Police Brutality- Real Problem or Diversion-

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Police brutality is a major topic of discourse in the USA. However, do you believe that it is as a big of a problem as the media and the violent protesters have insinuated? After all, those people refer to no more than 20 cases of allegedly "unjust" uses of force by police. However, those very same people ignore problems that are exponentially more prevalent in our society. Particularly, I refer to the hundreds of murders that happen in the major cities of our nation everyday.

 

Let's not be politically correct here. The accusers (media, black lives matters, activists) allege that this is a black vs white problem. The problem I speak of now, mass numbers of shootings that occur everyday in New York, Baltimore, Los Angeles, etc, are problems mostly held between minorities (black and hispanic people). In other words, this is a black vs. black or black vs. latino problem.

 

I know that police brutality happens, and nobody denies this (not even the police, who routinely punish their own for such behaviors). However, is it fair to put this overwhelming declaration on the police that they are a racist force of no good, hellbent at exterminating another  race, when these alleged acts, if proven, are of much lesser magnitude than the street murders of everyday?

-Let's focus on the existence of black police officers

-Black police officers who arrest minorities

-Black police officers who are killed in the line of duty

    -How nobody cares about the "black lives lost" when the death is caused (most often so) by other black people.

 

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-After all, those people refer to no more than 20 cases of allegedly "unjust" uses of force by police. -

Check out, http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/  it catalogs more than 100 instances of unarmed black men who were shot and killed (not just "unjust force") in 2014.

 

 

As for other forms of violence, you're right, it's terrible that gangs will shoot eachother, but the difference is that we don't look up to them to be our protectors. The police force has a job to do, which is to protect Americans, and uphold the law, and at times, it's understandably hard to do that and ensure their own safety. The outrage though is from things like: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/us/big-disparity-for-blacks-pulled-over-in-missouri.html

 

Just simple statistics show that racism is affecting a large number of decisions made by a police force in a local area, how would it feel if you had to be a minority in that area driving around? Imagine getting pulled over several times a year, dragged out of the car and having to spend an hour or two getting it searched while you're completely innocent of everything except being black.  

 

Relavent Quotes from the article for the lazy:

Police officers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely to stop black drivers than white drivers last year, and 73 percent more likely to search black drivers

 

The data also showed that although blacks were more likely to be stopped and searched than whites, they were less likely to be found with contraband than whites, the report said.

 

 

 

The data comes from the state itself, you can't really just toss it away as falsified, and 70%+ is really significant, especially given they were less likely to actually be guilty at all.

 

The department of justice ended up issuing a report and demanded changes be made to start fixing this, including requirements for police departments to start hiring more minorities as police officers too.

 

 

And it's not just Missouri that does this either, here's more data from various places across the country guilty of the same thing:

yWYu5Ct.png

The red line represents where those graphs 'should' be if they were pulled over proportionally, Missouri would be a 1.7-1.8 on that top graph, and a 0.7-0.8 on the second, using the percentages from the previously mentioned article.

source: nytimes.com/2015/10/25/us/racial-disparity-traffic-stops-driving-black.html

 

It's not really something you can just mark as a few isolated incidents, these may not be police brutality, but they clearly show heavy bias from police across the country against black citizens. I think that the media is not "making a big deal" out of it, they're reporting what's actually happening, and it is an important problem that our country needs to stand up and address.

 

And in general, police brutality is a large problem regardless of race, as of September so far this year police in America had killed 776 people. Of those: one of ever five people they killed was completely unarmed. I mean, 80% of the time yea, they're at least partially justified in pulling the trigger, the person had a weapon of some kind and probably intent to use it. But 80% accuracy rate across the country at judging whether you're armed or not, is that really the margin of error you're comfortable with when you get stopped by the police?

 

source:

http://www.mintpressnews.com/776-people-killed-by-police-so-far-in-2015-161-of-them-unarmed/209127/

 

 

 

 

As a final note, I'll say that I respect the policemen of our country for trying to do what's becoming a tough job. The vast majority of them are good people, not murders, but there are too many exceptions to this compliment to just label them as the occasional outliers and ignore.

Edited by FallingDusk

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This is one thing that is absolutely not being exaggerated by the media, it's a big problem and there's quite a few stories of police brutality that never appeared in any major news outlets.

I do in general respect the officers that actually do their jobs and don't let bias cloud their judgement and it's not fair to say that ALL police are racist, but there are a number of officers that are outright racist(some were even part of the KKK) that never should've been hired in the first place.

There's racism against black officers as well, in Johnnie Cochran's book "A Lawyer's Life", he talked about a case where state troopers in New Jersey were engaging in systematic racial profiling by pulling over black people in overwhelming numbers, and the black state troopers also had to deal with racial harassment from white officers.

I also heard of a case where a black officer got held at gunpoint by a white officer who didn't recognize him.

Edited by vexer6

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I don't have time for an in-depth reply at the moment, but I have to wonder why a firearm is part of the US Police Officer's standard gear when many other developed nations only allow officers to carry guns under special circumstances if at all. In general, it could be argued that the typical US Police officer is equipped more like a soldier than a law enforcement agent when you compare the US to the rest of the developed world.

