Police Shootings…Or more accurately the shooting by police of innocent or non-life threatening suspects or citizens. It is an issue that has consumed the nation recently.The uproar and the umbrage have reached tsunami proportions.
In the recent past the outrage has split along racial divides, for reasons ranging from obvious to occult. Whatever reasons for the manslaughter (I think that is most likely the nearest descriptive and accurate word for the killings) there are reasons for it. There is cause and effect. The examination of this phenomenon has produced more heat than light. Hopefully, from the rather unique viewpoint of border life some illumination may be shone on this tragedy.
Unjustified police manslaughter has been framed as a black and white issue. On the southern border of the United States along the Rio Grande River, this is not the case for one obvious reason; there are along the border region only traces and very small percentages of African American population, again for whatever reasons or reason. That is a whole other column. What we have here along the border is an overwhelming Latino population, and out of that percentage largely of Mexican descent. Along the border reside some of the most poor and deprived of people with a poverty rate exceeding anything in even the most inner and deprived African-American areas of the United States. Yet among Latinos as a percentage of population the rate of police shootings is substantially less. Caucasian Americans fare better per capita but do suffer the most deaths in sheer volume. Asian Americans fare the best of all. Only a few are killed each year by police action.
One item to note is that denoting who is Latino and who is not can throw sand in the record keeping. Record keeping protocols vary amongst agencies and police departments.
Also there is a political element as well. When during the Trayvon Martin killing some years ago, George Zimmerman was most often called white. If the situation had been different much of the same press that called him white would have called him Hispanic; His father was Jewish and his mother was Peruvian. Affirmative Action starts at 25% minority mix. Or it did at one time. It kind of comes down to what this group or that group wants for whatever particular reason.
I must say this article is getting complicated and messy. But it is vital. Lives may be saved by addressing this issue.
Anyone that who studies police shootings at all will soon realize how high the weeds are when it comes to sorting out the statistics on what group suffers what in relation to their population percentage, and why this particular group is more of a victim than another group is; and the stats are usually manipulated according to what each particular interest group is trying to accomplish. Usually everyone wants to be the group that has the greatest victim hood status.
I think it best to just move on from all that, because it might never be resolved; and a lot of the partisans involved in the debate, or investigation, don’t want it to be.
But here are some observations: