Cops Kill Unamred Playstation-Stealing Student

Will this get as much publicity as the unarmed Brooklyn bridegroom shot leaving the strip club? Will Jesse, Al, etc. rally for the victim?


Tom Philpott said...

Is there a history in Wilmington, NC, of the cops killing white folks and not being brought to justice? there damned sure is in NY.

Tom Philpott said...

I mean, that is, of cops killing black folks and not being brought to justice, in NY. Wilmington, as Paul will know, is the site of some pretty horrific race crimes.

Paul Hue said...

Tom: I await anybody establishing that in the past 20 years there is a race-bias in cop misbehavior. I do not assert with absolute certainty that there is not; yet others assert with absolute certainty that there is. Based on what?

What are the facts?

In Wilmington, NC, and anywhere else, in recent times, are blacks and whites in similar circumstances receiving remarkably different treatment from white cops? From black cops?

I don't know; if you or Nadir know the answer to this question, I would like you to explain it to us. If you guys don't know, I would very much like for you guys to say, "I don't know". I want an investigation into police misconduct, including any racial aspect. Even if there is no racial aspect, I want to identify and remedy police misconduct. If there is a racial aspect, I want it identified and remedied also.

Why are there almost never any popular press accounts of white people getting abused by police? Is it because the reportage accurately reflects the relative conduct that black and white people receive from police?

We know that reporters have race bias in some areas, such as in reporting on murders and missing persons. 12% of Americans are black, yet the press almost never obsesses over missing or murdered black individuals. Does the press practice a similar, albeit reverse, race bias in cases of police brutality? Do black cops indeed rarely brutalize anybody? Do white folks, including sketchy folks similar to Rodney King, rarely receive police abuse?

The press also creates an incorrect impression that sexual abuse of children is a greater problem today than in the 70s, when the reverse is true; only press coverage has increased, while incidents have actually plummeted.

Two questions represent the nut of this discussion, or ought to:

1. To what extent to US cops abuse the citizens, including criminals, with whom they interact?

2. Is there a race bias in the extant level of abuse, whatever that level is?

Tom Philpott said...

From Human Rights Watch :

"Race continues to play a central role in police brutality in the United States. In the cities we have examined where such data are available, minorities have alleged human rights violations by police more frequently than white residents and far out of proportion to their representation in those cities. Police have subjected minorities to apparently discriminatory treatment and have physically abused minorities while using racial epithets. Mistreatment may be non-violent harassment and humiliation, such as allegations of racial profiling in which drivers are temporarily detained often for driving in certain areas or for driving certain types of cars. At worst, it includes the kinds of extreme violence we feature in this report. Each new incident involving police mistreatment of an African-American, Hispanic-American or other minority - and particularly those that receive media attention - reinforces a general belief that some residents are subjected to particularly harsh treatment and racial bias."

Paul Hue said...

Tom: If racism exists within law enforcement, I want to identify it, oppose it, and correct it. I am fully capable of acknowledging racism in current America, as I do where it pertains to obtaining elite coaching positions, many Hollywood acting roles, and various democratic appointments and offices. In those three areas, the fraction of black interest, qualification, and participation far exceeds their success, and I see no explanation other than racism.

But where are the facts to support racism within law enforcement? If you are a black person seeking a coaching role at UT-Austin, a role in a Woody Allen film, or a meaningful role in the staffs of Sens. Kerry or Kennedy, the statistics show you will have significant trouble. But if you want to drive around peacefully conducting your personal affairs without police molestation, you seem to have 99.99999% likelihood of success.

Of your "evidence" above:

1. "Minorities have alleged human rights violations by police more frequently than white residents and far out of proportion to their representation in those cities." Was this controlled for areas with similar crime rates? For example, what was the rate of reported abuses for blacks and whites interacting with police in areas of similar crime rates? If this is equal, and if such reportage is (equally) higher in high crime areas, we would still find "disproportionate" reportage from blacks, since blacks "disproportionately" reside in high crime areas. And then there is the possibility that blacks are more likely to falsely perceive abuse; is this accounted for?

2. "Police have subjected minorities to apparently discriminatory treatment and have physically abused minorities while using racial epithets." Such as what? What evidence are we talking about? Are black cops not using such language on blacks or on whites? Nadir, when was the last time a white cop called you these sorts of names? I never hear of this from the zillions of black folks that I interact with on a daily basis. They seem to get pulled over no more frequently than me, and I hardly think that in 10 years if this was a real problem I would simply never hear *anybody* complain that some honkey cop called him/her a nigger. This seems to me to be a "problem" in vague accusation only, not in reality.

