Casual Argument- Yoshi

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.


Works Cited 

“Police Misconduct: Experience and Perception.” Cato Institute, CATO Institute,

Ekins, Emily. “11 Key Facts about Americans’ Attitudes toward the Police.” Learn Liberty, Emily Ekins. Web. 

Lowery, Wesley. “Study Finds Police Fatally Shoot Unarmed Black Men at Disproportionate Rates.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 7 Apr. 2016. Web. 

Makarechi, Kia. “What the Data Really Says About Police and Racial Bias.” The Hive, Vanity Fair, 14 July 2016,

Pages, The Society. “PATTERNS OF POLICE SHOOTINGS: One Year after Ferguson – Sociology Toolbox.” Sociology Toolbox PATTERNS OF POLICE SHOOTINGS One Year after Ferguson Comments,

Pages, The Society. “POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS: Data for 2015, 2016, 2017 – Sociology Toolbox.” Sociology Toolbox POLICE KILLING OF BLACKS Data for 2015 2016 2017 Comments. Web. 

Swaine, Jon, et al. “The Counted: People Killed by Police in the United States – Interactive.”The Guardian, Guardian News and Media. Web. 

Wolcott, James. “The Other Cultural Forces Behind Police Brutality.” Vanity Fair, Vanity Fair, 12 June 2015. Web. 




2 thoughts on “Casual Argument- Yoshi”

  1. Yoshi, your first paragraph has its problems, but overall its impact is very strong. It does much with few words and lays on the concepts you will need to prove. It leaves no doubt where you’re headed.

    Your second paragraph starts out with a very bold claim but gets side-tracked by the Stop-and-Frisk section, which does not deliver on the promise of the claim. It’s valuable information, but not pertinent to shooting, only to attitude. You reclaim your momentum with the Tamir Rice incident, but it’s one anecdote, however powerful, and can’t prove the claim either. What you need in place of the Stop-and-Frisk section is another general statistical illustration of the “likelihood to shoot” situation. Once you’ve established THAT police are more likely to shoot, you can explain WHY they’re more likely to shoot, where the Stop-and-Frisk section will help you because it demonstrates cops are more fearful of black than of white citizens.

    Your third paragraph again does not prove that cops DO shoot black suspects more often, only that they WOULD if they faced the same situation on the street that they face in the simulation. It’s powerful, but will not convince skeptical readers—this business compels us to treat all readers as skeptical—that the shootings actually occur.

    Your fourth paragraph will be massively successful as soon as you cite the finding, once again, that a disproportionate percentage of shooting victims are black. One hundred anecdotal incidents, however powerful, will not convince your skeptic that you are doing anything other than selecting only the death-by-cop illustrations that suit your needs, ignoring perhaps hundreds of others that would demonstrate the opposite.

    Your fifth paragraph comes closest to providing the evidence your second paragraph is still missing. But it’s not sufficient in itself because it teases readers with the number they’re waiting for and then withholds it. Of those 990 fatal shootings, how many killed black suspects? The assertion your evidence DOES make, that the officers shot black suspects out of a greater perceived fear, will only be convincing if more blacks died. Do you see that?

    Your sixth paragraph makes a valid contribution to an argument you haven’t started yet. It does nothing to demonstrate why black suspects are shot. But it does propel the argument that media are unwilling to entertain the notion that cops act out of race bias. This point occurs later in your causal chain, which looks something like: Cops in the US act out race biases common in the US 🡲 They are more likely to perceive black suspects as threatening than white suspects 🡲 They shoot black suspects more often than white suspects to protect themselves and others 🡲 Their departments defend their actions by portraying the reaction as rational 🡲 The media echo those explanations either because they believe them or to calm the public fury they fear.

    Nothing here is irrelevant to an overall causal examination of racial bias in police shootings, Yoshi. The essay doesn’t yet succeed for the very simple reason that it doesn’t provide the right evidence for a very controversial claim. I trust you want to be truly convincing, that this essay is more than a mere homework assignment. To do its job, it needs your help to look beneath the anecdotes and find the numbers.

    I’m impressed with this draft. I hope I’ve helped you see its shortcomings.
    I’d appreciate your reactions.


  2. Thank you that was very helpful. I like how you broke everything down into paragraphs so it will be easier for me to revise. Thank you for your help.


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