Police Abuse

White Cleveland Cops Claim Harsher Treatment When They Shoot Black Suspects

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Ohio Attorney General

The cops involved in the fatal 2012 shooting of Timothy Russell and Marissa Williams, which occurred at the end of a 25 minute car chase involving at least 26 cops, are now suing for being treated unfairly by the department because they're not black and their victims are.

The chase began when a cop mistook the backfire of a car for gunshots. The city of Cleveland settled with the families for $3 million last month. Only one of the 13 cops who shot at Russell's car was charged, with involuntary manslaughter. He jumped onto the hood of the car and fired at least 15 rounds into the windshield. Five other cops were charged with dereliction of duty for allowing the car chase to get out of control. T

The other 12 cops involved in the shooting all got slaps on the wrist and a little bit of paid time off. But that minimal punishment cost the cops promotions they would have apparently been given otherwise, according to a lawsuit by 9 of them, as CNN reports:

"The City of Cleveland, through the other named defendants, and the other named defendants in their individual capacities, have a history of treating non-African American officers involved in the shootings of African Americans substantially harsher than African American officers," reads the lawsuit, filed Friday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio.

It continues: "A serious dichotomy exists as a result of the defendants' longstanding practices and procedures which place onerous burdens on non-African American officers, including the plaintiffs, because of their race and the race of persons who are the subjects of the legitimate use of deadly force."

The plaintiffs are seeking an unspecified amount of damages.

It's hard to tell when black officers are involved in fatal shootings—only white cops tend to have their race specifically identified in media reports about police shootings.

Neither the race nor identity of the Cleveland cops who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice last month has been revealed. The attorney for the Rice family said the shooting wasn't a "black and white issue" but a "right and wrong issue."

Insofar as the allegations in the lawsuit are true, they should be rectified by applying harsher treatment to black cops involved in fatal shootings not by giving white cops involved in fatal shootings an easier time.

A ProPublica analysis of police shootings found it 21 times more likely for a black person to be a victim of a fatal police shooting than a white person. It also found that while 44 percent of police shooting victims it found in the last 33 years were white, for black officers more than 78 percent of their victims were black. Black officers were involved in about 10 percent of all fatal police shootings—in 2007 the Department of Justice found that about 25 percent of police officers in the U.S. are non-white.

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  1. I bet they are right about this. I still, however, have no sympathy for them. The only reason they are treated more harshly for shooting a black suspect is because the police unions have worked to create a system where it takes a community riot to get a cop punished for shooting someone. Since white people don’t generally riot, shooting black people is about the only way you can get in trouble for shooting someone as a cop. If they don’t like that system, too fucking bad. It just means they can’t get away with murder when the victim is black quite as much as they can when the victim is white.

    1. They really believe they should be able to murder anyone with impunity, regardless of race.

  2. I really think focusing on race really misses the point.

    Let’s say we use a magic pill to make all cops non-racist. They literally no longer care about the color of a person’s skin. Would this end the abuses? Absolutely not!!!!!

    Because race is but one of many reasons to dislike of prejudge a person as a troublemaker. And the same bad phenomena – the framings, the civil rights violations, the beatings, the unjustified homicides – we rail against would continue to happen? Albeit the list of reasons triggering them would no longer include race.

    If you put institutions, customs, and legal frameworks in place that punish and deter the bad *behavior*, then it doesn’t matter if the cop is racist, is classist, is sexist, is anti-Catholic, anti-brony, a Yankee fan etc! Because any bad behavior he engages in – for whatever reason (!) – will be circumscribed, prevented or punished after the fact.

    1. Jesus fucking Christ! I really need to preview and proofread!

      Here’s the cleaned up -de Agile-cyborgified version:

      Let’s say we use a magic pill to make all cops non-racist. They literally no longer care about the color of a person’s skin. Would this end the abuses? Absolutely not!!!!!

      Because race is but one of many reasons to dislike or prejudge a person as a troublemaker. And the same bad phenomena – the framings, the civil rights violations, the beatings, the unjustified homicides – we rail against would continue to happen!!!! Albeit the list of reasons triggering them would no longer include race.

