1. Research Position Paper- Yoshi

Beyond Fatal Encounters

Some police officers react irrationally to a perceived threat. A threat is a declaration of an intention to inflict punishment, injury, etc. Police perceptions on threats are directed towards black people. Police usually kill more black people than anyone else, because they claim to feel more threatened by them. 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. Common knowledge is correct: white cops brutalize black suspects often enough to be statistically relevant. 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 always get favored in the jury system. Police, very often, get away with brutalizing innocent citizens, even if the incident is 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.

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.

Eric Garner was approached by officers, as they accused him of selling a loose cigarette. Garner questioned why he was being arrested, the officers did not answer. Once Garner began to resisted arrest, claiming he did nothing wrong, Officer Pantaleo placed Garner in a chokehold, and officers then began to help wrestle Garner down to the ground, even though he was no longer resisting. Garner was held with his face down against the cement. Garner was not perceived as a threat to the officers, he had no weapons on him, and he wasn’t yelling or screaming. Garner was surrounded by other police officers, and also innocent pedestrians that were recording the officers abuse. Garner yelled, “I can’t breathe” to the officer holding him down; the officer did not stop. Eventually, Garner runs out of breath, and was later approached by street medics. Garner was pronounced dead from compression to the neck, from Officer Pantaleo’s chokehold, and compression of chest, from being restrained against the ground. More recently, police officers have been over reacting to a black man’s behavior as if their behavior were life threatening to the police officer.

Tragedy sparked across the nation after Eric Garner’s death. His final words, “I can’t breathe” became a national protest movement. The death of Garner is what sparked the questions of correlation between race and killing from law enforcement. He died in July, in November Officer Pantaleo appeared before the grand jury at court. Officer Pantaleo claimed he didn’t intended to choke Eric Garner, even though Garner repeatedly stated he could not breathe. The jury then declared there was not enough evidence to further continue an investigation, and Officer Pantaleo was sent free, case was dismissed. Garner was not a threat to police officers. He simply questioned why he was being arrested, and with no answer from the officer, he resisted arrest until the officer had a reason. The officers then overreacted to his decision to ask why he was being arrested, and choked him to death. There could have been many ways to avoid killing Garner. He was only asking why he was being arrested, with a simple explanation, he could have still been alive today.

In Missouri, Michael Brown was gunned down because he was under suspicion of stealing a cigarillo. He had no weapons on him, but he was perceived as a threat to the officer. The officer confronted Brown though his car, Brown proceeded to walk away. The officer gets out of his car, and shoots Brown six times, twice hitting Brown in the head. Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, was dismissed with no charges. These cases were two weeks apart, and protest across the United States broke out. Police are trained to miss their target purposely, just to scare the victim and have them surrender. In this case, the officer purposely shot him in the head, intending to kill him.

Similarly enough, 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, they specified that it 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. The officers could have simply approached Rice, and calmly asked him to put down his gun. The officers posed Rice as a threat, but he was no more of a threat than, Garner or Brown, who were unarmed.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.

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 encounter 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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

Victims of the excess abuse and their families deserve an approach towards a resolution to this problem. The justice system is dishonest towards citizens and indefensibly supports law enforcement every time. It is difficult to play the victim when going against someone in law enforcement. A three year $263 millions package for police officers’ use of body cameras and an improvement of law enforcement changes was announced, in order to build public trust and to examine police violence with more evidence. This is a great step to coming to a resolution, but unfortunately it doesn’t help much. Better police training to overcome racial bias would be the best resolution for the families and victims. Humans have stereotypes for every different race. One of the most common is linking blacks to crime and aggression, and to get rid of this stereotype a lot of time and training would be required. The training would consist of shooting stimulations, such as body language, cues, and what it seems like someone is holding in their possession. This would help officers focus more on indications opposed to race. This type of training is not required by law, but it is becoming more common with racial profiling growing in the justice system. Also, another effective training that is becoming more popular is called deescalating. This requires officers to try to calm down the victim and reduce the intensity of the situation, before they result to their guns. There is not a single quick fix to this situation. But with a systematic approach and time the correlation between law enforcement and racial bias will begin to diminish.

Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, John Crawford, and Samuel DuBose have unfortunately become well known victims of the racist police hatred. Although these are by no means all of the victims or situations that have unfolded, they have become some of the more popular. Through their tragic stories as a nation we need to strive for unity and equality for all men and women, regardless of race. People’s lives are hanging in the balance along with unneeded fear that has been instilled in the majority of black males. A failure to signal or a simple few MPH over the stated speed limit should never leave the driver in fear for what may result out of his encounter with an enforcer of the law. Police officers are supposed to uphold the law for the safety of the general public in addition to making people feel safe. There’s no reason as well as no excuse for a legal citizen to feel fearful of a conversation he must have with a cop and something must be done about this. The only way we can fix this is by spreading awareness and collectively as a nation agreeing it’s wrong. Once everyone agrees it needs to be solved then it will, but until all we can do is statistically prove there is an epidemic-like problem growing that needs fixing. When we finally achieve this level of understanding and unity as a society we will have lower police caused death rates as well as us not having individuals worried for their lives.

Works Cited

Brooks, Rosa. “America’s Police Problem Isn’t Just About Police.Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 5 Jan. 2016, foreignpolicy.com/2016/01/05/americas-police-problem-isnt-just-about-police-guns-violence/.

Adams, Kenneth, Geoffrey P. Alpert, Roger G. Dunham, Use of Force By Police: Overview of National and Local Data Series [Research report]. Washington, DC: U.S. National Institute of Justice.

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

Graham, David A. “The Mysterious Death of Freddie Gray.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 22 Apr. 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-mysterious-death-of-freddie-gray/391119/.

Police Misconduct: Experience and Perception.” Cato Institute, CATO Institute, http://www.cato.org/policing-in-america/chapter-3/police-misconduc-experience-and-perception.

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

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/.

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.

Al Baker, J. David Goodman And Benjamin Mueller. “Beyond the Chokehold: The Path to Eric Garner’s Death.The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 June 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/nyregion/eric-garner-police-chokehold-staten-island.html.

Dianis, Judith Browne. “What Really Killed Eric Garner Was More than Just a Chokehold.”MSNBC, NBCUniversal News Group, 5 Aug. 2014, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/what-killed-eric-garner.

nydailynews. “Eric Garner Video – Unedited Version.YouTube, YouTube.

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.

 

5b. Definition Rewrite- Yoshi

I can’t breathe. Those were Eric Garner’s last words before he was killed by police officers. Garner was approached by officers, as they accused him of selling a loose cigarette. Garner questioned why he was being arrested, the officers did not answer. Once Garner began to resisted arrest, claiming he did nothing wrong, Officer Pantaleo placed Garner in a chokehold, and officers then began to help wrestle Garner down to the ground, even though he was no longer resisting. Garner was held with his face down against the cement. Garner was not perceived as a threat to the officers, he had no weapons on him, and he wasn’t yelling or screaming. Garner was surrounded by other police officers, and also innocent pedestrians that were recording the officers abuse. Garner yelled, “I can’t breathe” to the officer holding him down; the officer did not stop. Eventually, Garner runs out of breath, and was later approached by street medics. Garner was pronounced dead from compression to the neck, from Officer Pantaleo’s chokehold, and compression of chest, from being restrained against the ground.

More recently, police officers have been over reacting to a black man’s behavior as if their behavior were life threatening to the police officer.
Some police officers react irrationally to a perceived threat. A threat is a declaration of an intention to inflict punishment, injury, etc. Garner was not a threat to police officers. He simply questioned why he was being arrested, and with no answer from the officer, he resisted arrest until the officer had a reason. The officers then overreacted to his decision to ask why he was being arrested, and choked him to death. There could have been many ways to avoid killing Garner. He was only asking why he was being arrested, with a simple explanation, he could have still been alive today.

In Missouri, Michael Brown was gunned down because he was under suspicion of stealing a cigarillo. He had no weapons on him, but he was perceived as a threat to the officer. The officer confronted Brown though his car, Brown proceeded to walk away. The officer gets out of his car, and shoots Brown six times, twice hitting Brown in the head. Police are trained to miss their target purposely, just to scare the victim and have them surrender. In this case, the officer purposely shot him in the head, intending to kill him.

