Many of us are hip to the fact that interactions with authorities can go very differently depending on your skin tone, and unfortunately there’s a new study that actually proves that to be fact.
Based off an analysis by the American Psychological Association that looked at body camera footage from more than 100 police officers, it was revealed that Black men were spoken to with less respect and an overall less friendly tone than what their white counterparts endured.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the issue could be credited to a longstanding history of mistrust between police and the Black community. Official stats show some very disheartening information on the subject, including the fact that Black men were 2½ times more likely than white men to be killed by police, in addition to getting pulled over at a higher rate as well even though they’re less likely to be carrying something illegal.
Take a look at some more eye-opening information on the subject below, via LA Times:
“More than 60 million Americans are thought to make contact with law enforcement each year, which means that even small differences in treatment can add up to a big effect. But there’s a limit to what researchers can learn about these differences, because police stop reports typically offer little insight into the human-to-human interaction that actually took place.
“Every interaction that people have with law enforcement [is] really consequential for building or eroding trust, but we don’t really know what police officers actually do when they’re interacting with the public,” [Nicholas] Camp said. They can’t reveal whether the officers treated community members with respect, or with contempt.
Body-worn cameras have helped fill in this gap. These cameras, which have become increasingly common in police departments across the U.S. as a way to increase transparency and accountability, turned out to be a rich source of data on the daily interactions between officers and residents.”
To add even more context, the aforementioned body-cam footage analyzed by Camp and his colleagues revealed things like Black people being 57% less likely to hear cops use words such as “sir,” “ma’am” or “thank you” and 61% more likely to hear words such as “dude” or “bro” in addition to commands like “hands on the wheel.”
While a lot was discovered in terms of what causes the problem, there’s still some confusion on how we can actually make it better. Let us know your thoughts on what you think should be done when it comes to improving interactions between cops & Black people by sounding off with your own opinions.
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