Polling Finds a Stark Racial Divide in Perceptions of Law Enforcement


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  1. I think the biggest surprise here is that nearly 1/3 of blacks believe cops are generally held accountable for misconduct. WTF?

    1. That was my first reaction too. How can anyone, of any color, think cops are held accountable?

      1. There’s a lot of cop worship in our media and culture. That can be some strong stuff.

    2. “Look, we understood we couldn’t make it illegal to be young or poor or black in the United States, but we could criminalize their common pleasure. We understood that drugs were not the health problem we were making them out to be, but it was such a perfect issue…that we couldn’t resist it.” – John Ehrlichman, White House counsel to President Nixon on the rationale of the War on Drugs.

  2. I think some of that is changing.My elderly parents were big on law and order and how the police were such great people when I was younger.In the last few years they have done a 180. My father now believes they are nothing but a criminal gang.I credit the war on terror and cellphones for this about face

    1. What about the whites who think things have gone sour since a lot of blacks have become cops?

      1. Who are you Archie Bunker? =)

      2. You mean libertarians?

        It’s a pretty common perception that police abuse has increased in the last thirty years and it’s empirically true that minority employment in law enforcement has increased in the same time frame.

        Not claiming any causality just pointing out the correlation.

        1. I’ll set aside my indignation as a libertarian who doesn’t think that race has anything to do with police misconduct and just ask that you kindly show the evidence on which you’re basing that assertion.

  3. On the up side, the majority of all three say that “local departments using drones, military weapons, and armored vehicles” are “going to far.

    That is kind of like a good thing.

  4. The media wants this to be black v. white. As if white people get handled with kid gloves by the cops and only blacks get mistreated.

    1. As a once resident of a trailer park, I can agree with this. It’s cops vs poor. I don’t believe there were more than a handful of blacks residing in the park but it was the favorite stomping ground of the local cops looking for a quick and oft times brutal bust. And the media has absolutely no problem with cops abusing “white trash”.

      1. Exactly. The type of simple correlation shown in the grafic plays up the racial angle, but controlling for income, or better, family net assets, would very likely reduce much of the racial differences. Further controlling for hard urban, uptown urban, suburban and rural would reduce those differences even more.

        The point that there is a racial divide with respect to opinions about the police is true enough, but as you say the cause of that divide are likely less a question of race and more a question of unleashing the Animal Farm dogs among the least powerful and the least important to the political class.

        1. One need not go through all that number-crunching. Watching at least one episode of COPS is enough to disabuse one of the notion.

        2. “but controlling for income, or better, family net assets, would very likely reduce much of the racial differences”

          Well, you do find some interesting things by looking at other variables.

          “Americans like the police, but older, more affluent, white, conservative Republicans really like the police. Fully 72 percent of Americans say they have a favorable view of the police, and 24 percent have an unfavorable view, according to the latest Reason-Rupe poll.”


          1. Here’s how to change the attitude towards the blue thugs: Someone should put together a TV show ‘Rotten Cops’ to counterbalance the copsucker shows like ‘Cops.’ Plenty if material and it would expose these criminals.

            1. Maybe we should just point to the GOP’s rhetoric about government corruption and inevitable abuse of power and then kindly point out that the police are, yes, part of the government.

            2. The funny thing is, I never thought COPS was a pro-cop show at all when I watched it.

              1. Someone should put together a TV show ‘Rotten Cops’ to counterbalance the copsucker shows like ‘Cops.’

                Last time I was flipping through the channels and COPS was on, some asshole cop had pulled over a harmless young mother and had her backing towards him at gunpoint (no doubt hoping for an excuse to shoot her in the head and show off his marksmanship) while her child sat screaming in the car in terror.
                After a search he found an infinitesimal amount of what he said was drugs in the carpet of her car, and booked her on felony charges. Had CPS pick up the kid.

                Looks to me like rotten cops are already the stars of the show.

          2. To understand the idea of ceteris paribus is the first step to sanity.

      2. It’s cops vs poor.

        People who can’t afford lawyers are at the mercy of police who consider mercy to be weakness.

      3. Maybe a nuance, but it might be “our crowd vs not-our-crowd”. As someone from a neighboring town involved in a mid-grade traffic accident, I was pretty PO’d at the comments and attitudes of the responding cops; evidently I was a liar and the local (who decided to turn across MY path) was a poor victim.

        That was the moment at which I gave up trying to respect cops for the good that they do.

        1. Cops help people. In your case the cops helped the local boy who caused the accident. At your expense of course. And no doubt there was some lying involved. You can also be certain that they slept soundly that night, feeling smug about themselves for helping someone.

          I too have been in an accident where the cop helped someone at my expense. In my case the cop dismissed all the witnesses since their statements would have conflicted with the work of fiction he wrote to explain the accident. It pretty much ended any delusions that I had about cops honest and interested in justice.

          1. Well, sorry to hear that, since it confirms my disillusionment.

            1. I’m on my bicycle getting ready to cross the street, and the next thing I know I’m waking up on the yellow line. A fifteen year old kid just hit me after running a red light. Not long after a cop arrives, the kid’s father arrives screaming “Who’s going to fix my fucking car!” The cop, father and kid go off to the side for a conference. Then they leave. The cop tells me he’s charging me with DUI, and then gives me the breathalyzer. I blow a 0.08. He charges me with DUI, though the threshold is 0.10 at the time. Dismisses the witnesses and then writes a report that says I cause the accident. I ended up being forced to fix the car that hit me. He helped the kid’s father, and slept soundly that night.

    2. Not just the media – Obama is making a speech right now to this effect – “people of color” are not receiving equal treatment under the law.

      1. That is beyond dispute as evidenced by sentencing disparities.

        1. Incorrect, the law doesn’t do the sentencing.

          1. OK, that’s a laughable comment.

            1. The law doesn’t jump off the page and issue edicts, asshole.

              1. Exactly, that’s why equal protection of the law is not just about the laws themselves, as words written on paper, treating anyone anyway, but about people administering the laws treating people unequally.

                1. Um, why are you making my point and then disagreeing with me you tiresome stupid fuck?

                  And why do I know your reply isn’t going o be “whoops I did didn’t I” but some stupid self serving deflection/accusation designed to simultaneously insult me and shore yourself up?

                  Why are you such a predictably tiresome fuck, you stupid fuck? Yo don’t even realize you’re agreeing with my point, because your stupid fuck ass just assumed you stupid knew what my point was, and the like a stupid tiresome fuck you shot off your dicksucker.

                  Now, let’s have that stupid, smarmy, I want people to think I’m an attorney because I think people will respect me more, self serving cheap shotting cunt of a reply.


                  1. You’re a stupid asswhole.

                    1. “You’re a stupid asswhole.”
                      I think PB wants the “Whole” “Ass”
                      It’s okay David. You can come out of the closet. Most of us are okay with gay people, and you right of free association.

                  2. I’m not agreeing with your point crazy person, I find it laughable that you thought it worth mentioning that the laws, as in the words on the pages, don’t actually treat anyone anyway.
                    You can return to your yelling and cursing now.

                  3. Sorry, Whole Truth, you are wrong here, except maybe in a very silly and absurdly literal way.

                  4. Um, why are you making my point and then disagreeing with me you tiresome stupid fuck?

                    Because that’s what Bo does.

        2. That is beyond dispute as evidenced by sentencing disparities.

          No, it’s quite disputable. Statistics may show disparities by race, but don’t necessarily reveal the cause of those disparities. It’s like claiming the NBA discriminates against whites and Asians “as evidenced by” their statistical under-representation.

          1. Exactly and good analogy.

          2. What causes other than race? Cite please.

            1. I think the example he gave shows that just citing sentencing disparities isn’t enough to show unequal treatment under the law.

              So, the best response would be to provide further evidence, not to shift the burden of proof.

              The idea being that citing racial disparities also doesn’t mean you get to claim racism unless someone else can prove you wrong.

            2. “What causes other than race? Cite please.”

              PB. When government uses “Law Enforcement” as a means to generate revenue, at the expense of the serf’s, freemen, merchants, and bards, government creates civil unrest.


              This basic fucking history.

      2. *Obama is making a speech right now to this effect – “people of color” are not receiving equal treatment under the law.*

        He’s 100% correct–MEXICANS don’t have to follow our laws at all!

    3. Er, Eddie, it’s a poll of the respondents attitudes.

      1. Sure, and my remark wasn’t.

        1. My point is, that if you do a random sample of everyone in the US and more of the black respondents feel a certain way, then it’s because more of the black respondents feel that way. If you want to say ‘well, that’s only because blacks are more likely to be poor or this or that, and it’s the this and that that really makes them feel that way’ I think all you’ve shown is that blacks are more likely to be this or that.

  5. But what do millennials think?

  6. GDP revised up to 3.9% for Q3, new market records every day, gas sinking to $2.50 all thanks to that new GOP Senate.

    You Peanuts were right! GO TEAM RED!

    1. Please explain how any of those numbers are thanks to anyone in the government, and what they did to accomplish them. We’ll wait.

      1. It’s more likely they’re despite what anyone in government has done.

      2. Federal employees made up these numbers. So they really are because of the state.

    2. Gas price is sinking because production has outpaced demand.

      What new market records? For the 1% that expands out of the country?

