Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Recommended Reading

[TRIGGER WARNING: POLICE BRUTALITY, RACISM]

This piece by a former cop and current black man should be read by everyone, especially the rapid cop-defenders out there.

I'm a black ex-cop, and this is the real truth about race and policing

Thank you, Redditt Hudson, for writing this. It's valuable to be able to read about police corruption from someone who's been there. Some of his stories are appalling and sickening in their brutality. The rest of the piece destroys the idea that there are only a few bad cops and only a little tweak to hiring practices would fix the problem because most cops are honest and good.

Nevertheless, many Americans believe that police officers are generally good, noble heroes. A Gallup poll from 2014 asked Americans to rate the honesty and ethical standards of people in various fields: police officers ranked in the top five, just above members of the clergy. The profession — the endeavor — is noble. But this myth about the general goodness of cops obscures the truth of what needs to be done to fix the system. It makes it look like all we need to do is hire good people, rather than fix the entire system. Institutional racism runs throughout our criminal justice system. Its presence in police culture, though often flatly denied by the many police apologists that appear in the media now, has been central to the breakdown in police-community relationships for decades in spite of good people doing police work.

He goes on to say that about 15% of cops are bad, corrupt, violent people, and 70% are neutral people who are easily corrupted by the bad cops. 15% is already a huge number of cops, but if one bad apple really can corrupt the neutral apples, that's 85% racist, brutalizing, dehumanizing, don't give a fuck about the people they murder cops.

Clearly, we need a complete overhaul.

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