5a. Rebuttal Rewrite – Yoshi

P1. Overall, white people are killed more often than black people because, in America, there are nearly one hundred and sixty billion more white people than black people. But when the population is proportionalized black people are twice as likely to get killed in police shootings as white people. The killings, according to data, are not a racism problem. The problem here is that America has a violence and gun problem causing many police to walk around in fear.

P2. Cops walk around fearing for their lives everyday on the job, they never know how many people that they encounter are carrying guns. In 2014, U.S. residents committed more than 14,000 murders along with about 1.15 million other violent crimes. 68% of the homicides were caused by firearms. This is not surprising considering there are 300 million guns owned by residents of the United States. This raises the concern that police should often fear their own lives. Police are usually in a crime ridden areas trying to diminish the crime rate. Over the years of documenting where these police have patrolled correlate with the same areas that some black people reside in. It is unfortunate that communities and crime are now going hand in hand with creating a targeted locational problem.  This stirs up the issue that black people are targeted and killed more often than other races just by being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

P3. My worthy but mistaken opponent believes that, police officers kill more black people because they come in contact with them more often. Traffic stops are very random, for the most part officers pull you over for doing something wrong. The officer can not profile the victim, because they do not see the victim until the officer has walked up to the car.  In Cincinnati, Officer Tensing pulled over a 43 year old black man, Samuel DuBose, for not having a front license plate. DuBose began to drive away from the officer, and three officers pursued on foot. After running for a block or two officer Tensing shot DuBose in the head, killing him instantly. In court, Officer Tensing claimed, “I meant to stop the threat, I didn’t shoot to kill him. I didn’t shoot to wound him. I shot to stop his actions.” There was not threat in this situation, police officers exaggerate the word threat and use it in defense for their actions. Officer Tensing had many other decisions to make while in pursuit. He could have shot the tire, this way the car would stop moving. Officer Tensing could have called for back-up this way a police officer could chase DuBose in a car. There were many other options to avoid killing a citizen, there were many other options in order to avoid killing a father, but instead the officer decided to shot DuBose in the head and taking his life away. 

P4. My faulty opponent would claim that black people are more likely than white people to flee from police, resist arrest, and attack police and that is why they get brutalized more often. Black people tend to flee in fear for their lives. Police do not approach black people calmly, they often approach them in a hostile manner. Police are trained to be racist, and they are trained to fear black people. 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 the conductor of the experiment told the officers to shoot anyone deemed suspicious, the officers would shoot more quickly against blacks suspects over white ones. This shows that officers do display some racial bias in shooting suspects. His research found that the police are less likely to view black people as “innocent.” In another study of Cornell’s, police officers were challenged to make fast impulse shooting decisions with speed and accuracy. The data from this experiment showed a racial bias in the speed of their shooting. The police shot more black targets than white targets, and the police shot so fast that it was deemed an impulse, which demonstrates how police develop a bias in their training.

P5. America has had a problem with racism for centuries now. Everyday black people have to overcome their racial-based discrepancy in schooling, employment, economic status, etc.. Black people are more likely than white people to be unemployed, less likely to finish high school, and more likely to live in poverty or go to jail. A study done by a sociology major, shows that employers are less likely to hire someone with “Black sounding names” than someone with a “white sounding name” even when their applications were identical. Similarly enough, only a racial bias can explain why a white man with felony charges is more likely to get an interview than a black man with the same qualifications and a clean record. Even black children get treated unfairly compared to white kids. Tamir Rice for example a little boy that was playing with a gun, at the park that had an orange tag on it. The orange tags indicates 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. In the same instance two boys from Ohio were playing on the street with BB guns. The police was called but this time they did not see an orange tag on the boys gun. The officers did not draw their weapons on the two boys. Instead, the officers approached the boys and arrested them. The same incidents in both situations, but the single black boy with a specified toy gun was killed in two seconds; while the two white boys were calmly approached and arrested.

P6. Black people are seen as a threat in not only police related situations, but also in communities. 27% of all black people live in impoverished communities compared to the 11% of Americans according to Black Demographic studies. 1 out of 3 impoverished area is crime ridden. Black people get shot more because police are usual in crime ridden areas; so there are more encounters with black people over white people; but the reason they do get shot is because of the racial bias police have implemented throughout their training and work life not because they are doing something wrong. Research shows that police officers gain a cognitive bias based on their instinct. Police are more inclined to shoot at black males over white males even if the reasoning is the exact same.

