Police Brutality in the African-American community is a special and urgent concern and is nothing short of domestic terrorism. Police officers should be held to a higher standard of proper conduct. Clearer benchmarks should be established so that law enforcement who exceed the parameters of this conduct will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. In addition, laws of police misconduct should be toughened to discourage this type of behavior within police ranks.
We demand honest, thorough and transparent investigations into racially motivated searches and seizures, murders, brutal beatings and profiling by police officers toward citizens based on their skin color.
Attorney General, Eric H. Holder, Jr.
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Tougher Laws for Police Brutality in African-American Community
In data researched and compiled by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Black Left Unity Network, and U.S. Human Rights Network, the picture of how often — and fatally — Black people are victimized by police in this country becomes startling clear. Below are the details of the Black men and women who have been murdered at the hands of police so far this year:
Pattern of Murders By the Numbers Since January 1, 2012
Thirty cases of state sanctioned or justified murder of Black people in the first 3 months of 2012 alone have been found (due to under reporting and discriminatory methods of documentation, it is likely that there are more that our research has yet to uncover)
Of the 30 killed people, 20 were definitely unarmed. 2 probably had firearms, 8 were alleged to have non-lethal weapons.
Of the 30 killed people:
12 were innocent of any illegal behavior or behavior that involved a threat to anyone (although the killers claimed they looked “suspicious”);
8 were emotionally disturbed and/or displaying strange behavior.
The remaining 10 were either engaged in illegal or potentially illegal activity, or there was too little info to determine circumstances of their killing.
It appears that in all but two of these cases, illegal and/or harmful behavior could have been stopped without the use of lethal force.
In most cases, where planned, investigations of the deaths have not been completed.
As reported by NewsOne.com:
In a study titled, “Race and Perceptions of Police Misconduct,” Weitzer joined with Steven A. Tuch, also of George Washington University, to examine the causation of negative perceptions of police in the Black community. The answers mirror what many of us have experienced: Black Americans are overwhelming faced with corruption, violence, and profiling more than any other racial or ethnic group:
Whites tend to hold a favorable opinion of the police, favor aggressive law enforcement, and are skeptical of criticisms of the police. There is a racial dimension to this orientation. Many Whites view Blacks as inclined to criminal or violent behavior (Swigert and Farrell 1976; Weitzer 2000; cf. Hurwitz and Peffley 1997).
In response to a question in the 2000 General Social Survey, 48 percent of Whites think that Blacks are “violence-prone.” For many Whites, controlling crime is roughly equivalent to intensifying law enforcement against minority individuals or in minority communities.
Police Brutality in the African-American community is a special and urgent concern that can no longer be ignored. Every year, the African-American community is both murdered and brutalized by the hands of people sworn to protect and serve them. Action must be taken to protect and empower the people.