My newest piece at Fox News starts this way:
Do blacks trust police more than whites do? Given the anger over events in Ferguson and New York City, the very question seems absurd. But it is not. Behind the polls and demonstrations, there is evidence that blacks trust police at least as much as whites do.
The poll results are hardly surprising. A new Gallup poll confirms blacks place less confidence in police and the criminal justice system. Using survey data from 2006 through 2014, Gallup found:
-- 31 percentage points more blacks than whites believe black males are more likely to go to prison than white males primarily because of discrimination (50 percent versus 19 percent).
-- 7 percentage points more blacks believe the honesty and ethics of police are low/very low (17 percent versus 10 percent).
Similarly, a 2013 Pew Research Centersurvey reveals that 70 percent of blacks believed police treated whites better than blacks. By contrast, only 37 percent of whites agreed.
But what people say and what they do are often different. And there are both victims and criminals in black communities.
Victims may trust the police for the same reasons that criminals dislike them. Blacks are not a monolithic group: blacks who who have been through the criminal justice system as criminals could answer these questions quite differently than those who have relied on police as victims.
The polls don’t distinguish between these two groups. As Charles Barkley recently said: “[Police] are the only thing in the ghetto between this place being the wild, wild west.”
Most violent crime victims don’t report crimes to police. For example, only about half of rapes are reported to police. That has a lot to do with how victims believe they will be treated by the police. In the case of rape, victims who think that the police are unsympathetic to rape victims or are unlikely to solve the cases are even less likely to report rapes.
If black victims really believe police are racist, why would they report the crime to the police? Blacks victims don’t want other blacks locked up simply due to their race; they want the criminals who actually committed the crime punished. . . .
Labels: op-ed, Police, racialdiscrimination