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I don't have time for an in-depth reply at the moment, but I have to wonder why a firearm is part of the US Police Officer's standard gear when many other developed nations only allow officers to carry guns under special circumstances if at all. In general, it could be argued that the typical US Police officer is equipped more like a soldier than a law enforcement agent when you compare the US to the rest of the developed world.

Because many citizens here are armed and will not hesitate to kill, which is not the case for other nations, so officers have to carry firearms at all times because of the possibility that they or someone else will be attacked at any moment and they need to be able to react quickly and decisively.  

Unfortunately many police officers assume that all black people are dangerous and find excuses to kill them and try to justify it later.

Police officers did start wearing more military-esque uniforms after 9/11.

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Check out, http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/  it catalogs more than 100 instances of unarmed black men who were shot and killed (not just "unjust force") in 2014.

 

 

As for other forms of violence, you're right, it's terrible that gangs will shoot eachother, but the difference is that we don't look up to them to be our protectors. The police force has a job to do, which is to protect Americans, and uphold the law, and at times, it's understandably hard to do that and ensure their own safety. The outrage though is from things like: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/02/us/big-disparity-for-blacks-pulled-over-in-missouri.html

 

Just simple statistics show that racism is affecting a large number of decisions made by a police force in a local area, how would it feel if you had to be a minority in that area driving around? Imagine getting pulled over several times a year, dragged out of the car and having to spend an hour or two getting it searched while you're completely innocent of everything except being black.  

 

Relavent Quotes from the article for the lazy:

Police officers in Missouri were 75 percent more likely to stop black drivers than white drivers last year, and 73 percent more likely to search black drivers

 

The data also showed that although blacks were more likely to be stopped and searched than whites, they were less likely to be found with contraband than whites, the report said.

 

 

 

The data comes from the state itself, you can't really just toss it away as falsified, and 70%+ is really significant, especially given they were less likely to actually be guilty at all.

 

The department of justice ended up issuing a report and demanded changes be made to start fixing this, including requirements for police departments to start hiring more minorities as police officers too.

 

 

And it's not just Missouri that does this either, here's more data from various places across the country guilty of the same thing:

yWYu5Ct.png

The red line represents where those graphs 'should' be if they were pulled over proportionally, Missouri would be a 1.7-1.8 on that top graph, and a 0.7-0.8 on the second, using the percentages from the previously mentioned article.

source: nytimes.com/2015/10/25/us/racial-disparity-traffic-stops-driving-black.html

 

It's not really something you can just mark as a few isolated incidents, these may not be police brutality, but they clearly show heavy bias from police across the country against black citizens. I think that the media is not "making a big deal" out of it, they're reporting what's actually happening, and it is an important problem that our country needs to stand up and address.

 

And in general, police brutality is a large problem regardless of race, as of September so far this year police in America had killed 776 people. Of those: one of ever five people they killed was completely unarmed. I mean, 80% of the time yea, they're at least partially justified in pulling the trigger, the person had a weapon of some kind and probably intent to use it. But 80% accuracy rate across the country at judging whether you're armed or not, is that really the margin of error you're comfortable with when you get stopped by the police?

 

source:

http://www.mintpressnews.com/776-people-killed-by-police-so-far-in-2015-161-of-them-unarmed/209127/

 

 

 

 

As a final note, I'll say that I respect the policemen of our country for trying to do what's becoming a tough job. The vast majority of them are good people, not murders, but there are too many exceptions to this compliment to just label them as the occasional outliers and ignore.

Your logic is flawed, because you are falling into the distortion of the media. You think that if black people are targeted more than white people, then we have a racist police problem. On the contrary, this is a simple indicator that black people are more prevalent in the area analyzed by the study. I'll demonstrate a working example: Ferguson, Missouri.

 

The media alleged the police were racist, and their "proof" was that black people were being arrested more than other people. However, what media did not mention or emphasize is that Ferguson, Missouri is a city that is approximately 70% black. Therefore, your statistical chance of an officer encountering a black person is immensely higher. Likewise, other reports such as the one you have posted, focus on inner-city neighborhoods in which black people are the majority. I'm telling you as a fact that in neighborhoods where there are no black people, there are almost no black people arrested.

I don't have time for an in-depth reply at the moment, but I have to wonder why a firearm is part of the US Police Officer's standard gear when many other developed nations only allow officers to carry guns under special circumstances if at all. In general, it could be argued that the typical US Police officer is equipped more like a soldier than a law enforcement agent when you compare the US to the rest of the developed world.

Jeffrey, your report is a bit unfounded. Although, there are countries with unarmed regular patrol officers, they are very rare. England is one of them, but don't be mistaken in thinking that they don't carry weaponry. Most patrol officers carry tasers and batons, and when those weapons fail the police call for armed police units.

 

Weapons serve American police better than they do in other countries because of our cultural difference. We can't take them away from patrol officers, because it is too late to do that now. I'll give an example from an American territory known as American Samoa that will show why this is the case.

 

Until 2010, police officers there were unarmed by law in American Samoa. However, in 2010 an officer providing courthouse security was shot and killed by a gunman. The man slowly drew his gun knowing that the officer was defenseless, and he used that knowledge to take the life of an unarmed law enforcement officer. Since then, the police department of American Samoa has armed its officers because it acknowledges that times have changed,  and it is not practical enforce law without weaponry. You see, this idea of unarmed officers may appear to work in the UK, but when push comes to shove, the police everywhere come storming in with their guns, even in England. 

