Originally Posted by suited
No, it wasn't. The Ferguson case was about someone who robbed a convenient store then attacked a police officer when he was confronted.
The case resonated with the people of Ferguson (and nationwide) because they saw a situation that brought to light broader problems. Isolating it as "lol thug got popped" is really missing the broader social point.
Look at the stats on the number of blacks killed by cops versus then number of whites killed by cops, then adjust for population. There is no epidemic.
There aren't even good stats on the number of people shot by police. You'd think exercises of state violence on citizens would be rigorously reported and made available, but nope, reporting to the national level is strictly voluntary and poorly analyzed. One might suspect that authorities don't want this information to be widely known. Even with that in mind, our rates of people killed by police are far higher than most other First World countries. Many average zero
a year, and most are single digits. We have at least 400/year, with many unreported and untracked. Even without the racial dynamic there's a great deal to be concerned about.
The limited data does show that blacks are much more likely to be shot than whites, adjusting for population.
The epidemic is the disproportionate amount of crime minorities commit.
Even that's strongly weighted by policing tactics. Blacks are far
more likely to be arrested and spend time in jail for drug offenses than whites (likely other crimes too). Once you're arrested, it's much harder to work productively in society, and the whole thing spirals from there. The system doesn't operate in a vacuum. Then there's the whole poverty thing in the first place, but that's a much bigger argument.
On the shootings subject, you again have this feedback loop. Officers know that blacks are more likely to have committed crimes, so they are much tougher on black citizens as a rule. Blacks, even those who have never done anything illegal, then have predominantly negative interactions with the police. This colors how they interact with the police in the future. This tension and fear results in people getting shot who didn't need to get shot.
Most of these patterns are reasonable on the micro level. It makes sense to spend more time policing in areas with higher crime. Officers are naturally going to be more suspicious of people who are more probable threats. I don't know how you break that cycle, but it's really toxic in the minority community. Ending the War on Drugs would be a good start.