Ethnicity and the Police Part I
There are many views of how the criminal justice treats different ethnic groups. Some say that police are fair and they are just doing their jobs. Some people believe that it is the fault of the suspects that cause the use of force scenarios. There is a possibility of this, but then I question if this was true why these incidents are only happening to ethnic groups. Why are so many minorities being pulled over for stop and frisk situations, being killed, and overrepresentations in prisons? Not just young black males but men and women of different races.
I grew up respecting the uniform, but over the course of time I can no longer respect the uniform. I can only respect the individuals in the uniform which show respect to another person. The respectful uniform who has shown their worth in a community. I am sure the news media sensationalizes incidents of corruption and brutality from the police department. But then if there weren’t many incidents to comment on there wouldn’t be so many stories. Unfortunately, racism continues in this day of age and it is everywhere in our society, including the criminal justice system.
Public Opinion of police by different ethnic groups Race affects positive and negative biases towards police. Some believe that, race is a variable that has less and less explanatory power as the U. S. becomes an increasingly multi-ethnic society. The perceptions of the police are; their effectiveness, misconduct, and about crime reporting. There are contradictory attitudes about police behavior. Some think that the police were effective in addressing local crime concerns. But, they also believed that the police were guilty of engaging in misconduct.
Individuals who have been stopped by the police within the past year were more likely to believe that the police engaged in misconduct and were less willing to report crimes. The communities that worked with the police had more favorable views of the police. Society members who were born in the U. S. held more positive attitudes toward the police than respondents who had been born abroad. Poor people, less educated people, and crime victims tend to rate the police lower than others. African American’s Views African Americans believe the local police are guilty of brutality.
Black Americans have said they are afraid the police will stop and arrest them when they are completely innocent. A newly-released study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found justification for these perceptions, the study found that police were more likely to use force against Blacks than against Whites they came into contact with (Greenfeld, Langan, and Smith, 1999). Blacks were less likely than Whites to agree with positive statements about the personal and professional characteristics of police officers. Hispanic’s Views
Six-in-10 Hispanics reported they felt confident in the police in their community will do a good job of enforcing the law, and dealing with gangs. Younger Hispanics are less confident in the justice system than older Latinos. Half of the Hispanic community believe the police will use excessive force on suspects. In the courtrooms, half believe they will be treated fairly and the other half think they will not (Lopez, M. , 2009). Chinese American’s Views The majority of Chinese immigrants, had overall positive views of the police.
Chinese Americans thought highly of the police demeanor, integrity, and effectiveness, but less positively of police fairness. The Chinese believed that police were in the middle of spectrum, while Whites were on top and Blacks were on the bottom. The Chinese were satisfied with local police because of their experiences with the U. S. immigration authorities. Possible reasons for police bias Racial disparities in policing exist; race is used as one of the indicators in criminal profiling. Police attitudes toward minorities reflect the values of the larger community.
When the community is hostile toward a particular minority group, police may feel that discriminatory behavior toward that group is justified. Police even may aggravate an existing discrimination, though they seldom generate discrimination on their own. The intensity of community and police prejudice against minority groups depends on historical and social factors. A war or a warlike situation can provoke hostility toward certain immigrant groups or other minorities perceived as the “enemy. Such as, Japanese Americans due to WWII and Muslims from September 11, 2011.
Another reason for prejudice is when the police department is made up of all White Americans and they are members of the Ku Klux Klan. Benefits to the Police of Better Opinions and Community Relations The U. S. Department of Justice, for instance, holds that “a diverse law enforcement agency can better develop relationships with the community it serves, promote trust in the fairness of law enforcement, and facilitate effective policing by encouraging citizen support and cooperation (Leitzel, J. 2001). Many Americans think it would be a good idea for the police departments to be a mixture of races so they would be similar to the city’s view.
Community policing was defined as “police officers working with community members to address the causes of crime and to prevent crimes from occurring, rather than just responding to crimes after they have occurred. ” Officers and the community benefitted with improved attitudes and citizens’ had a dramatic improvement in their quality of life. Crime problems had decreased significantly, robbery and auto theft declined (Ferreira, B. , 1996). Changes in Practice, Without Jeopardizing their Duty Police are aware of problems between themselves and the ethnic communities.
Reforms have been put into place to rectify the troublesome relationships. Community-policing reform of the late 20th century was not only to prevent crimes before happening, but to develop trust between community members. Many complaints about police actions were made and the mechanisms of accountability were put into place. Accountability included methods of monitoring officer behavior, sanctions for officers who engage in misconduct. Video cameras in police cars are being used to monitor the police along with the actions of the suspects.
There were early warning systems to flag officers who received several complaints from citizens. Intensive sensitivity training may help to reduce specific kinds of police malpractice or improve police practices overall, while other reforms (such as hiring more minority officers) appear to be symbolically important and may increase some form of synergy. Positive Contemporary Event Portraying View of Police by Ethnic Groups January 18, 2014, an officer stopped and played football with a lonely 10 year black boy in Rosenberg, Texas.
The recording went viral and many positive comments were made about the police taking his time to interact with a child taking time away from crime prevention. Many said the police officer might have deterred any criminal thoughts or actions of this child for the future. www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-2542484/ Negative Contemporary Event Portraying View of Police by Ethnic Groups Rodney Glen King (April 2, 1965 – June 17, 2012) was an African-American construction worker and serial criminal who became nationally known after being beaten by Los Angeles police officers, following a high-speed car chase on March 3, 1991.
Footage was taken of five Caucasian officers surrounding King, and striking him repeatedly, while other officers stood. Four officers were charged with assault with a deadly weapon and use of excessive force. Three were acquitted of all charges. The jury acquitted the fourth of assault with a deadly weapon, but failed to reach a verdict on the use of excessive force. The jury deadlocked at 8-4 in favor of acquittal. The jury consisted of 10 Caucasian, 1 Hispanic, and 1 Filipina persons (Leo, J. 1995).
The acquittals led to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, in which 53 people were killed and over two thousand were injured. The case was then re-tried by a Federal grand jury. The trial ended on April 16, 1993 (Leo, J. 1995). Conclusion In conclusion, the police department has left a bad impression in many minority communities, because of the corruption and brutality that comes from the police patrolling the areas. The criminal justice system continues to deal with the bad press they received from officers’ actions, but with the reforms they are becoming more aware of the problems with the community.
There are a few people in the community that speak highly of the police because they have good experiences with the police and have positive opinions of the police and are more freely to cooperate with the police department. But the majority of the public still does not trust the police by the way they treat the community. Lack of trust can lead to more crimes in the community. The criminal justice system is attempting to reform and change the way they are viewed. In time and hopefully in the future ethnic communities and criminal justice system will find a way to understand each other and work together by putting aside the prejudices.