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Racial Profiling and Police Brutality

Discussion in 'Debate Forum' started by Silver Soul, Aug 13, 2014.

  1. Silver Soul

    Silver Soul Well-Known Member

    In this topic, we will discuss the racial profiling of minorities and as well as how it leads to police brutality as well as harsher sentences based on race.

    In this summer, there were reported deaths of African-American children and men alike who were killed by police despite being unarmed. Eric Garner of Staten Island was killed by a chokehold which is illegal in the police force, Michael Brown was shot multiple times from behind recently in Ferguson, Missouri despite being unarmed, and then as of now Ezell Ford who was shot by a LAPD officer three despite following orders AND on the ground.

    What's more that when it comes to prisons, there's also racial bias there as well. Since African-Americans are more likely to go to jail based on drug offenses than whites despite the same amount.
  2. Profesco

    Profesco gone gently

    I may or may not join the debate to contribute to point-making or -refutation, but right now I'll help out by providing a page that discusses precisely this topic. Here you go. Not only is it thoughtfully and elegantly laid out, but it is explained from a first-person perspective, which some readers may find useful. Let me quote just a portion of the significant bits:

    If you follow the link, this paragraph is laden with links sourcing its claims, which is the main reason I'm bringing it here. The data will be a boon to this thread.

    Edit: And here's a link to a tale, not about racism, but about police brutality/militarization.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2014
  3. Silver Soul

    Silver Soul Well-Known Member

    Why thank you Profesco. As of now in Ferguson, things had escalated to the point that there are three things wrong with the police forces lately. One being excess violence toward peaceful protesters, two being the arrests AND tear gas of actual reporters, and three being the militarization of the police force that even both liberals and libertarians are against.
  4. Yknot

    Yknot Дми́трий Дми́триевич

    Ferguson is a polarized town, part of the issue. It used to be a railroad town and once that died out many of the white community moved outwards to other suburbs. the majority of the town is like 80% black while 90% of the police force is white (not real numbers, but gives you an idea). This leads to mistrust of the police force in general and that attitude is reciprocated.

    Having live camera feeds on cop uniforms has actually been shown to cut down on reported incidents of police brutality SIGNIFICANTLY in case studies in California, the issue is that this technology isn't in the budget for most forces for logistical reasons. Cops need monitoring.

    What I don't quite understand is the violence against the press. Not really sure where the motivation for that is unless it is just random or they are frustrated at how the press is going to make them look. In general I could see police forces having a love/hate relationship with the media. I know intuitively that our University campus (which is required to send mass emails to students every time a homicide or violent crime such as rape or armed robbery happens on campus) would pay off local media to play down or flat out not report murders that happened across the street from campus because that would deter enrollment (our campus was bordered by a rich community on one side and a poor neighborhood on the other, so you can see the motivation for media manipulation).
  5. LDSman

    LDSman Banned

    The immediate problem is that the three listed people weren't "racially profiled." Racial profiling claims don't usually pan out. Are there racist cops? Yes. Are there a large number of them? No. There is an Us vs Them mentality among the police. That should be addressed. Is the system racist against people? No.

    Ezell Ford was a mentally disturbed individual with multiple prior arrests in a dangerous part of town who, according to police, tried to fight the officer for his gun. He was schizophrenic and bipolar. The investigation is ongoing.


    Michael Brown had committed a strong armed robbery not more than ten minutes earlier and was walking in the middle of the street with he was stopped by police. An unconfirmed video supports the police narrative of a fight with Brown being the aggressor.


    Eric Garner was an older, overweight man with asthma who had just been involved in a fight. He choose to fight the police when they started handcuffing everyone prior to sorting out who was involved in what way.

    There is a problem with the increasing militarization of the police. I think that needs to change. I'd support cameras on all police officers and cars. They would protect both ways.

    I'll address the drug and prison thing later.
  6. The Admiral

    The Admiral solid state survivor

    This has been disproven (the tape they provided, and presumably also any robbery they were referring to, took place in June). Also, robbing a store does not necessitate SHOOTING HIM.

    Yes, sure, his asthma was responsible for the CHOKEHOLD. In fact, I believe he indicated to cops that he was dying and they did not stop. They very intentionally took his life.

    However, this I can back. From what I remember reading, somewhere in California, all police officers were forced to wear video cameras. Within a year, the use of force dropped 60%, and complaints against their behaviors dropped even further. It's almost like they only do certain things when they think they can get away with it. As has been stated, though, there is kind of a budgetary concern in certain jurisdictions making this largely impossible. Of course, the same can't really be said for not militarizing.
  7. LDSman

    LDSman Banned

    Please provide citation that says both the robbery video was disproven and that the linked conversation by witnesses was disproven. All I can find says that the robbery happened about ten minutes earlier and that the video I linked to hasn't been verified yet.

    It does provide a reason for why Brown would choose to fight a police officer. Brown thought he was about to be arrested for a felony.

    Johnson's lawyer (the other guy) even corraborated the robbery.


