- Excessive Amount of Force
- Officers react irrationally to threat
- Suspects defend themselves in fear of officers.
- The justice system is dishonest towards citizens and indefensibly supports law enforcement every time
- Families deserve an approach towards a resolution to this problem
- Working Hypothesis 1
Police officers display a racial bias when shooting suspects.
1a. Working hypothesis 2
The common knowledge is correct: white cops brutalize black suspects often enough to be statistically relevant.
- Topics for smaller papers
- I will have to explain the analogy between police feeling threatened with the racial bias police gain in training in a definition paper, showing the correlation to advance my argument that police have a racial bias when shooting victims.
- I will need to indicate by research that police are more tempted to shoot when they are against a black male. This will demonstrate that police have a racial bias when restraining their victims.
- The reasoning is backwards. Black suspects defend themselves out of a fear of being brutalized. They flee, they resist, they attack, sometimes they kill the uniform because of past experiences of injustice from cops.
- Current State of Research Paper
I am doing well with my research paper. I haven’t changed my opinion on my topic, I have just been changing my thesis around a little bit. I think my outcome for this paper will be good, I think once I have all my information I will have a solid research paper.
20 thoughts on “White Paper- Yoshi”
Feedback please. I need help with my Causal Argument.
OK, Yoshi, let’s see what we can do.
First, can I get a clarification on what you say here about your Definition Argument? The actual language is confusing me, not the concepts.
Because you don’t finish your “between This and That” statement, I can’t tell what two terms you’re comparing in your analogy. Are you saying that there’s a similarity between “police feeling threatened” and “the racial bias they RECEIVE during their training”? I want to be clear if your claim is that police are trained to fear suspects of a particular race.
This is clearer, and as you say, it’s research-based. What do the sources say? (Clearly they will say nothing about “temptation,” so that part of your argument you can forget about. But do they in fact shoot more black male suspects than would make statistical sense? The devil will be in the details, of course, and this will be a hotly contested claim either way, so you can’t trust anybody else’s conclusions on the question. Some statistical questions you’ll need to seek to answer:
1. Are more black males shot by cops than white males, for example (if that’s your basis for comparison).
2. Are more black males shot than a proportional number of white males, relative to their percentage of the population?
3. Are proportionally more black males than white males shot per police interaction?
1, 2, and 3 sound similar, but they measure very different statistical differences.
Your turn, Yoshi.
What sort of help do you need?
For my definition argument I mean, the similarity between police feeling threatened when against black people vs the racial bias they gain while training and working. My claim is that while in training, police develop a fear of a particular race.
For my causal argument I was aiming more towards how police are more brutal and shot towards un armed blacks vs unarmed whites. White people get shot more often, but if you compare the amount of white people in the world vs the amount that get shot & the amount of black people in the country vs the amount of black people that get shot. The ratio for blacks getting shot is higher. I hope that makes sense. So, I think my argument leans more towards #2 ‘”More black males are shot than a proportional number of white males, relative to their percentage of the population?”
Also does this argument have to be 1000 words, and do you want more than one causal argument?
Yes, all the short arguments are 1000 words, but I’m not in charge of how many c-a-u-s-a-l arguments your thesis requires. Yours appears to have only one consequence as you’ve stated it, but most likely several causes result in the one consequence. What factors lead to the shooting of a disproportionate NUMBER, not AMOUNT of black men relative to white men? If your argument is to have any persuasive power, you’ll have to look hard at the situations in which men get shot.
Is it during traffic stops primarily? Is it while suspects are fleeing police? Is it at the scene of crimes in progress? Is it while trying to take suspects into custody? Is it during domestic dispute calls? Or when serving warrants? In all such cases, do the proportions of white men and black men mirror the proportions in the general population?
If not, the percentages of white and black men who are in sensitive or dangerous encounters with police officers might explain the disparity in the numbers shot.
I’ve asked before, but your position may have changed: are you interested to compare the races of the officers in these shootings as well? Are a higher percentage of black suspects shot by white officers? Or is that irrelevant to your argument?
Usually the suspects get shot when resisting arrest or fleeing, and yes I am trying to incorporate the race of the officer as well.
If you can find it, a statistic comparing what percentage of black vs what percentage of white suspects flee or resist arrest would be very enlightening.
It won’t be an airtight comparison though since resistance, like threat, is SO subjective, but you could make a stronger case with it than without it.
I’ve made this point to you a couple of ways already, Yoshi. Today after class was the third time I’ve tried to make this challenge to you. I asked this above:
Let’s use a small sample to make the numbers simple.
Suppose there are 100 men in a room. They are invited to leave by presenting a ticket at the one exit door. 85 are white. 15 are black. The white men are by and large content to stay in the room, while the black men are more inclined to want to leave. 3 white men present tickets at the door and one is turned away because his ticket appears counterfeit. All 15 black men try to leave by the same method and 10 successfully exit, but 5 are denied because their tickets appear counterfeit.
There are two ways to read the data.
1) In each case, one of every three white men, and one of every three black men who ask to leave are denied permission. The proportions of permission and denial are identical 2/3 exit; 1/3 must stay.
2) 5 black men were denied permission compared to just 1 white man.
The difference in the numbers denied, obviously, has nothing to do with the proportion of black and white men IN THE ROOM. The only legitimate way to judge whether the system is fair is to compare the numbers of black and white men WHO ASKED TO LEAVE.
In your case, the number of black suspects shot by police compared to the number of white suspects shot by police DOESN’T HAVE TO MATCH THE OVERALL PROPORTION of black and white people in America. What does it have to match? Your “worthy opponent” in this argument will cry foul if you say: It’s unjust that black men, who make up just 7% of the population, account for 20% of suspects killed by police. That’s bad reasoning by the same logic that saying “women of child-bearing age make up just 28% of the population, but account for nearly 100% of all pregnancies.”
Unfortunately, that confused me even more, and I am still lost.
This website talks about blacks being shot at disproportionate rates, but also includes that
“Such a concentration of criminal violence in minority communities means that officers will be disproportionately confronting armed and often resisting suspects in those communities, raising officers own risk of using lethal force”
Is this where I should be heading in this argument?
Yes, that’s the sort of argument you need to refute. Your “worthy opponent” wants to claim that black suspects are shot by cops disproportionate to their representation in the overall population BECAUSE there’s more crime in minority communities THEREFORE officers are called into those communities more often WHERE THEY MEET armed resistance, THEREFORE REQUIRING lethal force IN RETURN to protect the lives of officers and others. It’s a common and powerful argument that may or may not be true. Refute it if you can.
Do you know this source?
This looks useful and has an amazing list of sources itself.
These I generated in two minutes by doing a search for “disproportionate police killings” in Google Scholar.
Thank you. I will get to reading.
So many current results too, with the same search (“disproportionate police killings” in Google Scholar) but specifying 2015 or later:
The titles alone sound tremendously pertinent to your argument. What they’ll help you prove I can’t say without studying.
Were you using Google Scholar?
Those sites helped a lot, and I think I did a good job getting my point across. Honestly, I forgot google scholar was a thing and I wasn’t using it. I was strictly trying to find data and statistics. Thank you for the help.
You’re welcome. The tip about Google Scholar is in the page titled “Research Tips.”
There you will also find a tip on how to get around a paywall if the source you want asks you to buy the journal article.