As the nation mourns the death of Michael Brown who has shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, a new study from the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago finds that tensions between Black youth and law enforcement are a nationwide problem.
The report finds that 54.5 percent of Black youth report being harassed by the police. This is nearly double the rate for youth from other racial and ethnic groups. Only 44 percent of Black youth said they trusted the police in their community, compared to 71.5 percent of White youth. Only 28.8 percent of Black youth stated that they believe the American legal system treats all groups equally.
Cathy J, Cohen, the David and Mary Winton Green Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and a co-author of the report, states that “The Michael Brown tragedy and those like it are indicators of systemic injustices that have resulted in long-standing tensions between law enforcement and the Black community. Sadly, these differences in experience and perception are not just results for academics to write about. They are lived realities that literally cost too many young Black people their lives.”
The report, The Policing of Black Communities and Young People of Color, may be downloaded by clicking here.