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How do we think about institutional racism in the American police force? Show more Show less

On June 8 2020, Minneapolis City Council announced it would be dismantling its police force. In its place, they pledged to introduce a new model for public safety, free from the institutional racism that had plagued its police. The decision was unprecedented, and yet, it has been followed by similar moves across the US, for police budget cuts and investigations into how they are run. At the heart of this debate is the question of institutional racism: where it comes from, how it manifests, and how it can be overcome. Following George Floyd's murder, pressure has grown for perceived systemic oppression to be addressed. Others argue that this is a myth, and that police are being victimised for the ills of society. The way that people are mobilising around this question reveals the fundamental ideas that drive their perspectives. So, who are these groups, what do they stand for, and why?

'The police are not the issue!': The police should not be blamed for the problems of a racialised society Show more Show less

This position believes that the police are the standard bearers of law and order. Limited government is fundamental to protect individual liberty. Strong police are required to protect limited government. Whether institutional racism is real, or a myth, focusing on the role of the police is both misleading and counterproductive.
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African Americans are predisposed to criminal behaviour

The data doesn't lie. African Americans are responsible for 52% of homicides, and yet make up just 12% of the population. This group are prone to violent criminal behaviours. The unequal level of police interaction - of all kinds - with African Americans must be read within this context. Were African Americans less predisposed to dangerous behaviour, police time would not be so unevenly spent on shielding the public from them. Proponents include CUNY Criminology Professor Barry Latzer, who notes high black incarceration rates “are best explained not by race bias, but by exceptionally high African American crime commission rates and the imposition of prison sentences for conduct previously punished by jail or probation.”
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    This page was last edited on Tuesday, 9 Jun 2020 at 13:48 UTC