You can follow him on Twitter @MBlackwell27. Hudson, a former St. Louis police officer explains a theory shared with him by a former colleague. Black Lives Matter and the Mechanics of Conformity. Stop law enforcement violence against women of color & trans people of color! The implications of this availability heuristic and our media saturation of black deaths in police hands should be obvious. Just as sticks propped against one another are kept upright by mutual inter-dependence, false beliefs may acquire spurious validity in the public square from the confidence engendered by their popularity. Activists and journalists may not realize that they are catalysing an informational cascade when they make certain claims. Informational cascades and reputational cascades feed into and reinforce one another—both increase the number of people publicly confessing to a belief and thereby exert more influence on others to conform. Reputational cascades behave like informational cascades but the underlying motivation is different—people publicly embrace the beliefs of others out of social necessity rather than genuine belief. As hysteria rises and people everywhere become alarmed or pretend to be alarmed by whatever the imagined crisis is about, Sunstein and Kuran point out that historically the media systematically suppresses reasoned commentary by experts in the relevant field and may even give more attention to “gimmicks” that further inflame panic. Is that enough to conclude that racism is the cause, or are there other forces also at work? The police in many African countries are known to resort to excessive use of force while carrying out their function of law enforcement. … When video journalist Ami Horowitz tried to engage with Black Lives Matter activists he found they had virtually no familiarity with the data on police killings and no desire to know about it. of data on the extent of police misconduct, brutality, and corruption. Du Bois Professor of the Social Sciences at Harvard University, discusses the underlying social and cognitive factors at work in … The evidence on racial differences in police killings is not unambiguously settled; scholars continue to argue over the minutia of data collection and statistical techniques, and Fryer himself has warned against drawing strong conclusions at this stage: “Are there racial differences in the most extreme forms of police violence? It’s us against them, and they are dangerous. The legitimacy of that authority may remain fixed from the point of view of fellow police officers, but in communities subject to long term abuse, that legitimacy becomes tarnished, faded or non-existent. Leon Festinger describes this process in When Prophecy Fails, but the most eloquent description comes from Adolf Hitler’s architect and Minister of Armaments Albert Speer, who spent decades in prison after the war attempting to understand how he had allowed himself to become swept up by the delusions of the regime he supported: … in normal circumstances people who turn their backs on reality are soon set straight by the mockery and criticism of those around them, which makes them aware they have lost credibility. When one is brought up in a society where everybody practises a religion, there is scarcely any reason to question that religion, even though it may have no contact with reality at all. Conformity and Police Brutality. ( Log Out / Quillette regrets the error. National Bureau of Economic Research. Catholics are far more likely than anyone else to buy into fantastic reports of a weeping statue of Mother Mary, and as Hans Rosling found, political activists are more likely to buy into radical claims that support their already systemically pessimistic beliefs. Causes Of Police Brutality And Violence 905 Words | 4 Pages. This means that even the criminals, who are a part of the public, have certain rights, particularly, civil rights. Black Americans are seven times more likely to commit murder as white Americans, and the majority of murders and robberies in the United States are carried out by black Americans even though they are a minority. So there’s incredible pressure on the seventy percent to conform to the abusive fifteen over the ethical fifteen. “People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by ease with which they are retrieved from memory,” writes Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. Between the participants we have an emotional tempest of anger, desperation and fear. In fact, it found that white people face a higher risk of being killed during an arrest. Each entry is organized by city, and most contain a link to a … His study arrived at a different conclusion. The participants may also understand their roles in emotional and/or transcendent terms. But she chose not to because she didn’t want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news.” While a white death at the hands of a police officer rarely makes headlines, a black death is likely to incite immediate media coverage, outrage, and protests or riots that last for weeks or months. To make progress in the fight against police brutality, the incentives must change. He may flee from the officer, or physically resist any attempt by the police to put hands on him. Drug-dealers, rapists, murderers, you name it. In Sunstein and Kuran’s framework, public figures may constitute a lucrative availability market due to their increased sensitivity to the reputational cascade. Widespread, systematic police brutality persists in some countries with authoritarian governments, corruption, or ineffective judicial systems. Demonstrators against France's draft security law clashed with police in Paris on Saturday, with 142 people arrested according to Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin. Police officers have a role in this machine, and this role can be defined, but the goal is to rework the system to be more robust overall. A snowballing effect then occurs as the validity of a belief increases along with the number of believers. Today, unjustified shooting, fatal chokings and beatings have contributed to the prominent problem of police brutality in America. A recent 50-page study examined the effects of investigations into police forces on crime. Building on the Critical Resistance-INCITE!Statement on Gender Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex, which calls on social justice movements to develop strategies and analysis that address both state and interpersonal violence, in 2005 INCITE! This pattern of abuse is then reinforced and entrenched by what some activists refer to as the “Blue Wall,” the so called unwritten code of loyalty between police officers that precludes the noble fifteen from confronting abuse. Susceptibility to informational and availability cascades varies according to an individual’s preconceived beliefs, levels of knowledge, intuitions, visions, values, and desires. After subjecting more than 10,000 people to knowledge-based questions about the state of the world, the late researcher Hans Rosling found that, on average, activists had a less accurate picture than the general public of the very issue to which their activism is devoted. Hysterical, unsubstantiated claims produced by availability cascades, such as the Love Canal toxic waste incident, may have driven scientific inquiry to reveal details that otherwise wouldn’t have come to public attention for decades. Matthew Blackwell, Quillette, September 17, 2020. According to Lewis, who is tracking incidences of police brutality and discrimination against deaf people across the nation, effective communication during this initial stage is critical to preventing wrongful arrest and convictions. We believe that this, paired with the awareness of media backlash that follows an officer shooting a minority suspect, is the most plausible explanation.” The study on police shootings published by the National Academies of Sciences includes another finding that may make sense in this light—black police officers are more likely to shoot black suspects than white police officers are, perhaps because white officers will be subject to increased scrutiny following a fatality. 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