In the book The Crucible, there are several elements in the story that reflected the definition of xenophobia, which is the fear of the unknown or abnormal. People were singled out for how they perceived life and performed activities that were different from their society, and when that society fell under hard times, they blamed them. Dozens of “abnormal” people were accused and convicted, 19 of which were executed. One of the strongest elements that led to such tragedy was the abuse of authority. Today, such abuse of authority is quite evident within American society. It is often referred to as police brutality.
Officers of the law are meant to be looked upon as people who wish to make the world a better place, by preventing mayhem and death. It also means that these officers are to be role models, representing that no one is immune to the law. But, in recent years, police brutality has become an increasingly dangerous problem, to the point that these specific cases happen on a regular basis, most of which are linked to prejudice and racist motives. As of last year, 25% of people who were killed by police were black, despite being 13% of the population. Although that there’ve been many cases in which justice has been served, there have been cops who’ve been acquitted or not all are tried/punished. Every year, 7% of police brutality cases are missed by the NVSS (National Vital Statistics System). What makes this even worse is that not only cases of police brutality aren’t being acknowledged, but that guilty cops are getting away with their crimes.
One such event was Officer Philip Brailsford gunning down an innocent man. In 2016, 26-year-old Daniel Shaver was ordered by Brailsford to follow his precise instructions or risk being shot. However, Shaver was sent into a panic as Brailsford and other officers consistently yelled and threatened to shoot him if he made a single mistake. Crying and begging the officers not to shoot him, Shaver tried to make his way towards them, but lowered one of his hands to adjust his shorts, which a seemingly normal thing to do in any other situation. Brailsford saw this as an attempt to reach for a weapon, and open fired on Shaver, fatally wounding him. However, when put on trial, Brailsford was acquitted, but he formerly resigned from the Mesa Police Department.
Another event of unnecessary violence was the shooting of a mentally-ill woman. On October 18th, 2016, Sergeant Hugh Barry, 32, arrived at the apartment complex of Deborah Danner, 66. After some attempts to coax Danner to speak with the medical professionals, Danner placed the scissors that she had on a nightstand, allowing Barry to make a move to grab her. But, Danner rearmed herself with a baseball bat and Barry ordered her to drop it. Even though Barry and his fellow officers had procedures for dealing with and disarming mentally-ill persons, as Danner was about to swing the bat, Barry fired twice into her torso. She died instantaneously. Barry was charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide, but eventually acquitted for the shooting.
The purpose of this letter is to inform citizens of the general public and help inspire those people to stand up to police brutality. Corruption through the police force has been a problem for too long, and too many innocent people have paid the price for it. As stated in the Constitution of the United States, the only way to stop such corruption is for it is the duty of the citizens to call out their government for what happens within the country.
In The Crucible, the courts and federal marshals are the brutalizers. Through false claims, the judge’s order the marshals to arrest anyone who even seems suspicious. Through this abuse of authority, dozens are convicted and 19 people executed. Unfortunately, the citizens weren’t able to realize the lies and deceit being presented, and their society crumbled around them. The only way to prevent history from repeating itself is by learning from those and our own mistakes.