Black Americans preferred to be robbed or burglarized than to have unprovoked contact with police officers, study finds.
New research has found that most White Americans feel safe interacting with police, whereas most Black Americans fear that police will kill them and hurt their families.
According to the research, published in Criminology “approximately half of Black respondents preferred to be robbed or burglarized than to have unprovoked contact with officers.”
“The mission of policing is to protect and serve, but recent events suggest that many Americans, and especially Black Americans do not feel protected by the police,” according to the researchers.
The researchers maintained that understanding police-related fear is important because it may impact civilians’ health, daily lives and policy attitudes.
The researchers surveyed a nationwide sample of 1,150 Americans, which included a comparable number of 517 Black and 492 White respondents in order to ascertain the prevalence, sources and consequences of both personal and altruistic fears of the police.
The findings revealed that “most White respondents felt safe, but most Black respondents lived in fear of the police killing them and hurting their family members.”
“Approximately half of Black respondents preferred to be robbed or burglarized than to have unprovoked contact with officers,” according to the outcome of the study.
The researchers stressed that the racial divide in fear was mediated by past experiences with police mistreatment. In turn, fear mediated the effects of race and past mistreatment on support for defunding the police and intentions to have “the talk” with family youths about the need to distrust and avoid officers.
According to the researchers,”the deep American racial divide in police-related fear represents a racially disparate health crisis and a primary obstacle to law enforcement’s capacity to serve all communities equitably.”
On April 11, 2021, Daunte Wright, 20, was stopped by officers for a traffic violation. Police tried to detain him for an outstanding warrant. Brooklyn center police officer Kim Potter shot him as he was trying to get back into his car. The police chief says it was an accident—that Potter mistook her gun for a taser.
On May 25, 2020, George Floyd, a 46-year-old man, was murdered near the intersection of East 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, by Derek Chauvin, a 44-year-old police officer with the Minneapolis Police Department.
Floyd had been arrested on suspicion of using a counterfeit $20 bill. Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes while Floyd was handcuffed and lying face-down in the street.
Tou Thao, a fourth police officer on the scene where Chauvin murdered Floyd prevented bystanders from intervening.
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