Police Brutality is an important issue that needs to be acknowledged and can be associated with racial profiling and commonly young teens. It involves police misconduct and officers who abuse their use of authority with innocent citizens. The New York Police Department Headquarters was my choice of audience because they can enforce a law and have the authority to make an actual change to society. My second audience being New Yorkers, the commuters of the big city, giving them the motivation to continue to protest and making their voices heard with suggested ways. I chose to write a letter to the NYPD Headquarters because it was the most professional option. As for the genre of the message for the New Yorkers, I wanted it to be a news article because the media nowadays is most commonly used by everyone and captures their attention.
Bronx, New York, 10465
December 1, 2019
New York City Police Department Headquarters
1 Police Plaza Path, New York, NY 10007
Dear New York City Police Department Headquarters,
I am a student at New York City College of Technology and I would like to reveal real facts of abuses, injuries, and violations conducted by police officers. We have a problem in our country that remains alive as we speak, that problem is police brutality. What is Police brutality you ask? It is an abuse of authority by the unwarranted infliction or physical violence of excessive force by a person involved in law enforcement while in their official duties. According to The Washington Post, there are currently 829 people in the United States who have been shot and killed by police in 2019. However, out of that percentage, statistics show 482 were shot or killed without trying to flee. Coincidentally, out of those same 829 cases, 726 of them involved a police officer with no body cam recording. These numbers are important because it isn’t one case in a single state, it’s multiple cases across the country, happening to innocent people. The citizens in this country are supposed to feel safe and secure by their police officers, NOT a target. I witness first hand, as a commuter, how police brutality doesn’t just affect citizens but young people and people of color specifically, in open environments such as subways. According to News 12 Brooklyn, a video went viral showing a violent incident, after learning teenagers who allegedly fought before the video began, a group of officers brings a few of the teenagers to the ground at the Jay Street-MetroTech stop in Brooklyn. Another officer walks up to a black teenager, who did not appear to be involved in the initial fight, and throws a punch at his head. When that teen gets pushed back, about six cops tackle him to the ground and pressed his face into the subway station floor. Five teenagers were arrested in connection with this, including the teen who was punched by the officer. He was charged with assaulting a police officer however the teen and his family claim the police lied to them about the teen initiating a fight and that the officers use of force was unjustified. This is only one of many cases of police misconduct. The officer who punched the innocent teen in the face will be placed on a “non-enforcement assignment” but not removed from duty. Police officers who are involved in cases like this almost never fully get “punished” for their actions or hold accountability for them. It’s more like “probation” or temporary time taken off of work. It is important, as you hold the role for public safety, to reassure citizens that when something like this happens, the officer involved will be held responsible for their actions and face the PROPER consequences that follow. We tell protestors to not protest violently, yet, our officers chose the violent answer when dealing with citizens. Police should only harm or shot when their life is in danger. It is a threat to the country and to citizens, that more police are being hired without improved accountability mechanisms to try to prevent more cases of police misconduct.
