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POLICE AREN’T THE PROBLEM; THEY’RE THE SOLUTION

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“It’s easy for a black male to keep himself from being shot by a white cop,” the Wall Street Journal’s Jason Riley said on my radio show. “It’s much harder to keep from getting shot by other black men.” Riley’s point is that if you defer and don’t try to challenge a police officer he may insult you but he won’t kill you. In fact, an African-American is 60 times more likely to be killed by a fellow African American than he is by a white cop, and more whites than blacks are victims of deadly police shootings. These tragic numbers make media obsession with Ferguson, Missouri even less defensible. Police risk their lives daily to try to stop black-on-black crime that afflicts every big city. When it comes to keeping black youths from violent death, police aren’t the problem – in fact, they’re a crucial part of any solution.

Comments (23)

  1. From: Jane White   On: August 19, 2014

    I had wanted to use the statistics you (I think) used in today’s broadcast but this article comes up short and it’s all I could find. I’d love to have those statistics of percentages of blacks as a total population (which I think you said was 14%), black on black crime (was it 90%), etc. Sorry, but I was at work and listening as best I could! Thanks!

  2. From: Justin   On: August 20, 2014

    Yes, I would like to see those statistics too… been looking for them and I heard them on your show yesterday!

  3. From: Shawn Mc   On: August 20, 2014

    yes mike can you give us sites where we can pull up those stats about white cops shooting white victims

    • From: Nathan S.   On: August 23, 2014

      “Victims”???

      “Suspects,” might be a more appropriate word…..just saying

  4. From: jguy   On: August 20, 2014

    It appears to me that the majority of protesters in Ferguson are law
    abiding aggrieved citizens and a minority are criminal agitators. If
    law enforcement were to back down from the criminal element
    the law abiding aggrieved citizens as well as everyone else in that
    community will lose. The police must be law abiding and they must
    be allowed to control the streets or we will all loose….except the
    criminal thugs that are unfortunately…everywhere. If they come to
    my abode with aggressive intent they will legally join Mr. Brown
    as we are still a nation that allows citizens to protect themselves…thank
    God.

  5. From: Will   On: August 21, 2014

    Black people realize that we have a black-on-black crime problem in inner city America. There are many long standing reasons for it, … racism, job discrimination/housing discriminantion towards our parents, their parents and their parents, influx of drugs, years ago-white flight (not wanting to live near blacks), businesses leaving (not wanting to serve blacks)….etc. that served to create these crime invested communities. A lot of black youth are growing up in “hell” and people are shocked when many of them don’t act like angels!

    There are also many people and organizations working to solve the problem (communiny outreach programs, youth groups, stop the violence rally’s …etc). So I wish people would stop saying that blacks are not addressing the “real” issues in the community, we are! What we don’t need is rouge/insensitive cops adding to the problem and helping to create animosity towards them in genral in the minds of our youth. Of course their are good policemen, but there are too may like the one on relieved of duty in Ferguson who pointed the gun at protesters, saying “I will f’ing kill you”…. A lot of policemen display that nasty, condescending attitude and people in inner city America see that policeman far too often and are tired of it.

    What bothers me is that many white people seem to have no compassion for the plight of black youth growing up in inner city hell. Too many policemen seem to have no compassion also. They see most black males as “thugs” with little or no life value. It’s much easier to use deadly force in that case.

    Deadly force should be the last resort, but too many times it’s the first. The 2nd shooting in St Louis of the knife wielding man did not have to happen! I totally disagree with those who say the officers had no other choice! I’m sure there is precedent for policmen disarming an armed suspect without killing him. Those officers jumped out of the car with guns drawn, gave a few orders that were not obeyed , then shot him dead. No mace, no taser, no attempt to surround/distract the man, no real attempt to engage or calm him down (like a hostage negotiator might do). Isn’t a human life at least worth the attempt!? Deadly force was the first resort, not the last.

