If you’re one of those people who argues that it’s the criminality of the citizenry that provokes police violence, that if only black people would stop committing crimes, they wouldn’t get shot, you might want to look at the data: there is no correlation between community violence and the violence of police responses.
While some have blamed violent crime for being responsible for police violence in some communities, data shows that high levels of violent crime in cities did not appear to make it any more or less likely for police departments to kill people.
Over the past several years, police departments in high-crime cities such as Detroit and Newark have consistently killed fewer people per population than police departments in cities with much lower crime rates such as Austin, Bakersfield, and Long Beach.
Rather than being determined by crime rates, police violence reflects a lack of accountability in the culture, policies, and practices of the institutions of policing, as investigations into some of the most violent police departments in America have shown. Campaign Zero, among other initiatives, seeks to directly address the policies and practices that contribute to police violence.
Here’s another report from a black policeman that explains a lot of what is going on.
On any given day, in any police department in the nation, 15 percent of officers will do the right thing no matter what is happening. Fifteen percent of officers will abuse their authority at every opportunity. The remaining 70 percent could go either way depending on whom they are working with.