Similarly enough, 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, they specified that it 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. The officers could have simply approached Rice, and calmly asked him to put down his gun. The officers posed Rice as a threat, but he was no more of a threat than the others boys who were unarmed. In all of these incidents these boys should have been simply arrested or taken to the station, but instead they were all shot and killed.

Police perceptions on threats are directed towards black people. Police usually kill more black people than anyone else, because they claim to feel more threatened by them. 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.

Tragedy sparked across the nation after Eric Garner’s death. His final words, “I can’t breathe” became a national protest movement. The death of Garner is what sparked the questions of correlation between race and killing from law enforcement. He died in July, in November Officer Pantaleo appeared before the grand jury at court. Officer Pantaleo claimed he didn’t intended to choke Eric Garner, even though Garner repeatedly stated he could not breathe. The jury then declared there was not enough evidence to further continue an investigation, and Officer Pantaleo was sent free, case was dismissed. Not only did this happen to Eric Garner, but it also happened to Michael Brown. Brown was shot down due to a suspicion of stealing a cigarillo. Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, was dismissed with no charges. These cases were two weeks apart, and protest across the United States broke out.

Victims of the excess abuse and their families deserve an approach towards a resolution to this problem. The justice system is dishonest towards citizens and indefensibly supports law enforcement every time. It is difficult to play the victim when going against someone in law enforcement. A three year $263 millions package for police officers’ use of body cameras and an improvement of law enforcement changes was announced, in order to build public trust and to examine police violence with more evidence. This is a great step to coming to a resolution, but unfortunately it doesn’t help much. Better police training to overcome racial bias would be the best resolution for the families and victims.

Humans have stereotypes for every different race. One of the most common is linking blacks to crime and aggression, and to get rid of this stereotype a lot of time and training would be required. The training would consist of shooting stimulations, such as body language, cues, and what it seems like someone is holding in their possession. This would help officers focus more on indications opposed to race. This type of training is not required by law, but it is becoming more common with racial profiling growing in the justice system. Also, another effective training that is becoming more popular is called deescalating. This requires officers to try to calm down the victim and reduce the intensity of the situation, before they result to their guns. There is not a single quick fix to this situation. But with a systematic approach and time the correlation between law enforcement and racial bias will begin to diminish.

Works Cited
Al Baker, J. David Goodman And Benjamin Mueller. “Beyond the Chokehold: The Path to Eric Garner’s Death.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 June 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/nyregion/eric-garner-police-chokehold-staten-island.html.

Dianis, Judith Browne. “What Really Killed Eric Garner Was More than Just a Chokehold.”MSNBC, NBCUniversal News Group, 5 Aug. 2014, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/what-killed-eric-garner.

nydailynews. “Eric Garner Video – Unedited Version.” YouTube, YouTube, 12 July 2015, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpGxagKOkv8.

Post, The Washington. “492 Died in Police Shootings This Year.” The Denver Post, The Denver Post, 2 July 2017, http://www.denverpost.com/2017/07/01/fatal-police-shootings-2017/.

4. Self Reflective – Yoshi

Core Value I. My work demonstrates that I used a variety of social and interactive practices that involve recursive stages of exploration, discovery, conceptualization, and development.

Core Value One is the understanding that writing is a multi-stage, recursive, and social process. Writing is a multi-stage process because it involves prewriting, drafting, revisions, editing, and submitting. I demonstrated Core value one by doing multiple drafts. My first draft of Stone Money wasn’t the best, but with revisions I improved it and received a better grade. The social process of writing involved my professor reading over my essay, and talking to me about revisions I can make; to enhance my essay. For my Stone Money essay, my professor read over my essay and gave me constructive feedback. With his feedback, I rewrote my essay and improved it. Rewriting my essay multiple times and having my professor revise it, demonstrates how I understand Core Value

Core Value II. My work demonstrates that I placed texts into conversation with one another to create meaning by synthesizing ideas from various discourse communities.