    No, the chokehold didn't help his asthma. Punish the officer for breaking procedure. Don't make it a racism issue without more evidence. If he hadn't chosen to fight being handcuffed, he'd have been fine. Any number of criminals will claim they are having breathing problems or other health issues. Doesn't make it true.

    The question becomes "did the complaints drop because the officers behave themselves or do they drop because the complaints were false complaints and those making the false complaints know that they won't win?" Probably a bit of both. I've worked with police officers, they do talk about the false complaints they get because they didn't treat some drug pusher with kid gloves and weren't super respectful and the dealer's mother complained.

    Cops can't win. If they don't have a SWAT team and something happens, they get blamed. If they have a SWAT team and don't use it, people complain about the money wasted. If they use the SWAT team, people complain about the overuse.
  8. Blazekickblaziken

    Blazekickblaziken Snarktastic Ditz

    I'm just gonna swing in and drop this link.
    So, while as far as I am aware, the claim that Brown was the robber was eventually debunked, even if it hasn't been, the claim has no bearing whatsoever on how the incident played out.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  9. LDSman

    LDSman Banned

    And I refer you back to the NBC article.

    So the initial stop was in reference to the walking in the street. Then officer became aware that he might be a suspect. And don't forget that Johnson, Brown's partner has admitted that Brown took the cigars.

    Provide citation for the debunking. And it has bearing. A person who has just committed a felony, the strong arm robbery, will react differently than someone who has not. It was going to be seconds before Brown was about to be arrested. Don't you think that would affect his thinking? And if the officer was acting in a racist manner, why didn't he shoot both of them?
  10. Silver Soul

    Silver Soul Well-Known Member

    Then that would have contradicted the assertion that Wilson DIDN'T know that Brown was the suspect, wouldn't it? It came from the chief's mouth 2 hours later after the release of the video. Despite that the DOJ's request to not release it which may incite the riots and that the family requested to see the video but ignored, I mean wouldn't that type of manipulating the media be blatant character assassination?

    Oh and another about Eric Garner's death, the chokehold is actually within the NYPD ILLEGAL!! As well as ruled a homicide.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2014
  11. Blazekickblaziken

    Blazekickblaziken Snarktastic Ditz

    Ok, let's be realistic. The police inf Ferguson have been shown to tear gas reporters and then confiscate their cameras, the cop's testimony has contradicted various witness' testimony, by all accounts the cops have been lying and covering up what is going on, and you're giving them the benefit of the doubt?

    And even if the incident did happen because the cops suspected that he stole some cigars. How in the world does a few stolen cigars lead to a dead teenager who was shot multiple times while surrendering? A teenager who was unarmed in case it needs clarifying.
  12. LDSman

    LDSman Banned

    No. When the officer stopped Brown and Johnson, he did not know or assume they were suspects in the robbery. At some point, he became suspicious that they were suspects. First one, then the other. A sequence of events.

    There were riots and looting already. It might be if it wasn't directly related to the event in question. Or are you going to argue that someone who just commited a felony isn't to going react negatively to being stopped by a police officer?

    I know it's illegal. I hope he gets in some trouble for that. Does it rise to the level of murder? Doubt it. May be manslaughter charges. You try restraining a larger man without hurting him or getting hurt yourself and see what happens. Calling it racial profiling isn't correct.

    I can't find any articles where the Ferguson police kept any media equipment. Should the police have left the equipment for the looters to steal? And it does look like the police acted badly in firing teargas near or at reporters.

    I refer you back to the Blaze article linked earlier where the witness conversation is about Brown fighting the police officer and then charging at him.
    Edit: Despite the constant references to him being unarmed, Brown was a large person and it is possible to beat or kick someone to death.

    Edit: Witness testimony always varies. People often see only part of the event. The whole event was over in 3 minutes. It sometimes takes that long for people to realize something is going on and to pay attention.

    It's less about "benefit of the doubt" and more about not leaping to a preconcieved idea. White person shoots black person does not always equal racism. I'd like to see proof of racism. Particularly when there is a second black person who did not get shot or apparently shot at. If there was racism involved, why wasn't he shot at?
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  13. Silver Soul

    Silver Soul Well-Known Member

    Don't forget we already have a witness to the incident at that time who live tweeted it. Two bullets were fired at Brown's back and then when he turned around, 5 more were fired at him which killed him. The disproportionate retribution is the problem here.


    And it's not the first time the Ferguson PD did something like this. They were beating up the wrong person years ago who they thought was the suspect but they arrested him anyway. You know why? Because the guy who they just beat up... BLEED ON THEIR FREAKING UNIFORMS! This is something I expect from the NYPD or the LAPD because that is just covering up their screwups!

  14. Blazekickblaziken

    Blazekickblaziken Snarktastic Ditz

    So the police shoots tear gas at reporters and then takes their equipment so that it doesn't get stolen.

    How considerate of them.

