Racial Targeting Within the Thin Blue Line

I recently read an illuminating article in the New York Times about the recent shooting of Black police officer Omar J. Edwards by his "fellow" white cop Andrew P. Dunton. Now its not exactly getting to the heart of the systemic institutionalized racism that is at the heart of this country (that would be expecting too much, unfortunately, from an elite newspaper) but it did do a good job in going over the incidents of inter-racial police shootings of fellow officers since the shooting death of John A. Holt Jr. (pictured) in 1940 to the present.

One thing that is most glaring that (except in one incident presented by the article) all of the shooters were white and all of the victims were Black or Latino. Yet in the color blind ideology that pervades our present day society many folks are quick to point out that while racial motivations might have been a factor in the past they weren't a factor in this one. What is a factor is "training." In fact, one of the interviewees pointed out:
“Same deal always,” he says of the deadly encounter between colleagues on Thursday night. “They’ll say it’s about training.”
In fact, that is what exactly was said in a article in that same days paper:
“[S]omething is going to have to be done,” added Mr. Glenn, an officer with the 67th Precinct in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, choking up. “Maybe more training or something. I don’t know what we are going to do.”
I'm not suggesting that more training won't prevent more inter-racial shootings but by focusing solely on reactionary training people are ignoring the causes of the shooting, racial prejudice.

Obviously, as Edwards' father-in-law points out, Dunton didn't walk onto the streets with the mindset of actually wanting to kill a fellow Black officer but what was in his mind, more than likely, are all of the stereotypes of Blacks that are perpetuated by our media, national mythologies, everyday conversations, and our society in general. One succinct quote sums it up well:
“If you speak with nine out of 10 officers of color they would tell you that when they hear sirens, in their head they are thinking: ‘I hope these cops know that I’m one of the good guys.’”
All of this points back to the systemic racism that makes Blacks and people of color in general more likely the victims of police misconduct, shootings, harassment, and target ting. A system in were people or color are ghettoized by political institutions while many whites get to live in suburbs. Unless we address this system (as the police force is a part of that system and is obviously made up of folks who grew up in this system, which is everyone) shootings like these will continue to happen, and it won't just be cops of color who are the victims.
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