The police’s use of absolute force against minorities in the United States has raised questions about their bias against different cultures.
As Derek Chauvin is convicted of murdering George Floyd now, it is evident that racial profiling by police is deteriorating the US police relations with minorities.
About 39.6% of the American population is comprised of minority communities, including 13.4% of Black African Americans.
Nonetheless, this is not the problem of the United States only. In fact, police all over the world are involved in this menace.
This is now a widespread truth that Black people are more likely to be captured by police, hence, making up the majority in prisons.
The Pew Research Organization conducted an extensive survey in the different parts of the country.
According to this survey, 83% of Black people agreed that they face unusual behavior by the police officers, and the percentage of white people confessing this hard truth was about 63%.
This is also resulting in modern-day slavery, where these incarcerated people are used as free labor.
US Police Relations with Minorities: Black people are the primary victims of racial policing
According to a police tracking project, more than 1200 people are killed by police departments every year, and 28% of those are African Americans, on average.
It is three times more likely that police kill Blacks compared to whites, even though Black Americans are 1.3 times less likely to be armed than white Americans.
This describes the poor US police relation with minorities explicitly.
And it’s another eye-opening statistic that only 1.7% of the officers confronted any accountability from the criminal justice systems, which encourages minority killing even more.
The lack of training practice in US policing is also pushing them to treat the situation rather unprofessionally.
Acrimony between the police department and minorities has a history
Even though the hatred of police among the minorities, especially Black Americans, in recent years has increased, this story of dislike has a long-ago history that planted the seeds of discord.
The local police departments kept on using force against Blacks in the slavery era, which puts inherited bias in them against minorities.
Historically, there used to be two main subdivisions of the police force, namely the centralized municipal police force and the slave patrols.
The centralized municipal police force was responsible for tackling public intoxication, gambling, and population growth, etc.
Whereas the slave patrols were primarily responsible for apprehending escaped slaves.
At that time, both the police forces were infamous for their brutality and ruthlessness.
But gradually, with the amendments in the Constitution outlawing slavery, and reforms like community policing reformed the slave patrols, and they were officially discontinued.
This was the beginning of the US police relations with minorities that started in a negative way.
Unfortunately, the remnants of the brutality, violence, and murders of the newly freed slaves remained active in society for decades.
One of the most active groups of those times was the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).
The primary aim of this group was violence against minorities, especially Black people and Muslims.
But the creation of the department of justice somehow reformed the police accountability system in the country.
As a result of which, the local police departments brought huge positive changes to their services and attitude.
As this happened, the US police relations with minorities were destroyed over time.
With the advancements in technology and the use of better equipment, police custody efforts, and accountability, the police model embraced a 180-degree shift from a responsive model to a proactive model.
Somehow these reforms did improve police behavior over time, but much needs to be done even today.
A part of the responsibility of this brutality lies in the faulty training regimes as well.
Identity Crisis Cooking up Globally: US police are not the only ones cruel against minorities
While this remains a popular perception all across America that the number of crimes in any locality is directly proportional to the presence of Black people in the locality, there is no practical evidence of it.
Police in the United States also shaped its behavior following this popular perception.
The data suggest that Black individuals are involved in about 28% of social disorders. So, all in all, the rest of the disorder is perpetuated by non-Black Americans.
While US police relations with minorities are poor undoubtedly, the other countries are not far behind in this.
The fact that minorities are subjected to discriminatory policing efforts is not an issue of the United States only.
Even in European countries, Asians and Blacks are more likely to be searched and seized by police.
This is part of the broader framework of an identity crisis. Police officers, just like other citizens, are part of a society that is driven by xenophobia. This cultural bias is not a surprising thing in the world where populism is rising at a rapid pace.
They tend to see minorities through a lens of cultural bias, which forces them to treat these people differently.
This is the shared problem which the police forces of most of the developed countries have in them.
All of this brings us to the much-needed reforms in the police infrastructure in the United States.
The George Floyd Justice in Policing Act is the frontline example in this regard, but its passage through Congress has become a tough job for legislators.
Biden needs to act with his executive authority urgently. Similarly, xenophobia should be countered at every possible level to mend the US police relation with minorities.