Police Brutality of Young Aboriginal Girls

Police brutality in Glen Innes, New South Wales, against a group of young Indigenous girls. You can hear one of the girls say she’ll comply with police but she wants to call her parents as they’re under 16. The policeman says no. It seems his partner, a woman’s voice off camera, tells the girls to comply: ‘Don’t make it worse for yourselves.’ Policeman says: ‘It already is worse for yourselves.’ Continue reading Police Brutality of Young Aboriginal Girls

Otherness, Racism and Police Violence

In early February in Alabama, USA, police were called to investigate an elderly Indian man simply because he was walking suburban streets. The caller identified Sureshbhai Patel as as a “skinny Black man,” and therefore suspicious. Patel had only recently arrived in the USA to help his son with his newborn baby. He did not speak English, but he complied with the officers as best he could, but he was still thrown violently to the ground. Continue reading Otherness, Racism and Police Violence

Sociologists please share widely

Sociologists please share widely

Consider adding your voice by signing the open letter by Sociologists for Justice. Use the tag #socforjustice

From my blog: http://goo.gl/qUKNHk

Originally shared by Zuleyka Zevallos

Social Justice in Ferguson

Over 1,400 sociologists have signed an open letter protesting police brutality in Ferguson, USA. The letter includes practical measures to address the killing of Michael Brown and mistreatment of protesters in Ferguson. Coordinated by Sociologists for Justice, the letter shows that systemic racism needs to be addressed as well as wider socio-economic and political issues to ensure effective change is enacted.

The book The New Jim Crow outlines how the criminal justice system in America is affected by systemic racism (http://goo.gl/WUp7mx). Additionally, decades of sociological research shows that police officers’ decision-making is affected by racial stereotypes and that better training can address this bias. Effective change in community policing begins by understanding the effects of the victimisation of people of colour and by addressing the institutional practices that lead to excessive policing of people of colour.

Below are the suggestions outlined in the open letter, but I urge you to read the letter in full as it summarises sociological research on race bias in policing. Links on where sociologists can add their name to the open letter are below. 

Practical Measures to Address Justice in Ferguson – by Sociologists for Justice

There are no short cuts to addressing systemic problems. However, as our nation again confronts the reality of race within the criminal justice system, we urge the following actions to facilitate an appropriate response to the death of Michael Brown, and to begin moving toward addressing the systemic racialised police practices that devalue and threaten Black lives.

1. Immediate assurance from law enforcement authorities in Missouri and the federal government that constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of the press will be protected.

2. A civil rights investigation into the incidents related to the death of Michael Brown and general police practices in Ferguson.

3. The establishment of an independent committee to study and analyse the failures of the policing efforts during the week following Michael Brown’s death. 4. Ferguson residents, including leaders of grassroots organizations, should be included on the committee throughout this process. The committee must provide a clear roadmap for resetting community-police relations in a way that grants oversight power to residents.

5. An independent comprehensive national study of the role of implicit bias and systemic racism in policing. Federal funding should be allocated to support police departments in implementing the recommendations from the study and ongoing monitoring and public reporting of key benchmarks (e.g., use of force, arrests by race) and improvements in police practices.

6. Legislation requiring the use of dash and body-worn cameras to record all police interactions. Data from these devices should be immediately stored in tamper-proof databases, and there should be clear procedures for public access to any such recordings.

7. Increased transparency of public law enforcement, including independent oversight agencies with guaranteed full access to law enforcement policies and on-the-ground operations; and more streamlined, transparent and efficient procedures for the processing of complaints and FOIA requests.

8. Federal legislation, currently being developed by Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA), to halt the transfer of military equipment to local police departments, and additional legislation to curtail the use of such equipment against domestic civilian populations.

9. Establishment of a ‘Ferguson Fund’ that will support long term strategies grounded in the principles of social justice, systems reform and racial equity to bring about substantial and sustained change in Ferguson and other communities facing similar challenges.

– Sociologists for Justice.

Open letter & where sociologists can sign: http://sociologistsforjustice.wordpress.com/public-statement/

Learn More

#OpenAccess research on racial bias in policing: 

*How racial stereotypes affect police shooting decisions: http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/psp-9261006.pdf 

*How better training mediates this bias: http://www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/ps/racialbias.pdf?origin=publication_detail 

*How policing and stereotype threat affects Black communities: http://indigo.uic.edu/bitstream/handle/10027/8336/Stereotype%20Threat%20in%20Interrogations%20-%20Najdowski%20-%20In%20Press.pdf?sequence=1

*Reflections on Trayvon Martin & how social science interventions can help: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3718570/

Image: by me.

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[Image text] We are troubled by the killing of Michael Brown. We are troubled by the excessive show of force and militarised response to protesters who rightfully seek justice and demand a change in the treatment of people of colour by law enforcement. – Sociologists for Justice.

#socforjustice #sociology #socialscience #michaelbrown #ferguson #police #community #socialjustice #trayvonmartin #racism #peopleofcolor #poc #peopleofcolour   #stereotypes   #stereotypethreat   #psychology  

Social Justice in Ferguson

Over 1,400 sociologists have signed an open letter protesting police brutality in Ferguson, USA. The letter includes practical measures to address the killing of Michael Brown and mistreatment of protesters in Ferguson. Coordinated by Sociologists for Justice, the letter shows that systemic racism needs to be addressed as well as wider socio-economic and political issues to ensure effective change is enacted.

The book The New Jim Crow outlines how the criminal justice system in America is affected by systemic racism. Additionally, decades of sociological research shows that police officers’ decision-making is affected by racial stereotypes and that better training can address this bias (more links below). Effective change in community policing begins by understanding the effects of the victimisation of people of colour and by addressing the institutional practices that lead to excessive policing of people of colour. Below are the suggestions outlined in the open letter, but I urge you to read the letter in full as it summarises sociological research on race bias in policing. You can also add your name to the open letter, as I have done.

Social Justice for Michael Brown and Ferguson
We are troubled by the killing of Michael Brown. We are troubled by the excessive show of force and militarised response to protesters who rightfully seek justice and demand a change in the treatment of people of colour by law enforcement. – Sociologists for Justice.

Continue reading Social Justice in Ferguson

Racism and Violence of New York Police Department’s Stop-and-Frisk

USA: The Nation reports that The New York Police Department data show that 1,800 New Yorkers are stopped by police every day. One fifth of these “stop and frisk” events involve the use of force. This video captures that the racial dimensions of this violence, where two police officers threaten a young man for questioning the motives for their search. The police give no reason for detaining him. Instead, they use racist language, telling the youth that they will break his arm and punch him in the face for questioning their authority. While we only hear a snippet and don’t know the full context, this audio presents a deeply disturbing abuse of power. Click on the link to hear the altercation and read more.

Racism and Violence of New York Police Department’s Stop-and-Frisk