BY: Samantha Toro
We as New Yorkers see police everywhere we go, whether it’s in their police cars driving around in the streets , or in the subways posted up against the walls patrolling, they have the responsibility to keep New York City safe. However, we often see the excessive use of their power as police brutality is one of the biggest problems in our society today. Several videos went viral showing violent inflictions between officers and teenagers , these videos mostly being recorded in subways stations all over New York City. We see a recurring problem that must have an end, way too many cases have been filed about police brutality and too many have no justice. NEW YORKERS , IT’S TIME FOR A CHANGE! Nothing will be done if nothing is said. A few weeks ago, on November 1st , according to the New York Post, about 1,000 protesters marched through the subways in downtown brooklyn addressing police brutality. They chanted “NO justice NO peace/F–k these racist police”. Some were even calling for violence as they said “punch a cop in the face/every nation, every race” with banners that read “Ante up! Punch that cop!”. They went as far as to tagging cop cars that said ‘NYPD KKK’ and throwing eggs and garbage at them. This is important to know because as a US citizen, it is important to make sure your rights are protected and that your voice is heard. YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO PROTEST. This is a situation worth protesting for, too many officers are getting away with misconduct and too many innocent people paid the price for it. However, there are different ways to protest, or address this situation, meaning the way those protestors addressed everything was not ideal. You cannot solve violence with more violence. The whole point of ending police brutality is to end the violence officers inflict on us and the misuse of their authority. If you approach this situation with nothing but violence intended then don’t be shocked when police have the same in mind. At the end of it all, police are citizens with families as well and want to make sure they return home safely. Violent protests are bound to get a different approach from police than peaceful protestors. This leads to what im here to tell you today and what YOU should do as a citizen. Make your voices heard and protest with keeping in mind that the way you approach situations affect the outcome greatly. We don’t just need a change for New York but a change for the country. Police brutality happens across the US and we don’t just need New Yorkers to stand up for their rights, we need every citizen. This is a matter that affects everyone, police are responsible for public safety and hold most authority. If WE don’t act now, the Police department won’t ever change or acknowledge the situation, and police brutality WOULD continue.
“Fatal Force” (Updates daily)
“Viral video shows brawl between police, teens” By News 12, October 28, 2019
“Politicians must stand up to NYC’s anti-cop movement, or we’re in trouble” By Seth Barron, November 5, 2019
My annotated bibliography consisted of different sources of collections of poetry. When gathering my sources and after analyzing all of them, I noticed they shared many similarities. All of the poets used a specific, yet unique book layout, that sectioned their poems in a way to make the reader feel a sense of self-growth. In every book, you can see that each author divided their poems into chapters, typically these chapters represent a different stage or perspective of an experience and the poems would describe the narrators point of view. This leads to the next similarity I found between my sources, and that’s the type of tone they all use. All of the books were focused on overcoming a past trauma and learning to gain self love and growth. They all try to teach the reader that life goes through many changes and hardships before realizing whats really important. The authors maintained a specific writing style, or rhythm in their books. They kept poems short and simple, no more than a page, and also provided illustrations, making the poems physically appealing to readers. Something I learned about my genre when gathering the sources is the type of audience it typically has. They attract the younger generation mainly because how different society is compared to back then. The poems describe traumas and experiences that people face now in the 21st century, like relationships, gender, growth, mental illness, injustice, therefore making it easy to relate to them. During this assignment I discovered many things about myself as a writer. I learned that my strengths are transferring what I had brainstormed in my head to on paper in writing. It was being able to bring whatever I imagined in my head to life. For example, I use to have troubles putting my thoughts into words, I never knew how to start, or continue, or end my writing, fast forward through years of writing to today and I’ve improved. However something that would assist me to grow as a writer is expanding my vocabulary and being able to transition in my writing. For example, I constantly get stuck on trying to connect certain things and never know if there’s a simpler term to use instead. There’s many ways I can go about this, or enact these changes, one being getting familiar with different genres of writing and analyzing THEIR writing styles. Another major way would be, to learn and be familiarize with the synonyms and antonyms of different words. In conclusion, I feel more aware of the strengths I have as a writer and the weaknesses I can and will overcome.
Kaur, Rupi. “The Sun and Her Flowers”. Andrews McMeel Publishing. October 3, 2017.
“The sun and her flowers”, by Rupi Kaur, is a collection of poetry structured in a specific order to create an effect on the reader using rhythm.The book talks about grief, self-abandonment, love, honoring one’s “roots”, and empowering oneself. She divides these themes into five chapters which she titles them wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. The book is filled with short poems starting with the first chapter “Wilting”, this chapter includes poems describing the narrator trying to move on from a relationship while still being in love with the person who left. She describes her life to be sad and lonely without this person and finds it extremely difficult to readjust, making the audience feel sorry or sympathetic for the narrator. As the book progresses each chapter describes her slowly healing and the hardships that came with it, as if the audience is growing and experiencing it all with her. She uses a lot of symbolism in her book starting with the flowers in the title. Then symbolizing her healing process as the stages of a growing flower, which are also the names of each chapter. Not only did she make the book physically appealing to readers by dividing each life experience by growing phases, giving the reader options between chapters. But made the audience feel a sense of growing or changing throughout the book.