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Extrapolating from the 776 figure above, it's pretty damning that police officers kill more people in a year and a half than the government has executed in the last 40. I wonder how many of those killings occurred in precincts where violent crime is common and how that number compares with the numbers for civilians killing in self-defense.

As for the general issue of police officers carrying guns:

How I think it should be:

"Okay Officer, your patrol assignment for today has you going through a dangerous neighborhood, so you've been approved to check-out a department issue sidearm. You will be expected to check it back in at the end of your shift and to file incident reports for every shot fired including sufficient identification to pull public records for as many individuals as were directly involved in the incident and witnesses as possible. Each incident will be investigated to the best of the department's ability, and we won't hesitate to limit you to patrol work in safe neighborhoods, a desk job, or complete removal from the force and possible criminal prosecution if use of the sidearm is determined to have been excessive. Please sign here to acknowledge your understanding of these terms."

My understanding of how things are:

"Welcome to the force, rookie. Here's your department issued sidearm. Feel free to keep it on you at all times and so long as you don't make headlines, we'll do our best to overlook any misuse."

Oh, and in-general, I don't trust police officers or any kind of law enforcement agent. My default position when dealing with an officer of the law is "be polite, but assume the officer is an asshole who only went into law enforcement for the ability to harass people and get away with it that comes with the badge until proven otherwise". Good cops might make up the majority, but accountability among their ranks is way too low for me to trust an officer I don't know, and to be quite frank, some of the things police do in the name of apprehending criminals should be illegal(such as pretending to sell drugs to catch users or pretending to be interested in buying drugs or other illegal goods to catch those selling said goods). Law Enforcement Officers should be held to a higher standard than the common people, but they aren't even held to the same standard as the common people.

Edited by Jeffery Mewtamer

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Extrapolating from the 776 figure above, it's pretty damning that police officers kill more people in a year and a half than the government has executed in the last 40. I wonder how many of those killings occurred in precincts where violent crime is common and how that number compares with the numbers for civilians killing in self-defense.

As for the general issue of police officers carrying guns:

How I think it should be:

"Okay Officer, your patrol assignment for today has you going through a dangerous neighborhood, so you've been approved to check-out a department issue sidearm. You will be expected to check it back in at the end of your shift and to file incident reports for every shot fired including sufficient identification to pull public records for as many individuals as were directly involved in the incident and witnesses as possible. Each incident will be investigated to the best of the department's ability, and we won't hesitate to limit you to patrol work in safe neighborhoods, a desk job, or complete removal from the force and possible criminal prosecution if use of the sidearm is determined to have been excessive. Please sign here to acknowledge your understanding of these terms."

My understanding of how things are:

"Welcome to the force, rookie. Here's your department issued sidearm. Feel free to keep it on you at all times and so long as you don't make headlines, we'll do our best to overlook any misuse."

Oh, and in-general, I don't trust police officers or any kind of law enforcement agent. My default position when dealing with an officer of the law is "be polite, but assume the officer is an asshole who only went into law enforcement for the ability to harass people and get away with it that comes with the badge until proven otherwise". Good cops might make up the majority, but accountability among their ranks is way too low for me to trust an officer I don't know, and to be quite frank, some of the things police do in the name of apprehending criminals should be illegal(such as pretending to sell drugs to catch users or pretending to be interested in buying drugs or other illegal goods to catch those selling said goods). Law Enforcement Officers should be held to a higher standard than the common people, but they aren't even held to the same standard as the common people.

I agree with Jeffery's point of view on how firearms should be issued to officers. This, along with body cameras on all the time I believe would greatly reduce the amount of unnecessary casualties caused by police.  

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To clarify, I have no objections to things like batons and tasers being part of an officer's standard equipment even when patrolling safe neighborhoods. While it's possible to maim or kill with a baton or taser, doing so with such weapons is generally much harder than simply incapacitating and the risk of doing permanent harm is relatively low. On the other hand, while a gun can be used to incapacitate, doing so reliably without killing is difficult and doing so without lasting damage is nearly impossible. Maybe I'm underestimating the risk police officers face when patrolling areas with low rates of violent crime, but I can't help wondering if the constant presence of a firearm encourages a "shoot first, ask questions later" mindset that leads many officers to defaulting to the lethal force option. Of course, it would probably help if some of the funds currently wasted on enforcing drug laws and laws in the "protecting people from their own stupidity" category were shifted into research and development to improve the quality of tools officers have for incapacitating without causing lasting harm.

Also, I'll agree that demographics of arrests, charges, and convictions don't mean much without the demographics of the general population for the jurisdiction under consideration to compare too. In an area where 70% of the population is black, it makes sense that 70% of people arrested are black. If only 30% of the population is black, but blacks still made up 70% of arrests, then there would be some fairly strong reason to question the methodology of local law enforcement(and if the discrepancy was shown to not be due to racial bias, asking why the local blacks are twice as likely to commit crimes as the non-black population would be an important question indeed).

Edited by Jeffery Mewtamer

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Quite often, "Police Brutality" is actually the officers doing what they were trained to do. If the suspect is resisting arrest, and force is required then officers are allowed to use the level of force they seem necessary. However, in many cases, the officers either lose their tempers or the suspect is a danger to the officers and more than the standard amount of force is used. This more often than not results in the deaths of suspects in police custody. What people don't usually take into consideration before claiming "Police Brutality" is what the suspect was doing to promote the "more force than necessary" thing and/or whether the officer was "emotionally compromised" at the time.

