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Name: Sydney Reid
College ID: 0591992
Thomas Edison State University
Section no.: Final Project
Semester and year: May 2017
Trust is lacking in the public domain when it refers to militaristic tactics that have been adopted by police in urban communities. This is a result of hundreds of years of mistreatment, discrimination, murder, and demonization of minorities in general but specifically African Americans, who have been victims of not only police brutality, but systemic brutality from the criminal injustice system in America as well as the entire political apparatus responsible for creating legislation and writing laws that guide police and the criminal justice system. This is imperative to state because without understanding the systemic racism that permeates throughout the entire society and the entire system in America, that has been built upon hundreds of years of unjust and inhumane policies, it would be impossible to understand why many urban communities distrust police and the entire system that has victimized them and their ancestors as well.
Trust entails the belief by communities that police are serving the interests of the community, care about the citizens within the community, and want to collaborate with the community to protect members of the community from criminal actions. To induce this level of trust within a community, police are supposed to ensure that any actions that don't adhere to just and moral principles committed by their officers are immediately held to account to show the public that police officers are not above the law and are required to comply with the same laws that they enforce. To ensure that the public will cooperate with police agencies, these are the mandatory rules to ensure that the public will respect the police as the police are supposed to respect the public that pays their taxes to ensure that they are served and protected by the police.
Respect is virtually nonexistent by police toward urban youth, as it is legal in cities such as New York, a supposedly progressive city with "liberal" ideas, yet police have the right to stop and frisk hundreds of thousands of minority males for basically walking while Black or Brown. These types of policies along with racial profiling are a continued pattern of how policing in America has been routinely applied toward minorities who police do not extend respect toward. This lack of respect even extends to life itself as the recent focus on how Black lives do not seem to matter to police as they are routinely shot and killed by police at rates disproportionate to their percent of the population, continue to occur throughout the U.S. Police have not demonstrated trustworthiness toward urban youth or their communities, and therefore, these youth fear the police as occupiers who simply come and bring pain and misery upon their relatives, selves, and friends on a regular basis.
The mass incarceration of Blacks in America wherein the United States incarcerates more of its minority citizens than all other countries combined across the globe, is a reflection of the systematic abuse of minorities by the criminal justice system. The reason that the police are so often noted as the "main problem" is because they are the most visible part of the system, but by no means are police the most vital part of the "trust" variable as police simply arrest and detain citizens when they do their jobs properly. Prosecutors, who have far more power in regard to actually charging individuals with offenses that can result in their loss of freedom, are more responsible for the lack of trust as they use their discretion to primarily target minority offenders for nonviolent drug offenses. This is the reason that the prison population ballooned in 40 years from 1970-2010. The prison population was approximately 200-300,000 in 1970 but by 2010, the population in prison, which is comprised of 60-70% African Americans, was 2-3 million. Over 80% of these offenders are nonviolent drug offenders who engage in the same behavior that 10s of millions of whites engage in, yet police are instructed by society in general and legislators specifically, to enforce drug laws against urban youths in minority communities.
In addition, legislators from both congressional parties have been
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