PoliceBrutality and Deadly Force; How Bias, Power, and Low I.Q’s Kill
Every once in a while I find a piece of information that seems to shed a little light on the broader picture. Rarely though, I find something that illuminates the entire picture. In light of the recent social atmosphere regarding police brutality and the use of deadly force I decided to do some research into the capabilities of our police. I want to say first off that I personally know of and trust a lot of Police Officers, and that it is obvious that the majority of them are good people with good intentions. Although the increasing frequency of unjustifiable violence toward American Civilians must have causal factors. Here are a few very important pieces of the puzzle, in my humble opinion of course.
METRO NEWS BRIEFS: CONNECTICUT; Judge Rules That Police Can Bar High I.Q. Scores Published: September 9, 1999
A Federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a man who was barred from the New London police force because he scored too high on an intelligence test.
In a ruling made public on Tuesday, Judge Peter C. Dorsey of the United States District Court in New Haven agreed that the plaintiff, Robert Jordan, was denied an opportunity to interview for a police job because of his high test scores. But he said that that did not mean Mr. Jordan was a victim of discrimination.
Judge Dorsey ruled that Mr. Jordan was not denied equal protection because the city of New London applied the same standard to everyone: anyone who scored too high was rejected.
Mr. Jordan, 48, who has a bachelor’s degree in literature and is an officer with the State Department of Corrections, said he was considering an appeal. ”I was eliminated on the basis of my intellectual makeup,” he said. ”It’s the same as discrimination on the basis of gender or religion or race.”
This story is a decade and a half old and I am now just finding it amongst the endless streams of information here on the internet. Unfortunately, this type of information does not garner the attention it deserves. It is pushed aside for the more tantalizing bits of news like Kim Kardashians trip to Armenia or Kate Uptons Cat Daddy scandal.
The Nation has seen a steady rise in the frequency of unjustifiable violence toward Civilians when encountering Police Officers. This trend is both frightening and confusing from my own personal perspective. I view Police Officers as holding arguably the most important domestic positions available; officers of the law. When I was growing up I was told their job was “To Protect and Serve”.
With the population in America estimated at a staggering 322,583,006 and the state and local law enforcement agencies having a mere 765,000 sworn personnel with general arrest powers no one can refute that they have a tough job to do. We must also realize that even with the increased number of Deadly Force and Police Brutality cases the majority of those in positions of authority do not intend injustice or harm. These incidents are indicative of a system that is inherently flawed for a number of reasons, but to assume that officers of the law are less moral or ethical than you or me would be a critical mistake; here’s why:
We all know of the old adage ‘Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ We’ve seen it time and again. Sometimes positions of authority are used to gain a selfish advantage over another. Human beings can be self-serving, but not always. Culturally we are indoctrinated into a society that unconsciously white-washes every institution. This creates racial inequality that systemically embeds itself in every nook and cranny of our individual and collective minds. This inherent racism exists and is expressed in the numbers. While the Black population is only 30% of the American Population Blacks represent 60% of the prison population. I could give you 2 dozen more examples where the numbers express bias but the bottom line is if you haven’t noticed you’re in denial.
These three factors are very important when trying to discern why the Police are responding with increased ferocity against a disproportionately high number of Black civilians.
Factor 1– The majority of the Police across America are of average intelligence yet entrusted to make snap decisions that require critical analysis of complex situations.
Factor 2– Power is intoxicating to some individuals. It can cause a rise in selfish and self-righteous acts that disregard the rights of others.
Factor 3-American culture and it’s institutions are inherently biased against races other than white.
When we look at these three factors and the numbers it is no mystery that we are seeing such injustice. The numbers never lie, and statistically- with the power, the bias, and the limited cognitive ability of our Police, I am not surprised we are seeing what we’re seeing in the media these days. The real problems are the factors that led up to these unjust and dishonorable incidents. We all must address the inherent bias that exists in and around us. Where racism exists it must be exposed and actively combated. Accountability for ones actions, especially those in positions of power, is the only way to diffuse the power that corrupts. Also, intelligence should never be intentionally limited in those whose choices are a matter of life and death.
This self declared Redneck will blow you away with his views on racism in America. http://magazine.good.is/videos/redneck-view-on-racism-surprise
Sheriff of St. Louis County, Barry Greere gave reporters the following statement during a press conference on Wednesday:
“We need officers who aren’t going to second-guess the orders given to them. Multiple Harvard studies have shown that individuals with higher levels of intelligence are more prone to corruption and violence towards innocent civilians. This is simply a risk we cannot afford to bring amongst our ranks. The less our officers question the experienced commands of their superiors, the safer we are all going to be as a community.”
The major flaw in this statement by Sheriff Barry Greere, is the simple and irrefutable fact that Police Officers do not give themselves their daily marching orders. They are given direct orders by their superiors, who I should point out are organized in an ascending order where power and intelligence also rise with the pay-grade. So by his own reasoning, the most intelligent and therefore “prone to corruption and violence”, are giving orders to a ‘force’ that is intentionally chosen because they are less likely to “second guess” their orders. Well done Sheriff… well done.
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