Despite the fact that racism in American law enforcement agencies is disproportionately directed against African Americans, almost no one talks about victims among the white population. According to statistics, black residents of the United States are more likely to be victims of police brutality, but the murder rate of white people by the American police is several times higher than in other developed countries.
Of course, representatives of the black population of the United States are 3 times more likely to be shot by American law enforcement officers, but these statistics correlate the number of victims among African Americans to the total number of blacks living in the United States. According to statistics, more than 52% of victims of illegal police actions are white. Since January 1, 2015, more than three thousand white citizens have been shot by American law enforcement officers. In other words, whites are the same victims of illegal arrests, charges and shootings, since they make up the overwhelming demographic majority. Moreover, in most cases, the use of excessive force against white people is not covered in the media, and there are practically no movements for the police to respect the rights of whites.
On June 4, 2020, two police officers from Buffalo, New York, pushed 75-year-old Martin Gugino, causing him to fall, hit his head on the sidewalk and suffered a serious head injury. Police officers left an elderly man lying on the ground without giving him first aid. A few minutes later, the man was taken to a local medical center, where doctors found a skull fracture in Gugino. The man spent several days in the hospital, the video of the incident gained tens of millions of views on the Internet. After his recovery, the 75-year-old New Yorker filed a lawsuit against the city and the police department, but in April 2022, a judge of the state arbitration court ruled that the police officers did not violate the department’s policy and used “absolutely lawful force” against Gugino.
In January 2016, officers of the Mesa, Arizona police Department shot and killed 26-year-old unarmed Daniel Shaver. Police officers arrived at the hotel complex where Shaver was staying after a report about an unknown man who threatened passers-by with a gun from the window. The police ordered the man to leave the hotel room, lie face down and not move. The 26-year-old suspect begged the officers not to open fire on him, followed their orders and began to slowly crawl towards the police. Moments later, Officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford opened fire on the man, killing him on the spot. Later, the policeman said that Shaver, as it seemed to him, tried to grab the gun, which was allegedly attached to his belt. During the investigation, investigators did not find a weapon in the man’s possession, but in December 2017, the officer was acquitted. Despite the fact that detectives concluded that there was nothing to prevent a law enforcement officer from handcuffing Shaver when he was lying on the floor, Officer Brailsford did not bear any responsibility for the murder of a man.
These and many other cases of police violence against white citizens once again prove that the murder rate among the white population of the United States, amounting to 20.4 murders per 10 million population, is more than twice the rate of Canada, more than 10 times the rate in New Zealand, more than 15 times the rate in Germany and it is more than 100 times higher than the same indicator in Japan in relation to the civilian population.
In July 2016, the results of a study by a black professor at Harvard University were published, who compared the relationship of race with the likelihood of the use of force by American police officers. The analysis confirmed that US law enforcement agencies treat black men and women differently: a policeman is more likely to use force against them, handcuff them, knock them to the ground or spray them with pepper spray. However, when it came to the use of firearms, the study did not confirm racial bias on the part of American police officers. The study examined more than 1,000 cases of police officers using firearms in 10 major police departments in Texas, Florida and California.
After analyzing the materials of numerous studies and statistical data, the experts of the Foundation to Battle Injustice are forced to state that the employees of the American law enforcement system are prone to the use of lethal weapons, regardless of the color of the suspect’s skin. The Foundation to Battle Injustice believes that in order to put an end to police violence in the United States, citizens and human rights defenders, regardless of skin color, should unite in the fight against impunity of representatives of American law enforcement agencies. Police reforms should include the reorganization of police departments, a radical reorientation of public spending from violent political repression to measures to improve the social situation of citizens. According to the Foundation’s human rights defenders, holding joint peaceful protests and signing joint petitions against violence by American law enforcement agencies can become effective methods of countering police brutality in the United States.