How militarized are your police?
This map by the NY Times gives a break down of how much our country’s police forces have become stocked with military surplus weapons and gear. The trend started in the 1990s from a program designed to deal with extra equipment during the winding down of our wars.
This has no doubt added to the tensions with situations in Ferguson, MO. The St. Louis region has had many issues with racial profiling in the past. In fact, UCLA’s Center for Policing Equity is actually in the middle of a study in St. Louis to explore this very issue.
These researchers have studied departments all over the country. Recently in Las Vegas they found the lack of diversity training in their police department was causing officers to exhibit racial bias when using force on an individual. In their survey asking officers to anonymously talk about how they view diversity training one said:
All diversity training basically states that if you are white you are wrong, and that everyone else’s culture takes precedence over society’s established norms.
So what can these researchers recommend? and how much sway do their recommendations have? In the Las Vegas case they recommended the police department integrate diversity training with its training on use-of-force situations. They also said an outside group should be monitoring incidents where officers stop pedestrians.
While this type of research may inform policy/policymakers, it also affects citizens at the ballot box. John Gaskin from the Missouri NAACP discussed the historic lack of voter turnout among African-American Ferguson, MO residents:
We warned people about these kinds of things. Who hires the police officers? The police chief. Who hires the police chief? The mayor. Who hires the mayor? Who elects the council folks?
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot,
While round us bark the mad and hungry dogs,
Making their mock at our accursed lot.
If we must die—oh, let us nobly die,
So that our precious blood may not be shed
In vain; then even the monsters we defy
Shall be constrained to honor us though dead!
Oh, Kinsmen! We must meet the common foe;
Though far outnumbered, let us show us brave,
And for their thousand blows deal one deathblow!
What though before us lies the open grave?
Like men we’ll face the murderous, cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying, but fighting back!"
— Claude McKay (via knowledgeequalsblackpower)
Predicting the World With Maths - for fans of ‘big data’, maths, predictive analytics etc.
Today at our weekly Wednesday meeting at 60 plus veterans group we had the pleasure of having the Sherif of Suffolk County speak, Sherif Tompkins. I have to say I don’t really follow law enforcement so I was foreign to his reputation or work.
He comes across as a good communicator and I felt the…
"The mental flexibility of the wise [person] permits [them] to keep an open mind and enables [them] to readjust [themselves] whenever it becomes necessary for a change."
| Malcolm X
The college selection process was both a thrilling and troubling experience for me. It was thrilling in that my dreams were coming true — all of my hard work was paying off and my life would soon transform incredibly. But, it was…
Oftentimes, when we discuss fatherhood we assume that African-American men aren’t part of that conversation, largely because a number of studies and reports have repeatedly told us that black fathers are overwhelmingly absent from th…
Hate to break it to you but downloading an app won’t get you to your habits. Here’s the science of what will.
Investigators at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have utilized a new image-based strategy to identify and measure placebo effects in randomized clinical trials for brain disorders. The findings are published in the August issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation.