In your response posts to the student identify as to why you are agreeing with your classmate. Respond to each student separately. Again, give a separate answer to each student?s posts.
Student #1: Lisa : give an answer as to why you are agreeing with her post.
In order to answer this question objectively, one has to remove their own personal opinions and biases that may arise in the wording of the question. The question is, ?Why are so many Black Americans shot by the police?? I don?t personally agree that ?so many Black Americans are shot by the police.? Statistics also presented by the Washington Post showed that being shot by a police officer was the lowest prevalence of death among Americans in 2014. It?s also important to also note that although current numbers show that 754 fatalities had occurred from police shootings, this number has declined since 2012. The number of police shootings resulting in a fatality have also declined in the United States over the past 40 years (Johnson, 2016).
Based on the description provided by Skolnick (2011) on democracy and policing, there are conflicts in society with police providing law and order and individuals abiding by that law that is written and that police are charged with enforcing and upholding. While individuals may be being shot by the police, the more important concept to note is whether or not those shootings are justified. In other words, were those individuals that were shot in the process of breaking a law, or disobeying commands given to them by a police officer? Were those individuals deliberately disobeying the police and their authority and the laws of the land? If so, the police officers are charged with protecting themselves and the public; hence using deadly force may be justified.
As the original question mentioned, ?a subsequent failure to prosecute more police officers.? Police officers are to be held to the same laws and standards that they are charged to uphold. If evidence is presented in the case to show that the police officer acted unjustly, then they should and will face proper charges.
What needs to be done to address the tension is a re-programming and re-education of society and police officers of their original role and intent in our society. Police officers aren?t always innocent and there are officers that need to be reprimanded for bad behavior. However, there are citizens that need to understand the need for respect of the authority that has been appointed to uphold the laws of the land. Social order needs to be restored. Many of the police shootings occur when individuals fail to comply with orders given by the police officer. Whether they feel they don?t have to comply or they are incapacitated and ?can?t? comply, citizens need to be educated on the role of police officers and their desire and distinct duty to maintain social order.
Johnson, R. (2016). Dispelling the myths surrounding police use of lethal force. Dolan Consulting Group
Skolnick, J. (2011). Justice without trail: Law enforcement in democratic society. Quid Pro Books. New Orleans, LA.
Student #2 -Jessica : Give an answer as to why you are agreeing with her post
Black Americans and Police Killings
While there are a variety of reasons Black Americans are being killed by police, one of the problems that comes to mind is the fact that there could possibly be more high risk encounters and interactions with Black Americans and police officers, due to their location and presence in those communities with higher crime rates and poverty, which in turn would lead to Black Americans committing more crimes in the specific areas they are assigned to. However, it is impossible to say that this is in fact the reason, without being able to really research individual interactions, in various cities/states and different precincts, but it is certainly plausible. The reason I suggest that its plausible but maybe not fact just yet, is because every officer that kills a Black American is not ALWAYS Unjustified. Nor is EVERY officer targeting these specific areas because of stereotype. Furthermore, each precinct has their own systematic practices that may enhance these kinds of attitudes/tactics, whereas others may not. Although naming solutions to this issue, has been done several times, it is easier said than acted out, because many solutions require alot from both society and its officers. One major solution would be to adress the causes of crime disparity in these areas, including urban poverty, which would require that the communities work together with officers and begin to change the stereotypes and bias toward each other by showing RESPECT and gaining TRUST. Noone said it would be easy, but it is certainly possible, if we could all get on the same page and stop being so divided. Just as the lecture stated, Social Control=Social Order, but because the two tend to conflict, striking the balance between the two, without restricting freedoms and government ability, creates an even bigger challenge.