We can seek our independence from the police, who are supposed to protect us, but have done little but cause pain and injustice. They are the reason for some of the injustice going on in this country; some of them think that just because they wear a badge that they can take us to jail and they think that we should automatically respect them. But how can we respect people who might kill our family and friends because they look to the police like the had just committed a crime? That doesn’t necessarily mean that the person actually committed the crime. For example, Trayvon Martin was shot and killed because it looked like he had committed a crime, and Eric Garner was strangled to death by a police officer because it looked like he was selling loose cigarettes. Based on assumption, two innocent African-American males were killed by a neighborhood watchman and a police officer. How can we trust the police for what they have done. Whatever happened to ‘protect and serve’? They should have thought before acting on what seemed good at the time. It seems now all the police want to do is hurt us . Why do they think that a fake picture of a friendly handshake with a little boy and a police officer would be okay. It doesn’t comfort the family and friends that lost the person that officer killed. On the facts I have stated, I want to seek my independence from police brutality.

—  Thyreea Stinnett, Student, Constitution High School, Philadelphia, PA