The George Floyd memorial outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, in June 2020. ((Leila Navidi/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS))
The George Floyd memorial outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis, in June 2020.

(Leila Navidi/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)

Police Brutality – A Kid’s Perspective

11-year-old Manu McDowell shares his thoughts on police brutality in America

December 2, 2020

This is a piece written by Manu McDowell, an 11-year-old student who wrote this piece for a school assignment.

Why is there a curfew? Questions started coming in through my mind. What happened? My parents told me it was police brutality and my body turned frozen. Police brutality is awful. It is when police murder innocent black men and women just because they are in the police’s presence.

A man named George Floyd had been suffocated by police officers. The police officer had his knee on George Floyd’s neck pressed down hard for more than 8 minutes. I didn’t want to hear any more. I cried and cried into my mom and dad. They just hugged me and frowned. They had already lived this sad moment so many times that they couldn’t cry anymore.

Companies finally started to support Black Lives Matter, but this is what it took?”

— Manu McDowell

“Let’s watch this,” my dad showed us a video about black kids and families and their perspectives. It was very sad and the kids and the video told about how they needed to act really cautious around the police and try not to get themselves killed. The kids and families were crying most of the video. I felt unsafe and wondered whether I would be in a situation with the police where I was scared to death and still had to act cautiously and not fight back if the police tried to hurt me. My dad told me that he hopes it never happens to me or my brother. This should never have happened. People should not feel unsafe around people who are supposed to protect them. But they abuse their weapons and power, to be racist. To murder people for NO REASON. And they can get away with it because they are the police and they are white. And companies finally started to support Black Lives Matter, but this is what it took? All of these known police brutality cases? It should not be this way. It has even been going on for years and years without anyone knowing.

I hope it changes before the day I die.

Even though the police can’t stop the protesters, they try to. By hurting them and killing them. Abusing their power even more. They should be protecting everyone, not killing. The police should be good police. Anger welled up in me and I wished I was someone with authority that could arrest the police. IT’S SO UNFAIR. Unfair. Life is unfair.

Revered Martin Luther King Jr.

The protesters are taking huge risks to protest. Martin Luther King did amazing things and really changed things. He took risks to protest even though he might not stay alive because of protesting not being allowed. And all of the other amazing activists. But because Martin Luther King did those amazing things, he got assassinated by a racist white man. Martin Luther King was a good person.

We are not done until racism is done.

I am lucky enough to live in a good neighborhood and a good house. I have an education that will help me succeed in my goals. I want everyone to be aware that this is happening and not just forget about it. I want everyone to be anti-racist because everyone should be.

Because THIS IS NOT RIGHT.

I hugged Mom and Dad tightly. They hugged me back. My brother joined in. And we all cried again.

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Police Brutality – A Kid’s Perspective”

  1. Owen Solomon on December 9th, 2020 8:51 am

    This is so powerful and it makes me want to cry.

  2. Amy Belzer on December 9th, 2020 4:34 pm

    This is so powerful, Manu. I’m so proud of you for sharing your story. I hope it will lead to more people talking about race and police brutality. Keep speaking out. Your voice is so important.

  3. Manu on December 10th, 2020 8:17 am

    My dad told me yesterday that police brutality is not just about race. Sometimes it can be just police abusing their power. I did not say that in this writing piece because I did not know. I am sorry. But I am happy this article spreads awareness about racist police brutality, because it is very important that people know that this is happening.

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