According to Sally Raskoff the legal system’s decisions about the cases in which police have killed defenseless black boys or men are not as appropriate as they should be. Moreover, it is not known if the rates of weaponless black man being killed by police are growing, in contrast more media coverage can be seen whenever it happens.
“Is this a problem of individuals? Yes, on the one hand. It’s a problem for them personally if it happens to them or someone in their life. But it’s also a problem for society. One of the key tenets in sociology is that the personal isn’t just personal, it’s societal, and it’s political. The things that we experience are linked to larger social structures. When the same thing happens to multiple people, it’s a societal pattern. When it’s a negative event, like specific groups of unarmed people being treated more severely than other specific groups of people, it signals major social problems in that society. It’s about time, then, to standup, notice, and deal with it.” (Raskoff, 2014)
These conflicts usually happen due to racism. As the Anti-Defamation League said racism is the belief that a particular race is superior or inferior to another, that a person’s social and moral traits are predetermined by his or her inborn biological characteristics.
However, blaming individuals isn’t helpful – identifying how it all works is helpful if we see a problem and want to understand how it came to be. Adjudicating those responsible for specific situation is important. But, as we’ve seen, that doesn’t always have a positive result for that one case or for addressing the root of the problem. Law enforcement is part of the legal system. One wonders what it takes to get a court of law to find error in the actions of the police.
One of the most famous cases in which police have killed defenseless black boys or men in a wrongful way is Michael Brown case in Ferguson.
The shooting of an 18-year-old man, Michael Brown, occurred in Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. The younger Brown was fatally shot by Darren Wilson, 28, a Ferguson police officer. This incident has had huge debate about law enforcement’s relationship with African-Americans and police use of force doctrine.
Ben Casselman explains that: “ A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. The decision wasn’t a surprise — leaks from the grand jury had led most observers to conclude an indictment was unlikely — but it was unusual. Grand juries nearly always decide to indict.” (CASSELMAN, 2014)