Police use of force depends upon the race of the suspect

Published by the LearnAboutGuns.com Author on June 17, 2020 at 10:12 am
LearnAboutGuns.com > Other > Politics > Police & Racism > Police use of force depends upon the race of the suspect

It is a sad truth that the police choose to use force more often and with more violence when dealing with black people than when dealing with white people.

Rudeness from the beginning on the part of police when dealing with black people

Police officers are ruder to black people when dealing with them, even for simple traffic stops. A study conducted at Stanford University reviewed body camera video and audio from hundreds of traffic stops, and concluded that even when dealing with similar infractions, the police afforded white motorists a lot more respect and courtesy. More information on that issue can be seen here: https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2017/06/05/police-body-camera-study-respect-whites-blacks/

Speaking from personal experience, I have had white clients who made profane and sexually course statement towards police officers, yet those same police officers treated them with respect and dignity. Meanwhile, I have never been profane, insulting, or otherwise rude to a police officer during a traffic stop or other interaction. Despite that, I have had many police officers treat me rudely. As an attorney, I have seen similar patterns play out. My personal and professional experience mirrors what the above Stanford study found.

Police target black people for law enforcement scrutiny, leading to more arrests

On average, a Black person is 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Black and white people use marijuana at similar rates. In 10 states, Blacks were more than five times more likely to be arrested.
In states that legalized marijuana, arrest rates decreased after legalization, however racial disparities still remained. https://www.aclu.org/press-releases/new-aclu-report-despite-marijuana-legalization-black-people-still-almost-four-times.

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As another example, black people are disproportionately targeted when it comes to social distancing violations during COVID-19 restrictions. For example, From March 17 to May 4, of the 40 people arrested in Brooklyn for violating social distancing rules, 35 were Black, four were Hispanic, and only one was white, according to data released Thursday by the Brooklyn district attorney. Data released by the New York Police Department showed similar racial disparities. From March 16 to May 5, police issued 374 summonses for social distancing violations; 52% were to Black residents and 30% were to Hispanic residents. Multiple videos on social media have shown police officers using excessive force when arresting Black and Hispanic New Yorkers for social distancing-related infractions. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/new-york-coronavirus-social-distancing-arrests-racial-disparities_n_5eb57835c5b618770ae2a9cc

Former DEA agent Matthew Fogg discussed how the DEA purposely avoids enforcing drug laws in affluent white neighborhoods despite knowing of ongoing drug crimes, and instead targets poorer black neighborhoods. https://bennorton.com/dea-agent-we-were-told-not-to-enforce-drug-laws-in-rich-white-areas/

Police are more likely to use violence against black people

When an arrest is being made, the police are considerably more likely to use force against a black person than a white person. This article from the New York Times provides statistics and more detail: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/03/us/minneapolis-police-use-of-force.html

More data can be seen in an article from US News & World Report that shows police are considerably more likely to use deadly force against an unarmed black person than against an unarmed white person. https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2020-06-03/data-show-deaths-from-police-violence-disproportionately-affect-people-of-color

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Again my personal experiences as an attorney match the statistical information. A review of body camera footage shows my white clients are treated more gently than my black clients when being arrested for similar crimes and in similar circumstances. I know that police are quicker to use force against my black clients. I know that when police use force, they use more of it against my black clients than they do against my white clients.

A few videos to illustrate the point

I’ll end with these three videos, all of which show white suspects who went unharmed. Contrast that with the murder of George Floyd and countless other black people who died at the hands of the police.

Police left this white murder suspect unharmed as he resisted arrest, chased them while naked, and choked a bystander. Meanwhile, police violence is a leading cause of death for young Black men in America.

Jerry resists arrest. ⁣
Jerry steals officers baton.⁣
Beats cops with their batons.⁣
Steals their police car.⁣

Police never fire a single shot at Jerry. ⁣

No stun gun. Nothing. ⁣

American police know how to use restraint. They do.⁣

For some reason it’s just always with Jerry.⁣

Never with Rayshard.

A man armed with a knife chases a cop around the cop’s car. The cop doesn’t fire.

Finally, please see the following article for a discussion of the racism inherent in our criminal courts: https://www.learnaboutguns.com/2020/07/05/our-criminal-courts-are-inherently-racist/

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