    As far as the Michael Brown case is concerned, if it’s true that Brown turned around with hands up, that’s it! In our country policemen are not judge, jury and executioner, correct!? So, even if Brown scuffled with and punched officer Wilson at the car, once he turned around with hands up, there should be no deadly shooting. All that needs to be determinned is if Brown’s hands were up. The robbery at the store, the alleged scuffle at the car, alleged striking of the officer are secondary considerations in determining if Mr. Wilson wrongfully used deadly force. Michael Brown could have been a mass murderer, but once he surrendered (if he did) Wilson was WRONG to use deadly force and should pay for his crime.

    • From: mike b   On: August 21, 2014

      Dear Miss:

      Your response was so seasoned, it brought me joy internally and tears externally.

      Wow!

      Everyone can learn a lesson in viewpoint – and wisdom – from your loving witness.

      Thank you

      MTB

    • From: jguy   On: August 21, 2014

      so if Mr. Brown were coming back at the officer with his hands up
      after injuring the officer and attempting to get his gun….the now
      injured officer who, even if being further threatened, should do
      what? Run away? Hand him some more cigars? Tell him
      Eric Holder is his friend and he can do whatever he wants?
      Unfortunately for Mr. Brown people in the US can defend
      themselves IF they are in fear of bodily harm…..this will
      be the question….. This should not be a racial question…
      It is just a question of who is the defender of the law…and
      who is the lawless. If Mr. Brown were in fact in the process
      of surrendering to the officer then prosecute the officer to the
      fullest extent…..but it is wrong to assume the officer or Mr. Brown
      to be guilty before due process is performed.

    • From: Nathan S.   On: August 24, 2014

      Will, you have a very good insight into the plight of the inner city issues. However, your comments reflect a common naiveté toward police. Rather than debate you on what the police should have done or be doing, I would encourage you to challenge your perspective. Maybe go on a ride along, take a class on police tactics, or talk with some local officers about why they use force when other options may seem more appropriate to you. You may be surprised. There is years of experience, training, and case law that go into police tactics and use of force decisions. What may seem to you as eagerness to escalate to unnecessary levels of force, may in fact be a well thought out practice based on numerous factors. Violence never looks good. It doesn’t mean it is never appropriate or justifiable.

      Even if your perspective isn’t changed. Taking the time to learn and enter act with your local police department will probably open your eyes to who they are as people. I bet you will be impressed with the professionalism and integrity of the officers you meet.

  6. From: Will   On: August 22, 2014

    @ mike B,

    If your comments are addresed to me, thanks. I’m glad you found something good and uplifting in my comments.

    @jguy: No, Officer Wilson doesn’t have to run away, give more cigars or any of that IF M. Brown were coming back at the officer. However none of the main witnesses have said that Brown charged the officer. The 2 young ladies, the man (latest witness) that left his bedroom to go outside, and Brown’s friend, that was with him at the time, all say Brown was shot several feet from the officer, there was no charging or “bum rushing”.

    As you say, hopefully “due process” will determine the truth. The problem is that “process” has been shady, slow and problematic, to say the least…..body left uncovered for 1-2 hrs, body left on street for 4-5 hrs(!!!), slow to release officers name, no statement from officer (2nd hand statement from officers friend to call-in radio show doesn’t count!!), discrediting (and unrelated video in my opinion) of Brown in convenience store, officers incident report not filed til days later (apparently), incident report signed but basically blank (!!!!), very potentially biased prosecutor left on case (so far), false reports of the officers broken eye socket, already discrediting of witnesses saying they are giving conflicting reports ( when actually their stories are pretty consistent)……etc.

    Yes, assumptions should not be made about the officer, but neither should he get the “benefit of the doubt” (as he is getting in many eyes) especially with all the discrepancies in this case. My fear is that because some of the witnesses are not the most eloquent or refined of people that will make them unbelieveable in some eyes. But people tend to believe a police officer by default even though there are plenty of examples, over the years, that they can be just as criminal and corrupt as some in society. The officers are the professionals, sworn to protect and serve. They should be held to a higher standard in performing their duties.

