Police were called early Sunday by restaurant employees because a black customer, Chikesia Clemons, appeared drunk and had been asked to leave. A video of her arrest has gone viral. Police say they feared she was armed, and Waffle House said “police intervention was appropriate.”
The criminal justice system is increasingly relying on algorithms to prevent crime and punish wrongdoers. Law professor Andrew Ferguson warns in a new book that it’s time to take a close look before these systems are locked in.
Does the race or ethnicity of police officers make a difference in how police behave on the streets of the neighborhoods they patrol—and how they see their jobs? A study released Friday suggests it does, and the authors—both from the University of Central Florida—say it supports arguments that law enforcement diversity is crucial to restoring trust and legitimacy in America’s police forces.
Among the questions: How could a majority-black city with a long tradition of African-American leadership have such entrenched racism in its police department? “This is part of the baggage of our country’s history,” said one woman. Meanwhile, police union officials cited “failed leadership” in city government.
Police shooting deaths of African-Americans in Chicago and elsewhere are putting black officers on the defensive — forced to answer for the actions of fellow law enforcement officers. “I’m on both sides of the fence depending on what day it is,” says one longtime cop.
The probe was launched after the death in April 2015 of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, from spinal injuries suffered in police custody. The feds concluded that black residents were targeted by police even though they were more likely to find illegal guns, illicit drugs and other contraband on white residents.
Politico said its survey of 71 mayors showed city leaders believe race relations are improving, yet they are still dissatisfied with the chasm separating white officers from communities of color. Two-thirds acknowledged that their police force doesn’t reflect the racial makeup of their city.