Why do we insist on sweeping police brutality under the rug like it's an isolated incidents
We insist that these are isolated incidents or something that isn't on a large scale. Why? If they were shooting little Timothy of the suburbs it would not longer be considered on a small scale. We would be doing any and everything we could to stop it. Why not stop it for little Deshawn, he was someone's child too. Why is it that little Timothy is ask where he lives at and little Deshawn is ask to put his hand up?
Most of the time anything that appears on the news is "the exception". The vast majority of people who are stopped by the police do not get clubbed, choked, or shot to death. Therefore when it does happen it makes the news. I personally have never gotten "The Rodney King Treatment" nor do I (personally know) of anyone else who has. It clearly doesn't mean others haven't been brutalized by the police.
In 2011, Jim Fisher, a former FBI agent and criminal justice professor scoured the Internet several times a day every day, compiling a database of every officer-involved shooting he could find. Ultimately, he tracked 1,146 shootings by police officers, 607 of them fatal shootings. That sounds like a lot! Per the FBI In 2011, An estimated 14,612 persons were murdered in the United States. Even if we called all 607 fatal cop shootings "murder" for that year that would work out to less than 2 per day for the whole nation. Odds are some of those were in self-defense though.
There are about 318 Million people in the U.S. and I would imagine most of them have never been beaten, tortured, or shot by police.
For a while there was a rash of stories about female teachers having sex with students but it doesn't mean those weren't "isolated incidents" when compared to the teacher/student population as a whole.
Several years ago there were incidents of postal workers killing people at work. The term "going postal" became a vernacular phrase. The vast majority of postal workers aren't ticking time bombs.
One instance of police brutality or murder is one too many! However the vast majority of cops simply trying to do their job.
The motto in the news business is "If it bleeds it leads". If it's not the or "If it shocks it rocks!" If a story does not have any "shock value" most likely it won't even make the news. The news media is a "for profit" business. The goal is to get high ratings to sell ad space to advertisers.
With so much news coverage it's easy for one to (ignore their own) safe street or town and form the perspective that the whole world is going to hell! "Perception is reality."
True however we must stop putting it off as you just said and exception. To the murdered boy or girl resulting from this brutality it's not exceptional. To the many mother and fathers burying their children it's not exceptional. We must stop looking at this as something that we don't have a problem with. In 2014 Statistical distribution of excessive force (police brutality) reports:
1. Cases involving physical use of force which include fist strikes, throws, choke holds, baton strikes, and other physical attacks: 56.9%
2. Cases involving firearms: 14.7%
3. Cases involving a combination of force types (including physical force, firearms, and/or tasers): 13.21%
3. Cases involving tasers: 10.6%
4. Cases involving chemical weapons (i.e. pepper spray): 2.4%
5. Cases involving police dogs: 1.7%
6. Cases involving police vehicles: 0.4%
56.9% is a large number. As long as we keep thinking that nothing is wrong it will never ever get right. if it wrong then we should correct it not put it off as someone else's problem. I want to fix it now before it becomes one of my family members and not just someone I know or someone on the news
Each time a story arises there is (outrage) and federal investigators get involved. Still the actual percentage of people who have (physical interactions) with cops are small. However for those who are touched by it then it's not the "exception"
Precisely, what incidents of police brutality are being swept under the rug?
Police brutality is a fact of US culture. It has always been this way going back through previous centuries. Nothing has changed except for the fact that people are actually beginning to question it these day. A lot of cops are just bitter, bored and dumb and so they harass people and use excessive force. They still steal, but not as much as they used to. Cops don't even recognize class boundaries and somehow that's more alarming to me than if they only targeted poor people.
But we have to accept that a lot of the problem comes from the ordinary citizens themselves, who call and yell at the cops whenever a black kid walks through their neighborhood. The absolute worst citizens are the gated communities of new money one generation from poverty (who now think they're rich). They set up ridiculous crime watch meetings in their communities and then they all try to outdo each other with security systems. Sooner or later some retired person trumps them all by joining the local Citizens on Patrol and gets his own "police car" so that he can rat out his neighbors who accidentally leave a kid's bike "unsecured" in the front yard (me) to the police. There is nothing like an embarrassed cop caught walking around inside my garage with a flashlight at 9:30pm to tell me that the garage door was left open and that my car is unlocked. What would he have done if I thought he was an intruder and I had a gun?
As far as any harassment goes, every US citizen would do well to simply know and calmly use the phrases, "Am I being charged with anything?" and "May I please leave?"
Before these problems with the police can be solved, we have to solve problems of racism and fear that are particular to our culture.
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