Systemic Racism in the Criminal Justice System/Law Enforcement?

Author: Trent0405 ,

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  • Trent0405
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    Hello, I am a believer in systemic racism, feel free to change my mind.

    Police Shootings

    This is one where it’s a little iffy, but there probably is some disparity.

    For one, the data is not all pointing in one direction. This study suggests that there is no bias in police shootings for instance. However, forming your opinions off of individual studies when there are massive meta analyses to work off of is rather faulty. If we look at an analysis of 42 studies, there is clearly bias against African Americans in police shootings. This held up for both armed and unarmed criminals.

    Police Stops

    I think this one is pretty clear, an analysis of 95 million police stops demonstrated that African Americans were pulled over significantly more than white people. The researchers further found that the disparity shrunk at night time, supposedly this is because it is harder to identify the race of a driver at night.

    Sentencing

    Even after controlling for age, education, citizenship, weapon possession and prior criminal history among other things, racial disparities still exist in sentencing. To be specific, the study found that black people were sentenced 20.4 percent longer relative to white people in similar situations.

    What this Means

    It is rather important not to shame any race for being advantaged in some way, it really accomplishes nothing. Instead we should try to fix these issues one at a time, first though I think we should try to acknowledge that these issues are real and meaningful.

    Feel free to attack any one of the points I presented, please stay civil though.  : )

  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Trent0405
    Before going into the obvious cultural differences in ethnic communities and without even scratching the surface of explaining why african cultures commit dispropotionate crimes trending up, not down...

    Do you think there is an actual genetic argument to be made here?
  • Trent0405
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Do you think there is an actual genetic argument to be made here?
    I am pretty sure most academics don't even believe in race genetically so I doubt it. Even if it does happen to play a part somehow, I doubt it is a significant factor.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Trent0405
    Perhaps you can drop the misleading term race then and focus on the cultural biases instead.

    Surely you do not think all cultures are equally prone to similar rates of criminality? 

    Occams razor suggests the police simply go where the crime is, rather than being involved in an elaborate covert conspiracy to purify the gene pool being secretly trained to filter out "bad DNA."
  • Trent0405
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Perhaps you can drop the misleading term race then and focus on the cultural biases instead.
    Just because race is not genetically real does not mean that it is not perceived as real in our society.

    Surely you do not think all cultures are equally prone to rates of criminality? 
    I agree, there are certain cultures that undeniably lead to more crime and violence. This does not debunk systemic racism though.

    Occams razor suggests the police simply go where the crime is, rather than being involved in an elaborate covert conspiracy to purify the gene pool being secretly trained to filter out "bad DNA."
    It's not about a grand conspiracy, rather we can detect differences in the way judges and police officers treat black people. Most police officers are fine people that certainly don't want to "purify the gene pool", but the data suggests that they are indeed biased against African Americans, that's all.

  • Greyparrot
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    This does not debunk systemic racism though.

    I think the terminology you are stretching for is the systemic profiling of problematic cultures.

    Occams razor surely applies here. The police go where the crime is, and not all blacks wear saggy pants and run in a gang. It just might appear that way to someone who has never been trained to go where the crime is.

     but the data suggests that they are indeed biased against African Americans, that's all.
    It never is simply "that's all" when accounting for disproportionally violent ethnic cultures. That disproportional metric will always appear biased to someone not trained to notice problematic cultures.

    It's a classic power game of misinformation to suggest most blacks embracing a dangerous culture commit crimes at the same rate as other people in other communities. I would have thought the intelligence of most people on this site would not require something so obviously basic like this explained.

    Again, you're going to have to drop the term "systemic racism" if you already debunked the idea that police are trained to target all black people, not just the ones in problematic communities. It's insanely unlikely that there is a secret training program police of every race undergo to systemically target people on the color of their skin alone. Because that is what systemic racism implies, that the color of your skin alone is sufficient cause for the police no matter what neighborhood you live in and no matter what other circumstances may be present. In fact, there are actually a lot of studies out there that show the opposite effect occurs and is trending upwards due to the unrealistic expectations of the public pressuring police to grant people of color unearned privileges and exemptions. Especially the violent ones.

