To the Editor,
This letter is in regards to an issue that is running rampant over Delaware County, police brutality. I take public transportation and get a bird’s eye view of the county. I have witnessed people getting slammed against cars and verbally abused by officers, while being observed by other officers. This is a multifaceted issue because officers prefer loyalty to their brothers and sisters than loyalty to the people they serve. I have reported one of these issues that really concerned me and they shrugged me off.
Another concern is the police presence in Delco is skewed towards the low poverty areas, which also affects the African American community. Most police traffic from what I’ve seen is towards Sharon Hill and Upper Darby, with the least being in Media and Swarthmore. I believe that this is because each of the boroughs in the Sharon Hill/Upper Darby area has a high poverty rate compared to Media and Swarthmore, being 13 percent for Sharon Hill, and 19 percent for Upper Darby with a whopping 60 percent for Chester.
In the poverty-stricken areas, there are more African Americans with 68 percent of Sharon Hill being African American and more whites in the less stricken areas of Media and Swarthmore with numbers at 8 percent poverty level and 84 percent white. In my experience, traffic stops in the whiter, more upper-class areas are less abusive, while the poverty stricken, African American areas are more prone to abuse. There is a solution.
Delaware County has absolutely nothing to do outside of these upper-class white areas. Sharon Hill for example has basic living and bars for entertainment. If there was more to do in the county that was affordable for people, there wouldn’t be as much boredom. It would also cover the other problem of jobs in the area and drop unemployment. Right now, people have fast food to visit and Wawa’s to hang out at. That’s not entertainment, that’s a breeding ground for crime. Which puts people in the line of fire for police brutality.
On the other end of this, I’m going to tell it like it is, the police need to protect us. The problem is criminals are seen as the bane of society and African American criminals are seen as even less than that. We need to realize that no matter what people do, how they behave, they are human beings with lives and experiences. I’m not saying give people a free pass for doing a crime. I’m saying treat them like a human being even if you find what they did to be reprehensible.
You can look at some of the worst of the worst and see that they have something in their history that screwed them up, whether genetics or childhood experience. Do we blame them for being born into something they have no control over? No, we do what we have to do to contain the behavior, not become the behavior we hate so much.