I’m 13 – Why Police Brutality Needs to End

Editor’s Note: This week’s blog post is by Rainna, a 13-year old in Hawaii. She writes about why violence by law enforcement needs to end. And Eid Mubarak to our Muslim relations.

By Rainna Trout

As a young child, I was racially profiled because I’m part Black. Growing up I felt uncomfortable in my hair, my skin, and my culture, because of the way my peers treated me. And growing up as a part of Generation Z, I grew up with access to the internet. From watching videos I learned that children of color at very young ages are taught to have their hands in the air when a cop pulls them over so they do not get shot. As a Black kid it hurts knowing that my brothers and friends could be killed almost every day, or are terrified to go on a late-night run because of police brutality. Why is a thirteen-year-old girl worrying about this instead of what the latest TikTok is? 

Black Lives Matter fist mural
Black Lives Matter fist mural Photo credit Erin Okuno

For about a month my TikTok “for you” page consisted of the Black Lives Matter protests and its importance. The videos start peaceful and then it leads to police pepper-spraying and tear-gassing little kids and protesters. Then it gets out of hand, they bring the tanks, tear gas, take more innocent people’s lives away. And where will that get us? Into more trouble. “No Justice, No Peace,” and that is what the protesters are saying and doing. The protesters are taking a stand — a stand for what’s right, and what’s right is to stop the police brutality and stop Black lives being taken away. TikTok users who go to the protests show what reality is like, the video, the brutal things police do. Instagram shows the videos TikTok can’t show. The videos of Black people getting murdered, videos of a police killing a woman of color, and saying she committed suicide, to hide the reality.

To this day People of Color are afraid to leave their own house because of police, the people who are supposed to make sure you are safe, the ones you’re supposed to call your hero at the end of the day, are killing them. The police are killing children of color, men, and women of color. Why? Because they feel unsafe? Why do you feel unsafe by a person of color? Everyone is beautiful, it shouldn’t matter what you look like on the outside, it’s the inside that counts.

“Why do white people hate being called racist more than they hate racism?”

I first heard this quote on TikTok back in 2019 and it stuck with me since then. The quote hit a hole in my heart, especially when I think about what is happening in the world. George Floyd being choked by a police officer’s knee for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, until he was no longer breathing — he died because of racism. There are many other victims who have passed away due to police brutality — Michael Brown, Eric Gardner, Tamir Rice, Dana Brown, and many others. The protests and riots to stop police brutality hurts my heart. We shouldn’t have to riot and protest to be treated equally and without racism. People of Color have to fight to just live on Earth, whether you are Mexican, Black, mixed, Hawaiian, Indigenous, etc. You should not have to protest just to feel accepted in this world. 

Not all cops are bad, but there are many I sadly cannot say the same about. Since I live on Oahu I have met some very nice cops, they are friendly and as if they are family, but from videos I’ve seen on YouTube and TikTok, cops in other places around the world don’t show kindness to innocent people in their country. Police brutality and racism should not have to be a thing anymore. This has impacted so many families around the world. It doesn’t matter what the color of your skin tone is, what matters is standing up for what’s right. And what’s right is stopping police brutality and racism. Years and years of innocent lives being taken, I hope one day will come to an end. I hope parents teaching their 4-5-year-old children to be afraid of the cops can come to an end. I hope crying because you are an outcast from the rest of your school will end. I hope racism will end. Skin is skin, love is love, humans are humans. We are all the same so why can’t we be treated the same?

Rainna Trout is a 13 year old student living in Hawaii.

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