In 2014, the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, set off a wave of protests and sparked a movement targeting racial disparities in criminal justice. Since then, there have been other controversial deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement that have captured the public’s attention, from Tamir Rice, to Philando Castile. But there are some who say that these encounters, many of them recorded, have fed a narrative of biased policing that the data does not back up, vilifying people who are trying to do good in a difficult job that often puts them in harm’s way. What are the statistics, and how should we interpret them? How have recent incidents shaped our view of policing? Does crime drive law enforcement’s use of force, or is there racial bias?
Gloria Browne-Marshall, civil rights attorney and constitutional law professor at John Jay College, joins Arise America with a detailed response to the grand jury decisions that resulted in non-indictments for police officers who killed unarmed African Americans, and created a loud narrative in 2014.
Gloria Browne Marshall, professor at John Jay College, discusses the numerous factors - from the evidence presented to the makeup of the jury - that led to the grand jury's decision not to indict police officer Darren Wilson in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown Jr.
Gloria Browne-Marshall, civil rights attorney and constitutional law professor at John Jay College, talks with Rachel Maddow about what it means when federal agencies get involved in investigations of local police violence.
The idea that the U.S. is experiencing an epidemic of racially driven police shootings is also false, and dangerously so. Several studies released this year show that police officers are less likely to shoot blacks than whites.
The disparity between civilian and police shootings hasn’t stopped local Black Lives Matter activists from continuing to claim that it’s the cops who are the biggest threat facing Chicago’s young black men today.
“Violence always looks abhorrent on video without context. Thankfully, as humans we have a visceral reaction to violence,” said Harry Stern, a Berkeley, California, police officer-turned-attorney at Rains Lucia Stern, which represents officers throughout the state.
“That looks like a bad dude.” This was the assessment of a Tulsa police officer of motorist Terence Crutcher as he walked toward his stalled vehicle. It was made from a police helicopter hundreds of feet in the air.
Because the white population is approximately five times larger than the black population, that means unarmed black Americans were five times as likely as unarmed white Americans to be shot and killed by a police officer.
A new nationwide survey of 7,917 police officers in departments with at least 100 officers, conducted by the National Police Research Platform, focuses on a wide range of topics about policing, including how police view their jobs, officers’ experiences in the field and how these fatal encounters have impacted the way they do their jobs.
Blacks, Native Americans and Hispanics had higher stop/arrest rates per 10 000 population than white non-Hispanics and Asians. Ratios of admitted and fatal injury due to legal police intervention per 10 000 stops/arrests did not differ significantly between racial/ethnic groups.
On non-lethal uses of force, blacks and Hispanics are more than ﬁfty percent more likely to experience some form of force in interactions with police. On the most extreme use of force –oﬃcer-involved shootings – we ﬁnd no racial diﬀerences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account.
Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes. Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans. The evidence shows that discriminatory intent is part of the reason for these disparities
This report describes one of the United States Department of Justice’s central tools for accomplishing police reform, restoring police-community trust, and strengthening officer and public safety – the Civil Rights Division’s enforcement of the civil prohibition on a “pattern or practice” of policing that violates the Constitution or other federal laws.
People are more likely to obey the law when they believe that those who are enforcing it have the legitimate authority to tell them what to do . . . . The public confers legitimacy only on those they believe are acting in procedurally just ways.
Sunday, May 1, 2016
Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, co-chairs
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