      If you put institutions, customs, and legal frameworks in place that punish and deter the bad *behavior*, then it doesn’t matter if the cop is racist, is classist, is sexist, is anti-Catholic, anti-brony, a Yankee fan etc! Because any bad behavior he engages in – for whatever reason (!) – will be circumscribed, prevented or punished after the fact.

  3. The truly incredible thing here is that, even if you grant that the driver was putting people at imminent risk, etc.

    They also shot the passenger. Under no theory of self-defense, or even police shootings, is it permissible to gun down bystanders.

    Even if the cop who was charged was the only one who shot the passenger, all the others who were firing at the car should be charged with attempted murder, negligent discharge, etc.

    Yet I see no such charges being filed.

    1. Which would you rather chance if you are an innocent bystander, an out of control car or a hail of bullets? Neither is a good choice, but you can dodge a car and unless you are Remo Williams won’t be dodging many bullets.

      Their shooting had nothing to do with public safety. They shot because they were pissed off and wanted revenge against the people who lead them on the high speed chase.

      1. Nice Destroyer reference!

    2. There’s also the question of whether shooting a driver increases or decreases the risk that driver poses to the public.

      I’m thinking an injured or dead driver in a moving vehicle is more of a risk. In any event, any reduction in risk is too speculative and marginal to justify the shooting.

  4. history of treating non-African American officers involved in the shootings of African Americans substantially harsher than African American officers

    I’m no math major, but 2 x 0 is still zero, right?

    1. How many white people did they shoot 134 times?

  5. So now that people are starting to see cops for the thuggish bully assholes that they are, the cops respond by revealing the other side of the coin shared by all bullies: the whining, entitled, butthurt child. They get caught red-handed brutalizing others and then turn around and loudly claim that they are the real victims.

  6. I’ve tried to explain to liberal friends that making the Brown shooting solely about race misses the point and trivializes the real problem that cops are horrible, violent, gang thugs. They don’t want to listen. Only race matters.

    1. Its because they are self loathing white people. At some deep level, they think cops shooting white people is proper payment for the sin of being white.

    2. Its also because they understand, at some level, that the level of total state control that they desire requires an occupying army.

      1. I don’t know if either one of you is right, but I do know I don’t like either scenario. Cops suck, no doubt. They should be disarmed. They are a threat to everyone’s safety – especially unarmed people. Those twelve cops should all be sitting in prison except for the one who fired 15 shots through the windshield. He should be executed.

  7. Ed, you guys are usually very good when throwing around statistics, so without having to read the source article, does that last zinger mean what it appears?? I.e. I am white. My friend Doug is black. That plus “we’re males” is all the information you have about us. Over the course of his lifetime, Doug is 21x as likely as I am to get shot and killed by police than I am. Is that the correct interpretation?

    I don’t disbelieve it. I just want to make sure it says what I think it says before dropping this bomb on others. 🙂

    1. I think what you should do is test the data out yourself and go rob a liquor store with a squirt gun

      1. I don’t have that many black friends. I read the article. Fuck me sideways. That’s pretty much the right conclusion. They compare deaths per million [white | black] males, 2010-2012 for that factor.

        1. No, the statistic is numerical horseshit.

          Do they compare “shootings of unarmed white criminal suspects to shootings of unarmed black criminal suspects”?

          No, they compare the rate of shootings to the relative proportion of the population.

          because the white pop is 10X larger than the black pop, you get your first “10X more likely (as a % of the pop)” for free even if the shootings were the same #s for each.

          Then you factor in the different cohorts that represent the majority of criminal behavior

          White criminals skew (for whatever reasons) older. So, again – even if criminality were the same (its not). you’d get another 2-3X bump on the differences of the age profiles.

          Are black criminal suspects more likely to get shot? Undoubtedly. But tossing “21X”# around is about as statistically valid as the “1-in-4” college women getting sexually assaulted.

          As in, not.

          1. Wrong. The rates are normalized per million, so you don’t get 10x for free by white/black ratio. Armed vs. unarmed might sway it. They don’t break that down.