Edited by SpocksThyla

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The police in Ferguson WERE racist though, the supervisor of the officer that killed Michael Brown got fired for a racist email.  http://crooksandliars.com/2015/03/ferguson-sergeant-fired-racist-email-was


To clarify, I have no objections to things like batons and tasers being part of an officer's standard equipment even when patrolling safe neighborhoods. While it's possible to maim or kill with a baton or taser, doing so with such weapons is generally much harder than simply incapacitating and the risk of doing permanent harm is relatively low. On the other hand, while a gun can be used to incapacitate, doing so reliably without killing is difficult and doing so without lasting damage is nearly impossible. Maybe I'm underestimating the risk police officers face when patrolling areas with low rates of violent crime, but I can't help wondering if the constant presence of a firearm encourages a "shoot first, ask questions later" mindset that leads many officers to defaulting to the lethal force option. Of course, it would probably help if some of the funds currently wasted on enforcing drug laws and laws in the "protecting people from their own stupidity" category were shifted into research and development to improve the quality of tools officers have for incapacitating without causing lasting harm.

Also, I'll agree that demographics of arrests, charges, and convictions don't mean much without the demographics of the general population for the jurisdiction under consideration to compare too. In an area where 70% of the population is black, it makes sense that 70% of people arrested are black. If only 30% of the population is black, but blacks still made up 70% of arrests, then there would be some fairly strong reason to question the methodology of local law enforcement(and if the discrepancy was shown to not be due to racial bias, asking why the local blacks are twice as likely to commit crimes as the non-black population would be an important question indeed).

 

To clarify, I have no objections to things like batons and tasers being part of an officer's standard equipment even when patrolling safe neighborhoods. While it's possible to maim or kill with a baton or taser, doing so with such weapons is generally much harder than simply incapacitating and the risk of doing permanent harm is relatively low. On the other hand, while a gun can be used to incapacitate, doing so reliably without killing is difficult and doing so without lasting damage is nearly impossible. Maybe I'm underestimating the risk police officers face when patrolling areas with low rates of violent crime, but I can't help wondering if the constant presence of a firearm encourages a "shoot first, ask questions later" mindset that leads many officers to defaulting to the lethal force option. Of course, it would probably help if some of the funds currently wasted on enforcing drug laws and laws in the "protecting people from their own stupidity" category were shifted into research and development to improve the quality of tools officers have for incapacitating without causing lasting harm.

Also, I'll agree that demographics of arrests, charges, and convictions don't mean much without the demographics of the general population for the jurisdiction under consideration to compare too. In an area where 70% of the population is black, it makes sense that 70% of people arrested are black. If only 30% of the population is black, but blacks still made up 70% of arrests, then there would be some fairly strong reason to question the methodology of local law enforcement(and if the discrepancy was shown to not be due to racial bias, asking why the local blacks are twice as likely to commit crimes as the non-black population would be an important question indeed).

I wouldn't blame the firearms themselves so much as how police are trained in the academy in the first place, that's where a lot of their racist mindset comes from, in some academies they're taught that they should always be suspicious of blacks and latinos(never heard of Asians being harassed by cops, though i'm sure it happens in some places).


Quite often, "Police Brutality" is actually the officers doing what they were trained to do. If the suspect is resisting arrest, and force is required then officers are allowed to use the level of force they seem necessary. However, in many cases, the officers either lose their tempers or the suspect is a danger to the officers and more than the standard amount of force is used. This more often than not results in the deaths of suspects in police custody. What people don't usually take into consideration before claiming "Police Brutality" is what the suspect was doing to promote the "more force than necessary" thing and/or whether the officer was "emotionally compromised" at the time.

The problem is in a lot of these incidents the use of force was NOT justified at all, Eric Garner for example was strangled to death for no reason, his only crime was selling cigarettes on the street.

I dare you to watch this video and tell me with a straight face that what the officer did was in any way justified:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT66U_Ftdng

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The police in Ferguson WERE racist though, the supervisor of the officer that killed Michael Brown got fired for a racist email.  http://crooksandliars.com/2015/03/ferguson-sergeant-fired-racist-email-was

 

I wouldn't blame the firearms themselves so much as how police are trained in the academy in the first place, that's where a lot of their racist mindset comes from, in some academies they're taught that they should always be suspicious of blacks and latinos(never heard of Asians being harassed by cops, though i'm sure it happens in some places).

The problem is in a lot of these incidents the use of force was NOT justified at all, Eric Garner for example was strangled to death for no reason, his only crime was selling cigarettes on the street.

I dare you to watch this video and tell me with a straight face that what the officer did was in any way justified:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vT66U_Ftdng

I have seen the Eric Garner video, and I will not argue that it was justifiable. However, this in fact an exception to the incidents involving black citizens. Most of the time, you will find cases with little evidence other than the words of the officers against the words of witnesses. Resoundingly, the public will side with the suspect without ever considering that he may have been wrong.

 

Take a look at the Michael Brown case in which people performed violent acts (riots) as a response to a supposedly "racist killing" by a police officer. I can see to why people may be angry after a death, but I cannot never sympathize with people who will perform violent acts against innocent civilians and officers without confirming the facts.

