Community And The Racial Divide
Community and Racial Divide
The study of the crime rates and its variations across social communities is one of the exciting development in the field of criminology. The studies reveal that the rate of crimes and law and order situation id directly related to the stratification of the communities or the structural inequality in the country or region. Systemic violence which is generated and propagated in a society in undetectable form is also responsible for the increase in crime rates and violations. Also, the lack of a community’s trust in law enforcement departments and agencies is also one big issue which the many countries especially the United States is experiencing. This indicates the significance of the relationship between the state of policing and the community. In fact, crime does not exist or created in vacume and neither it is independent of politico-cultural contexts and socio-economic perspectives. When we try to relate crime with systemic and structure I equalities, it should be done with some temporal relevance in order to make sense of the crime. To mitigate the crime and its effects, it is essential to understand the roots of the crime and the premises responsible for its generation. Crime manifests itself at a local level and is recognized as an activity which is violence to the law (Wilcox). It is the responsibility of the state to make sure that it provides a crime-free society and environment to the people by identifying its roots and applying policies to uproot their network and establish the writ of the State. The key department in this regard is police which has a central role in dealing with crime. The threat of increasing crimes and deteriorating situation of law and order situation across the world require that this department should be regulated efficiently. Only police can identify and dismantle crimes at the local level and offer services according to the nature of society and the crime.
There are many significant problems and challenges associated with the police department in the United States regarding maintaining a fair yardstick in dealing with crime and acquiring the trust of people. ‘Frontline’ is the documentary of the United States police department with the title ‘policing the police’ and is aimed at identifying systemic and structural inequalities in the police department. Jelani Cobb did this work and examined all the allegations against the department across the United States and especially in Newark which is a New Jersey city. The video documentary contains many pieces of evidence of a violation of racial equality and discrimination and abuses and challenges present to fix the broken relationship of the community and the police department. Each year there are a considerable number of shooting incidents where tensions between different communities are noted especially the black community accusing the department of practicing policies based on racial biases. Further, detentions of people for the purpose of investigation without proper legal notices and favoritism by appointing favorable people on different positions is obvious from various sources. Cobb interviewed Ras Baraka, the mayor of the city who is very optimistic n bringing new reforms and policies to provide efficient training in order to prevent such incidences. Jelani Cobb states in the video(in voice-over) that there is no doubt that Ras is very sincere in bringing reforms and has been struggling to clean up the department for the past two years. However, some evidence of favoritism is also seen as the appointed Anthony Ambrose for the position of police director. Anthony was in the same position previously in the department and Cobb argues that it is a shocking surprise that Ras had to go the old guard for the department CITATION Jel16 \l 1033 (Cobb).
The studies of criminology suggest the roots of crime with the culture of a society. Pamela Wilcox in her publication ‘communities and crimes’ compares the relevance of culture in crime and the resulting implications. To understand the idea, we must divide the argument into two portions. First is the idea of the generation of the crime due to the culture and norms of a particular society and the second way is the reorientation of the analytical framework towards a culture regarding permitting the crime. She believes that cultural impacts are sometimes so strong and significant that they leave their traces inside a person and it then becomes difficult to dissociate himself from crime or criminal mindset. The Newark city also has some cultural associations with the crime but in this case, the more important thing is bringing reforms in the police department. Jelani Cobb is hopeful that efforts made by the Mayor and new reforms in the department related to racial differences and issues would be resolved. Comparing it to the previous situation, when once he asked the policemen to provide the records from the nights they had been with the gang. They refused to show the records and instead just presented some arrest reports. He claimed that initially, they refused to give records, then they said that they have found them but cannot let him see because of the security and privacy concerns. Mayor Ras Baraka emphasized the importance of personal contributions and beliefs to control crime and improve law and order situation. When you show up, people start to believe that the community is safe and goodness follows you when you walk around in your city.
Wilcox, Pamela, Francis T. Cullen, and Ben Feldmeyer. Communities and crime: An enduring American challenge. Vol. 78. Temple University Press, 2017. BIBLIOGRAPHY \l 1033
Cobb, Jellani. Policing the Police. 25 10 2016. PBS.
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