The latitude of response, from an officer, for a black suspect is extremely-thin to nonexistent. Compared to citizens, police are always right, and will mostly alway get favored in the jury system. Police,very often, get away with brutalizing innocent citizens, even if the incident was life-threatening to the citizen. About one in five Americans say they know someone physically mistreated or abused by the police, three in five of those people are black.
Police officers are more likely to shoot at a suspect, if they’re not white. This racial bias was apparent in New York City’s racial biased “stop and frisk” program. The Stop and Frisk Program was designed to allow police officers to stop anyone that they deemed suspicious. During the first three months of this 83% of the people that ended up being stopped and frisked were black or latino. Leaving only a maximum of only potentially 17% white people being stopped, which is tremendously less. This study speaks loudly on the very obvious targeting that happens from police. For example, Tamir Rice, a twelve year old boy was shot and killed at a playground, after playing with a toy gun. Someone called 911 telling the operator, a little boy was playing with a gun that had an orange tag on it. The orange tags shows that the gun is a toy gun. The officer shows up to the park, and within two seconds the officer shoots Tamir Rice, leaving him dead at the park. At twelve years old a young boy with a gun that is clearly marked as a toy with an orange tip is normal. This child should not have in any circumstance been shot and killed, although the cop could have taken his gun or taken him home, he did not. The officer proceeded to kill a helpless child and many would argue for no other reason then the his physical appearance.
Josh Correll, a psychology professor from the University of Colorado, ran test with a video game. His findings showed police officers avoid shooting unarmed targets of all races, but as soon as they were allowed to shoot, they would shoot more quickly against blacks suspects over white ones. This shows that officers do display some racial bias in shooting suspects. Also, in another study by Correll, research found that the public and police are less likely to view black people as innocent. In the real world, this can lead officers to shoot black people more often than white people. According to Correll’s study, if a cop is inclined to shoot at a black suspect more quickly this can lead to fault such as, shooting a innocent suspect. Only different sorts of training can diminish this bias, that cops have acquired.
A very apparent thing that the majority of all studies that relate to this topic is that white people are viewed less of a threat then latino or black individuals. John Crawford went into Walmart to purchase a toy gun for his son when police saw him and shot and killed him on site, still inside of the Walmart. Jonathan Ferrell was driving in Charlotte, NC when he got into an accident. He went to a nearby home and tried to knock on the door to ask for help but the residents inside were too afraid to let him in because he was black and called the cops. When the police officers arrived on the scene of the accident Ferrell approached them asking for help and he was shot dead. Akai Gurley was gunned down in his apartment staircase for no real reason at all, the officer only claimed it to be an accident. These are no accidents, these are people’s lives that are being destroyed and families being torn apart because of racism or fear and it’s out of control.
In a popular study, researchers wrote that their analysis of the 990 fatal shootings in 2015 “suggests the police exhibit shooter bias by falsely perceiving blacks to be a greater threat than non-blacks to their safety.” This is another topic that majority of studies all agreed upon, when cops feel threatened they’re more likely to fire and act irrationally. Unfortunately this happens to be in almost every encounter we hear about now. Not every counter black people have with cops is deadly and not every encounter cops have with black people do they feel threatened, but enough of them are. This causes a very uncomfortable normal that we as a society should not stand for or accept.
The media and news stations often are to blame for this unjustified racism, as well. Often when there’s a black or latino shooting in which people are saying the cop is at fault, the media will flash a picture of the victim making them look bad. They often will use previous criminal photos, or photos of them on the streets with friends and try to portray them as criminals. The reasoning behind this is to spread mass agreement that cop was not wrong and the person who just became a victim for no reason was not really a victim but a criminal in everyday life. In result, this often causes people to leave negative opinions on the deceased and how they were somehow wrong, or how the camera did not show everything. When really cops do perceive non-white males to be more violent and a more apparent threat, which causes people John Crawford, Akai Gurley, Jonathan Ferrell and many more to die for no reason.
There are so many studies and cases showing in which a cop killed an innocent black male or child for no reason other than fear. A young boy playing with a toy gun in a public park or a male just minding his own business walking in a staircase leading to his apartment gets killed for no reason it’s a problem. But this has become so much more than that because there is hundreds of stories almost the same as these or very similar circulating the internet. The media is supposed to be on the same side as the public of the United States of America, but them turning on the victims of these unfair killings is making the problem so much larger. This is an issue that is going to take the country’s full and undivided attention to finally resolve.
Pages, The Society. “PATTERNS OF POLICE SHOOTINGS: One Year after Ferguson – Sociology Toolbox.” Sociology Toolbox PATTERNS OF POLICE SHOOTINGS One Year after Ferguson Comments, thesocietypages.org/toolbox/ferguson/.