Lam 1

Alfred Lam
Mrs. Smith
English 11 AP
11 December 2015
Another Day, Another Death
America is faced with a growing problem of of police brutality, a problem that is
intensified by rising racial tensions. This is reflected in the numerous cases of police violence
towards African Americans, the most recent of which being the shooting death of Mario Woods
by five police officers. In his article, “Mario Woods' Unnecessary Death,” San Francisco
Chronicle journalist Franklin E. Zimring uses logos and syntax to address the frequent, often
fatal encounters between police and their targets.
Zimring begins by presenting the facts of the case: 26-year-old Mario Woods had
“displayed a weapon (a knife) and refused to drop it,” prompting “five police officers” to fire at
him “at least 15 times.” The threat of the knife, according to Zimring, was already very low, with
“a total of two knife deaths” over “six years (2008-13) in the United States” when used against
“uniformed police officers.” He continues to state that “as many as 400 of the more than 1000
killings by police each year are not in response to life-threatening assaults,” showing the
frequency of the avoidable occurrence. In fact, thanks to “tactical training and bulletproof vests,”
death rates for police officers had “dropped by 75 percent” since 1976, in contrast to the meager
“9 percent decline” in civilian deaths. These statistics, essentially placing Woods threat level as
very low, in addition to the fact that the police both outnumbered and outgunned him, greatly call
into question the reasoning of the police for firing so many unnecessary shots.
In the strongest part of his article, Zimring uses syntax to assert his claim- that “five
officers could have arrested and disarmed [Woods] without firing a single shot.” He explains that

” the officer in charge. he shifts to a shorter sentence structure to make his point. These incidents are an indication that reform must happen if America is to be a symbol of the principles of freedom and equality that it was founded upon.it's what these police were trained to do. In his concluding paragraphs. concluding that. 74 percent. and supporting his claim by demonstrating the pointlessness of the additional shots.Lam 2 “each additional wound increases the chances of death. Zimring emphasizes the substantial risk that each unnecessary shot presents to Woods. Zimring proceeds to provide his own answer to the question. 34 percent.” Using semicolons and a parallel sentence structure to add rhythm and flow to his words.” The sharp increase in the number of incidents regarding police brutality is a disturbing development in the United States. Woods' case further illuminates tensions not only with police. Only one of many police killings in recent years. with a rhetorical question. the “terrible. . two wounds. 56 percent.” directly addressing “Chief Greg Suhr. awful truth” that “shooting to kill is accepted police practice.” recent events demonstrate that “Those days are gone. but with racial discrimination as well.” with the death rate with one wound at “21 percent. He goes on to ask whether the “second through 15th shots [were] necessary. more than four wounds. three or four wounds. although San Francisco once had the lowest rate of police killings of the “14 biggest cities in the nation.” using a dash to reiterate that police training is flawed and needs reform.

N..Lam 3 Works Cited Zimring. "Mario Woods' Unnecessary Death. 2015.p. 10 Dec. Web. Franklin E. 9 Dec. 2015." San Francisco Chronicle. .