Racial Bias in Policing

by Coded Logic 31 Replies latest social current

  • LoveUniHateExams

    Yes. A person can make derogatory and or discriminatory remarks against ANY race - including their own. And a person can favor a race and or hate a race that is - or isn't - their own - you seem to be suggesting that the black cops which are accused of unfair discrimination against black citizens in Baltimore believe that the white race is superior to their own race. This is doubtful. I seriously doubt that the black cop who said 'blue lives matter' believes this, for example.

    It found that black people are stopped and not charged with a crime far more than white people - correct, but is this due to racist Baltimore cops? Perhaps black people commit more crime than white people in Baltimore?

    Is the reason because you didn't bother to read the report? - I did read the report but, as I has limited time, I read it very quickly.

    I'm merely saying that I couldn't find anything in it that would distinguish between the two possibilities I suggested, i.e. does more black people stopped mean that Baltimore cops are racist, or does it simply reflect more crime committed by black people compared to white people. If you could quote a section of the report that sorts my issue out, I'd be happy.

  • Simon

    If you have overlapping sets of poor vs black vs crime demographics and then compare things across an entire city that also includes very different demographics such as affluence etc... then it's not really surprising that you can come up with a "black people are stopped more" result.

    Cops will be stopping more people in higher crime areas surely? They tend to focus on those (you'd hope?!) The fact that they frequently happen to correlate with low income + race is a social issue, not something the police can solve. They cannot solve skills and employment issues which are fed by education (and attitudes to education). It's not for lack of spending, some of these areas have the highest per-student spending in the country.

    So how many black vs white people are stopped in each community within the city would likely give very different results. I think it was ferguson where people though having 70% black people stopped was "more" when the population of that community was over 85% (so actually under-represented). There's likely differences in the white people stopped in different areas - I expect way more in the poorer, higher crime ones than the affluent suburbs.

    Who decides the areas that police focus on? The crimes committed and the politicians that the people elect so they can get elected again. Some have done a very bad job in Baltimore, have been divisive and tried to blame everything on the cops and hung them out to dry. Paying out multi $m settlements before anyone even filed paperwork or there was any investigation / court case to discover or decide fault.

    I'm sure a lot of the population wants more police cover and more control of crime because they are the victims who suffer most from it. Other parts of the population seem to want no policing at all. Right now it looks like the police have stepped back as some people want and crime has exploded as a result.

    Sad. But not a surprise. People forget that many of the police policies that they don't like are originally brought in because people demand it because they get sick of the crime. Who's voices should win? We have a democracy and people can vote for the governance that they want in their own areas.

    There are of course other factors - the police are not the best in the world and do often seem amateurish, heavy handed and power-happy, a consequence no doubt of poor training and difficult recruiting good people due to low pay. But does anyone genuinely believe and want to claim that any amount of policing issues causes people to murder for instance? Let's not confuse symptoms with cause.

  • never a jw
    never a jw

    Who's voices should win?

    Exactly. Those are the choices for people living in crime ridden areas. Who do you prefer, tough police or tough thugs?

    My vote would go for tough police. Crime goes down, innocent people are safer, and accountability is more likely. Not so with thugs.

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic
    So how many black vs white people are stopped in each community within the city would likely give very different results.

    I agree that people who live in high crime areas are more likely to be stopped - justified or not. I also agree that unfortunately due to the high poverty rates among the black community it means that black people are often more likely to live within crime areas.

    This is by no means "just" a policing issue. However, I think there are several proactive things the police can do. For example, as recommended by the report, community policing. If you have some understanding of who's-who in a community it means police are less likely to stop and frisk innocent people. And it will stop the sorts of situations like we saw earlier this week when a black school teacher was pinned against up against a police cruiser and accused of being a prostitute.

    Grabbed: Footage from Twitter shows a small black Washington, DC woman, identified only as 'Shadon' being held up roughly against a police cruiser by her arms

    (hard to tell from the picture but her feet are about a foot off the ground)

    I don't think there's a silver bullet that can solve all these problems. But I think by being aware of the issue and making a concerted effort we can seriously curtail the number of these incidents.

  • Simon

    Community policing is great, I'm all for it, you expect to be able to chat with the cops when you're queuing for donuts ("do you have a special holster on your belt for them?"), but when things are broken down and crime is at the level that it seems to be in certain areas of inner-city Baltimore, it's simply not going to happen and it's unrealistic to expect police to be unarmed and go round hugging people when they would likely be quickly shot dead. So you are always going to have aggressive confrontations as you need to portray strength and intimidate people otherwise you might die. The police affectively need to out-gang the gangs.

