Posts Tagged ‘black police officers’

Black-on-black police brutality

May 8, 2015

Six Officers Charged in Freddie Gray's Death

Source: KTLA | CNN Wire

Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, the mayor of Baltimore is black.  Anthony W. Botts, Baltimore’s police commissioner is black.  Three of the six police officers involved in the death of Freddie Gray are black, including Caesar Goodson, the driver of the van in which Gray suffered his fatal injuries.

How, then, is it possible to say that Freddie Gray’s death was a result of racism?

I think the issue is not whether we white people have more malice in our hearts than black people.  I think the issue is that whenever there is a group of people that it is safe to abuse, that group of people is going to be abused—by somebody.

Recall the Stanford prison experiment.  Experimental psychologists assigned a group of randomly-selected students to role-play prison guards and prison inmates.  Within a few days, the prison guard role-players had become so abusive that the experiment had to be shut down.  It is a dramatic example of the results of power without accountability.

Until the recent protests, this has been the situation in regard to police and poor black people who live in slum neighborhoods.  Police (of whatever race) could get away with doing things to such people that you might not get away with doing to people who were middle class or white or both.

Another factor is that many local governments have started to use fines for petty crimes as a source of revenue.  I don’t say this is the case in Baltimore, but it most certainly is true in many places, including  poor communities in St. Louis County such as Ferguson.