Racial tension in California during the nineteen hundreds was violent, disruptive to communities and filled with hatred. Police brutality was one of the factors that led to the hate between African Americans and whites during that time. The L.A.P.D was known to have some of the worst officers because of their excessive actions and extreme hate towards minorities. What made things so unfair to the African American race was that two of the four police officers involved with the case were acquitted. Rodney King’s case was caught on camera with evident proof of the police officers brutality and still wasn’t enough to charge them. Back then if those police officers had done what they did, Hammurabi’s Law would have given the police officers a max punishment or put to death. Hammurabi’s punishments were very detailed and exact which is why as odd as it sounds, King would be punished too for evading police.
I believe our laws are different from Hammurabi’s because although we think our laws are extreme, Hammurabi’s were worse. For example, in one of his laws he said “If any one break into a house he should be put to death.”(Code of Hammurabi) If we had Hammurabi’s laws in this society today there would be less crimes and more racial equality. King was in the car with his childhood friend, Bryant Allen, who gave reports saying King was beaten, thrown around, taunted, and threatened excessively. Growing up my parents always told me to be careful of what I did in the public eye. They kept pushing that I should be especially careful because I am an African America male, with long hair who is somewhat built; all traits that can be seen as a threat. Black males in America make up about 12 percent of the total population but more than one third of the population in prisons. A study done by the Bureau of Justice “showed that thirty-two percent of all African American males will spend time in prison at some point in their life.” (Crf, 1) Incarceration rates are a lot higher for minorities because most people in power of courts and government are run by older Caucasian males.
If I had the chance to change the system so there was equality between police officers and minorities I would first start at educating both sides. Most of the time, incidents between police officers and minorities happen because of misunderstandings or confusion. Police officers need to be educated on common behavior, language and intentions of minorities. In certain cases police departments come out saying that there deputy or chief was “confused on what they were doing” or “didn’t know what was said”. On the other hand, minorities need to understand that police officer have certain duties and sometimes don’t mean any harm by patrolling and interacting with the community. There is a great divide between the minority community and law enforcement which can slowly be changed by educating. In Conclusion, the justice system today is bias and has holes. If we adopted the Hammurabi system in today’s world, we would see a lot less felonies, less people in prison, and a more equal justice system.
“The Color of Justice.” Constitutional Rights Foundation, https://www.crf-usa.org/brown-v-board-50th-anniversary/the-color-of-justice.html.
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