A recent study has found a correlation between police misconduct and a decreasing rate in black people calling 911.
Titled “Police Violence and Citizen Crime Reporting in the Black Community” and conducted by the American Sociological Association, the report came after studying the effects of the 2004 killing of Frank Jude Jr. at the hands of Milwaukee police.
Jude was being beaten by off duty police officers who suspected him of stealing a police badge from a party, and when 911 was called, responding officers only joined in on the beating.
The incident, considered to be one of the worst cases of police brutality the city has experienced, resulted in a distrust of law enforcement by the black community. Although 911 calls did not drop immediately after Jude’s death, they did drop drastically following a story the Journal Sentinel ran along with an image of Jude’s badly beaten and bloodied face.
After that, even controlling for crime and other such factors, calls dropped by 22,000, with 56 percent of the drop coming from the black community.
“Something like the Frank Jude case tears the fabric apart so deeply and de-legitimizes the criminal justice system in the eyes of the African American community that they stop relying on it in significant numbers,” the study’s lead author Matthew Desmond told the Journal Sentinel.
“That is a huge effect and it symbolizes that these are not isolated incidents because they don’t have isolated effects,” Desmond continued. “They have community wide effects and those effects can actually make the city less safe by driving down crime reporting and thwarting public safety efforts.”
The study is a reflection of the current racial tension here in America. A number of black people have been killed recently by police officers across the country this year, leading many to protest for a countrywide change and reform of police departments in the United States.
Check out the study here.