Racism among police is part of the root of the problem with police in America today. We must rid the system of racist officers from the top down. Having racist people in law enforcement is like allowing child molesters in Scouting or Churches. You don’t let racist police people especially people of color.
What the police really believe
Inside the distinctive, largely unknown ideology of American policing — and how it justifies racist violence.
Arthur Rizer is a former police officer and 21-year veteran of the US Army, where he served as a military policeman. Today, he heads the criminal justice program at the R Street Institute, a center-right think tank in DC. And he wants you to know that American policing is even more broken than you think.
“That whole thing about the bad apple? I hate when people say that,” Rizer tells me. “The bad apple rots the barrel. And until we do something about the rotten barrel, it doesn’t matter how many good fucking apples you put in.”
To illustrate the problem, Rizer tells a story about a time he observed a patrol by some officers in Montgomery, Alabama. They were called in to deal with a woman they knew had mental illness; she was flailing around and had cut someone with a broken plant pick. To subdue her, one of the officers body-slammed her against a door. Hard.
Rizer recalls that Montgomery officers were nervous about being watched during such a violent arrest — until they found out he had once been a cop. They didn’t actually have any problem with what one of them had just done to the woman; in fact, they started laughing about it.
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.
One evening in 2008, Phillip Atiba Goff set out to perform what seemed a fairly routine task: He was trying to track down data on race and police behavior. He had recently co-founded the Center for Policing Equity at UCLA, with a goal to improve relations between police departments and communities, and he needed statistics. His initial questions were extremely basic: How many police officers were involved in shootings every year? How many of those shot by police were minorities?
Goff’s mother had been a reference librarian, and he’d inherited her research skills, so he figured he’d have answers quickly. He sat down at his computer at 10 p.m. and went to work. Thirteen hours later, Goff, who had spent much of his career studying hidden racial biases and stereotyping, realized something that would change the course of his research: There was no way to quantify the prevalence of racism in policing, or to analyze comparisons in ethnic backgrounds of people who had been shot by officers. There was no way to know how many police shootings occurred in any part of America, at any given time.
There was no data to analyze because no one bothered to collect it.
“I was so aghast,” said Goff, an associate professor of psychology at UCLA, who is currently a visiting scholar at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. It was not that this information did not matter. Rather, data were not regularly collected because each police department handled the information differently, which made it impossible to meaningfully aggregate or compare.
Police Chief ‘Shocked, Saddened And Disgusted’ Over N.C.Officers Racist Comments
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