    Basically that the rates of criminality are actually higher than the expected police response required to deal with that crime.
  • Trent0405
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    --> @Greyparrot
    I think the terminology you are stretching for is the systemic profiling of problematic cultures.
    Nope, I think the sentencing point shows how people are getting way longer sentences purely because of race, how would cultural profiling impact a judges sentencing if all other factors barring race have been accounted for?

    Occams razor surely applies here. The police go where the crime is, and not all blacks wear saggy pants and run in a gang. It just might appear that way to someone who has never been trained to go where the crime is.
    Of course police go where the crime is...this doesn't change the fact that when isolating for race we see disparities. Also, if people are assuming that black people all have saggy pants, and as a result African Americans are discriminated against  then that is systemic racism.
  • Greyparrot
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    Nope, I think the sentencing point shows how people are getting way longer sentences purely because of race.
    Did you factor in the repeat offender laws? Because sometimes the judges don't have a choice.

    Also, if people are assuming that black people all have saggy pants, and as a result African Americans are discriminated against  then that is systemic racism.
    That might be a problem of racism from the individuals who are not police officers assuming things then.

    Just be glad they are only trained to hold a megaphone instead of a gun.
  • Trent0405
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Did you factor in the repeat offender laws? Because sometimes the judges don't have a choice.
    Yep, the study clearly states it accounts for "prior criminal history." I pointed this out in post #1.
    Also, if people are assuming that black people all have saggy pants, and as a result African Americans are discriminated against  then that is systemic racism.
    That might be a problem of racism from the individuals who are not police officers assuming things then.
    Well when I said "people" in the original post I was referring to police officers, but yes other people make racist assumptions as well...
  • Dr.Franklin
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    --> @Trent0405
    the sentence disparity is way worse for men and most blacks sentenced isnt their first time
  • ILikePie5
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    --> @Trent0405
    If we look at an analysis of 42 studies, there is clearly bias against African Americans in police shootings. This held up for both armed and unarmed criminals.
    African Americans disproportionately commit more crime. Police shootings generally occur in areas where the black population is high. Systematic racism would imply cops are shooting black people in disproportionately white areas.

    I think this one is pretty clear, an analysis of 95 million police stops demonstrated that African Americans were pulled over significantly more than white people. The researchers further found that the disparity shrunk at night time, supposedly this is because it is harder to identify the race of a driver at night.
    Black people disproportionately commit more crime than whites especially against other blacks. Obviously police encounters are higher for black people because black on black crime is the highest by a mile. Crime statistically occurs more in the day especially in big cities. The night is generally when violent offenses take place and even then black people disproportionately commit it.

    Even after controlling for age, education, citizenship, weapon possession and prior criminal history among other things, racial disparities still exist in sentencing. To be specific, the study found that black people were sentenced 20.4 percent longer relative to white people in similar situations.
    The study also found that women of all colors were less likely to be sentenced longer compared to white men. So is there institutional sexism as well? If there was systematic racism, blacks, whether male or female would have higher sentences than white people. At best your data is inconclusive because it points to both sides.
  • Trent0405
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    --> @Dr.Franklin
    the sentence disparity is way worse for men and most blacks sentenced isnt their first time
    Very true, the courts are also veeerrrry sexist. I would say that the systemic racism against men in law enforcement is a much bigger problem than most realize.
  • Trent0405
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    --> @ILikePie5
    African Americans disproportionately commit more crime. Police shootings generally occur in areas where the black population is high. Systematic racism would imply cops are shooting black people in disproportionately white areas.
    They are shooting them more in disproportionately white areas, even when accounting for the percentage of nonwhite citizens the false alarm rate, shooting sensitivity or reaction time for no gun trials. I will admit that accounting for this did reduce the shooting threshold gap by a lot.

    The study also found that women of all colors were less likely to be sentenced longer compared to white men. So is there institutional sexism as well? If there was systematic racism, blacks, whether male or female would have higher sentences than white people. At best your data is inconclusive because it points to both sides.
    There is systemic sexism and basically all of the data I've seen suggests that the disparity between the sexes in the courts are far greater than the disparity between the races. Also, if the study is inconclusive why did they say ""The Commission found that sentence length continues to be associated with some demographic factors, in particular race and gender"" in their conclusion? This quote states that race was at least playing some part, that was the end finding, they certainly weren't unsure if race played a role or not.

    Black people disproportionately commit more crime than whites especially against other blacks. Obviously police encounters are higher for black people because black on black crime is the highest by a mile. Crime statistically occurs more in the day especially in big cities. The night is generally when violent offenses take place and even then black people disproportionately commit it.
    When I say African Americans are discriminated against I mean that they are discriminated against in proportion to the amount of crime they commit. Just think about it, do you believe that a massive analysis like this would leave out such a clear and powerful factor?
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Trent0405
    Yep, the study clearly states it accounts for "prior criminal history." I pointed this out in post #1.

    It's not so clear. I did a ctrl-f for the word repeat or repeat offender with no hits. No mention of the 3 strike laws.

    Care to explain?
  • Trent0405
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    --> @Greyparrot
    It's not so clear. I did a ctrl-f for the word repeat or repeat offender with no hits. No mention of the 3 strike laws.
    It clearly states...

    ""Also, the Commission has collected data about an additional variable—violence in an offender’s criminal history—that the Commission had previously noted was missing from its analysis but that might help explain some of the differences in sentencing noted in its work.""

    They accounted for this, they even updated their statistics later on to account for it. The bias persisted.


  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Trent0405
    I did a ctrl-f for the word repeat or repeat offender with no hits. No mention of the 3 strike laws.

    Direct me to this or not. I don't care. Simply stating general terms isn't sufficient for me.

    how does the study account for repeat offenders and mandatory sentencing laws? It's a vital question. Just claiming you did with no details doesn't mean anything. It's just someone's opinion at that point.

    Let's see the before and after data. The methodology matters.
  • ILikePie5
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    --> @Trent0405
    They are shooting them more in disproportionately white areas, even when accounting for the percentage of nonwhite citizens the false alarm rate, shooting sensitivity or reaction time for no gun trials. I will admit that accounting for this did reduce the shooting threshold gap by a lot
    And how many of those black men had weapons? It’s seems as though every time you point to a study it leaves out a key aspect of what causes the shootings in the first place.

    There is systemic sexism and basically all of the data I've seen suggests that the disparity between the sexes in the courts are far greater than the disparity between the races. Also, if the study is inconclusive why did they say ""The Commission found that sentence length continues to be associated with some demographic factors, in particular race and gender"" in their conclusion? This quote states that race was at least playing some part, that was the end finding, they certainly weren't unsure if race played a role or not.
    You’re just proving my point. The case for systematic sexism against men is much much stronger than systematic racism against blacks. So why is systematic sexism not as big of a problem to you? Every court case is a case by case basis. Women are more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt because they care for children which is a common tactic used in pleading sentences. There are just so many other factors that contribute to the decisions of sentencing.

    When I say African Americans are discriminated against I mean that they are discriminated against in proportion to the amount of crime they commit. Just think about it, do you believe that a massive analysis like this would leave out such a clear and powerful factor?
    Yes they would and they are. There’s no mention of any talk of disproportionate crime. If anything, it’s common sense police interactions are higher with black people. Black people are more likely to get shot because they are more likely to have a weapon. All of this matters. Cops are killed by black males 18x or something like that than vice versa and that’s including justified shootings.

    The key point is that systematic racism implies black people regardless of their sex are targeted just for the color of their skin when we know that isn’t true. Of course there will be pockets around the nation but compared to 1960, there’s far far less. 

    There’s no coordinated effort nationwide to target black people just cause they’re black.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @ILikePie5
    And how many of those black men had weapons? It’s seems as though every time you point to a study it leaves out a key aspect of what causes the shootings in the first place.

    Yeah this study is not clear at all about the mitigating factors. It's more like "trust us, we accounted for ALL the variables"

    In the sentencing study, they make no mention of other factors during sentencing, like disrespect toward the judge (most African cultures treat the court system with contempt) 

    It's a very real factor, if you are smiling and laughing at the judge, you are going to get a longer sentence, no matter what the color of your skin is.
    They also make no mention of additional actions during the commision of the crime, which the court to save time and money drops the lesser charges that are easily provable in exchange for a larger sentence for the larger crime. Plea bargaining is a very real factor and this study just shrugs its shoulders and says "trust us, we accounted for that"

    Exactly how do you account for plea deals when the lesser crimes are not even included in the record? That's obviously a bullshit claim.

