Jovan Cisse and his brother were walking home from school in Federal Way when their life was almost turned upside down.
Cisse and his brother were on their way home when a Federal Way police officer pulled over and prepared to cuff and arrest them.
“A police officer tried to arrest me when I was 12 years old for a crime I didn’t commit,” said Jovan Cisse. “He pulled over and tried to cuff my brother and I because we matched the description of black siblings who had stolen $1,200.”
Fortunately for the Cisse brothers, Jovan Cisse’s teacher had seen what was happening and was able to get out of his car and vouch for Cisse and his brother. After his teacher talked to the police officer they eventually were let go.
Cisse, now a second-year Highline student, said he doesn’t dislike the police as a result of the situation. Incidents like Cisse’s are not entirely uncommon, and some Highline students have formed opinions about the police based off of moments like those.
Nonetheless, Highline students aren’t all sure about defunding the police.
“I don’t think defunding the police is a good idea because it would only make their job more stressful and lead to more incidents of police brutality,” Cisse said.
Others think that defunding the police is what’s necessary for the community.
“Instead of spending so much money on the police that have failed to serve justice to people especially from lower income communities and oppressed people, they should put that money towards the people and communities who need more resources,” said Magdaly Sanchez, a first-year Highline student.
Some Highline students say that race plays a role in police brutality.
“I think many police have a preconceived idea of African-Americans being violent and ignorant and as a result are more fearful and brutal to us compared to other races,” Cisse said.
“I do think race is a factor when it comes to police brutality mostly because of the stereotypes given to certain races and ethnic groups,” Sanchez said.
“I 100 percent think that race is a factor in police brutality,” said Joseph Lee, second-year Highline student and visual communication major.
“Around the police I feel a little nervous,” said Jasjot Singh.
“I feel as if they aren’t treating people equally based on many of the interactions the police have had with people of color,” he said. “They kill or arrest people for no reason.”
“Minority groups and immigrants are discriminated against every day compared to the majority white race in America,” said Myla Myers.
Others say the police are just doing what’s necessary.
“If you are caught guilty then they have the right to use force on you,” said Andrew Dibble. “Because anyone has given up their right to freedom when endangering others.”
Dibble said he generally feels safe around the police. He said police should only kill someone in self-defense, owever, “physical force is needed to take guys in.”