Core Value II is about being able to understand, your own and other’s, work. Writing creates shapes, and conveys meaning, that goes beyond what the text says. In my visual rhetoric I demonstrated Core Value II. In the visual rhetoric we were told not to listen to the video, and write what happens in each time frame. By doing this and analyzing what happened in each of the time frames, I was able to understand what was happening in the video. I learned that texts are not just limited to words, but instead something can be understood by just visuals. Also by analyzing each time frame, I was able to see that different settings and communities can make the text have a different meaning than the writer intended.

 

Core Value III. My work demonstrates that I rhetorically analyzed the purpose, audience, and contexts of my own writing and other texts and visual arguments.

Core Value III is understanding that writing is formed by audience, purpose, and context. I demonstrated core value III in my first draft of stone money. In this draft I added cows and chips, which means I fixed my writing so it wasn’t so dry and boring. When revising this draft, I kept in mind my audience, but more specifically, what I can do to keep my audience more interested. So I changed the purpose of my essay to inform my audience about what money means to other people around the world. This way it was easier to relate it to my audience, and keep them more intrigued. I demonstrated core value III by adding cows and chips into my stone money assignment, and making it more interesting and relatable to my audience.

Core Value IV: My work demonstrates that I have met the expectations of academic writing by locating, evaluating, and incorporating illustrations and evidence to support my own ideas and interpretations.

Core Value IV is about using different source in order to backup certain information. Throughout the course I have use different sources to prove my facts. One assignment I demonstrated this core value in is my casual argument. In my causal argument I had to write about the cause and effects of police brutality, and use sources to backup my claims. I paraphrased these sources into my writing and had to cite them at the end of my paper. In order for my paper to make sense, and not sound made up, I had to locate the right sources and use information from them to support my opinion. By having a works cited at the end of my essay, and using information from certain websites shows how I have incorporated, and used core value IV into my writing.

Core Value V. My work demonstrates that I respect my ethical responsibility to represent complex ideas fairly and to the sources of my information with appropriate citation.

Core Value V is all about being moral and respecting the work of other people. In my research paper, I had to prove that police brutality happens more often to black people than it does to white people. In order to achieve this, I had to make my argument strong and have an opinion that went against mine. I respectfully disagreed with the writer’s opinion, and explained why by backing up my opinions with facts. Also, I added a works cited page to respectfully give credit to the articles of other’s that helped me form my opinion. I demonstrated core value V by being able to refute someone else’s opinion with respect, and by including a works cited page in order to give credit to the other people that helped me form my claim.

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. Annotated Bibliography- Yoshi

  1. Brooks, Rosa. “America’s Police Problem Isn’t Just About Police.” Foreign Policy, Foreign Policy, 5 Jan. 2016, foreignpolicy.com/2016/01/05/americas-police-problem-isnt-just-about-police-guns-violence/.

Background: This article explains how cops are not the problem with America’s police problem. It explained more about how America has a violence problem, and how police are trained to be the way that they are. There was a paragraph that explained America’s police problem, and explained how police treat people the way they do because of their training.

How I Used It: This article provided me with examples of bias police training tactics, and statistics on America’s gun population. I used this to explain why more white people get shot over black people, even though black people are still more mistreated by police.

  1.  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.

Background: This Article summarizes stories of the lives of certain black men that died because of a police encounter. 

How I Used It: This article provided me with specific stories of police encounters with these black men. I used it to give an example of how police mistreat black people. In one incident I used to show how cops use an excessive amount of force is a young boy, Powell. He had stole some energy drinks, and the police were responding to that call. The police claim he was holding a knife with an over hand grip, but in the video Powell was not even close to the officers; nor was he posing a threat of any kind. His hands were by his side and he was walking, the police shot him within 15 seconds of arriving to the scene. 

  1. Adams, Kenneth, Geoffrey P. Alpert, Roger G. Dunham, Use of Force By Police: Overview of National and Local Data Series [Research report]. Washington, DC: U.S. National Institute of Justice.