    "it's definitely only attributed to the shade of your skin" No mention of gang affiliation, no mention of personal remorse. No mention of defiance toward western values. 

    The statement "we accounted for that" is absolutely a far-fetched claim.

    When you are dealing with a systemically violent culture, one does not simply "account for that" without details.

    Occams razor screams covert systemic racism isn't likely given that there are less than 1000 KKK members among the 340 Million Americans and 800,000 trained police lawmen.



  • TheDredPriateRoberts
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    --> @Trent0405
    how do you differentiate a system from individual's actions?
    what IS systemic racism exactly?
  • Trent0405
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    --> @ILikePie5
    And how many of those black men had weapons? It’s seems as though every time you point to a study it leaves out a key aspect of what causes the shootings in the first place.
    This is the same study in post 1, look at the titles. The study clearly states ""Our results indicated that relative to White targets, participants were quicker to shoot armed Black targets (dav = −.13, 95% CI [−.19, −.06]), slower to not shoot unarmed Black targets (dav = .11, 95% CI [.05, .18)."" even when controlling for whether they were armed or not the gap persisted.

    You’re just proving my point. The case for systematic sexism against men is much much stronger than systematic racism against blacks. So why is systematic sexism not as big of a problem to you? Every court case is a case by case basis. Women are more likely to be given the benefit of the doubt because they care for children which is a common tactic used in pleading sentences. There are just so many other factors that contribute to the decisions of sentencing.

    Systemic sexism is a big problem for me, but so is systemic racism....

    Yes they would and they are. There’s no mention of any talk of disproportionate crime. If anything, it’s common sense police interactions are higher with black people. Black people are more likely to get shot because they are more likely to have a weapon. All of this matters. Cops are killed by black males 18x or something like that than vice versa and that’s including justified shootings.
    They do look at the odds that they did something illegal. If you read the full study you'll see it state that the 'hit rate' for contraband was accounted for, use crtl f 'hit rate' if you wish. Even with the hit and search rate accounted for, racism is still detected.


  • Trent0405
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Direct me to this or not. I don't care. Simply stating general terms isn't sufficient for me.
    I did direct you to it in post 15. I am unsure of how they accounted for it, but they accounted for it nonetheless.

    ""Also, the Commission has collected data about an additional variable—violence in an offender’s criminal history—that the Commission had previously noted was missing from its analysis but that might help explain some of the differences in sentencing noted in its work.""

    how does the study account for repeat offenders and mandatory sentencing laws? It's a vital question. Just claiming you did with no details doesn't mean anything. It's just someone's opinion at that point.
    I think it's fair to assume the researchers accounted for it correctly and they didn't mess it up somehow. how am I to prove to you that they accounted for it in the correct way?? I think the onus is on you to show how they didn't account for it correctly.

    Let's see the before and after data. The methodology matters.
    All I know is what the study says, which it states that they accounted for prior criminal history and the gap shrunk but persisted.
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @TheDredPriateRoberts
    A better question is to ask why some are so motivated to equate systemic violent ethnic cultures with skin color. Nurtured beliefs and learned behavior isn't dependent on any shade of skin.

    There is NO study out there that can even remotely equate nurtured cultural beliefs with skin color. There are people of all colors in every culture. Both the violent cultures and the non-violent ones. Some beliefs and cultures are inherently and systemically bad outside of the irrelevent factor of skin color. How is this even debateable?
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Trent0405
    I am unsure of how they accounted for it, but they accounted for it nonetheless.

    Yeah, "trust me" isn't going to sway me.

    I think it's fair to assume the researchers accounted for it correctly
    No, it is not. Studies are routinely flawed, which is why in this instance Occam's razor trumps the conclusions.

    If you are going to declare a wild, highly improbable conclusion, you had better have more compelling data than just "trust us"

  • Trent0405
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Yeah, "trust me" isn't going to sway me.
    The onus is on you to prove they messed it up somehow.


  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Trent0405
    Lol, no it is not. Saying unicorns exist would be more compelling than this obviously biased study.

    It's absolutely impossible to account for plea deals since there is no record of the smaller crimes. 
    Show us the methodology, or not. Until then, believe in your unicorns.