3. "Allegations of racial profiling in which drivers are temporarily detained often for driving in certain areas or for driving certain types of car." Allegations, indeed. Where are the facts? Especially considering the much higher frequency of blacks committing the sorts of crimes that involve police responses -- murder, rape, robbery, theft, etc., all at rates twice or more their population percentage -- you would expect also more than 12% pull-overs.

And on and on. Why am I so skeptical? Because I spend so much time with black people, and have so for so long, and I just never hear this concept ever figuring into any thing. "Paul, sorry I'm late, but I got pulled over again... by a honkey cop... ignoring honkey drivers going faster than me... and of course he called me a honkey." This just seems to me to be a hypothetical problem, and one for which I can find no convincing theoretical support.

When I advise Alexis about her interest in acting, I certainly take into account that she's going to get automatically cut-out by most of the liberal/leftist holliwood moguls, who even insist on casting honkies to play the blessed virgin mary. But when I teach her to drive, am I really going to warn her about cops targeting her for pull overs, and to expect them to call her a nigger?

Tom Philpott said...

Hey Paul, that link goes to a whole HRW report--presumably backed with evidence.

Paul Hue said...

Tom: What is HRW? I don't need evidence, because I am not asserting that race plays no role in police brutality, or that police brutality is not a serious problem. Instead, I look around me and see no reason for concern based on my long life in various cop-intensive situations with the various population in question here. And I ask of those making the counter-assertions: Where is the evidence?

Meanwhile, I see with my own eyes examples of problems for which vast reams of data concur: black young people making very poor life choices.

I also see examples of good news, similarly supported with another vast set of data: lots of black folks making smart life choices and enjoying boundless material rewards as a result.

Amongst the many blacks experiencing a poor life, I perceive police brutality as at best a minor factor, with their own life choices apparently accounting their entire sorry lot. Please consider the case of your eldest negro niece. Based on what you know about her situation, how could police reformation improve her life chances? How could eradication of any possible police racism and brutality 10 years ago have possibly improved her situation today? And as you ponder the fate of your 12-year-old negro daughter, where, really, does any possible police racism and brutality fall on your list of concerns?

Perhaps 100 negros will drive to my home in Westland, MI -- which Nadir says is the nation's capital for both the KKK and Nazi party -- on Dec 15 for an xmas party. Do you want to bet how many will get pulled over on their way to, or from, that party? Do you really believe there is any significant chance that any of these people will get called a "nigger" by a white cop that night?

Every year I have at least one of these parties. How many times have the honkey neighbors called the cops? ZERO. The possibility that the honkeys in Westland will respond negatively to seeing a bunch of negros set upon their neighborhood for a party simply never crosses anybody's mind. Now, if we were holding screentests for the next Woody Allen or Steven Speilberg films -- great liberals those two -- I would surely have cause for concern.

I saw with my own eyes a black buddy of mine in westland get pulled over by a cop while he -- the buddy -- was over the legal drunk threshhold. The honkey cop LET HIM OFF, because my buddy was very calm and respectful, got pulled over for a simple speeding infraction with no dangerous driving, and behaved in control of himself.

Sure, I was in the car. But don't racists hate "nigger lovers" even more than niggers?

This incident doesn't prove anything for sure, of course. But it does exemplify what I have come to expect in 2006: police racism and brutality constitute, at best, very minor phenomena. Where is the evidence to suggest otherwise?

Tom Philpott said...

HRW=Human Rights Watch, the report I linked to above. I'm confused. You say, where's the evidence of race-based bias in plice crime? I drop a whole report on you from Human Rights Watch that purports to show just that. The you come right back: "But where are the facts to support racism within law enforcement?"
I point you back to the HRW document. Then you say, "What's HRW?" then, "I don't need evidence." Then, cryptically, not once but twice: "Where is the evidence?"

And now I point you right back to the HRW document, linked above. Have we suddenly become characters in Waiting for Godot? Here it is again:

Tom Philpott said...

And meanwhile, on a totally different note, but related to Wilmington, check this out. It's an astonishing bit of forgotten history: