A lot of attention recently has been drawn to the issue of police officers shooting unarmed citizens. Graduate student, Travis Washington has recently launched a petition for a piece of legislation called the ‘Hands Up’ Act. The ‘Hands Up’ Act penalizes police officers to 15 years in prison if convicted of shooting someone who is weaponless.
Washington came up with the idea through hearing stories of unarmed citizens being shot and police officers not being punished for their wrongful actions. Washington was inspired to petition the ‘Hands Up’ Act because there is a weak relationship between citizens and the police. He stated, “If we want to rebuild this trust, we need laws in order to regain the trust.”
A quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ‘injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere’ inspired him. One of Washington's goals is to speak out at rally’s to get more people to hear about the act and sign it. He wants to be patient and keep pushing it forward.
Junior Shalane Scott, studying Criminal Justice said, “It would be some type of justice. We are slowly moving to some type of equality.” Whereas, others believe the ‘Hands Up’ Act is based on Washington’s personal feelings rather than any actual criminal justice backing. Kyle S Reyes, of Law Enforcement Today, believes we need people to respect the laws and to not break them, we don’t need to pass laws to punish police.
The ‘Hands Up’ Act is a debated piece of legislation. Some believe it will help restore peace between citizens and police and create order, while others think it will cause more problems.