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Black men and the police

 
 
snood
 
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 06:16 am
Did anyone here see the latest footage of a black man being assaulted by police? It started with a cop in South Carolina (maybe a State Trooper - not sure) confronting a black guy who was parked at a gas station for a seat belt violation, and ended with the cop taking four point-black shots at the black guy; the cop getting charged with aggravated assault (I think) and the black guy in the hospital. One small blessing was that this cop couldn’t shoot worth crap – I think only one bullet hit the guy’s body.

These police assaults of unarmed black men have really taken festering root in a dark corner of my mind, and I don’t have the antiseptic to wash the thoughts and images out. I just got into a discussion with workmates about the uptick in these kinds of shootings and killings. Both of my workmates are white. One of them made two comments that I think captured what appears to be the stance of a lot of white Americans toward the ever-breaking news about cops shooting blacks. “I think the media hypes this stuff way above what they need to” and, “I just wish Obama wouldn’t speak on these matters – as our president and commander in chief he needs to leave these matters to local authorities”.

In the interest of maintaining an affable work environment, I severely curtailed what my natural and unvarnished response would have been, and said something like “I understand you feel that way, but myself, I’d not feel okay with it if Obama said nothing about these incidents”. I feel like I need an “anger translator” like Luther from Key and Peele (if you haven’t checked them out, do – their race stuff is generally pretty funny and maybe enlightening).

A couple of things –One, I think it’s very hard for white people to understand the perception of, and relationship with the police that black people have. I realize that’s a generalization, but the majority of anecdotal experience I, and others I communicate with have had bears that out. It’s just hard to convey to someone not of color who hasn’t lived through being confronted by cops for no apparent reason the feelings ranging from anxiety to terror that go through you. And those feelings are being validated seemingly on a monthly basis lately, with all the news about yet another black man choked, shot, beat up and or killed by law enforcement. And two, I think this latest spate of assaults on black men by police over the last several years warrants a heightened degree of scrutiny – and I don’t think it should bother anyone of good conscience if some of that scrutiny is facilitated by this president or his justice department.

Something crazy is happening that is allowing men sworn to serve and protect the whole population (and some of the officers are black and brown as well) to resort to inordinate violence when it comes to black men. There is nothing that justifies the carnage that gets unleashed with the merest provocation – or no provocation at all by police on black men. There is obviously an inequality in what passes for provoking violence from police, depending on the color of who is perceived to be provoking it.

If it’s true that black men are getting unjustly assaulted and killed by police, what do we do? I think the idea of mandating police to wear chest cams has potential. I think the screening of law enforcement needs to tighten to weed out those who get into the profession for the wrong reasons. It seems like too many of them are trigger happy bullies.

So, thoughts?

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Type: Discussion • Score: 19 • Views: 6,681 • Replies: 99

 
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 06:52 am
Uh oh......

"You know who talks about race? RACISTS!!!!"
-Fox News Anchor
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 07:07 am
@snood,
...and also people who are trying to flush out and expose racist behaviors.

As for cops wearing chest-cams. I agree with that as regular protocol. I agree the tragic and deadly trend of black men getting disproportionate treatment at the hands of cops needs a rapid solution. Not sure of chest-cam is an effective solution.

Here's why:
Where I see a potential snag is when the potential legal case that might ensue goes to court, the offending officer's lawyer might claim his 5th Amendment right (against self-incrimination) and gets the judge to toss out the video clip as evidence.

My feeling on that is that when someone who possess deadly force and the contract to defend the community....loses the right to claim 5th amendment rights if there is a death or maiming as result of carrying through his/her duty.

Now that raises an issue of what happens with a US soldier in battle?
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 10:35 am
Even before cameras were available, I have been aware of such brutality. I have always known that little has changed, but for the methods used, to go after black men. Somehow, when a person gets caught killing an innocent black person, application of the law seems tilted in the killer's favor. Fundamentalist-minded individuals vilify the victim and glorify the killer. Of course, there are exceptions, but what I am writing about is the case all too often in our society. If a cop had to wear a camera all during his working hours, it would help a lot.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 11:10 am
@snood,
The situation with cops and black men seems part of the cop culture to me. Not all of it, not every cop, not everywhere, not all the time, but still a systemic problem.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 12:33 pm
Fifteen people - mostly black - shot in one location in the last 24 hours. No mention on mainstream media?
snood
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 02:09 pm
@edgarblythe,
Where, Ed?
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 02:11 pm
@snood,
News for florida shooting 15 people
florida shooting 15 people
15 people, mostly teens, shot at Miami nightclub
CNN ‎- 41 minutes ago
Fifteen people were shot early Sunday morning at a Miami teen nightclub, the Miami police reported. One person was critically injured.
More news for florida shooting 15 people
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 02:16 pm
@snood,
I know what you mean. We're at the point where these things are no longer seen as aberrations.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 02:53 pm
i imagine some black men like the police, their music was reggae influenced, i can't however imagine any of them like sting, and as twitter taught us after the latest apple news, they're none to thrilled with u2
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 03:41 pm
Not to distract from a serious topic, but I just had to add this.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y186/Suzanne219/2nuhyeo_zps03e7d0ba.jpg
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 28 Sep, 2014 07:09 pm
@snood,
People who have not shared the same experiences always have a hard time fully appreciating how the other feels. Having been a hippie in the 60's and 70's I had my share of run-ins with the police and the majority of them were unwarranted, so I think I have an idea of what black people feel about the police, but I readily admit I can't really appreciate it fully. I've no doubt at all that black people are disproportionately hassled by cops, and there's no excuse for it.

Quantifying the problem is impossible, because I also have no doubt there are occasions when the person complaining has no reason to,(This is a characteristic of people in general; not just black people) but it's certainly enough of a problem that it allows for some segment of the population to raise false complaints and be believed at face value. This is the cops fault though, because if there weren't the number of legitimate complaints there are, people would be far less inclined to immediately believe the false ones.

Unfortunately, "the cops" are not one person who can be blamed and so there is a possibility that one who has not had a track record of improper behavior can get, unfairly, caught up in a mess, but this is just another reason why all cops should get behind whatever it takes to solve or at least greatly reduce the problem and not immediately go on the defensive when the subject comes up.

I think the chest cam is a good idea, and while I can imagine why even a decent cop might be wary of it, it the long run it will help the decent cops defend themselves against the false complaints, and help weed out or at least restrain the bad ones. It's not a perfect solution because these cams aren't perfect. It's not tough to imagine a bad cop coming up with some way to dismantle the camera or a way for the camera to simply break or stop working. I'm pretty sure that if an incident arose that wasn't caught by the camera because it wasn't working, the immediate assumption would be that the cop deliberately broke it. I don't know any way around this though so I guess we'll just have to hope it doesn't happen often, and insist that the justice system, at least, doesn't consider a malfunctioning camera to be proof of a cop's guilt.

I also understand your co-workers thinking (and why it bothered you). The media does hype a lot of topics, and not just this one. I don't think you can fault anyone for not trusting the media to report matters fairly when we see examples of unfair reporting on a daily basis. This isn't a right/left thing because a large majority of Americans don't trust the media. It's also fairly natural for people to believe the media is hyping things that either they themselves don't believe or don't wish to believe.

AS for the president's commenting on these incidents, I do have a problem when his comments assume the outcome of an ongoing investigation. Jumping to conclusions is another human trait, and a lot of people think they know what happened in Ferguson based on what they have read or heard. These people may all be right, but what they all have heard or read is not all the evidence that exists and that evidence has not been considered fully within the judicial system. It's fine for me or you to have an opinion and voice it whenever and wherever we please, but we are not the president of the United States. It is entirely inappropriate for him to render his opinion, in any way, on a matter that is still the subject of an ongoing investigation; or had not been adjudicated. Speaking of the broader issues is not only fine, it's a good idea but he needs to stay clear of specific cases that have not yet had a formal resolution.

As for the trends relative to police killings there's another thread in this forum that address the issue in some detail so I won't repeat anything I've written there. Suffice it to say that there are a lot of understandably strong emotions concerning these incidents, and these emotions can distort the overall picture. The stats have to be confirmed. Within the other thread there’s at least one example of an article with a single word or two misrepresented certain numbers. They also have to be looked at in context. When something is horrible and very wrong, we don’t want to (nor should we) accept even one incident, but horrible things happen all the time and the measure of their significance of a trend is in relation to other numbers.

Killing by cops may indeed be on the rise, and so might the number of killing by cops that involve innocent people, but both incidents are likely to be with us for a very long time and while this doesn’t mean we shouldn't do whatever we can to reduce them, or, in the case of the latter, eliminate them altogether if possible, the increase in their number needs to be statistically meaningful if we are to label it an alarming and dangerous trend. I have zero doubt that cops kill innocent people every year, and I’m fairly sure some of those innocents (whether they are black or white) were actually murdered by cops, but it’s hard for me to imagine why these numbers would be increasing significantly. Not to say they are not but I think there is more oversight of police departments today than ever before, and society’s tolerance for rogue’s cops certainly hasn’t increased. If there has been a significant increase in cop killings and murders, there should be a reason, but it just doesn’t seem like it could be one that might be considered obvious.



0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Mon 29 Sep, 2014 09:02 am
@snood,
Quote:
I think it’s very hard for white people to understand the perception of, and relationship with the police that black people have.

No need to pussy-foot around. This is not a generalization. It's a fact.

When I saw the S. Carolina video my first thought was: If that were a white motorist he wouldn't have been shot.
0 Replies
 
Miller
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2014 07:05 am
@snood,
[quote="snood
Something crazy is happening that is allowing men sworn to serve and protect the whole population (and some of the officers are black and brown as well) to resort to inordinate violence when it comes to black men.
[/quote]

Since some of the officers are black and brown, I doubt that the violence imparted on both black men and women, has strictly a racial basis.

I suspect that some of this violence, which is not racial , may be due to a fear that some officiers ( both black and white ) have of black people becoming violent. So, to counter an act of violence, before it takes place, the cops act violently, this action then serving as a catalyst for the victim to become violent.

Is there any data to suggest that black cops are more violent towards black men, than are white cops? If so, what would cause this?
0 Replies
 
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georgeob1
 
  4  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2014 03:37 pm
@Pamela Rosa,
There's no excuse for posts like the one above. Bigotry is pretty much the same, no matter who it is directed at. It evidences the closed mind and irrationality of those expressing it, and it shuts down the rational discussion of any related issue.

The poster deserves only our contempt and should apologize to all here.
panzade
 
  1  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2014 08:08 pm
@georgeob1,
You never met Pammy before?
http://i143.photobucket.com/albums/r147/panzade/1006_zps8c726be2.gif
0 Replies
 
giujohn
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 30 Sep, 2014 08:26 pm
HERES A SUGGESTION:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&frm=1&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CB4QtwIwAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DBQgNrnWZVSI&ei=ORwrVKjBLYasyQS20YGYBg&usg=AFQjCNFDBUZM-s73pvoVrj4xw4c-lTAw6A
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  2  
Reply Wed 1 Oct, 2014 08:56 am
@Pamela Rosa,
Pamela Rosa wrote:

Apish coons in Coonada like their Apemericoon bruddas .


In the past I've commented that I didn't see overt racism in your postings, just an obsession with black on white crime, however with this one you've shown me all I need to see. I can now agree with just about everyone else that you are a racist.

0 Replies
 
McGentrix
 
  3  
Reply Wed 1 Oct, 2014 01:50 pm
I am in full favor of all police officers being forced to wear cameras and mics while on duty. If at any time that audio or video becomes corrupted or turned off the officer must have a report, witnessed, as to why.

This is the only way we can keep police honest about what they are doing. Racism has no business in law enforcement as the law applies equally to all.

That being said, argue the case in court, not with the cop. You won't win.
0 Replies
 
 

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