Driving While Brown Analysis

Submitted By bizaccanelli
Words: 1541
Pages: 7

Driving While Brown Brent Staples tells his story of being a black journalist late for a dead line with his editor and rushing into the building and running passed the security officer. The officer yelling at him to hault, but Staples pressing forward knowing that he had a dead line ignores the officer; the officer starts to chase him continuing with his urges to stop running. Staples’ knowing he has no identification with him to prove that he works in that building continues to run for his editor, hoping that his editor can shed light on the situation. Brent was running while black, knowing full well that he makes people uneasy by being a tall black man by his past experiences. Later, Brent states that another black journalist, in Illinois, was working on a murder story and a police officer mistaken him as the murderer and hauled him from his car at gun point. If it wasn’t for this gentleman’s press credentials he would have probably been booked. Brent later expresses in his essay that stories like these are very common with the black community. If blacks are so mistreated by police, what actually happened to train police to be so bias in the respect on equality? The claims of racist police is a drum that has been drummed for decades, how can this be true in a nation that has thrived on equal rights, and freedom for many years now. Police are simply responding to growing infraction of the law within inner cities, which is usually predominantly black. Inner city crimes which are sometimes violent, drug related, or burglary is always broadcasted more than white collared crimes because that’s what the media views as sellable which makes it seem that blacks are targeted by police more than any other demographic.
Studies confirm the persistence of the “driving while black or brown” phenomenon. Los Angeles Police Department data for the period of July-November 2002 reveals that while blacks comprised only 10 percent of the overall of Los Angeles, they were 18 percent of those subjected to traffic stops. Moreover, 22 percent of blacks who were stopped were asked to step out of their cars, as compared to only 7 percent of whites stopped. Once out of their cars, 67 percent of blacks were patted down and 85 percent subjected to a body search. Fifty-five percent of Hispanics removed from their cars were patted down 84 percent searched. By contrast, only 50 percent of whites were patted down and 71 percent searched. Again this information is of a large city that is very large and plagued with crime. The police are solely responding to the demographic of offenders. How many white gang members do you see or hear about, Los Angeles is infested with territorial gangs. What wasn’t stated in that article is why those traffic stops actually happened; speeding, failing to stop, drunk driving, reported stolen, sound infraction, not wearing their seat belt, out dated tags, lights out, or broken mirrors. Any of these traffic stops could have originated from any one of these scenarios and then progressed into something else that led to being pulled out of the vehicle and patted down. Another fact that wasn’t stated in the article was how many of these stops led to tickets or arrests.
In Workers World they printed this.
Was racism a factor in police shooting? This past May 28, it was a 25-year-old police officer, Omar Edwards, who was fatally shot by fellow officer, Andrew Dunton. Edwards was black and Dunton is white. Edwards, who was off-duty and in plainclothes, was shot in the chest and arm while chasing a Latino man in East Harlem with his gun drawn. According to news reports, it is only after Edwards had been shot and lying on the pavement bleeding to death that Dunton and two other white officers discovered, once they had handcuffed him, that he was an officer. The police shooting a man running down the street with a gun drawn in East Harlem, sound like job well done. Edwards was not in uniform or badge and off-duty, he might