 

The facts never confirmed that the shooting was a result of Brown's race, yet the media and many imbecilic protesters chanted against the so-called "racist pigs". The news would incessantly emphasize that officer Wilson is white, and that Brown was black.  However, the news always and purposely failed to mention that Wilson, a white police officer, had dedicated his entire career to serving a majority-black city. In fact, just prior to the shooting, he had helped save the life of a small child who was having respiratory troubles. If I would be a police officer who would be racist against black people, I would find a town with no black people, yet officer Wilson had no problem risking his life to protect thousands of black Americans. If he would have been killed in the line of duty by a black man, nobody in the news would dare to say that it was a racist event.

 

Of course, Americans repaid his brave deeds by ruining his life, career, and reputation. All of this happened because some people decided that a thug was killed because of his race, and not because of his belligerence against a law enforcement, which was similarly reflected shortly prior to his death when he had knowingly robbed and assaulted an elderly store owner.

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Jeffery, a number of family friends are officers and I can confirm its kinda-sorta a combination of what you described. Here in Canada, anyway. The firearm is present while on duty, but every bullet MUST be accounted for. I know who's good on the local force and who's....not. I can ask a few off the record questions if you're interested in any technicals, or even the social stuff within a department.

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Oh it's hardly an exception:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/01/black-americans-killed-by-police-analysis


I have seen the Eric Garner video, and I will not argue that it was justifiable. However, this in fact an exception to the incidents involving black citizens. Most of the time, you will find cases with little evidence other than the words of the officers against the words of witnesses. Resoundingly, the public will side with the suspect without ever considering that he may have been wrong.

 

Take a look at the Michael Brown case in which people performed violent acts (riots) as a response to a supposedly "racist killing" by a police officer. I can see to why people may be angry after a death, but I cannot never sympathize with people who will perform violent acts against innocent civilians and officers without confirming the facts.

 

The facts never confirmed that the shooting was a result of Brown's race, yet the media and many imbecilic protesters chanted against the so-called "racist pigs". The news would incessantly emphasize that officer Wilson is white, and that Brown was black.  However, the news always and purposely failed to mention that Wilson, a white police officer, had dedicated his entire career to serving a majority-black city. In fact, just prior to the shooting, he had helped save the life of a small child who was having respiratory troubles. If I would be a police officer who would be racist against black people, I would find a town with no black people, yet officer Wilson had no problem risking his life to protect thousands of black Americans. If he would have been killed in the line of duty by a black man, nobody in the news would dare to say that it was a racist event.

 

Of course, Americans repaid his brave deeds by ruining his life, career, and reputation. All of this happened because some people decided that a thug was killed because of his race, and not because of his belligerence against a law enforcement, which was similarly reflected shortly prior to his death when he had knowingly robbed and assaulted an elderly store owner.

Sounds like you're the one who's "imbecilic" here, there's no proof that the shooting was NOT racially motivated either.  

Apparently you didn't do your research on Wilson very well, considering he had previously served in an extremely corrupt police force known for attacking black people for no reason before joining the police in Ferguson.

I question the sanity of anyone who actually sympathizes with a thug(Which BTW is often used to describe black people in a racist way without using the N-word) like Wilson.

I'll bet you actually that nonsense about all the stuff on the Mark Fuhrman tapes only being for a screenplay(can't believe that idiot actually has a job on the news)


http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/us/racist-emails-by-ferguson-officials-released.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/darren-wilson-part-force-disbanded-racial-tension-report-article-1.1914982

 

Edited by vexer6

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I don't know enough about Ferguson to have an opinion more detailed than "that town sounds like a total clusterfuck", but it does seem like the mainstream media, at least in the United States, has a bad habit of jumping to the conclusion that any incident of whites wronging blacks was racially motivated. All I know about the initial incident is that the officer was white, the suspect was black and that the suspect is dead. I have no idea whether the officer was justified, overzealous, or racist or some combination of the three. All I know is that a black man is dead at the hand of a white officer and the town where it happened devolved into utter chaos.

In addition to comparing the above figure of "776 people were killed by officers between January and September of 2015" to the number of people killed by civilians in self-defense, I think it would be interesting to see the 776 borken down in the following ways:

Most dangerous weapon found on the dead suspect. I'm thinking bomb > Gun > bladed weapon > blunt weapon > unarmed with no idea where on the scale chemical weapons like pepperspray should be. A full list of weapons found on the suspects would be better, but might be too much data for a human to process easily.

A chart showing a break down of race for both officer and suspect(I'm thinking at least white, black, Hispanic/Latino, Southwest Asian, and East/Southeast Asian plus an other category for less common groups, perhaps with the white category broken down into "American" and "Immigrant". Plus break down of the racial mix of officers nationwide and the racial break down of the total population of the US as a whole to give and indication of what the distribution would look like if there was no bias in which race of suspect gets killed or which race of officer kills.

A break down of suspect ages and income level would also be nice(if blacks really are killed more often than one would suspect from population demographics, is it due to racism, due to blacks being more likely to commit crimes, or due to say, the impoverished being more likely to commit crimes and a disproportionate portion of the poor being blacks and blacks being poor, etc.?)

