We might as well ask what's wrong with us that we allow this to continue. In the very few times in my life when I've had to call the police -- really, maybe two-three times -- they've been slow, suspicious, and largely unhelpful.
Here in North Carolina’s third-largest city, officers pulled over African-American drivers for traffic violations at a rate far out of proportion with their share of the local driving population. They used their discretion to search black drivers or their cars more than twice as often as white motorists — even though they found drugs and weapons significantly more often when the driver was white.
Officers were more likely to stop black drivers for no discernible reason. And they were more likely to use force if the driver was black, even when they did not encounter physical resistance. ...NYT
The Times focuses on Greensboro in an investigative report showing that the racism on the part of the Greensboro police is so prevalent. But remember: that Southern town is not alone and the police behaviors in that area are found in most, if not all, parts of the US. It would be hard to prove that America is not -- overall -- a racist nation. At least we're on the way to recognizing and dealing with it.
Like, maybe, dealing like basic needs like sidewalks. One summer afternoon last year, the two men were walking down the residential street where their grandmother lives when a white officer passed them in his cruiser.
“Get out of the street, you morons,” they said the officer, Travis Cole, had yelled at them, although the street has no sidewalks. When the officer asked for their IDs, Rufus Scales said, he responded with a curse word. Officer Cole then forced him to the ground and handcuffed him, he said.
“You can’t come out here running your mouth and cursing out in the middle of the street,” the officer lectured.
Both men were arrested on charges that they had impeded traffic on the deserted street. Rufus Scales was also charged with being disorderly and drunk, although, he said, he was neither. ...NYT
My only caveat would be that -- while the police are more blatant in their treatment of a particular skin color -- their criminality is on display in their treatment of all of us. Worst: they get away with it entirely with whole groups of Americans who naively believe that authoritarians manage our world better.