Conflicting Perspectives Drive Debate on Racism in Policing

Headline Roundup June 4th, 2020

The question of whether or not policing and the criminal justice system are institutionally racist has resurfaced following George Floyd's death last week.

Voices on either side of the political aisle have cited statistics, research and studies to support opposing sides of the argument. Some coverage from left-rated outlets referenced data showing disparities between police treatment of different races; conversely, some right-rated voices focused on studies that show there is no widespread racial bias.

From the Left

When a Trump administration official said he doesn't think systemic racism exists in policing, many were stunned -- especially after studies have shown different races are often treated differently.

"No, I don't think there's systemic racism," national security adviser Robert O'Brien told CNN. "I think 99.9% of our law enforcement officers are great Americans. Many of them are African American, Hispanic, Asian."

"There is no doubt that there are some racist police," O'Brien added. "I think they're the minority. I think they're the few bad apples, and we need to...

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From the Center

The Supreme Court is considering hearing “a group of nine cases that in one way or another all challenge current qualified immunity doctrine, under which law enforcement officials are not liable for discretionary actions that allegedly violated someone’s rights unless the actions violated ‘clearly established’ law.”

Both sides argue for an end to qualified immunity:

“When Floyd’s family goes to court to hold the officers liable for their actions, a judge in Minnesota may very well dismiss their claims. Not because the officers didn’t do anything wrong, but because...

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From the Right

George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis has revived the Obama-era narrative that law enforcement is endemically racist. On Friday, Barack Obama tweeted that for millions of black Americans, being treated differently by the criminal justice system on account of race is “tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal.’ ” Mr. Obama called on the police and the public to create a “new normal,” in which bigotry no longer “infects our institutions and our hearts.”

Joe Biden released a video the same day in which he asserted that all African-Americans fear for their safety from...

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