    I think the racism is pretty evident in the mental acrobatics people will go through in order to justify the police force's actions.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  15. bobjr

    bobjr It's Fusion, I don't have to expalin it. Staff Member Moderator

    Many social media sites have pictures of police destroying reporter equipment, and treating them badly and throwing them in a cell. There's a reason they banned all social media in the area.
  16. Yknot

    Yknot Дми́трий Дми́триевич

    Disregarding the truth of the statement altogether, this is behavioral profiling, incredibly pseudo science and is not reliable, despite the sensationalism this FBI tactic gets in Hollywood and elsewhere. I shouldn't really have to elaborate how that reaction (if it happened at all) could be invoked under completely different circumstances. This goes both ways of course which is why I think it is lopsided of you to deny it to one side of the argument and apply it to the other side.

    Whether it is racially motivated or not (either consciously or subliminally via knee jerk), it was still most likely overkill.
  17. LDSman

    LDSman Banned

    I wasn't aware of this person. Of course since the autopsy came out and disproved the shot in the back, it lessens his credibility some.

    I'm aware of this. Us vs them (police vs civilian) or racism?

    Did they get it back?

    Pointing out alternate scenarios isn't racism nor is it trying to "justify" anything. All too often the media gets things wrong in their quest for ratings.

    Still not finding anything that supports the claim that police are destroying equipment. Yes there have been a few officers who have been less than hospitable to reporters, and two reporters who got arrested and released without charges.

    Its easy to understand why the police don't seem to like the media at times. Would you like a group of people giving out your coworkers address after he has gotten death threats and before it has been proven that he was not defending himself?

    Don't disregard the truth. What is the truth is what matters!

    I wasn't referring to behavioral profiling. I was referring to actual reactions.

    Feel free to elaborate.

    I haven't denied any such thing. Care to be more specific?

    I think you mean "subconsciously". I dislike it when people claim "subconscious" racism. It's so hard to prove or disprove.

    Overkill? Matter of opinion. At what point was the "threat" stopped? IMO, overkill is anything past that. Possible scenario: Officer and Brown got into a fight over the officer's gun. Brown backs off and then charges. The officer is fearing for his life because this larger fellow just tried to take his gun and is now charging him again. The officer opens fire. The police are trained to shot until the threat is stopped and it only takes seconds to fire 6 rounds. The last two shots kill Brown. Brown goes down and the officer stops shooting.

    The pattern of shots raises questions. 4 in the arm? Was the officer injured in a way that upset his aim? When was his last range time and score? How many did he fire?

    From your link:
    The coroner gives two scenarios, he was giving up or charging forward.

    He also says that:
    The first could be a reflection on training differences. The second statement is true. More information is needed.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2014
  18. The really frightening part about it all is deaths relating to police brutality are increasing every year, while violent crime statistics aren't. In the last decade, cops have been responsible for the loss of more American lives than the entirety of the Iraq war.


    I first started becoming really uneasy about how the police force in our country functions during the Boston marathon bombings. Don't get me wrong, the people involved that were responsible for the loss of those innocent lives are deplorable, but the deployment of 9000 military police and shutting down the entire city, in effect Marshall law, just seemed out of place. I guess it showed me how much power the U.S. really has. That in a blink of an eye an entire city could be on lockdown with police tanks strolling through the streets.

    Ever more frightening still is the possible privatization of SWAT teams.

  19. LDSman

    LDSman Banned

    The freethought project link doesn't provide any context. How many of the supposed 5000 killed by police in the last decade were actively engaged in attempting to kill people? How many were accidental? IE, someone killed in crossfire.

    One state made that claim and I hope it's slapped down.
  20. The Admiral

    The Admiral solid state survivor

    The tape was timestamped June.

    If that were true, then maybe yes. However, eyewitness accounts say he was found some thirty-five feet away from the police officers' vehicle (here's a collection of tweets on the matter) and, if I recall correctly, his wounds suggest he had his hands up in surrender.

    Speaking of wounds: he was shot at least six times (i.e. hit six times). At what point does that become necessary? (here's the NYT on the autopsy, by the way)

    Okay, but what does that have to do with it? Of course the lawyer is going to defend his client. That's what you pay a lawyer to do. That's how a lawyer gets business. If the lawyer has to lie to do that, then they're going to.

    Okay, okay, fine, let's ignore the racial component briefly -- that doesn't change the fact that he MURDERED Garner, and should be treated as such, regardless of Garner's race. Keep in mind that Garner was selling cigarettes illegally (it was illegal because it meant that the state doesn't get tax revenue from it, for reference). Again, why is killing him even remotely equal?

    Also, when they had him in a chokehold, could they not have handcuffed him and then released him, thus not, you know, MURDERING HIM? We won't even get into the legality of the chokehold, because really, whether it was legal or not is irrelevant compared to its consequences.

    Also, on that note, there have been a fair number of reports of content on Twitter being censored. I can't actually confirm how true they are, though.

    And lastly (I do mean lastly, I don't really want to participate in this much further, as I've basically said my piece, i.e. "no matter what the truth is, something is screwed-up -- also, the militarization is completely unnecessary"), here's an article from Daily Kos that discusses Officer Wilson and some of the Ferguson PD's former practices: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/17/1322435/-So-Darren-Wilson-has-a-clean-record

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