Should there be an equal representation of the population in the police force?
by nalmaghrawi on September 18, 2014 - 7:16pm
An unarmed innocent 18-year-old was shot several times in broad day light, in cold blood by a white police officer on August 9th, 2014. To no surprise the 18-year-old was an African American. Michael Brown Jr. was killed on the edge of beginning college. The following days of the death of Mike Brown, streets flooded with protestors to rally against the killing of the innocent young man. The peaceful protest quickly escalated to a riot due to the involvement of the military. Should there be an equal representation of the population in the police force, due to the possibility of racial profiling?
The revival of racial profiling is very much present in Ferguson, being that 68% of the population are African American, and 90% of Ferguson’s police force is made up of white men. Statistics show that African American people are four times more likely to get arrested than white people are. The shift of majority throughout the years, going from being primarily white to being primarily black, did not have any effect on the police force, leaving it to remain the exact same, considering the fact that only 3 out of 50 police officers in Ferguson are black. The lack of representation in the police force is the main reason why African Americans are being mistreated. By applying this principle it will in fact lessen the tension between both populations, and will insure that every citizen receives equal treatment. In order to insure that no racial profiling continues within the community.
A reason that may be brought up when mentioning this is, that this solution is indirectly claiming that all white people are racist, and that they justify the killing of an innocent African American. Many would take to offense that this principle is proposing that it’s dangerous to have a police force that is dominantly white and that there should be more representation of the population instead. One may take this idea in the wrong way by thinking that it is unintentionally provoking this idea that all white people share the same mentality, and that they have negative views against blacks. One could argue that the real issue here is not that the majority of the police force is white, but that the police force doesn’t consists of good, non-judgemental and non-racist people. The idea that it doesn’t matter what race one comes from, but what type of person they are, focusing more on hiring better individuals rather than an entire group of people. Suggesting that a better resolution to this issue would be an improvement in the recruitment of these police officers, and that the process of recruiting these officers should be looked at more precisely. The idea that the core issue to this problem is the hiring of the wrong people. Although I completely agree with this statement, because it’s obvious that not all white people are racist, but I do believe that it is necessary to take action and have a police force that mirrors the population in some way. Police officers are the authorities, and having a dominantly white police force be the authority to a population, who are predominately black doesn’t seem to make sense.
DeWayne, Wickham. "What kind of police force will remain in Ferguson?." USA Today n.d.: Academic Search Premier. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.
Sharon Cohen and Jim Suhr. “Michael Brown before deadly Ferguson shooting: ‘One day the whole world will know my name’”. National Post. Associated Press, August 24th, 2014. September 16th, 2014.