776 deaths at the hands of Police Officers in 9 months is pretty damning, but that figure alone doesn't tell us any thing useful about what kind of situations lead to an officer killing someone.

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Oh it's hardly an exception:

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/01/black-americans-killed-by-police-analysis

Sounds like you're the one who's "imbecilic" here, there's no proof that the shooting was NOT racially motivated either.  

Apparently you didn't do your research on Wilson very well, considering he had previously served in an extremely corrupt police force known for attacking black people for no reason before joining the police in Ferguson.

I question the sanity of anyone who actually sympathizes with a thug(Which BTW is often used to describe black people in a racist way without using the N-word) like Wilson.

I'll bet you actually that nonsense about all the stuff on the Mark Fuhrman tapes only being for a screenplay(can't believe that idiot actually has a job on the news)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/04/us/racist-emails-by-ferguson-officials-released.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/darren-wilson-part-force-disbanded-racial-tension-report-article-1.1914982

 

You missed one of my points, which was to say that we can neither confirm or deny whether the shooting was a racist event. Nevertheless, the news media concludes that it was racist, and riles up the population to parade against an event of "racism", when in truth it was unknown and still is unknown whether it was racism. The people blindly support both sides, but in this country the belief that it was racist was overpowering because not only did powerful news outlets support that ideology, but so did influential politicians and celebrities you would stand only to benefit personally.

 

Also, I have no idea who is this Mark Fuhrman. This is my first time hearing about him.

 

I don't know enough about Ferguson to have an opinion more detailed than "that town sounds like a total clusterfuck", but it does seem like the mainstream media, at least in the United States, has a bad habit of jumping to the conclusion that any incident of whites wronging blacks was racially motivated. All I know about the initial incident is that the officer was white, the suspect was black and that the suspect is dead. I have no idea whether the officer was justified, overzealous, or racist or some combination of the three. All I know is that a black man is dead at the hand of a white officer and the town where it happened devolved into utter chaos. In addition to comparing the above figure of "776 people were killed by officers between January and September of 2015" to the number of people killed by civilians in self-defense, I think it would be interesting to see the 776 borken down in the following ways: Most dangerous weapon found on the dead suspect. I'm thinking bomb > Gun > bladed weapon > blunt weapon > unarmed with no idea where on the scale chemical weapons like pepperspray should be. A full list of weapons found on the suspects would be better, but might be too much data for a human to process easily. A chart showing a break down of race for both officer and suspect(I'm thinking at least white, black, Hispanic/Latino, Southwest Asian, and East/Southeast Asian plus an other category for less common groups, perhaps with the white category broken down into "American" and "Immigrant". Plus break down of the racial mix of officers nationwide and the racial break down of the total population of the US as a whole to give and indication of what the distribution would look like if there was no bias in which race of suspect gets killed or which race of officer kills. A break down of suspect ages and income level would also be nice(if blacks really are killed more often than one would suspect from population demographics, is it due to racism, due to blacks being more likely to commit crimes, or due to say, the impoverished being more likely to commit crimes and a disproportionate portion of the poor being blacks and blacks being poor, etc.?) 776 deaths at the hands of Police Officers in 9 months is pretty damning, but that figure alone doesn't tell us any thing useful about what kind of situations lead to an officer killing someone.

It's hard to make a conclusion, but out of the over 300 million people in this country, is that hard to believe that just 776 people did something to deserve being shot by the police? That number is insignificant when you consider that some single cities have that many killings in a single calendar year. My point is that police killings are really rare among themselves, and when considered among the total killings in this country even they are even rarer. Yet, none of this damning information stops the news from making it seem that these killings are so commonplace that they can even blamed for the demise of poor black people. They go as far as to say that the police doing their jobs is the reason that so many black people are impoverished and/or imprisoned.

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@Vexer: There's no need to insult people just to get your point across. I understand that you most probably feel strongly about this topic, but insulting someone just shows that you're unable to have a proper conversation about something. Perhaps you're a little immature to be discussing things like this, because insulting people is something that children and "thugs" do. As much as I understand that you are entitled to your opinion, you are not however, entitled to insult someone in order to express said opinion.

As realmadrid said, there is no proof that the killing was strictly race related. Any black person who is killed by a police officer, other black people are going to claim that it was a racist killing, but if a black police officer kills a white person, then it's not a racist killing. The whole racial thing isn't fair on where black people can racially insult white people, but white people cannot racially insult black people.

All you need to do a black "thug" is bump into them and they'll start ranting and raving at you, then when confronted by the police, they'll say that it was racially motivated. Everybody has to watch what they say around people who have a different skin color, as anything that is said can be taken as a racial insult. But that's getting off topic.

Police Brutality is determined by how much force is used against a criminal and in what way. If the police officer is using what is considered too much force, then it constitutes as Police Brutality. However, in few cases Police Brutality is called even when less force than necessary, this is done both by white suspects on black officers and black suspects on white officers. The thing is, most of the time when Police Brutality is called by a black suspect on a white officer, it's treated seriously yet when the same is called by a white suspect on a black officer, nine times out of ten it is ignored.

Edited by SpocksThyla

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I'm merely calling things as I see them.

