Being Black in America has always had it’s challenges but as more statistics move the forefront we are seeing concrete proof of cities and states in America not only targeting Black people for existing but it’s also for profit.
In a new study published by Raw Story, cities with higher Black populations are more likely to fine and ticket Black drivers for minimal offenses as a way to draw up revenue for the city. According to the findings, the cities seemingly most reliant on fines are the ones with the highest percentages of black residents being served by law enforcement that is whiter than its community.
The cities studies also point out that these instances are happening all over the country, including in progressive states like California. In 2010, Inglewood, California’s population was 43% black and 23% white, but its law enforcement agency was flipped, at nearly 40% white and 16% black. The city generated nearly 5% of its revenues from fines, more than double the average city in California; but this isn’t the first time that polices like this has made national news.
In 2014 after the senseless murder of Mike Brown at the hands of then-police officer Darren Wilson, reports began surfacing that the Ferguson’s troublesome practices involved illegally targeting African American residences for revenue generation, a practice known as “policing for profit.” Police aggressively fined residents, primarily black residents, without much consideration of whether doing so enhanced public trust or safety.
According to the report by the US Justice Department, “The harms of Ferguson’s police and court practices are borne disproportionately by African Americans, and there is evidence that this is due in part to intentional discrimination on the basis of race.”
But how do we fix it?
For years the ideology was to hire more Black and brown police officers to patrol neighborhoods that mirror their ethnicity, but even that has proven to be detrimental to residents of color, with most Black and brown officers hiding and participating in the crimes of their white counterparts under the guise of “blue brotherhood.” Look at the egregious behavior of the Black officers in Baltimore, Maryland; half of the police officers who participated in the beating death of Freddie Gray and cover up weren’t white and the area they were patrolling was home to a few officers in the case, yet the outcome was still the same.
So what is the real plan?
Until America really decides to get real and honest about the laws and origin of a lot of their policing policies, we will continue to have this issue. America has a problem with Black people and we need to be honest about it so that the issues stemming from that hatred can be corrected. In addition, a criminal justice overhaul, along with the appointing of African Americans, who serve in the community, in prominent positions in the police force, oversight committee, judges and the office of prosecutors are also cited as ways to help curb the abuse of power when it comes to the police and African Americans across the country.
Although the ideas and the efforts will help, the reality is that until America has it’s true day of atonement in regards it’s horrific treatment towards it’s Black children, we will continue to die at it’s cruel, white hands.
Check out the report in full here.