On November 26, Politico Magazine (PM) ran a column suggesting police get the benefit of the doubt when accusations of “excessive force” are made, but “blacks and other minorities… [get] alleged police abuse.”
PM argues that this is largely forgotten until “a Michael Brown-type killing” occurs.
According to PM, the current riots in Ferguson and elsewhere are reminiscent of “outbursts” that followed “the 1991 beating of Rodney King in L.A., or the 1999 shooting of Amadou Diallo in New York.” And no one knows how many other incidents there have been because there is “no reliable national data on police violence in the United States”–and that is because police departments have that data and “keep almost all those numbers to themselves.”
This allows police officers like Darren Wilson to get “the benefits of all doubts in the use of force and… rarely” face prosecution.
For example, PM says there were “only 59 arrests of on-duty police on charges of aggravated assault… from 2005 to 2011,” and of these 59 arrests “only 13 resulted in convictions.”
They also suggested that claims of “so-called ‘black-on-black'” crime are used to justify a strong police presence in black neighborhoods, and such a presence shows that the greatest problem is not “necessarily racial” but blue. That is, the problem with policing in black neighborhoods isn’t the crime that blacks commit against one another but the brutality that cops–“blues”–bring to the neighborhoods they patrol.
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