The African-American Community: A Case Study

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On August 12, 2014 in San Bernardino, California, father of five and newspaper pressman Dante Parker died in police custody. Parker allegedly was breaking into a home in Victorville prior to the incident. He was tasered several times by deputies until he needed medical attention. One of the deputies claimed that when trying to arrest Parker, he was “uncooperative and combative.” Why the officer had to struck Parker so forcefully with the taser several times to the point of unconsciousness was unknown. Employer of Dante Parker said, “he was a big teddy bear,” and that “he worked in our production department for 12 years… he was part of our family. ” It is hard to believe that a man of such reputation could be possible of such combative violence. …show more content…
Traffic stops account for the majority of the public’s contact with police officers. While Blacks, Hispanics and Whites are stopped by police at the same rate, racial disparities occur after the stops” (Slagle 12). Out of the hundreds of millions of drivers on today’s American highways, law enforcement tend to search people that they find suspicious of criminal activity. The African-American community is stereotypically labelled as people suspicious of crime. Though African-Americans, Hispanics, and Whites all have a likelihood of getting pulled over by the police, African-Americans are commonly known to be the pursuit of police because of this particular stereotype. Consequently, a large majority of African-Americans are stopped and searched by police. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the search and seizure rate of African-Americans is approximately “9.5 percent-triple the rate of Whites” (Slagle 12). Thereby, statistically exhibiting that African-Americans are more likely to get stopped and searched by law enforcement. For example, while driving across the Oklahoma …show more content…
However, some police officers abuse their powers. “One of the core principles of the Fourth Amendment is that the police cannot stop and detain an individual without some reason – probable cause, or at least reasonable suspicion – to believe that he or she is involved in criminal activity” (Harris 1). Hence, recent Supreme court settlements permit the police to use traffic stops as a pretext in order to search for evidence. The inherent powers police have are shown to be primarily misused against African-Americans and Latinos. One of the rationales police use as to why accused citizens were stopped and detained was because of a suspicion of drugs. Although not all African-Americans are guilty of using or selling drugs, they are often ones stopped and interrogated by police. Slate, a liberal news magazine, did some studies on the differences between African-American and White treatment within America’s justice system. Based on Slate’s study, African-Americans are more likely to be arrested for drug use than White Americans. According to federal data, “police arrest black Americans for drug crimes at twice the rate of whites” (Kahn and Kirk). Despite the fact that both races utilize drugs at comparable rates, Black Americans are more likely to get caught and arrested for drug possession. In 1977, the Virginia Advisory Committee cited statistics of the

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