Power of the Police
The short story “The Baddest Dog in Harlem” is written by Walter Dean Myers and is a short story in the collection of short stories “145th Street”. 145th Street is also where the “the Baddest Dog in Harlem” is taking place.
Some friends were sitting on the rail outside of Big Joe’s place. Suddenly the police appear and the trouble starts. The police are looking for a man with an automatic gun. Lots of people are gathering to see what is going on, and a kid yells out that he saw somebody in the building that the police were staring at. Immediately the police start shooting. After a while the owner of the apartment in the building that the police shot at shows up. She wants a black person to go with her and the…show more content… The police exploit their power without even being sure of anything. With great power comes responsibility, and the police do not live up to this responsibility.
It is possible to draw several parallels to “American Skin (41 shots)” by Bruce Springsteen. In the song, “41 shots” are repeated many times, because it was the exact number of bullets, shot by four policemen to kill an innocent man named Amadou Diallo. This is just like the ridicules amount of bullets the police used in “The Baddest Dog in Harlem” just to kill an innocent person.
“Lena gets her son ready for school
She says "on these streets, Charles
You 've got to understand the rules.
If an officer stops you,
Promise me you 'll always be polite,
That you 'll never ever run away
Promise Mama you 'll keep your hands in sight"”
This part shows how anxious people are for the police. The Police are way to powerful, just like in the short story. The ironical part is that the police should make people fell safe, but does the opposite. “41 shots
And we’ll take that ride
Cross the bloody river
To the other side
41 shots... cut through the night
You 're kneeling over his body in the vestibule
Praying for his life”
This part of the song is similar to the ending of the