TheUnited States experiences thousands of police shootings every year.Most of them are attributable to criminal behavior and defying ordersto surrender. Also, it is notable that most of the incidents havebeen instigated by the victims who opt to engage the officers inrunning and shooting battles. However, the increased sensitizationand awareness on citizens’ rights have triggered the media andactivists to criticize the killings. While most of the actions arejustified, the police department is also to blame for the death ofinnocent citizens. Some scholars believe that the police aremotivated to shoot Black-Americans as opposed to the whites. Otherspresume that the big number of black victims is a result of increasednumber of African-Americans in crimes. The police shootings in theUnited States are not racially motivated since most of them occur inhigh crime areas, and it is only coincidental that they are mostlyinhabited by Blacks.
In2012, CDC indicated that the police killed 140 Blacks. During thesame year, 386 Whites succumbed to police bullets(Goldberg, 2014).The same report conducted a background study from 1999 to 2011.During the period, 2, 151 Whites and 1, 130 Blacks were felled by lawenforcers(Goldberg, 2014).Three decades ago, unjustified police shootings were higher than inthe current society. Nonetheless, most of the victims were natives.The Center for Disease Control provides that 30 years ago, 8.6 and 9out of one million African-Americans and Whites respectively died asa result of police brutality(Goldberg, 2014).The credible information indicates that media reporting has beenobjective in tainting the image of the law enforcers.
Secondly,there is no sufficient data to support the perceived insidious actsof the police. David Klinger, an associate professor of criminologyat the Missouri University is categorical that the media should notbe fast to castigate the law enforcement authorities before deductingrelevant information to justify the claims (McLaughlin, 2015). Therenowned scholar demonstrates that in the digital era, it is possibleto obtain statistics of most occurrences in the society. However, onegets into a dead end in trying to obtain data on the number ofcitizens killed by police in the line of duty (McLaughlin, 2015). Thesecurity organs do not abide by the ViolentCrime Controland LawEnforcement Actof 1994 that requires the government to keep track of the use ofexcessive force by the officers. The only available local statisticsis provided by the FBI confirming that the law enforcement agencieswere responsible for more than 400 homicides (McLaughlin, 2015). Withsuch scanty information, it would be incorrect to infer that policeare discriminative in their law enforcement.
Also,the hyped media reports are politically instigated. According toLarry Elder, an accomplished political analyst, the narrative of theWhite cops unleashed to attack the Blacks at any presentingopportunity can be termed as a “Great White Defendant” (Ross,2015). Thatis, to demonize White police officers who are free to use their armsdiscriminatively without much caution from the government. Thehypothetical assertion serves the interest of the Democrats who agreethat racial bias is a primary issue mauling the American society.Therefore, the citizens should vote for them to cleanse the inhumantreatments perpetrated by the Republican machinery (Ross,2015). Kahnet al. (2016) alsoindicate that Black activists have to look for ways to remainrelevant in the changing society. They heed to spot and criticize anyBlack shooting with the intention of amplifying it. While theofficers can be liable for such acts, it is insincere to assume thatrevelations made by over reporting primarily target the Blacks.
Mostof the police related misplaced use of authority occurs in felonioussituations especially in the ghettos. It is notable that the Blacksare economically disenfranchised. According toKahn and Martin (2016),the conditions surrounding them encourage crime and defiance againstthe authorities. Also, it is in the hubs that drug peddlers thrive.The unequal distribution of resources has been there for decades dueto the failure of institutional mechanisms in the society.Nonetheless, the law enforcement department deals with the criminaloutcomes emanating from the poverty and unemployment (Kahn& Martin, 2016).Most of the Blacks in these settings feel alienated with the rest ofthe American community. To express their dissatisfaction, they engagethe police in shootings or failure to surrender their arms.Consequently, the law enforcers react using lethal force(Kahn & Martin, 2016).Since the heinous activities thrive in most Black settings, it wouldbe unfounded to term the police response as objectively targetedtowards the Whites.
Inconclusion, the current reporting of racial killing is unfounded, andit is a result of hyped media attention. Statistics from CDC depictthat more Whites succumbed to police brutality than the Blacks. Also,the issue is politically charged with the Democrats aiming to portrayracial discrimination as still pertinent in the United States. Inaddition, Black activists remain relevant by amplifying the shootingsleading to wide media coverage and castigation of the law enforcers.Finally, crime is a product of poverty and delinquency. Most of theneighborhoods associated with such characteristics are predominantlyBlack. Therefore, more African-Americans than the Whites are likelyto brush shoulders with the police.
Goldberg,S. (2014). What the stats really say about racially motivated copkillings. PJ Media. Retrieved fromhttps://pjmedia.com/blog/what-the-stats-really-say-about-racially-motivated-cop-killings/1/
Kahn,K. B., & Martin, K. D. (2016). Policing and race: Disparatetreatment, perceptions, and policy responses. SocialIssues and Policy Review,10(1),82-121.
Kahn,K. B., Goff, P. A., Lee, J. K., & Motamed, D. (2016). Protectingwhiteness white phenotypic racial stereotypicality reduces police useof force. SocialPsychological and Personality Science,7(5),403-411.
McLaughlin,E. (2015, March 20). We`re not seeing more police shootings, justmore news coverage. CNN. Retrieved on 20 June 2016 fromhttp://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/20/us/police-brutality-video-social-media-attitudes/
Ross,C. T. (2015). A multi-level bayesian analysis of racial bias inpolice shootings at the county-level in the United States, 2011–2014.PloSOne,10(11),e0141854.