American racism became the justification for the brutal, legal system of coerced labor called slavery.
Police Racism Caught on Camera: Peter Dreier July 11, This article was originally published in The American Prospect on July 30,and has been updated in light of recent events. But the harsh reality is that there has been no sudden upsurge of racial profiling, arrests, beatings, and killings of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers.
Rather than an abrupt recent rise in police mistreatment of black Americans, we are seeing a surge in awareness of the problem due in part to the use of hidden body cameras and citizen videos. Because more incidents of police abuse are now being captured on camera, white Americans are waking up to how different black lives can be.
These videotaped incidents are now part of the political terrain, making it harder for police to hide abusive behavior and easier for community groups to verify longstanding complaints about police misconduct. What is emerging is a picture of white-on-black violence that carries echoes of the often-police-sanctioned lynchings of the Jim Crow era.
Those lynchings were frequently caught on camera, too, and those photographs were used both by anti-lynching activists and by white supremacists celebrating their vigilante actions. Last Tuesday morning, two police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Racism by police shot Alton Sterling, a year-old African American, while trying to arrest him.
Members of the group Stop the Killing arrived at the Triple S Food Mart after hearing reports on a police scanner about an arrest in front of the store. The activists captured the incident—which shows the two cops shooting Sterling after pinning him to the ground—on video, and then released it online.
The following day, a police officer in Falcon Heights, Minnesota—a suburb of St. Paul—stopped Philando Castile for driving a car with a broken tail light. The officer then opened fire and killed Castile, a year old African American.
Reynolds did not capture the actual moment of the shooting but she broadcast the aftermath of the incident on her Facebook page. By Friday, the video had been viewed 4. This is thanks partly to the exploding use of cell phones, YouTube, and Twitter—as well as to the growing number of police cars and cops now outfitted with cameras.
The brutal mistreatment of Bland, for example, a year-old African American woman stopped a year ago by Brian Encina, a Texas Highway Patrol trooper, for failing to signal before changing lanes, was captured only because Texas requires patrol cars to have video cameras and state troopers to carry body microphones.
But there is little dispute that she should not have been in jail in the first place. Similarly, the death of Garner, a year-old black man arrested in New York City for selling loose cigarettes, came to light only because of footage filmed by a bystander.
He was later pronounced dead at a hospital. These and other incidents have increased public awareness of police misconduct toward black citizens.
As a result, white attitudes are changing, and protests led by black activists are accelerating. The recent assassination of five police officers in Dallas by a black sniper upset over recent police violence has further roiled the nation.
As citizens on both sides of the racial divide join in vigils and protests around the country, this may be a moment in our history when real reform is possible.
The rate of African Americans killed by police declined significantly in the s and s, but it has remained relatively steady since then.
The FBI significantly undercounts the number of fatal shootings by police officers because it does not require police departments to keep it updated. Their numbers vary slightly, reflecting differences in how they collect the data, but all three sources show a similar pattern of police killings that disproportionately target African Americans.
Through July 8 of this year, police have killed individuals, according to The Guardian. This puts the nation on track to end the year with 1, deaths at the hands of police. This is comparable to the 1, people killed by police last year. The remaining victims include African Americans 27 percent and Latinos 17 percent.
Asian Americans, Native Americans, other races, and people of unknown origin, who accounted for the remaining 5 percent. These figures have led some people to argue that police cannot be fairly be accused of racism, since whites represent more than half of all fatalities at the hands of cops.
But whites represent 62 percent of all Americans, according to the U. African Americans, who account for 27 percent of the victims, comprise only 13 percent of the population.
That makes African Americans more than twice as likely as whites to die at the hands of police, according to The Guardian. Longstanding tensions between law enforcement and the black community are partly to blame for this disparity. Most police officers are almost certainly not virulent racists, but they are part of a police culture and criminal justice system with a long history of tensions between black Americans and law enforcement.
Discrimination takes the form of both overt abuse and looking the other way when whites use violence against black citizens.A veteran San Jose police officer who is Muslim is suing the city and the department for alleged harassment, discrimination and retaliation based upon his race, national origin and religion.
Police Racism: A Search for Answers In Ferguson, Charleston, Baltimore and beyond, the nation confronts charges of police racism. One researcher is breaking new ground.
Police officers drag away a protester to take him into custody during a demonstration against the grand jury decision. (Jim Young/Reuters) (JIM YOUNG) As a kid, I got used to being stopped by the.
The police killings of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Philando Castile sparked national outrage and prompted a nationwide discussion around the links between racism and police brutality. Apr 14, · A panel assigned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel says police officers have mistreated people, operated without oversight and lost the trust of residents.
The question that typically pops up when black people are killed by police is whether racism had anything to do with it. Many studies do show that racism plays a part in causing police to pull the.