 

You missed one of my points, which was to say that we can neither confirm or deny whether the shooting was a racist event. Nevertheless, the news media concludes that it was racist, and riles up the population to parade against an event of "racism", when in truth it was unknown and still is unknown whether it was racism. The people blindly support both sides, but in this country the belief that it was racist was overpowering because not only did powerful news outlets support that ideology, but so did influential politicians and celebrities you would stand only to benefit personally.

 

Also, I have no idea who is this Mark Fuhrman. This is my first time hearing about him.

 

It's hard to make a conclusion, but out of the over 300 million people in this country, is that hard to believe that just 776 people did something to deserve being shot by the police? That number is insignificant when you consider that some single cities have that many killings in a single calendar year. My point is that police killings are really rare among themselves, and when considered among the total killings in this country even they are even rarer. Yet, none of this damning information stops the news from making it seem that these killings are so commonplace that they can even blamed for the demise of poor black people. They go as far as to say that the police doing their jobs is the reason that so many black people are impoverished and/or imprisoned.

Yes it is very difficult and statistically impossible that every single one deserved it, also did you not even bother to read the article I linked which said that black people killed by police are twice as likely to be unarmed as white people are? If someone is unarmed then you're not justified in using deadly force on them period, i'm taking classes in college with a former police officer as an instructor, and he mentioned that police are only supposed to use force equal to that which is used against them, so shooting unarmed men and women is NEVER really justifiable.

The thing about those hundreds of killings is that those are the only ones we KNOW about, there's probably thousands of unrecorded deaths at the hands of cops, and yes black people being killed by police absolutely IS an epidemic, and no amount of whitewashing from people like you or the right-wing nutjobs is going to stop that from being true.

You also conveniently forget that there's plenty of news outlets like Faux News that say that shooting black people for any reason at all is totally A-OK because their all "thugs" who are up to no good anyways.

What could possibly justify police killing 12-year old Tamir Rice in cold blood for doing absolutely nothing?  I'd LOVE to hear you try and defend this despicable act of violence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhVewrqGFRw


@Vexer: There's no need to insult people just to get your point across. I understand that you most probably feel strongly about this topic, but insulting someone just shows that you're unable to have a proper conversation about something. Perhaps you're a little immature to be discussing things like this, because insulting people is something that children and "thugs" do. As much as I understand that you are entitled to your opinion, you are not however, entitled to insult someone in order to express said opinion.

As realmadrid said, there is no proof that the killing was strictly race related. Any black person who is killed by a police officer, other black people are going to claim that it was a racist killing, but if a black police officer kills a white person, then it's not a racist killing. The whole racial thing isn't fair on where black people can racially insult white people, but white people cannot racially insult black people.

All you need to do a black "thug" is bump into them and they'll start ranting and raving at you, then when confronted by the police, they'll say that it was racially motivated. Everybody has to watch what they say around people who have a different skin color, as anything that is said can be taken as a racial insult. But that's getting off topic.

Police Brutality is determined by how much force is used against a criminal and in what way. If the police officer is using what is considered too much force, then it constitutes as Police Brutality. However, in few cases Police Brutality is called even when less force than necessary, this is done both by white suspects on black officers and black suspects on white officers. The thing is, most of the time when Police Brutality is called by a black suspect on a white officer, it's treated seriously yet when the same is called by a white suspect on a black officer, nine times out of ten it is ignored.

Can you cite any actual sources for this?  I've never heard of any cases of black officers abusing white people and not being taken seriously, though I have heard of black officers being very abusive to black citizens(like that one character in Boyz in the Hood, black officers are sometimes even harsher on black people than white officers are in order to try prevent their fellow officers from thinking they are in any way biased)


Jeffery, a number of family friends are officers and I can confirm its kinda-sorta a combination of what you described. Here in Canada, anyway. The firearm is present while on duty, but every bullet MUST be accounted for. I know who's good on the local force and who's....not. I can ask a few off the record questions if you're interested in any technicals, or even the social stuff within a department.

Very true, of course some people love to conveniently forget about that as they love trying to find ways to justify killing people and dirtying them up afterwards to justify it.

Edited by vexer6

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Your logic is flawed, because you are falling into the distortion of the media. You think that if black people are targeted more than white people, then we have a racist police problem. On the contrary, this is a simple indicator that black people are more prevalent in the area analyzed by the study. I'll demonstrate a working example: Ferguson, Missouri.

No, the study was based on: (# of people pulled over for this race)/(# of people of this race living in the area), it takes account for the fact that people of vairous colors don't live everywhere in equal ammounts. Nothing was flawed in the argument, the police force really does have a bias towards African American citizens in Missouri.

 

Statistics lesson for the mathematically illiterate! :D

 

Say for example (because I don't know this off the top of my head), Furgusson has 60% of it's population is African American, you would then expect that ideally 60% of the people pulled over to also be African American - but if instead you record it and find that 85% of the people pulled over are African American, that is bias, especially if other statistics show that they were less likely than white citizens to guilty, then that is bias without a reason. This is how it's determined if the police in an area have a bias towards a race when they pull them over, and it is not 'flawed' or 'unusable' in an area just because white people and black people don't live there in equal amounts, otherwise we'd never be able to record/state meaningful statistics about almost all of our country.

 

Also this is not just something that the media spreads, this (again) was picked up by the United States Department of Justice, which read the reports and found that the local police of Ferguson, and other parts of Missouri, were being biased, and then issued their own statement on the case backing up the study and reprimanding the Missouri government and police forces.

