16-Month-Long Investigation Proves Racial Bias Against Blacks In The Use Of Force By Police; Public Hearing Announced

16-Month-Long Investigation Proves Racial Bias Against Blacks In The Use Of Force By Police; Public Hearing Announced

While activists and known names have made their opposition to the police brutality quite clear, there is now data as well to show the disparity in the force used against black individuals.

Despite the cover-ups and the times when the police force has been misaligned with what they stand for -- more so towards the individuals from the black community -- media investigations have not stopped.

While activists and known names have made their opposition to the police brutality quite clear, there is now data as well to show the disparity in the force used against black individuals. 

Twitter

 

According to NJ.com, state lawmakers and faith leaders of New Jersey called for public hearings to probe racial disparity in an announcement on Thursday. This call came in the wake of the release of a report made by NJ Advance Media -- which found that black people in New Jersey were punched, kicked and pepper sprayed during arrests at a far higher rate than white residents.

“The data is crystal clear," said Rev. Charles Boyer, a pastor and founder of the civil rights group Salvation and Social Justice, during a Statehouse press conference in Trenton. “What black communities have been outraged about for decades, and given little to no credence, has once again been justified by research.” 

Twitter

 

The report, that has come out confirming what people were already seeing around them, is called the Force Report. The report was a result of a 16-month investigation that was published at the end of 2018. 

According to NJ.com, the report highlights some major disparities in how police officers use force and who they use it against. Moreover, it also lists the paltry oversight and lack of standard reporting practices. 

Twitter

 

If the numbers were to be inferred, an analysis of five years’ worth of law enforcement data showed black New Jerseyans were three times more likely to face some type of police force than whites. Which might surprise you more, given the fact that police officers more frequently reported white suspects showing aggressive behavior during arrests. 

Denying racially charged bias is difficult in the face of these numbers. 

Twitter

 

In response, state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal and police leaders announced they would overhaul how the state tracks use of force and consider additional reforms. 

Grewal, who has pushed several police accountability measures since taking office last year, said in a statement to NJ Advance Media on Thursday that his office would create “a new system to obtain police use-of-force data and to ensure that it is used in a meaningful way.” 



 

 

“We, of course, welcome the community hearings announced today and welcome the coalition’s continued input,” Grewal said. “In order to truly get this right, we need a collaborative solution and public dialogue is critical.” 

It's not going to stop there. There are listening sessions that the attorney general is going to hold - which will be attended by the county prosecutors and the local law enforcement. 



 

 

However, NJ.com reports that black lawmakers said on Thursday that they did not want to wait for the local law enforcement officials to make the changes. 

A series of four public hearings will collect testimony from residents in Newark, Paterson, New Brunswick and Pleasantville about their interactions with police. 



 

 

State Sen. Nia Gill, D-Essex, a veteran lawmaker, said resources to better train and oversee police interactions with communities of color have long been on the table. The New Jersey State Police enacted many of them in the aftermath of racial profiling scandals in the late 1990s, she said, yet many reforms had not been embraced by local departments.

“We do have systems," Gill said. "They are available. Will the municipalities put them in place? They tell me it costs money, and I want to tell them the cost of lives for freedom. We will not complain about the dollar amount while black and brown people are subject to an oppressive, dangerous law enforcement situation.”

Recommended for you