Journal Article: Unarmed, But Still Dangerous????

Update on September 20, 2016:

#Charles Kinsey, behavioral therapist was shot in the leg on July 18th with his hands up on the ground while yelling to the cops that he was unarmed and trying to calm down his client who ran into the street with a toy truck. They found in favor of the cops and he is now suing the cops.

A dam cam shows #TerenceCrutcher with his hands up in the air (unarmed) as police approached him because his vehicle was broken down in the middle of the road in Tulsa on September 16th. He died from his injuries and the female officer was placed on administrative leave

 

Update on July 7, 2016:

We had two police shootings that resulted in death in less than 24 hours this week.  One – #AltonSterling was subdued by two officers and shot at close range while on the ground; at the time being videotaped by civilians that didn’t expect a fatal ending.

Two – #PhilandoCastile was in the car with his girlfriend and her daughter and were stopped by police.  The office asked for his ID and Philando mentioned how he had a gun and a license to carry and the police officer shot him while sitting in the passenger seat as he tried to reach for his ID.  The girlfriend videotaped the whole thing and it’s been posted hundreds of time.

 

“Please don’t let me die” – 16-year old Kimani Gray’s last words on March 9, 2013

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Gilborn (2006) stressed White Supremacy is a comprehensive condition whereby interests and observations of White subjects are continuously placed center stage and assumed to be ‘normal.’ In addition, this social reality results in primacy being placed on ‘Whiteness’ and a racialized value on politics, policy, education and every other sphere of public life that has become deeply ingrained in the American social fabric. Therefore, as a political, economic, and cultural system whereby Whites overwhelmingly control power and material resources, conscious and unconscious ideas about White superiority become widespread and are maintained through the subordination of non-Whites within a broad array of institutions and social settings (Ansley, 1997). – Chaney and Robertson (2015)

 

As I mentioned before, I love published and peer-reviewed journal articles because it gives me an in to the research of that individual.  I am receiving qualified data that is not put together by these random people with informed opinions and turning them into memes for hundreds to share.  I like real information to go on and the facts to stare me in the face.  This journal article was deep and because it’s close to what we are currently fighting for when it comes to police brutality, just to see the numbers, statistics, years, and reasons….it was heartbreaking.  I understand unequal justice in America and strive everyday to do a little something about it even it its just a small duty.  The tempered radical in me comes out and sometimes she needs to vent or provide evidence of injustices, but also clear facts that things need to change.  This article set it in motion for me.  I will not copy and paste the information, but what I will do it highlight the information and/or data that stood out.  The journal article is online and I will provide it for you either throughout the words or at the end under sources.  So….read and take it in! – AcademicHustler1975

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It is our sincere hope that members of society, and in particular, members of law enforcement, consistently and consciously acknowledge the individual and collective humanity of African Americans. For those who find this task difficult, perhaps the last five words uttered by 16-year old Kimani Gray, that is “Please don’t let me die,” will become a conscious reminder that within the heart of every unarmed Black person is an overwhelming desire to live. – Chaney and Robertson (2015)

Armed and Dangerous? An Examination of Fatal Shootings of Unarmed Black People by Police (The Journal of Pan African Studies, September 2015)

  • 78 black unarmed men and women were murdered by members of law enforcement between 1999 and 2015 were examined. As of April 15, 2015, unofficially 255 African Americans have been killed by agents of law enforcement in the United States in 2015.
  • The age range of those murdered was 7 to 68 years old.
  • In 12 cases (15% of fatalities), the officer was indicted or charged.
  • In 49 cases (63% of fatalities), the officer was not indicted or charged.
  • Sixteen cases (involving a total of 17 families, or 21% of fatalities) received a financial settlement.
  • Six cases (involving a total of 6 families, or 1% of fatalities) are currently pending.
  • Police departments are not required to submit records of fatal shootings. In fact, several police departments have not submitted data regarding the number and/or circumstances of fatal shootings to the FBI in years. For instance, New York City has not submitted fatal shooting data to the FBI since 2007.
  • According to a recent report, American police killed more people in March 2015 than the entire United Kingdom police have killed since 1900. Specifically, a total of 111 people were killed by police in the United States in March of 2015. Since 1900, in the entire United Kingdom, 52 people have been killed by police.
  • On October 29, 1984, Officer Steven Sullivan (a White policeman) gunned down Eleanor Bumpurs, a 66-year old Black grandmother that lived in the Bronx in her home. Sadly, when an investigation was conducted, Officer Steven Sullivan, the officer that murdered her, was not indicted.
  • One study found Black boys as young as 10-years old may be seen as less innocent than their white peers, are much more likely to be mistaken for being older and to be perceived as guilty, and face police violence if they are accused of committing a
    crime.
  • Juries and Whites in general have trouble seeing African Americans as “true” victims and thus may find it more difficult to acknowledge Blacks’ humanity.
  • The DOJ found the Ferguson Police Department frequently engaged in “implicit and explicit racial bias” and “routinely violating the constitutional rights of its black residents.”
  • A massive drug sting that occurred in Tulia, Texas on July 23, 1999. On this date, Tom Coleman, a corrupt undercover cop reportedly framed over 12% of the city’s African American population, which involved approximately 350 persons.
  • So popular was policing as a form of racialized social control, in 1837 the one hundred member slave patrol in Charleston, South Carolina was arguably the largest police force in the United States.
  • Even though castrations, whippings, maimings, and lynchings were frequently used in the South as a method of policing the activities of African American men from 1880-1950, the transition of these activities to murder by guns is no less precarious.
  • The aforementioned images of African Americans have contributed to what Armour
    (1997) calls Negrophobia, or an irrational fear of African Americans.
  • Whites are generally desensitized to police use of excessive force against African Americans in general, and African American men, in particular.
  • A blatant example of the “Black man as dangerous and sub-human” narrative was offered by Officer Darren Wilson, who when he was allegedly assaulted by the late Michael Brown publicly proclaimed that “He looked like a demon.”
  • The analysis found that African American police officers account for only 10% of police killings and 78% of their victims are African American whereas White officers killed 91% of Whites who died at the hands of police and were responsible for 68% of deaths of people of color at the hands of police.
  • White children are generally assumed to be virtuous, Black children are generally assumed to be guilty.
  • Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent.”

 

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Eleanor Bumpurs (pictured above)

White Supremacy stresses that the interests and observations of members of the dominant race should be placed above other race (Gilborn, 2006). Over time, such an attitude validates White thought, action, and feeling to such a degree that ‘Whiteness’ is accepted as a societal “norm,” and non-Whites (especially Blacks) are deemed inherently criminal, deviant, and deserving of death. – Chaney and Robertson (2015)

Sources:

Armed and Dangerous? An Examination of Fatal Shootings of Unarmed Black People by Police by Cassandra Chaney and Ray Robertson, The Journal of Pan African Studies, vol. 8, no. 4, September 2015.

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