Black residents are less liable to make 911 calls to police following the ever increasing rate of police violence, study says.
The rate at which police violence on Black people keeps growing in our society is frightening. And without a doubt, it could be said that people in Black neighborhoods are developing the fear of reporting cases to the police or calling them for help. After all, there have been several cases whereby Blacks have called the police for help but ended up in deeper troubles, or in worse cases – dead.
A study titled “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in Black Community,” revealed shocking facts of “how one of Milwaukee’s most publicized cases of police violence against an unarmed Black man” has hampered the rate at which Black residents make 911 calls to the police.
— Andrew Papachristos (@AVPapachristos) September 29, 2016
Back in October 2004, 26-year-old Frank Jude Jr. was brutally battered by police officers at a party. The victim suffered severe injuries and a concussion. Reports of the incident only came to light after three months, following an observation by researchers that 911 calls to police dropped in the city of Milwaukee, due to Black residents being cautious of the cops.
The study, authored by sociologists Mathew Desmond of Harvard, Andrew W. Papachristos of Yale and David S. Kirk of Oxford, reported that Milwaukee residents made about 22,000 fewer calls to police after the violent beating of Jude. Over 110,000 emergency calls were analyzed by the sociologists – a year before and a year after the beating – and the results were astonishing.
“The results kind of blew us away,” Desmond said. “We weren’t expecting to see such a big effect and an effect last so long. Previous research shows that negative encounters with law enforcement, as well as high-profile cases of police misconduct, contribute to the spread of legal cynicism within Black communities. If police misconduct lowers crime reporting throughout Black communities, it directly threatens public safety within those communities.”
The researchers took the time to analyze other cities across the country as well, and the significant drop in the volume of emergency calls was linked to cases of police brutality too.
@ATLBlackStar yep, call them for a dog attack then shot in the head, call them for cat in a tree, get shot in the head; you get the gist
— Michelle (@mickeyyps27) October 1, 2016
“I think [the effect] has implications for what we’re seeing in Cleveland, in Charlotte, in Baltimore, with very publicized cases of police violence,” Desmond said. “Milwaukee is similar to places like Baltimore and Cleveland in its level of segregation. I think that probably has a lot to do with the story.”
The jaw-dropping rate of police violence on Black people is unimaginable and that can only explain the under-reporting of officers, increased skepticism of the effectiveness of police and the public outrage surrounding high-profile police shootings. Why do cops target Black people? Could it be because they hate and disrespect Black people? It’s just difficult to get our heads around the treatment we get. All we are sure of is that an urgent reform is needed in law enforcement and it has to be launched now.