Racial discrimination by the police

Racial discrimination by the police.

The phrase black lives matter has become a norm or the order of the day in today’s society, this phrase has been trending not even once but a million times on every social media platform ever heard. This worrying trend only calls to show just how our society is slowly dimming into the dark ages. When did we get here? How did we get here? Racial discrimination has slowly but effectively become part of our lives. The most disturbing fact is that the law enforcement officers who are supposed to protect us and uphold the law are the very same ones who brutally and mercilessly slaughter us. To further add insult to injury, the law tends to protect such officers as light has never been shed on a proper way to punish such officers. The same law is also not clear on the level of brutality or the power officers have over us during the arrest.

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The problem of inequality in the criminal justice system is a menace that has raised concerns from people worldwide due to increased cases. Projects launched for data collection have shown that one thousand citizens are killed every year by police officers in the united states. An estimate showed that compared to white men, black men are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a police officer in their life (Peples, 2020). Also, from another study, it was seen that black people shot by police appeared to be twice as likely as their fellow white people to be unarmed. It is also evident that Latinos and African-American people are in jail compared to the other races (KEESEE, 2015). This concern makes it evident that racial discrimination is a significant problem in the united states.

The discrimination, unlawful arrests, and killing of African-Americans are not primarily due to racism, as Tracie L Keesee argued  (KEESEE, 2015). Society has deemed black and Latino men as automatic criminals, which has made the police officres have negative stereotypes towards them. The stereotyping has made the policepersons view black people as harmful, and as a result, they find the constant need to defend themselves against them by all means possible. Studies conducted have proven that most of the incarcerated persons are either black or Latino. In most situations, the ruling made against them is usually biased and only based on their skin color. Studies have shown that accumulating unknown biased, mostly split-second leads to shootings, deaths, and unlawful arrests. Stereotyping and implicit biasing of certain races make them feel discriminated against.

To no one’s surprise, racial discrimination has also been experienced in how law enforcement officers respond to 911 calls. It has been observed that when a 911 call originates from a black neighborhood, they tend to dispatch black law enforcement officers as compared to white police officers. From 911 calls, over two million calls, made in two cities, white police officers fired guns five times more than black officers while in black neighborhoods. This is putting into consideration that the calls were similar.  Intrapersonal traits have also increased the rate of racial discrimination. Some traits like insecure masculinity, racial biasing, bad temper, and other negative traits lead to increased racial discrimination (Peples, 2020).

These problems have been identified during training to simulate practical situations, and the police officers don’t act accordingly. This menace has been challenging to deal with since it is impractical to apply such screening methods during police recruitments as the country’s police departments’ Biasing have increased in the force as there are many social networks in the police force. This has come to light since it has been noted that a percentage of officers who have shot people were “agents” of the social networks in the police force. It has become even more challenging to take disciplinary actions against the officers who do wrong due to the laws. Many state laws and contracts by unions have offered law enforcement officers shields to investigations on misconduct.

As we advance into the modern era, there is yet some little hope left in us or rather some light at the end of this long and dark tunnel. If we all join hands to fight racial discrimination, we can eradicate it, for apart we fall together, we stand. To remove this menace in our society, we must have a proper and intense understanding of racial discrimination. Who does it affect? Are we victims? Do we promote or encourage it? Raising awareness and adequately educating the local communities on what racial discrimination entails helps in this fight. Racial discrimination education should be available to locals and our law enforcement officers regardless of their ranks.

Seeing that we live in the modern era, the internet is a big part of our lives as much as we don’t care to admit it. Some tests are available online and are designed to determine the extent or degree between stereotypical associations. An excellent example of such a test is the implicit association test, popularly known as IAT, which vastly raises implicit bias awareness. Several police departments can include this in their training exercise and educational sessions against racial discrimination. These tests are furthermore private in addition to having other people’s experiences. Such programs help bring both parties to the table without any physical confrontations and enable each party to hear others’ stories. This eventually reduces police biasness and brutality towards people of color.

When it comes to racial discrimination, as sad as it is to admit our law enforcement officers are the guiltiest of this crime? Consequently, a large percentage of solutions to this problem must originate from their end. Firstly I strongly suggest that laws should be devised to properly deal with officers who participate in these crimes against people of color. I am not talking about the laws in place right now that tend to favor them; not! However, we are proud and impressed with some police departments, such as the las vegas metropolitan police department, that courageously devised some laws that reduced police brutality. For instance, they declared that if you are an officer pursuing a suspect, you are not the same person to handcuff the person; by doing this, they reduced their use of force incidents following a foot pursuit by 23%.

The laws tackling police misconduct must be revisited and more strict measures put in place. Police officer’s disciplinary accounts must be followed up to avoid and know the police officers with poor records. Incentives must also be provided to make the police officers act with caution. When police officers are under investigation, they should be put on unpaid leave. This is because putting a police officer on paid leave is a vacation for the officer. If a police officer is fired or made to resign due to misconduct, their records should indicate they are not capable of serving. Other security agencies hire many police officers even after being fired or resigning because of misconduct. The general public should take charge and question their political leaders, and hold them responsible for police conduct in workplaces.

Data collection is the main challenge since the law enforcement agencies are working in the dark due to a lack of data. If appropriate data collection methods were found, law enforcement agencies would find good tactics, policies, and strategies to ensure good police officers’ good behavior. Some of the suggested methods are implicit- bias training, providing authorized body-worn cameras, early intervention systems, civilian oversight, prohibiting chokeholds, and revising the police officers’ training and de-escalation training. For police to serve society well, they need to have a sense of trust between them and the community, mostly the communities that are most likely to distrust them.




KEESEE, T. L. (2015). Three Ways to Reduce Implicit Bias in Policing. Greater Good magazine. Retrieved from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/three_ways_to_reduce_implicit_bias_in_policing

Peples, L. (2020, June 19). What the data say about police brutality and racial bias — and which reforms might work. Nature. Retrieved April 04, 2021, from https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01846-z




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