Kaur, Rupi. “Milk and Honey”. Andrews McMeel Publishing. November 4, 2014.
“Milk and Honey” is another collection of poetry structured in a specific order to create an effect on the reader using rhythm, by Rupi Kaur that talks about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. These experiences are split into four chapters, all with short poems serving a different purpose. The four chapters are titled ‘the hurting’, ‘the loving’, ‘the breaking’, and ‘the healing’. The book starts off with poems describing an experience involving sexual abuse and broken relationships. She portrays the childhood of a girl who was raped and left hopeless, and the destruction it caused. Kaur lets her emotions flow freely as if the words are pouring out from her heart rather than her mind. In “the hurting”, it is described that the pain being felt is deep within the heart of the victim and shatters their purity. “The loving” shifts the tone of the book, as the poems become intimate and sensual, she describes the power love has to change the soul completely. “The breaking and “The healing” go hand in hand both describing the journey of heartbreak to happiness. She is aware of her younger audience, a group of lovers who may have been abandoned and broken for the first time. The pain is told with innocence and passion, making it relatable for the readers. Finally, the speaker encourages readers to feel a sense of beauty and radiance within themselves and the meaning of independence and identity. Despite the change in subject matter, Kaur maintains her voice and keeps the rhythm of her poems short and simple.
Robinson, K.Y. “The Chaos of Longing”. Andrew McMeel Publishing. September 26, 2017.
“The Chaos of Longing”, by K.Y Robinson, is a poetry collection structured in a specific order to create an effect on the reader using rhythm. The book explores what it is to want in spite of trauma, shame, injustice, and mental illness. She organizes these topics into four chapters and titles them ‘Inception’, ‘Longing’, ‘Chaos’, and ‘Epiphany’. In the chapter ‘Inception’ she explains her need for affection and affirmation that someone needs her due to feeling unappreciated by her parents. In ‘Longing’ she describes the foundation of the relationships being made were built in lust instead of love. Along the way she felt alone and questioned if God gave up on her, making the readers feel sympathy for her. ‘Chaos’ was a chapter of realization, she finally saw how messed up love could be. She shows how finally moving on was a lot scarier than being used to the heartbreak it caused her. Finally, in the last chapter ‘Epiphany’ there was a change in tone, it was time for change and take action. She got tired of denying that all she needed was self-love and to know her worth more than anyone or anything. This collection of poems don’t just tell a story but takes the reader through a journey that was personal and powerful to the author. She allows the reader to know her, invading her private space and thoughts and be a part of her road trip to self-love.
Cook, Alicia. “The Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately”. Andrew McMeel Publishing. April 11, 2017
“The Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately”, by Alicia Cook, is a collections of poems structured in a specific order to create an effect on the reader using rhythm.It is designed like an old-school mixtape. The book is broken up into two parts side A and side B. Side A features poems talking about the aspects of the human conditions such as life, death, love, trauma and growth. It covers a variety of different topics and experiences without feelings all over the place. Not only does she provide short poems but a soundtrack along with them. After every poem she includes a song that she had listened to, giving the book a personal feel similar to a diary. The songs also symbolize what the author was feeling when the words were written. Side B however is blackout poetry, which is where the author blacks out words from within a story to create another. In this case, the author used her poems from side A to recreate a haunting black-out remixes of those poems. The author makes her collections of poems not only creatively but relatable, symbolizing there’s always two sides to things and to remind you that your feelings are valid.
Lovelace, Amanda. “The Princess Saves Herself In This One”. Andrew McMeel Publishing. February 14 ,2017
“The Princess saves herself in this one” ,by Amanda Lovelace, is a poetry collection structured in a specific order to create an effect on the reader using rhythm. The poems are about the authors important moments in her life and also the ‘weakest’. The book is broken down into four sections: the princess, the damsel, the queen, and you. The first section ‘the princess’ focuses on her early life where she takes the reader on a journey including how she developed a deep interest in books, her relationship with her mother and sister, her battle with an eating disorder and self harm, and her first kiss and the assault that followed. Lovelace didn’t fail on giving the reader a sense of bravery and courage when explaining her hardships. ‘The damsel’ contains more fairy tale analogies comparing her difficult experiences as dragons and the big bad wolf. This section really focuses on the power of self empowerment and rising from certain situations. ‘The Queen’ talks more about how she handles grief and what it feels like to fall in love with the right person. Finally in the section ‘You’, it consists of poems of encouragement and inspiration to the reader. Lovelace takes the reader on an emotional roller coaster filled with highs and lows from start to finish. She makes sure it’s clear to readers how different each section is and how each serves a different purpose by comparing her life moments to fairytale stereotypes.
Campbell, Courtney. “Pillow Thoughts”. Andrew McMeel Publishing. August 29, 2017
“Pillow thoughts”, by Courtney Peppernell is a collection of poems structured in a specific order to create an effect on the reader using rhythm.This collection is divided into ten different sections , no need to read them consecutively. They’re each intended to be read while the reader is in a particular state of mind. They all start in ‘If you are ..’ and there’s one for wistfulness, love, heartbreak, loneliness, sadness, emptiness, encouragement, soul-searching, finding reasons to live, and the final part is dedicated to her partner. Poets like Peppernell use very different metaphors to convey similar themes of heartbreak, self- love, inner strength, and finding beauty in the world around them. The author gave the reader not only the ability to read freely throughout the book ,with the consecutive storyline out the way, but made the reader feel connected and validated. These poems are the sort that readers can truly relate to and each person’s interpretation will be different.
In the book ,”the sun and her flowers”, Rupi Kaur describes the themes of relationships, self love, culture and healing divided in five chapters which she calls them wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. The book is filled with poems starting with one describing about moving on from a relationship where the narrator still loves the person who left. She describes her life to be drastically different and sad without this person and finds it difficult to readjust, making the reader or this person feel tremulously sorry for the narrator. As the book progresses she slowly heals and soon realizes the self love she needed, as if the person reading it is growing with her. She uses a lot of symbolism in her book starting with the flowers in the title, then symbolizing her healing process as the stages of a growing flower , which are also the names of each chapters. “it isn’t what we left behind that breaks me, it’s what we could’ve built, had we stayed”, this is just one of the poem’s from the first chapter “wilting” describing how she mourns the loss and tries to move on but can’t.
It was a little over ten years ago, in my bedroom with a black and white composition notebook and a wooden pencil when I wrote my first “book”. It wasn’t your average book,however, it was a scary story that I completely made up from start to finish. As a child, one of the many things that interested me the most was scary stories and horror movies. During my elementary school days, I can remember vividly searching through the horror/mystery genres in book fairs, not only because these were the only books I was interested in, it was because these were the only one that left me on the edge of my seat every time I read one. Not to mention I was the only child until the age 9, so being my fathers only kid led me to watch all his favorite horror flicks with him. With an interest of scary stories and having a father that loves horror movies as much as you do, it wasn’t too long after that for me to develop the idea to create my own “horror story”. The story I made was about this girl that triggered a parallel universe that had immortal people/creatures in it, back then I obviously had a completely different idea of ‘scary’ than I do now. However , with the knowledge I had based on all the movies I watched and the stories I’ve read, it was the most detailed piece of writing I’ve ever done. Not only was this the first time I was writing something outside of school and on my own, but it was also the first writing I was technically invested and fascinated in. I spent every possible chance and free time I had to adding, revising, and sketching in that book, and ironically till this day it does not have a title. Thinking back the most difficult part was keeping track of the different characters dialogue, making sure nothing was repeated and simply if it made sense. I remember being so frustrated at times because I wouldn’t know how to get the thoughts I had into words, I felt as if there was so many words I had missed out on that was preventing me to fully express myself, or I had “writer’s block” and just had a moment of loss creativity. But something I can never forget is my parents support and every time a moment like that happened they never took “giving up” as an answer.