Background: This article examined the data for evidence of bias police use before shooting.  This article also focused on perception of threats towards police officers.
How I used it: I used this article to explain how the word threat is too broad, and why police officers overuse the word in order to justify their actions.

How I Used It: I used this article to introduce the topic in my paper. I explained how police violence has been a concern for decades now. Some police officers obtain biased attitudes toward minorities. Researchers have demonstrated that less conscious attitudes also influence police behavior.

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

Background: This article examined why suspects resist arrest. They found that suspects arrested in police beats characterized by a disproportionate number of calls for service were more likely to resist.

How I used it: I used this article to explain how black people resist arrest in fear that they are going to be killed. White suspects were less likely to resist arrest from Black and Hispanic officers. There is racial sensitivity, White suspects do not resist out of fear. People who reside within the city are more likely to resist than outsiders, but familiarity with the police in a given area could make suspects more comfortable deciding to resist arrest.

  1. Graham, David A. “The Mysterious Death of Freddie Gray.” The Atlantic, Atlantic Media Company, 22 Apr. 2015, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-mysterious-death-of-freddie-gray/391119/.

Background: This explains the unanswered questions about Freddie Gray’s death. Gray died from spinal injuries due to the officers force against him. Once he got to the police station he could not move or talk. Gray did not resist arrest, but he was shouting explaining how his legs hurt. Officers still continued to drag him into a van, and take him to the station. There was no proof of what happened on the way to the station, but officials say the van must have stopped twice before they got to the station. The website also includes a video of the incident.

How I Used It: I used this article to continue to explain how police use an excessive amount of force. Gray did not resist arrest, and he was posing no form of threat. There was also no clear reason as to why Gray was getting arrested, which I also used to my advantage in demonstrating how cops pick out black people when arresting people. His leg was broken, and the officers continued to pull him into the van. Gray has asthma and requested his inhaler, but he was ignored. The broken leg or asthma didn’t kill him an injury to the spinal cord is what killed Freddie Gray.

  1. 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/pdf/10.1177/1088767911430861

Background: This article showed a little information about how frequently police officers shoot citizens, or are involved in any sort of interaction in which citizens die. Researchers use the data on fatal police violence in different analysis. 

How I Used It: I used this article to show how it isn’t right to count citizens killed by police bullets to show how many citizens were killed by deadly force. This website helped me explain how gun shots are not the only way of deadly force. This website discusses different way to avoid the death of a citizen, and ways for officers to avoid using excessive force. Police are taught to intentionally miss their target, or they shot their target but not intention to kill them. It is obvious when a police intends to use force because they usually shot their target in order to kill them. 

  1. Police Misconduct: Experience and Perception.” Cato Institute, CATO Institute, www.cato.org/policing-in-america/chapter-3/police-misconduc-experience-and-perception.

Background: This experimental data demonstrated how police physically mistreat minorities. 

How I Used It: I used this to help prove that police do not always feel threatened, they are just more likely to mistreat a black american. A survey conducted found that 57% of Americans thought that citizens’ failure to cooperate with police during a stop was a “major reason” for police use of force. RAI determines if you are going to be rude to an officer or not. If you are nice to police they are nice to you. Black people tend to be mean to police which is why they get killed, this is still an excessive amount of force. Killing someone is not the proper way to end a situation. 

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

Background: This article showed and explained eleven key facts about the attitudes of Americans toward police officers, according to the CATO Institute’s research. 

How I Used It: I used this website to counter argue how most police believe Americans are anti-police, and that is why they fear them and use excessive force. There is no anti-police group in America. Most Americans do believe police use too much force, and most Americans actually fear police. Most Americans support that police should be investigated because for the most part they do use too much force. Americans also believe the police think they are above the law, and that they can do anything without getting in any trouble. 

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

Background: This article explains a study that the research into fatal shootings by police has found that unarmed black men were shot and killed last year at disproportionately high rates, and that officers involved may be biased in how they perceive threats.

How I Used It: I used this article to provide examples of how officers are biased when perceiving threats, and how their training leads them to have a bias opinion. I used this to explain how in training some police pick up a bias, which they use to make unfair judgements. This website also helped me explain what a threat is, and how officers throw the word around. The men police have shot were unarmed and not posing any type of threat. 

