The essence of police shootings evokes strong feelings in certain cases. In comparison, police officer killings are synonymous with massive disinformation. Montgomery noted in the article ‘Why Cops Kill,’ that no one was tracking police killings in Florida, the third-largest state in the United States.
As compared to whites, blacks were shot by police on patrol at a higher rate in Florida, according to Montgomery. It should be remembered that while whites in the United States are disproportionately more than blacks (nearly 160 million more), the number of black people shot by police is arguably high. For instance, as explained by Munzenrieder of the Miami New Times, white people are approximately 62 percent but only 49 percent of those shot by police officers. On the other side, African Americans make up 24 percent of those individuals shot fatally and killed by cops, even though they make up just 13 percent of the country’s population (Munzenrieder). Therefore, the question of why cops shoot can be linked to differences in races as it is evident that a considerably high number of African Americans are shot as compared to whites in relation to their respective population.
Another disturbing fact identified by correspondents of the Tampa Bay Times is that on-duty police are never charged with crimes for their actions, i.e. firing. In most police agencies, there go on many cover-ups that ultimately result in scrapping off of the cases. Besides, families of the shot individuals do not receive justice as police in most such shootings blame the victims for their murder. For instance, police blame the African Americans for intentions to confront them during the violence, and as an excuse, they get away with murder. According to Munzenrieder, considering shooting confined in a single race, it is more likely for a black person shot by the police to have been unarmed during the incident compared to a white individual. Therefore, the culture of impunity in most police agencies necessitate the cops to shoot, particularly whenever there is a confrontation involving African Americans.
The issue of police shooting has been going on for a long time in U.S. history. There are various reasons why cops shoot, such as being severe errors in judgment, dismal hit ratios for handguns, the perception of particular races (especially African Americans) as violent, and also psychological and physiological impairment of the officer.
Munzenrieder, Kyle. “A Breakdown of the 71 People Killed by Police in Florida in 2015.” Miami New Times, 2016, http://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/a-breakdown-of-the-71-people-killed-by-police-in-florida-in-2015-8159418. Accessed 23 June 2017.
Montgomery, Ben. “Tampa Bay Times Investigation: Why Cops Shoot.” Tampa Bay Times, 2017, http://www.tampabay.com/blogs/the-buzz-florida-politics/tampa-bay-times-investigation-why-cops-shoot/2319208. Accessed 23 June 2017.