Writing this book resulted in many things such as putting more meaning into my writing in and outside of school. I realized during this process that my vocabulary needed to improve and because of this I then started to engage more in learning different words and the use of them, thus improving my overall writing style. Furthermore it expanded my reading interest and made me more aware of the other genres to read from. However this influenced more than just my reading and writing but my passion for art and the major i’m deciding on today. Concurrently to writing my ‘horror story’ my grandmother would teach me how to sketch different things around the house and different animals. I will also frequently do that on my spare time, and still do today, even incorporated some sketches in my ‘book’and I eventually gotten better. Over the years I continued sketching and drawing and later developed a hobby doing sfx makeup. For those who don’t know what that is, SFX stands for special effect makeup, also known as prosthetic makeup, which involves using prosthetic sculpting, molding and techniques to create advanced cosmetic effects. It wasn’t until then I felt as if my drawings were coming to life. Developing this hobby came from watching the ‘behind the scenes’ of horror movies I’ve watched. By this time I was sketching out pieces I wanted to recreated using prosthetic makeup. I hit a moment of realization , and I knew I wanted to study what I loved doing the most, so when applying for college came around, picking a major wasn’t hard at all. Although i’m still deciding whether majoring in architecture or graphic design will put me on the path I want, I know I want to be in a field where i’m utilizing my passion for art. Ironically this ‘horror’ story I wrote had so many benefits that came out of it that made MY ending better than it’s own. This experience did not only impacted my writing and interest in reading but it gave me so many ideas on what I want to do in the future.
Something I found interesting that Sandra Cisneros describes in her passage is that the audience she try’s to attract is ironically people who are disinterested in reading, which she states her father represents. She states in paragraph 8, “My father represents, then, the public majority. A public who is disinterested in reading, and yet one whom i am writing about and for, and privately trying to woo”. Being the only daughter in a Mexican family of six sons gave her not only a lot of time to herself but also pressure to “try to win her father’s approval”. She explains to us that her father believes her destiny would lead her to become someones wife and she wanted her father to think more of her and to not think she has wasted her education. She states in paragraph 7, “In a sense, everything i have ever written has been for him, to win his approval even though i know my father can’t read English words..”. Coming from an Hispanic family, she knows many others can relate and connect with her story. Proving yourself to your parents can be a big accomplishment for anybody and Sandra Cisneros makes it known in her story.
As a child, one of the many things that interested me the most was scary stories and horror movies. I remember vividly during my elementary school and middle school day’s searching only for the genre horror/ mystery in the book fairs. Therefore, after reading so many stories, it wasn’t too long afterwards until I decided to make my own. I didn’t anticipate the amount of writing I did and genuinely thought I was not going to finish, but somehow I ended writing practically a whole book. I was probably in middle school at this time and got a black and white composition notebook and started to write my “scary” story in it. Which now I look back and to be very honest it’s not the scariest, however this was the first time i was writing something outside of school and on my own. I had all these ideas, settings, characters, plots ,conflicts, and with all of it i was putting them together and making a story. Like many stories, mine didn’t take a day, it took a long time especially with all the changing and revising you do ,but I made time for it whether it was during school or after or even between classes. This was technically the first writing I was invested and fascinated in. I worked on that book for over a month and I remember one of the most difficult things being the title, and til this day the book shall remain untitled. To sum up, this experience made me realize how much i can love writing and how i don’t have to limit myself on WHAT to write.