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King writes: "It's hard for me to write this, but we must be honest about our status in the fight against police brutality in America. We are losing."

Philando Castile was a beloved cafeteria worker at an elementary school. (photo: FB)
Philando Castile was a beloved cafeteria worker at an elementary school. (photo: FB)

We Are Losing the Battle Against Police Brutality in America

By Shaun King, New York Daily News

26 June 17


t's hard for me to write this, but we must be honest about our status in the fight against police brutality in America. We are losing. I have two primary metrics for that conclusion. First, 2017 is on pace to be the deadliest year ever measured for the number of people killed by police in our country. We can never claim to be winning the battle against police brutality if American police are killing more and more people. Period. Secondly, even the most egregious officers, in the most heinous cases of police violence, with the most overwhelming evidence, are still beating the charges against them.

I can get granular about it. I monitor nearly 50 different metrics regarding police brutality and injustice in America. All of them matter — from the introduction of new policies in local police departments, to the election of district attorneys who are willing to aggressively prosecute police. The battle to reduce police violence in America is a complicated one. But at the end of the day, if more people are being killed by police this year than any other year and the most rotten apples among America's police still aren't being held accountable, then we are losing.

I am losing. This isn't me pointing the fingers at activists or organizations. I am right in the middle of this fight. I've marched. I've protested. I've organized. I've taught. I've petitioned. I've donated. I've lobbied. I've voted. I've campaigned. I've presented. I've written. I've tweeted. I've Facebooked. I've strategized. I've televised. I've radioed. For three straight years, I've thrown everything I've known to throw at the problem of police brutality in America, and by all measures, the problem is now worse than it was before I did any of those things.

We are losing. We are being outspent, out-organized, and out-maneuvered by an unjust system that is so deeply entrenched and so well fortified with the principles of white supremacy, racism and classism that in spite of all of our collective efforts, injustice marches on. It isn't skipping a beat.

Pregnant black women are being shot and killed by police in front of their children. Young black boys are being shot and killed by police. Charges are being filed here and there, but convictions simply aren't happening. Families and communities are repeatedly being told to stay calm and trust the system, but only a damn fool would trust this system. It is fundamentally and categorically unfair.

I can't speak for the thousands and thousands of cases of police brutality in America, but the officer who repeatedly shot Walter Scott in the back should've been convicted. The officer who shot and killed Philando Castile should've been convicted. The officer who shot and killed Rekia Boyd should've been convicted. The officer who shot and killed Terence Crutcher should've been convicted. I could add at least 100 more names to that list just off the top of my head. Every single one of these officers was set free. Why would their fellow officers across the country think it would be any different for them? The odds of an officer being convicted for murder in a police shooting is approaching lottery ticket levels. It's that bad.

I did not say all of this to lament or wallow in self-pity — never that. I said all of that to say that we need a change of direction. I wouldn't even go so far as to say that anything we've done is wrong. We should protest. We should petition and march and vote. We should do all of those things, but they just aren't enough to make a systemic shift in the problem. Maybe if we weren't doing all of those things the problem would've spiraled even farther out of control — we'll never know — but what I do know if that families who deserve justice don't have it and the threat of police brutality is more problematic than ever.

On Thursday, I'm going to begin a new five-part series on the immediate pivots and changes I believe we must make moving forward. Last year, I wrote a series on the 25 policy shifts that would drastically reduce police violence in America. Those shifts are still as necessary as ever, but this short new series is less about policy and more about strategy. All I know is that I refuse to do the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. your social media marketing partner


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+4 # Wise woman 2017-06-26 09:44
This article is spot on. It's truly outrageous and criminal about what goes on in our black communities and the power behind the police who are never convicted of murder. It's the same power that spawns the violence comitted against women even those who are pregnant. Police brutality must be addressed not ignored.
-12 # Old School Conservative 2017-06-26 13:54
I know that facts are inconvenient, but more whites are shot by police than blacks, it just doesn't get the coverage.
+1 # Femihumanist 2017-06-26 15:39
Police should be prosecuted whenever they shoot someone illegitimately. I don't believe the prosecuting attorneys are truly trying to win these cases or even to get indictments. The public is more aware so juries are more aware than in the past. Juries need to be given facts that are being withheld. Why didn't the jury in the Castile case see the dash cam video as well as the girlfriend's video?
0 # tingletlc 2017-06-26 16:08
Got numbers?
0 # Old School Conservative 2017-06-27 08:30
+1 # lfeuille 2017-06-26 17:56
Per capita, it is not even close.
0 # Old School Conservative 2017-06-28 05:23
That is because per capita blacks are far more likely to be involved in crime.
-1 # Docmc 2017-06-27 07:04
Factually untrue. Please show your data.
+1 # Old School Conservative 2017-06-27 08:32
0 # Depressionborn 2017-06-27 11:54
Quoting Docmc:
Factually untrue. Please show your data.

Cops killed nearly twice as many whites as blacks in 2015. According to data compiled by The Washington Post, 50 percent of the victims of fatal police shootings were white, while 26 percent were black. The majority of these victims had a gun or "were armed or otherwise threatening the officer with potentially lethal force," according to Mac Donald in a speech at Hillsdale College.

Some may argue that these statistics are evidence of racist treatment toward blacks, since whites consist of 62 percent of the population and blacks make up 13 percent of the population. But as Mac Donald writes in The Wall Street Journal, 2009 statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveal that blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15 percent of the population in these counties.
+1 # lfeuille 2017-06-26 17:58
There is no way to win this battle with Trump in the White House and Sessions at Justice. Increasing racial profiling was one of his campaign promises.
-1 # Depressionborn 2017-06-27 12:00
Quoting lfeuille:
There is no way to win this battle with Trump in the White House and Sessions at Justice. Increasing racial profiling was one of his campaign promises.

cops are shooting way too often, often without cause. Your attitude only makes things worse. The simple question is why are cops messing up so much.
0 # Time Traveller 2017-06-28 15:41
In many community colleges, police sciences is the course of last resort for students on grants who flunk out of most other, more difficult, courses of study.

I knew a woman who quit teaching police sciences at Hocking Tech in Ohio after 4 years because her redneck students were so rowdy they were unteachable.

So these are the well socialized geniuses we all too often give badges and guns to.
+1 # Buddha 2017-06-27 12:59
We are now led by a President whose basic campaign message boiled down to Only White Christian Lives Matter, to White Nationalism, and now most Republicans according to polls believe that they only racism today is against Whites. The battle against State brutality disparately arrayed against those ethnic and religious minorities that all too many Americans believe do not matter has been utterly lost. And now that we don't have free and fair elections anymore, these racist and divisive beliefs will continue to be reflected in POLICY out of Washington DC, as our Justice Department is headed by a segregationist who immediately took down the section on "Civil Rights" from Justice's website upon his confirmation.
0 # Depressionborn 2017-06-30 17:44
RE: Buddha 2017-06-27 12:59
We moved to where everyone has to obey the same laws. The police here are very nice and helpful too. No one has been shot, at least not by cops. Is it possible for you to move too?
0 # Depressionborn 2017-07-01 11:57
re: By Shaun King, New York Daily News
26 June 17

rsn should be ashamed of publishing such false and misleading racist propaganda

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