            1. ” The rates are normalized per million, so you don’t get 10x for free by white/black ratio.”

              yes you do. Well, 6X at least.

              (napkin #s)
              White population = 240m
              Black population = 40m

              100 white people shot by police
              100 black people shot by police

              Ratio =
              .4 ‘per million’ whites
              2.4 ‘per million’ blacks

              Whammo! 6X variance

              The age difference in the respective criminal populations is more than enough to add significant further variation.

              As noted = they’re only comparing people shot “15-19” years old. the sample-size of which is not even mentioned.

              1. Actually, they do cite some of the sample numbers, and the entire point gets more wishy washy the more they talk

                “The black boys killed can be disturbingly young. There were 41 teens 14 years or younger reported killed by police from 1980 to 2012 ii. 27 of them were black iii; 8 were white iv; 4 were Hispanic v and 1 was Asian vi.”

                What this sample of “less than 2 per year over 32 years” is supposed to be *statistically significant of*, you would have to ask a ‘journalist’.

                Continued =
                “That’s not to say officers weren’t killing white people. Indeed, some 44 percent of all those killed by police across the 33 years were white.

                “21 times more likely” is the same as a “56/44” split now.

                “White or black, though, those slain by police tended to be roughly the same age. The average age of blacks killed by police was 30. The average age of whites was 35”

                Which points to my noting that the narrow age-cohort comparison they made (only comparing ages 15-19 between groups) is strongly biased to increase the appearance that Blacks are shot ‘disproportionately’

  8. He jumped onto the hood of the car and fired at least 15 rounds into the windshield.

    He feared for his life. Whenever you fear for your life, you go charging at the threat, exposing yourself fully and closing the distance to within only a few feet.

    1. Obviously, we have to demote Sgt. TJ Hooker back to beat cop so he can work his way up through the season.

  9. Neither the race nor identity of the Cleveland cops who shot 12-year-old Tamir Rice last month has been revealed.

    Yeah, just like it would be for a mere prole.

  10. Ed =

    “A ProPublica analysis of police shootings found it 21 times more likely for a black person to be a victim of a fatal police shooting than a white person”

    His actual source =

    “The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police”

    ….

    “whatever, people are stupid and the number sounds cool”
    – ‘Journalist’

    1. It would be interesting to see what the prior conviction rates for the two populations were.

      Because contrary to the knee-jerking in so many Reason comments threads, police shootings mostly still aren’t of random innocent people the Man decided to murder for fun.

      I see a lot less “racist cops hate black people” in that statistic than I see “young black men are far more likely to be involved in serious or violent crime and in neighborhoods with a lot of police presence for that very reason“.

      1. There’s lots of things to say about “Violence in black communities” = whether it be perpetrated by police, or by people in the communities. One could go on at length and in great detail. there’s no shortage of information there.

        My simple point is that this headline-grabber of

        21 times more likely for a black person to be a victim of a fatal police shooting than a white person

        is patent horseshit. it isn’t even an accurate citation of what the report itself says*

        (*which needs the proviso of “Young black men’ to help clarify that they’re only comparing the small 15-19 age group, and not ‘everyone’)

        Its also a form of measurement which is constructed to intentionally “create perception of disparity” – as noted, you could have the same *base numbers*, and still claim a many-order-of magnitude ‘rate per million’ difference.

        Its also a number that is contradicted by the sentence that follows it. Normally you’d expect a journalist to *clarify* how 56% of fatal police shootings are 21-times-more-significant than the other 44%, rather than gloss over it.

        I don’t expect journalists to also be extremely disciplined number-monkeys; I do expect them to at least demonstrate a basic understanding of the numbers they cite. Because in today’s ‘link to a link to a link’ form of source-citation, i can assure you that this “21X” number has become ‘established fact’ by now.

  11. Jack it up and jack it down man.

    http://www.Anon-Rocks.tk

  12. Murdering bastards! They all should have been charged with something equivalent to premeditated murder. I want to see some pigs executed for their crimes, but I won’t hold my breath. This country is too fucked up for that to happen.

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