      1. Well, when you’ve got fewer people driving to work or being able to afford a car in the first place, I suppose that’ll happen.

    3. “GDP revised up to 3.9% for Q3, new market records every day, gas sinking to $2.50 all thanks to that new GOP Senate.

      You Peanuts were right! GO TEAM RED!”


      That has nothing to do with “TEAM RED”

      It has everything to do with the U.S sitting on oil fields, and natural gas like China is sitting on “rare earths”, and the U.S. being the “Walter White” of petroleum distillation.

  7. Question 8: Do you feel guilty when you masturbate?

    1. Don’t I answer this question enough when I fill out an employment form?

    2. Yes, because I think I’m not doing enough to satisfy him (me).

  8. Question 6: Do you know any slow, or “special”, people?

    1. Only Palin’s Buttplug and Cytotoxic.

      1. Tony is disrespected again.

    2. Yeah. I’m pretty slow, but that gives a certain insight on the statist retards. Bo is is just a boring shit. I do not even bother reading anything he has to say.

  9. Somehow blacks spending more time in jail than whites is a sign of white racism, but blacks committing murder, rape, and other violent crimes in greater magnitude against whites is not a sign of racism. It would seem the latter would precede, and largely explain the former.

    1. Nixon: One, two, three, four, I declare a drug war!

      1. The drug war doesn’t make one black kid kill another black kid for their FUCKING SHOES, you stupid asswipe.

        1. No, but endlessly telling them they’re incapable of succeeding because “the man” won’t let them win, no matter how talented or educated they are… that might do it.

          It’s those evil Republicans, though. The feelings, they tell me so.

  10. I saw a giant military-style vehicle today which turned out to be police property. It was even painted green.

    Police militarization is a depressing trend which needs to be questioned. But how many people truly recognize this? Outside of fears of racism, do most people actually recognize that a militarized police force is a symptom of an aggressive government?

    1. I really wish we could focus on things like this (as well as no-knock ‘police home invasions’, government spying, swat team overkill, illegal search and seizure, detainment without trial) without turning every little thing into a race-based pissing contest.

  11. Crappy options! Rather than “Don’t Know” (or in addition to) they need “I have very mixed thoughts”.

    1. “I believe that both sides make valid points.”

      That should have been an option for the troll-ish voters.

  12. Gee, does anyone think that perhaps considering the fact that Black people have more run-in’s with the police, that this may impact their views?

    In NYC, black people commit 75% of all Murders.
    The #1 killer of black men under 30 is a black man.
    The #2 killer of black men under 30 is a legal contact (Police,Zimmerman, etc.)

    Blacks are an easy target. It must be in their DNA. I couldn’t be the social-economic situation or the 100s of years of oppression or slavery. That was yesterday and has nothing to do with today.

    1. It was 150 years ago. You’d think at some point they’d get a clue/grip/whatever, and realize that you don’t have to put a cap in the ass of anyone that looks at you cross-eyed.

      1. That’s a hard message to accept when most of your racial “leaders” and media political pundits keep telling you that none of your problems are your fault. In fact, they’re all the fault of your most loathed, most often demonized out-group. Even the shitty things YOU did!

        No wonder things inevitably go bad.

    2. Socioeconomics can be descriptive, but it shouldn’t be prescriptive. Poor urban black culture might not provide a ton of social support for people who want to make good decisions, but it’s also reinforced by a large number of people making bad decisions and having those bad decisions being excused away because of culture. Saying that members of poor urban black communities can’t change their lot even a little bit by making good choices because of their upbringings and their peers begs the question. It’s a reifying concept.

      If you’re disadvantaged to begin with, you have even more reason to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves. If you fail to do so, you fail because of your own choices, not because of history or class. The ugly truth is that poor communities stay poor because people make bad decisions. If life is already more difficult for you because of your environment, you don’t have the luxury of fucking up without consequence.

  13. Did they break it down by drug addicts versus non, felons versus non, murderers versus non, and so on?

  14. Interesting how Caucs are several times more likely to answer “don’t know” than Afros or Hisps.

    1. I would guess they’re more afraid of looking “racist” by expressing strong views one way or another. They don’t have the ethnic cloak that non-whites*, do.

      * Where “non-whites” partially refers to Hispanics the media hasn’t decided are guilty of something, a la Zimmerman.

      1. If the Mexican is a perp he is white. If he is a victim he is Hispanic.


    2. You are a fucking racebaiter. Robert.



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  17. That’s what I love about the Reason peanut gallery: we’re post-racial in our disdain for law enforcement.

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  19. Pssh. I could have told you that before all these riots. I’m getting sick of hearing the race card all the time. I know racism is alive and well, but not everything is about race.

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