For New Yorkers like you, living in heavily policed communities, traumatic experiences are a daily occurrence. Most everyone you know has been victimized by the police, regardless of age or gender, or any actual wrongdoing.
You may have seen people approached by the police for jaywalking and harassed until the situation escalates into an arrest. You may have seen women sexually harassed or assaulted by officers as they were going about their day. You may have seen good people stopped and frisked for no reason at all, despite the supposed end to that policy. You may have seen officers physically assault someone for having the wrong expression on their face. Maybe one or more of these things has happened to you.
A new report shows link between police brutality and generational trauma.
Those traumatic experiences accumulate on a person and begin to shape the way they view the world and themselves. The generation of youth who came before you accumulated these traumatic experiences, too. When you were a child, their trauma rubbed off on you. Your mom might have unknowingly squeezed your hand a little tighter every time an officer was near. Being a smart person, you understood what that meant.
Generational trauma is evident all over New York, but especially in highly policed neighborhoods. In September of 2018, The New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) released a report on the impacts of aggressive policing in the city. Nearly 1,500 New Yorkers were surveyed in 2016 for the report and their answers reveal just how widespread aggressive policing is on these already traumatized communities.
The survey respondents revealed that police presence actually makes them feel less safe.