    When those in charge of upholding the law are corrupt then the result will be chaos. That’s why officer Wilson’s story must be heard and fully scrutinized.

    • From: jguy   On: August 25, 2014

      agreed…thanks

  7. From: Sum Whyteguy   On: August 24, 2014

    There are more white people in American than Black people, so..duh. And Police are the solution only when they aren’t trying to get bum ranchers from playing their fees. Then they become the Federal thugs. Perspective is also not color blind.

  8. From: Sum Whyteguy   On: August 24, 2014

    PS. White people are killed by more White people. Black people are killed by more black people. Hispanic people are killed more by Hispanic people, Asian people are killed by more Asian people. Etc. You know why? Because crime tends to happen to people of similar backgrounds when they tend to live together in similar areas. So since black people are more likely to live in areas with more other black people then the potential to a crime to happen from another black person is raised, just like if the make up of the community were mostly white.

    A grown adult with honest intellectual integrity would know this fact. But that’s ok, you still got a bit of growing to do.

  9. From: jubiq   On: August 24, 2014

    A lot of people are missing the mark. Wait, let me restate that. A lot of people who’re BEING INTENTIONALLY MISLED BY THE MEDIA, are missing the mark. This isn’t about racism, per se. Most if not all of the race talk comes from media sources and subsequently internet comments from the general public. The overwhelming majority of both of those groups have no personal tie to Ferguson. If you notice, not much race talk comes from the protesters, nor from the misguided, self destructive rioters/looters. What most of them talk about is what most of the media and internet comments don’t focus on. Which is: “why they are protesting.” Well, why ARE they protesting? The dialog that would be started by pursuing answers to that question is never the media’s focus. They’ll bring it up, but it won’t be a significant part of the report/story, and it’ll usually be within the context of some aspect of race that THEY have shown, said, suggested, implied, exaggerated, etc., which WILL be a big part of the story. The bottom line is that racism sells. That’s why situations exactly like this, which happen all over the world everyday, that have no sellable racial (or any other) aspect (ie. white on white or black on black crime) don’t usually make the news.

    All this talk about percentages and statistics (the “facts”) misses the mark. Theoretically, yes, the facts are the facts. However, that theory doesn’t account for who controls the facts, what facts are released, and how/when they’re released. If you live in an area (regardless of racial make-up) where it’s common for the police to misrepresent and/or withhold information in cases they’re involved in, then “the facts” take on a different meaning to you. Factual clarity and the mental pictures/images they create, becomes subjective to all parties involved, especially to the reporters and readers.

    Most people in America live in places where the police force is respectable (collectively speaking). And for that matter, most cops across the board are good cops, even in many high crime areas. With that being said, the fact remains that there are many areas where the police commonly go overboard, and operate in a disrespectful, dishonest, illegal, rights-infringing way. It seems like at the very least that a strong aspect of this type of situation exists in Ferguson. Why? How? Who’s accountable? What should be done? What can be done? What will be done? Why are the protesters out there? What the hell is going on in Ferguson? The media can’t focus on this. Not many care, so focusing on that aspect has no value (financially speaking). However, a racially inspired riot will polarize and hook almost everyone one way or another. There’s always enough blame to go around, but it seems as if accountability is a rare find these days. I hope they find prosperous resolve in Ferguson.

  10. From: Pastor Norwood   On: August 24, 2014

    you wrote: African-American is 60 times more likely to be killed by a fellow African American than he is by a white cop, and more whites than blacks are victims of deadly police shootings.”

    PLEASE DON’T PUT OUT INFORMATION WITHOUT SOURCES! ALSO, THE ISSUE IS NOT ABOUT MORE WHITES THAN BLACKS BEING VICTIMS OF DEADLY POLICE SHOOTINGS…THE ANGER YOU WILL NEVER UNDERSTAND IS U N A R M E D A R G U A B L Y I N N O C E N T AFRICAN AMERICAN MALES…UNARMED!

