They’re at it again, trying to spread rhetoric that the police are racist. Well, specifically one agency: Baltimore Police Department (in Baltimore City).
There is no discounting the fact that this police department has other issues, like the fact that they use excessive force, or simply search people without legitimate probable cause. These things are quantifiable. That means there is an issue with the police as a whole, not necessarily that there is a race issue.
Numbers tell us literally nothing, except where issues are prevalent.
Here’s a thought experiment for you. You have a mixed up crowd (everyone is just mingling, no coherent reason behind it) of 1000 people. 640 are wearing red shirts, 280 are wearing blue, 30 orange, 20 green, 20 purple and 10 yellow (the numbers are based on percentages of the population by race for all of Baltimore)- if someone sprayed 100 bullets into the crowd, how many of each will get shot? At first you want to say “Well that’s simple 64 red, 28 blue, 3 orange, 2 green, 2 purple and 1 yellow, right? Wrong. The chances of the red shirts being where all of those bullets hit is far more likely than having a proportionate number of each other shirt. And not all of those bullets will hit individual targets, some will hit one target more than once.
Don’t trust the numbers to tell you if racism is going on. The rest of the DoJ report seems on point- Baltimore Police does seem to need a great deal of improved training. It’s probably true of most departments around the United States.
In the event anyone is looking for the report by the DoJ, you can find it below.
Department of Justice (2016). INVESTIGATION OF THE BALTIMORE CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT. Retrieved from http://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3009376/BPD-Findings-Report-FINAL.pdf