“We ought to feel differently when officers chase and shoot a young black man whose only offense was "looking in the officers' direction" or "grabbing his... waistband and turning away."”
The level of trust in law enforcement agencies among black Americans is, perhaps, at an all time low or virtually non-existent, as only one in five African-Americans believes the police is doing a good job in treating people of different races.
Several Police Departments have come under investigation from The Department of Justice (DOJ) for the shooting of unarmed black civilians and other police misconducts involving racial bias.
Currently under investigation is the Chicago Police Department, in the wake of the high-profile police shooting of teen Laquan McDonald, and the city’s alleged efforts to prevent the public from learning about it.
Chicago police shooting data shows most police shooting stemmed from police-civilian encounters that shouldn’t even occur in the first place.
In nearly 50 percent of the 259 reviewed incidents that occurred in Chicago between 2006 and 2014, police officers shot during or immediately following a foot chase. In fact most of these chases were unnecessary!
Some of the cases reported involved officers chasing and shooting young black men whose only offense was “looking in the officers’ direction” or “grabbing his… waistband and turning away.”
Original analysis of the incidents indicates that, at the heart of the issue of police misconduct lies lack of discipline.
Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke, who shot 17 year old Laquan McDonald 16 times, had a long history of civilian complaints for excessive force and use of racist slurs. Had Van Dyke been appropriately disciplined for any of his earlier brutality and racism, perhaps McDonald would be alive today.
The likelihood of getting shot by the police is much higher in some Chicago neighborhoods than in others. Nearly 90 percent occurred in minority neighborhoods, and 80 percent of police shooting victims were black in a city that is only one-third black.
Despite making up only 2 percent of the population, young black men were nine times more likely than other Americans to be killed by police officers in 2015.
Black people were killed by police at more than twice the rate of white people in 2015. Join us in our quest to stop police brutality and the killing of young promising black men and women. Share this empowering narrative on your social network of choice and ask others to do the same!