1) In “The Hate U Give” By Angie Thomas, we learn that Starr has now lost 2 friends to two different forms of gun violence and abuse. Starr lost Natasha due to a drive by shooting at age 10 and Khalil at the hands of the police. It is evident that both Natasha’s and Khalil’s deaths have not been given a voice by law enforcement as seen in this quote, “I’ve tried to forget it, but I remember everything. The look on Natasha’s face. They never caught the person who did it. I guess it didn’t matter enough. But it did matter. She mattered.” I look at Ms. Ofrah, but I can barely see her for all the tears. “And I want everyone to know that Khalil mattered too.” (Thomas, 219). Now, the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Starr’s two friends are different, how do you think the aftermath of Natasha’s murder would have looked, if given a voice by law enforcement?
2) Why do you think they depict Officer 115 as a God loving family man?
3) How do Uncle Carlos and Officer 115 both defy stereotypes and or confirm stereotypes for Police Officers?
4) How does the friendship between Chris and Devante deconstruct the idea of Starr’s two worlds?
“Officer Brian Cruise Jr. has been on the force for sixteen years,” the voice-over says, and more pics of him as a cop are shown. He’s been a cop for as long as Khalil was alive, and I wonder if I’m in some sick twist of fate Khalil was only born for this man to kill.” (Thomas, 245)
“Everybody wants to talk about how Khalil died,” I say, “But this isn’t about how Khalil died. It’s about the fact that he lived. His life mattered. Khalil lived!” I look at the cops again. “You hear me? Khalil lived!” (Thomas, 412)
The first quote brings up an interesting parallel between Officer 115 and Khalil as Starr wonders if Khalil was born to fall victim to Officer 115’s policing career. The man who had killed Khalil had been a police officer for 16 years and had a very fulfilled life as he went to college, got married, had 2 young children, and a career he loved. It appears that Officer 115 got to live all of big milestone experiences and yet, he striped Khalil of having his every own as Officer 115 shot him without Khalil even being a threat. While, 115 was the reason for Khalil’s death, Starr is refusing to let the narrative that the police and 115’s family is pushing to be how Khalil is remembered or let that be the focus of his death. As Starr states, it is important that Khalil once lived, he had friends, family, jobs, he was trying to do good for his family and now people everywhere only have memories because of 115’s actions. The sad truth is that people have inheritance fears and biases, however, when you’re biases interfere with your logic to serve your duty, you cannot call yourself a protector for all.