 

And the second chart that I linked, (which I'll do again below this paragraph) once again is not flawed by the number of people living in the area, it's demonstrating the chance that police decide to search a person, not the number of people they searched. Once again, if you're not familiar with how statistics works, chance that X happens is the number of cases were X happened over the number of times X could have happened total. That's the number of black people who's vehicles were searched / the number of black people pulled over. Because it divides by the number of people actually pulled over, this statistic doesn't care about the number of people living in the area, OR even the fact that police (may) already be biased in pulling over more African Americans.

 

yWYu5Ct.png

 

To make this extremely simple, for someone who isn't familiar with how statistics work, he's an analogy:

 Assume the police were to roll a 6 sided die when they pulled over a white person and only search them if it landed on a 1, then it would be fair to do the same to black people, but instead the police search whenever it lands on a 2 or lower, or a 3 or lower, or in some areas even a 5 or lower. (that'd basically be what the percent increase was).

It's not affected by any "regional demographic difference", the "die" that the police use to decide to search you, in real life, is being affected by their bias to a specific race.

Edited by FallingDusk

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According to Wikipedia, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime counted ~14,800 intentional homicides occuring in the United States in 2012. 776 is roughly 5% of 14,800. According to the CDC, the annual number of deaths in the US is ~2.6 million. 14,800 is less than 1% of 2.6 million. Interpret these numbers how you like, but this says to me that police killings are more significant as a cause of homicide than homicide is as a cause of death. That said, I'd argue that even if every single one of those 776 deaths was due to a police officer using reasonable force, that's 776 reasons for improving the ability of our nation's police officers at making non-lethal take downs, but there's evidence to suggest some of those 776 deaths are reasons for improving our nation's police officers' abilities at accurately gaging threat levels and for improving our police chief's abilities at recognizing officers who are prone to excessive force.

Granted, considering that a police officer who is worthy of the badge is under a lot of stress, there should probably be a federal law in place mandating that police departments have an on-staff psychologist specializing in anger and stress management and PTSd for every so many field agents with part of an officer's duties being to attend regular psyche evaluations to ensure the stress doesn't impair their ability to do their job properly, assuming such a law doesn't already exist.

Also, maybe it's just my general distrust of the government coupled with the knowledge that politicians are prone to lying to make themselves look good and resorting to childish personal attacks to discredit political rivals, but is there any evidence to suggest the US Department of Justice is any less biased on the subject than the mainstream media or politicians who have been slinging mud in attempts to look tough on racists? Have there been any studies on the subject performed by International groups with little or no stake in the United States' petty race politics?

And sources for the numbers I mention above:

UNODC(I only cited Wikipedia instead of directly because I have no means of reading xlsx files):https://www.unodc.org/gsh/en/data.html

CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/deaths.htm

Edited by Jeffery Mewtamer

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Can you cite any actual sources for this?  I've never heard of any cases of black officers abusing white people and not being taken seriously, though I have heard of black officers being very abusive to black citizens(like that one character in Boyz in the Hood, black officers are sometimes even harsher on black people than white officers are in order to try prevent their fellow officers from thinking they are in any way biased)

Citation for it? Of course there's no freaking citation for it, it's IGNORED (generally means people don't take any notice what-so-ever of something or someone). You don't ignore something and then say "oh we better write this down so that people can see that we're ignoring it and we can go on ignoring it anyway." It doesn't work like that. You say you've never heard of black officers abusing white people and it not being taken seriously, this is the reason. You can't and don't hear about anything if there is a lack of general awareness. So no, I don't have any citation for it.

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Citation for it? Of course there's no freaking citation for it, it's IGNORED (generally means people don't take any notice what-so-ever of something or someone). You don't ignore something and then say "oh we better write this down so that people can see that we're ignoring it and we can go on ignoring it anyway." It doesn't work like that. You say you've never heard of black officers abusing white people and it not being taken seriously, this is the reason. You can't and don't hear about anything if there is a lack of general awareness. So no, I don't have any citation for it.

 You can't really just say it happens and then it's so. I mean, you need proof for an argument otherwise it's pointless. If you don't think you need proof then:

 

  Police are racist, white cops regularly beat up black civilians but black cops never beat up white civilians.

 

(exact opposite of what you said)

 

is an equally valid statement that you cannot disprove or argue, simply because I said it was so. Do you see how this works? If you get to say whatever you want then so can everyone else and then the whole point of a debate fails, you "need" proof otherwise it's pointless and should be ignored, sorry. Just because you truly and honestly wholeheartedly believe what you're saying is true doesn't mean everyone else should believe it without a shred of doubt.

Edited by FallingDusk

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Citation for it? Of course there's no freaking citation for it, it's IGNORED (generally means people don't take any notice what-so-ever of something or someone). You don't ignore something and then say "oh we better write this down so that people can see that we're ignoring it and we can go on ignoring it anyway." It doesn't work like that. You say you've never heard of black officers abusing white people and it not being taken seriously, this is the reason. You can't and don't hear about anything if there is a lack of general awareness. So no, I don't have any citation for it.

So you're basically just making baseless claims then?  

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You think that it's going to be written down if a black cop beats up a white civilian for no reason? Of course it's not. Now I'm going to back out of this conversation, before I get pulled into a childish argument.

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