The Root’s Michael Harriot has a problem with the phrase, “Not all cops are bad cops,” and insists, “This is not a pronouncement wrapped in hyperbole.”
On September 21, Harriot suggested, “Maybe there are no good cops.” He then went on to say, “It is as obvious as sunshine at day and darkness at night. It is founded on the simple reasoning of human nature, legal precedent, and commonsense logic.”
He cites as proof the deaths of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Laquan McDonald, and others. He also lists off individuals in the police force guilty of criminal and heinous activity. Due to the actions of these few, he claims that there are only “mythical good cops” among the over 1 million state and local law enforcement officers.
Arguing that even the good police officers are bad, he explained, “If you sat home, committed no act of violence but sent $7 to ISIS,” he asserted, “you would be arrested as a terrorist because you would be guilty of aiding the enemies of America.” Yes, but it’s incorrect to claim that, because of the action of a few evil Islamists, all Muslims are terrorists. But let’s not apply that same standard to the police force.
Showing the utmost respect for the men and woman who protect and serve us, Harriot continued, “There are men in white hoods who never light crosses on lawns or tie nooses around necks, but if you see them in uniform, you just know they’re Klansmen.”
He then falsely claimed, “We know that this organization kills blacks more often than it kills white people.” However, that is simply not true.
In 2015, of the 990 people shot dead by police officers, 494 of them were white and 258 were black. White people, who account for 62 percent of the population, made up 50 percent of the deaths, and black people, who account for 13 percent of the population, made up 26 percent of the deaths. As of July 12, 2016, 46 percent of police shooting deaths have been white while 24 percent have been black. And, according to Centers for Disease Control, from 1999-2013, police killed almost two times as many white people compared to black people, 3,160 to 1,724 respectively.
Although white people make up a much greater percentage of the population than black people, white people commit 10 percent of the nation’s crime, while black people commit nearly half of all murders. Additionally, in December 2015, the Washington Post wrote that white police officers killing unarmed black men represents less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings.
Harriot also argued, “One cannot dispute the fact that black drivers are stopped by police more often.” While that may be true, according to the National Institute of Justice, the research part of the Department of Justice, 75 percent of black people admitted they were stopped for “legitimate reasons.” In addition, a 2013 report by the NIJ called “Race, Trust, and Police Legitimacy” said that disparities in traffic stops are a result of “differences in offending,” “differences in exposure to the police,” and “differences in driving patterns.”
Harriot ends by stating, “They have the burden of proving to us that they are not all murderers, rapists, and abusers of freedom. Until then, I’ll just believe what I see.” Well, the statistics are in, and police officers aren’t killing black people at an absurd rate.
If everything Harriot said was true, why hasn’t the Department of Justice, which has had back-to-back black Attorney Generals appointed by black President Obama, filed murder charges against these racist police officers?