    The police need to tackle those committing crime. If a majority of those are black in majority poor-black neighbourhoods, is that really a surprise or shocking to anyone? It seems to be getting worse as people take advantage of the hesitancy of the police to take action for fear of being charged even if they do their job. It's reached a point now where there is 'outrage' even when it's a black man with a stolen gun who is shot and a black cop who shot him. Is this genuine outrage over some miscarriage of justice or real suggestion of racism or, like it seems far too often, simply an excuse to riot, loot and attack non-black owned business who have ever called the police over criminal behaviour? Will those areas do better or worse after burning down the businesses who did invest in the area?

    What will make this all better? What is it people want? Still waiting to hear some concrete and realistic demands. "Don't chase criminals who are black" or "let people shoot at cops and don't fire back" is not going to happen but seems to be what some expect. The judgement of whether cops have done bad or good needs to be based on more than "was the person black" - it has to include their part in things as well.

    And the obvious real solutions - get an education, get a job, have some self-respect, will take far too long to play through.

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic

    It's unrealistic to expect police to be unarmed and go round hugging people when they would likely be quickly shot dead. So you are always going to have aggressive confrontations as you need to portray strength and intimidate people otherwise you might die.

    I think we may be talking about two very different things. Community policing means an officer works a specific area which allows them to become familiar with the locals and build rapport. It does NOT mean they're unarmed or unable to carry out any of the functions necessary to do their job.

    "Community policing is a philosophy of full service personalized policing, where the same officer patrols and works in the same area on a permanent basis, from a decentralized place, working in a proactive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems."

    "Community policing, recognizing that police rarely can solve public safety problems alone, encourages interactive partnerships with relevant stakeholders. The range of potential partners is large, and these partnerships can be used to accomplish the two interrelated goals of developing solutions to problems through collaborative problem solving and improving public trust. The public should play a role in prioritizing and addressing public safety problems."

    "Community policing emphasizes proactive problem solving in a systematic and routine fashion. Rather than responding to crime only after it occurs, community policing encourages agencies to proactively develop solutions to the immediate underlying conditions contributing to public safety problems. Problem solving must be infused into all police operations and guide decision making efforts. Agencies are encouraged to think innovatively about their responses and view making arrests as only one of a wide array of potential responses. A major conceptual vehicle for helping officers to think about problem solving in a structured and disciplined way is the SARA (scanning, analysis, response, and assessment) problem-solving model."

  • redvip2000

    Again this idea that somehow police must stop and investigate equally across all races. This is ludicrous. The breakdown of stops, searches, investigations and other police engagements is proportional to who is acting in a way that warrants the engagement of the police. If you look at the breakdown of crime in Baltimore there is a higher incidence of crime in the black neighborhoods, which means more interaction between the police and those specific residents.

    The reason why the data shows that even black cops have more engagements with the black community, is not because they are racist (how stupid), it's because they are doing their job.

  • EndofMysteries

    Community policing? - If they won't tell cops any information when a person or even child is murdered, how will you get that going? Not going to happen unless the good people within that community decide to fight back against the thugs and criminals among them.

  • EndofMysteries

    I think one solution though will be to legalize drugs for 18+ as is with smoking. If dangerous things such as smoking, alcohol, and chemical ridden food are legal then by making the other things legal, let a person ruin their own body if they want. If this is done then thugs/gangs/etc won't have drug money, won't have drug 'territory' to defend, no drug deals gone bad, etc.

  • Coded Logic
    Coded Logic

    This isn't just that black people are being stopped. It's that the Baltimore Police were being systemically racist. This is just one, of many examples, you can find in the report:

    A shift commander for one of BPD’s districts emailed a template for describing trespassing arrests to a sergeant and a patrol officer. The template provides a blueprint for arresting an individual standing on or near a public housing development who cannot give a “valid reason” for being there—a facially unconstitutional detention. Equally troubling is the fact that the template contains blanks to be filled in for details of the arrest, including the arrest data and location and the suspect’s name and address, but does not include a prompt to fill in the race or gender of the arrestee. Rather, the words “black male” are automatically included in the description of the arrest. The supervisor’s template thus presumes that individuals arrested for trespassing will be African American.

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