Logo

How Racist is American Policing?

by / August 18, 2014 Latest Posts 395 Comments

April V. Taylor

As tensions regarding racialized policing have exploded across the country, many have tried to quantify the racism that exists in police practices, but there is one problem.  As Mother Jones reports, “Federal databases that track police use of force or arrest-related deaths paint only a partial picture.  Police department data is scattered and fragmented.  No agency appears to track the number of police shootings or killings of unarmed victims in a systematic, comprehensive way.”  Despite this partial picture, what is clear is that even without comprehensive data, policing in America is racialized.

Outside of federal data, ColorLines and the Chicago Reporter conducted an analysis in 2007 of data regarding fatal police shootings in 10 major cities.  Every city they analyzed had a disproportionately high number of African Americans who were victims of police shootings.  In an interview with Mother Jones, NAACP president Cornell Williams Brooks states, “We need not look for individual racists to say that we have a culture of policing that is really rubbing salt into longstanding racial wounds.”

Brooks also points out that American society has become a place where people who are simply suspected of minor, petty crimes are acted upon with “overwhelmingly major, often lethal, use of force.”  An example of how blacks are disproportionately affected by this use of violent force is Oakland, California.  Between 2004 and 2008, 37 of 45 people shot by police were black; none of the 45 were white.  Another example comes courtesy of the New York Police Department where more black people have been shot between 2000 and 2011 than Hispanics or whites.  Data also shows that black people are most likely be targeted as suspects in shooting and firearms crimes and to be shot at by police.

As law professor Delores Jones-Brown points out, it is not just that black people are more often the victims of police violence, it is also that, “The police don’t show as much care when they are handling incidents that involve young black men and women, and so they do shoot and kill, and then for whatever reason, juries and prosecutor’s offices are much less likely to indict or convict.”  Jones-Brown also points out that police using excessive force or profiling blacks is not limited to those who are poor or live in predominately black neighborhoods.  She states, “You don’t have to be poor, you don’t have to be in your own community…and this can happen to you.”

There is no reliable way to track whether or not police use of force against black people has increased in the last decade because the data simply is not available.  What is clear is that the entire criminal justice system continues to function as an inherently racist system according to what data is available.  Statistics that illustrate this are that despite blacks making up just 13.1 percent of America’s population, they make up 40 percent of the nation’s prison population; despite blacks using or selling drugs at rates very similar to whites, blacks are 2.8 to 5.5 times more likely to be arrested for drugs.  In addition, black offenders are given longer sentences.  As Mother Jones points out, while data may not give a complete picture of racist policing, what is absolutely clear is that the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri is “just the tip of the iceberg.”

SOURCE

april

395 Comment

  1. Very interesting info !Perfect just what I was looking for! “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” by Groucho Marx.

  2. great post.Ne’er knew this, appreciate it for letting me know.

  3. Ahaa, its pleasant discussion regarding this piece of writing here
    at this web site, I have read all that, so at this time me also commenting at this place.

  4. Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he actually bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  5. I genuinely value your work, Great post.

  6. An attention-grabbing dialogue is value comment. I believe that you need to write more on this matter, it might not be a taboo subject however typically people are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  7. Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem along with your web site in web explorer, may check thisK IE still is the marketplace leader and a huge portion of other people will omit your fantastic writing because of this problem.

  8. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there.

  9. Some truly interesting info , well written and broadly speaking user pleasant.

  10. Hi my friend! I wish to say that this article is awesome, nice written and include almost all important infos. I’d like to see more posts like this.

  11. Fantastic web site. A lot of helpful info here. I¦m sending it to some pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you to your effort!

  12. It’s arduous to search out educated individuals on this topic, however you sound like you understand what you’re talking about! Thanks

  13. Valuable information. Lucky me I found your site by accident, and I am shocked why this accident did not happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

  14. It is appropriate time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time to be happy. I’ve learn this submit and if I may just I wish to recommend you some attention-grabbing issues or suggestions. Maybe you can write subsequent articles referring to this article. I desire to read more things about it!

  15. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, let alone the content!

  16. Most of what you assert happens to be astonishingly legitimate and it makes me wonder the reason why I had not looked at this with this light before. This article truly did turn the light on for me as far as this particular topic goes. However at this time there is actually one issue I am not really too comfortable with so while I try to reconcile that with the central idea of your issue, permit me see what the rest of your visitors have to point out.Well done.

  17. I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks, I?¦ll try and check back more frequently. How frequently you update your site?

  18. Would you be taken with exchanging links?

  19. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  20. Thanks – Enjoyed this update, can you make it so I get an email sent to me whenever you publish a fresh post?

  21. Having read this I believed it was really informative.
    I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this informative
    article together. I once again find myself spending way too
    much time both reading and commenting. But so what,
    it was still worth it!

  22. Appreciate it for helping out, superb info .

  23. The next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesnt disappoint me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read, but I actually thought youd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you could fix if you werent too busy looking for attention.

  24. I am very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this greatest doc.

  25. You made some decent points there. I did a search on the subject matter and found most persons will consent with your site.

  26. I always was concerned in this topic and still am, thankyou for posting.

  27. Great – I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs as well as related information ended up being truly easy to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it at all. Quite unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or something, site theme . a tones way for your client to communicate. Nice task..

  28. Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I am very glad to see such excellent information being shared freely out there.

  29. I’ve recently started a blog, the information you offer on this web site has helped me tremendously. Thank you for all of your time & work. “It is a great thing to know our vices.” by Cicero.

  30. Good write-up, I’m regular visitor of one’s web site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a lengthy time.

  31. I am often to blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  32. Very interesting points you have observed, appreciate it for putting up.

  33. Really clean web site, thankyou for this post.

  34. Wow, amazing blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is great, let alone the content!

  35. Hi, Neat post. There’s a problem with your site in internet explorer, would test this… IE still is the market leader and a big portion of people will miss your great writing due to this problem.

  36. Great post, I believe blog owners should larn a lot from this site its very user pleasant.

  37. Great remarkable issues here. I am very happy to look your article. Thank you a lot and i’m looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a mail?

  38. There is noticeably a bunch to realize about this. I consider you made various nice points in features also.

  39. You have noted very interesting points! ps decent site.

  40. Together with every little thing that seems to be building throughout this specific subject matter, your opinions are quite exciting. On the other hand, I am sorry, but I do not subscribe to your whole strategy, all be it refreshing none the less. It seems to us that your remarks are not completely validated and in actuality you are yourself not even fully confident of your argument. In any case I did appreciate examining it.

  41. Thankyou for helping out, good info .

  42. There may be noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made sure good points in features also.

  43. Hi there colleagues, its great post concerning cultureand completely defined, keep it up all the time.

  44. My brother suggested I may like this web site. He was once
    entirely right. This submit actually made my day. You cann’t
    consider simply how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  45. I do not even know how I ended up here, but I thought this
    post was good. I don’t know who you are but certainly you are going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

Leave a Comment

Email (will not be published)