’t getting recorded but that didn’t stop him. Clark’s anger took over and at that moment he started hitting his club and ended up beating Annie Lee Cooper. Annie suffered many injuries and was hospitalized and later died.
Finally, the cruel violence from the officers didn’t stop there, a movie about a young man named Oscar Grant was shot and killed by an officer. This took place long after the movement where all was well but racism still roamed the world. Grant a twenty-two-year-old father who was shot and killed when continuously telling the officer he did nothing wrong, the police officer Johannes Mehserle. Mehserle claimed that it was an accident and he was only reaching for his taser and got the gun instead. Grant didn’t have a choice he respected the office and even though he used language to defend himself then violent in the end he came out to be the victim of a crime he did not commit. In the end, when all was well a jury announced that they had found Johannes Mehserle guilty for manslaughter and was sentenced to a year in jail.
Violence was used to stop protests, people like Annie Lee Cooper were beaten for freedom of speech, and Oscar Grant an innocent man was shot to death; therefore, police use their actions and violence to hold back the Civil Rights Movement so the people of color don’t win and have a chance to be free.