Works Cited

Brooks, Rosa. “America’s Police Problem Isn’t Just About Police.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 5 Jan. 2016.

Juzwiak R, Chan A. Unarmed people of color killed by police, 1999-2014. Gawker. 2014. Available at: http://gawker.com/unarmed-people-of-color-killed-by-police-1999-2014-1666672349. Accessed March 30, 2015.

Adams, Kenneth, Geoffrey P. Alpert, Roger G. Dunham, Lawrence A. Greenfeld-Garner, Mark A. Henriquez, and Patrick A. Langan. 1999. Use of Force By Police: Overview of National and Local Data Series [Research report]. Washington, DC: U.S. National Institute of Justice. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1745-9133.12269/full

Klinger DA. On the Problems and Promise of Research on Lethal Police Violence: A Research Note. Homicide Studies. 2012;16(1):78. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1088767911430861

Black, D. (1976). The behavior of Law. New York: Academic Press. Google Scholar. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0734016805275675

Press, Associated. “Samuel DuBose Shooting: Second Mistrial Declared in Officer’s Murder Trial.The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 23 June 2017, http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/23/samuel-dubose-shooting-ray-tensing-trial-mistrial.

2 thoughts on “5a. Rebuttal Rewrite – Yoshi”

  1. You open P3 with a blanket rebuttal claim that we assume refers to material that precedes it. It’s a disturbing message for readers to receive, that all the convincing material we’ve been presented, by the writer we thought believed it, was some sort of charade. Here are some of the claims your “blanket rebuttal” might be refuting. We can’t be sure which of these you mean to disavow:

    —Cops fear for their lives
    —They’re afraid of guns.
    —U.S. residents commit 14,000 murders a year
    —68% of them using firearms
    —300 million guns are owned by residents of the United States.
    —This raises the concern that police should often fear their own lives.
    —Police work in a crime ridden areas
    —Black people reside in those areas disproportionately
    —Black people are targeted and killed more often than other races
    —They suffer mostly from being at the wrong place at the wrong time

    You’ll have to be much more precise about whose arguments are yours, and whose you’re attributing to others, Yoshi. AND you have to do it at the right time. Undermining your own paragraphs with blanket refutations completely undoes your credibility. No reader will support your arguments after that, until they know you mean them.

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  2. Black people are seen as a threat in not only police related situations, but also in communities. 27% of all black people live in impoverished communities compared to the 11% of Americans according to Black Demographic studies. 1 out of 3 impoverished area is crime ridden. Black people get shot more because police are usual in crime ridden areas; so there are more encounters with black people over white people; but the reason they do get shot is because of the racial bias police have implemented throughout their training and work life not because they are doing something wrong. Research shows that police officers gain a cognitive bias based on their instinct. Police are more inclined to shoot at black males over white males even if the reasoning is the exact same.

    Yoshi, I see how responsive you’re being to my recommendations. I appreciate that you’re struggling with the question of “happenstance” that causes an over-proportional exposure of black citizens to trigger-happy cops.

    What I don’t understand is why you cling to the notion that this overwhelming numerical difference is meaningless. If nervous cops who fear that suspects are armed spend more of their time among black suspects than among white suspects, then, whether they’re racially biased or not, simple mathematics strongly suggests they’re going to shoot more black suspects than white suspects.

    Let’s imagine the opposite. Suppose 27% of whites lived in crime-ridden ghettos compared to 11% of blacks and the cops spent most of their time encountering white suspects. THEN, if more black people were shot proportionally than white people, you’d be forced to find an explanation, possibly racism. But when the numbers shot by race are proportional to the numbers of aggressive police encounters, no further explanation is needed. Do you see that, Yoshi?

    I keep waiting to see your evidence that cops “gain a cognitive bias based on their instinct,” but I haven’t seen it yet.

    I’m sorry if this seems like an endless cycle of revisions you weren’t expecting, Yoshi. It IS an endless cycle of revisions, for as long as you have the stamina for it. No draft is perfect or complete. We have just begun the work of perfecting yours.

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