  11. From: bhf   On: August 26, 2014

    Understand and agree there is a major problem with black on black crime – as we know that occurs in every race/culture. However there is also a major problem with police response to and treatment of young Black men today – and it’s obviously getting worse. Your article makes it appear that all the fault lies in the black community. This is unfair and untrue. The statements are not only distressing but insulting. My prayers go out to all the families affected – those who have lost loved ones and the familes of the police as well.. and to you. May God be with us all.

  12. From: Will   On: August 27, 2014

    @ Nathan S,

    Thanks for your response (compliment and comments).

    I don’t think I have any “naivete'” concerning police and the work they perform. I also pride myself on always challenging my own perspective and looking at all sides of an issue. For the record I believe police officers have one of toughest, most demanding jobs on the planet. Many times they have to deal with the worst in society and have to make split second judgement calls in doing so. I believe there are plenty of “good”, caring, compassionate officers willing to give their life to protect and serve irregardless of race or creed. I also believe that they should be well paid for their efforts

    I never said, and don’t believe “violence” or extreme/deadly force is “never” appropriate by the police. I get it, they want to go home to their families too. I just believe in the case of the knife wielding man there were other options as I described.

    Not that you are saying this, but it is equally naive to believe that all officers act with professionalism and integrity. The officer I have a problem with is the one who would place a choke hold on a citizen until he draws his last breath and the other officers on the scene who let it happen without interference. Also, the officer who would beat a defenseless woman on the side of the highway, the one who profiles and harasses good law abiding citizens and any number of real police misconduct cases.

    Another problem I have is the “good” officer who knows who the bad apples are in their department, but won’t expose them. The police “code of silence” most be broken for the good of us all. There was news of one officer who did, recently, expose some bad apples but was ostracized and mistreated by other officers. That needs to stop, that “whistle blowing” officer should have been commended.

  13. From: Ken Seabury   On: August 30, 2014

    I contend that if police officers were issued body cameras, everybody involved would have an incentive to act more civilized. It was my understanding that the Ferguson Police Department had them, but did not issue them to their officers, this was very unfortunate. There are a lot of individuals out there with serious behavioral issues which are more often than not likely to disappear when we remove the cloak of anonymity.

  14. From: Igmu Gleska   On: August 31, 2014

    @Will and @Nathan: Good insights.

  15. From: Will   On: August 31, 2014

    @ Igmu Gleska. Thanks.

    I’d also like to expand on something I posted earlier,

    “What bothers me is that many white people seem to have no compassion for the plight of black youth growing up in inner city hell. Too many policemen seem to have no compassion also. They see most black males as thugs, with little or no life value. It’s much easier to use deadly force in that case”.

    What many see as thugs with no redeeming qualities, we see as young people who are understandably rough around the edges or even rough through and through (given the “war zone like” neighborhoods they were born into) but who have the potential to become a Judge Mathis, who was is a former gang member, convict and drug dealer. Judge Mathis is only one of the many productive members of society, of all races, who were finally turned towards a positive direction by that caring parent, aunt, uncle, church, youth group, teacher, or even police officer during their wayward youth.

    I hate to see one of those youth shot down before a real chance at redemption. If more police saw them as misguided youth with the potential for positive change, as opposed to thugs with no redeeming qualities, then maybe these shootings resulting in an untimely death would not occur as much.

    Again, I understand what a tough and demanding job police officers have, but compassion and understanding should at least be a part of there mindset while on duty and given the value of human life, any human life, deadly force should be the last resort.

  16. From: Levi Delos Reyes   On: October 6, 2014

    http://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2014/aug/21/michael-medved/talk-show-host-police-kill-more-whites-blacks/

    For those looking for statistics here they are. Also Michael is correct on raw numbers but he does not factor in population percentages, with what data there is it shows that African Americans are nearly 3 times more likely to be shot by police. Remember that a lot of “news” shows take facts but censor or reword parts of it to fit whatever they want people to think, Politifact does well in dispelling this type of “reporting”

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