  1. Makarechi, Kia. “What the Data Really Says About Police and Racial Bias.The Hive, Vanity Fair, 14 July 2016, http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/07/data-police-racial-bias.

Background: This website shows several different studies that show police receive bias training, and that is what causes them to obtain a bias while working. It separates all the studies by sections. 

How I Used It: I used this to explain how police training is filled with bias opinions, and that is why so many unarmed black men are being killed. There was a section of studies that explains how people decide who to pullover. I used this data to conclude that police do profile people before pulling them over. I also used studies that showed a correlation between the use of force and the race of the victim. 

  1. 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/.

Background: The article showed the pattern of police shootings after the shooting in Ferguson. This website also explains the death of Michael Brown and what exactly happened. 

How I Used It: I used this article to explain how over the years police have became more bias in their shootings. I also used this to explain incidents where police rely on deadly force when it isn’t necessary. Micheal Brown did not have a weapon on him, he was not a threat. Samuel DuBose did not have a weapon on him, he was not a threat. A Mexican immigrant, Antonio Montes, was not a threat and he was shot. Police use their guns to solve problems way to often, when it is not needed. Not only a gun, Freddie Gray, was killed because of a broken neck by force while he was being detained. All of the victims of these patterns have two things in common; they were killed because of excessive force and they were all minorities. 

  1. 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.

Background: This website included different charts showing the data of police encounters with blacks, hispanics, and whites. It also included certain statistics about killings and concluded everything with sociological theory. 

How I Used It: I used this website to compare the number of whites to blacks harmed by police. I also used this website to explain how race matters when someone is killed by a police. In the data it is evident that whites are killed more frequently than blacks, but when you compare the number with the same proportion blacks are killed more often. If police didn’t victimize black people then we would expect to see the portion of each group equal to the general population. 

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

Background: This website shows data on police killings. The website allows you to explore white killings vs black killings. This websites allowed to pick a location, race, age range, etc. in order to find stories of specific incidents where victims were killed because of a police officer. 

How I Used It: I used this article to compare the killings of each individual I researched on, and compared them to a story of a white person that was killed just for my own personal information. I also used this website for certain statistics on killing per year. I went through and researched different people in order to gain information on their stories, and why they were killed. In all, I was attempting to find a correlation between certain killings compared to others. 

 

  1. Al Baker, J. David Goodman And Benjamin Mueller. “Beyond the Chokehold: The Path to Eric Garner’s Death.The New York Times, The New York Times, 13 June 2015, http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/14/nyregion/eric-garner-police-chokehold-staten-island.html.

Background: This article explains how Eric Garner died, and his life story. It explains the incident in detail from the video that was recorded. It also explains the thoughts and words of the sergeants that work with the officer, and the thought of his family members. This website breaks everything that happened that day down into mini sections, and explains and elaborates on each section.  

How I Used It: I used this essay to describe the excessive amount of force officers use. I used this website for the descriptions of Garner and for the back story of his life. This website helped me understand how the police encounter started. Garner was basically set up to get arrested, it wasn’t just a coincidence encounter. It also includes certain words of officer such as, “We have chase him before, what is a warning going to do?” This helped me defend my point about excessive violence. Garner was a peace keeper he never caused harm, and is nothing close to being a threat. Garner was pleading that he could not breathe, but the officer explained how Garner did not seem distressed and that is why he didn’t let go. The owner of the property, where Garner was killed, called the police to attempt to get Garner off his corner. He now says, “he will no longer call the city or the police to complain about the conditions around his building, as he had frequently in the months and years before Mr. Garner died. ‘The last time I called the cops, someone got choked to death,” he said. “Eric got killed because I called.’ ”

16. Dianis, Judith Browne. “What Really Killed Eric Garner Was More than Just a Chokehold.”MSNBC, NBCUniversal News Group, 5 Aug. 2014, http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/what-killed-eric-garner.

Background: This article goes into detail on how Eric Garner was killed, and shows what the witnesses had to say about it. It explains what happened in court and the verdict, it also explains other incidents where the same thing has occurred in New York and what they need to do to stop it. 

How I Used It: I used this article to show police use an excessive amount of force even when there is no threat present. This article explains the life of Eric Garner, and it explains how he made money to support his kids and wife. The article explains the verdict and what happened in the court. It explains how officers are not allowed to use these types of chokeholds to subdue victims. The officer was aware that he was not allowed to use this type of chokehold, but he did anyway. The officer knew he was harming Eric Garner because of Garner claims that he could not breathe. Even though the Officer was in the wrong, the court claimed he was not guilty. 

 

17. nydailynews. “Eric Garner Video – Unedited Version.YouTube, YouTube, 12 July 2015, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpGxagKOkv8.

Background: This video shows the entire incident of Eric Garner’s death filmed by a witness on the street.

How I Used It: I used this video to have a better understanding of why Garner was killed. I used to to explain how the cops that arrested him were prepared to use force against him. There was three police officers against one man that was accused of selling a loose cigarette, Garner wasn’t even being violent. There wasn’t an intention to harm Garner, but the officers didn’t seem to car about him either. They completely ignored his declarations that he could not breathe. They continued to lay their body weight on him, while he was pushed against the ground, out of breathe, and posing no threat. 

 

18. 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.

Background: This website demonstrates the story of Officer Tensing killing Samuel DuBose. It includes what was said and the verdict of what happened in court. It also includes other traffic stop incidents where an officer shot an innocent person. It also includes body cam video of what happened.

How I Used It: I used the video to understand what happened to the officer and DuBose in my point of view without the words of other people. I used it to demonstrate how cops react towards black people even when they are not posing a threat. DuBose began to drive away, but there was no need for Officer Tensing to shoot DuBose in the head. He claimed it was to stop his actions, but there could have been many other ways to stop DuBose’s actions without killing him. This video demonstrated preventable force that the officer used that killed DuBose.

 

Rebuttal Argument—Yoshi

The Police Problem Isn’t A Police Problem

P1. Overall, more white people than black people are killed in police shootings 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 over 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. 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 considering, most of the people they encounter are in fact carrying a weapon on them. Not only that but police are usually in a crime ridden areas, trying to diminish the crime rate. So this stirs up the thought that black people are killed more often than white people because of the impoverished areas they live in; which make it more likely for a police to encounter a black person over a white person.

P3. Although this is a good point they are not necessarily true. The Virginia Police Department conducted a study of what red flags police look for before stopping someone at a traffic stop. The study determined whether the police stopping the victim had anything to do with race or socioeconomic factors. The three finding the study found was Virginia Police Officers stopped people based of off the crime rate in the neighborhood, the searching was determined from the percentage of the black population, and the percentage of stops that ended in an arrest was an impact of both the percentage of Black population and the crime rate of the area. This racial bias is not only apparent in the Virginia Police Department’s study, but also 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 minorities. 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.

P4. There is also the claim that black people are more likely than white people to flee from police, resist arrest, and attack police. When put in life or death situations police have only a couple seconds to determine whether or not they should shoot. In some cases police officers should shoot, but they react too late; and in other cases police officers shoot for the wrong reason. Many Americans believe it isn’t fair to name police as racist because they are put in tough situations where sometimes it is hard to always make the right decision. 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.His research found that the public and police are less likely to view black people as “innocent.” In another study of Cornell’s, police officers and people of the community were challenged to make fast impulse shooting decisions with speed and accuracy. The data from both groups of people showed a racial bias in the speed of their shooting. The police and community members shot more black targets than white targets, and the police and community members shot so fast that it was deemed an instinct.

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. Yes, white people are shot more often than black people, but that doesn’t account for the 160 billion more white people in the world. Yes, 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

Kyle Wagner. U.S. Police Shootings Database, http://goo.gl/Su60Cm; 2014. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0734016805275675

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

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, www.cato.org/policing-in-america/chapter-3/police-misconduc-experience-and-perception.

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, www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/07/data-police-racial-bias.

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/.

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.