The Over-Policing of Black Women

San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi discussed Race and Reform two weeks ago in San Francisco
San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi discussed Race and Reform two weeks ago in San Francisco

By Jeff Adachi

While citizens demand answers for the police killings of unarmed men of color nationally, an everyday injustice continues unabated in San Francisco: the profiling of African American women.

It’s an insidious problem that’s garnered little attention in the newly invigorated civil rights movement. And it’s only getting worse. According a recent study by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, black women, who make up only 6 percent of The City’s female population, account for nearly half the female arrests. To be a black woman in San Francisco means having an arrest rate 13 times higher than women of other races.

The new report also shows African American female motorists get pulled over for traffic offenses 17 times more often than white women. On March 31, Meseka Henry was one of them. The San Francisco native and Muni driver was double parked in front of her apartment while dropping off her children. A patrol car flashed its lights, and Henry moved along. She and the officers ended up parallel at a light. One of the officers appeared irritated, and motioned for her to roll down her window. She answered with similar exasperation.

“Why are you bothering me? Don’t you have some real police work to do?” she asked. It was dinnertime in the heart of the bustling Mission and she was looking for a place to park.

Officers pulled Henry over and asked for her license and registration. She asked why she was stopped. As the officer explained she had been blocking traffic earlier, she dug into her purse for her documents. But first, she pulled out a cell phone and told him she wanted to film the encounter. Then everything went south.

The officer’s partner rushed to her window and slapped the phone from her hand. He yanked her out by her hair, pulling off her weave and ripping out clumps of her hair beneath it. He slammed her to the ground and knelt on her temple. The pain was excruciating. She cried and begged to be handcuffed to make it stop. Officers searched her car, but found nothing illegal. The encounter ended with paramedics called and Henry facing a resisting arrest charge.

Too often, the public’s first reaction is to speculate on how the victim must have provoked her own brutalization. Did she comply quickly enough? Did she talk back? Use a sharp tone? Those who rationalize the use of excessive force may think they’re supporting police. On the contrary, such comments demonstrate a belief that highly trained officers are unable to control their emotions or act in a professional, measured matter. If a black eye seems a reasonable consequence for a law-abiding mother who dared to complain about a traffic stop, what does that say about the level of violence we are willing to accept from officers in more stressful situations?

Some may argue that African American women are detained and arrested more often because they commit more crimes. But this assertion doesn’t hold water when you examine drug arrests, which exhibit the most glaring racial disparity. Of the women arrested on narcotics charges in San Francisco, 68 percent are black. Yet we know drugs don’t discriminate, because whites comprise 60 percent of San Francisco’s fatal drug overdoses. In addition, study after study has shown similar rates of drug use and sales among all racial groups. Not convinced by academic research? Simply drive through the Tenderloin and witness the broad diversity of drug dealers and addicts.

Police Chief Greg Suhr, while rightly acknowledging the racial discrimination that marred police enforcement in the past, is wrong when he states socioeconomic issues alone are responsible for today’s disproportionate number of African Americans behind bars. And socioeconomic issues do not explain why, according to the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, San Francisco’s arrest rate of black women is four times higher than anywhere else in California.Poverty alone cannot reconcile the fact that black teenage girls in San Francisco have arrest rates 50 times higher than their counterparts in other counties.

To reduce racial disparities, San Francisco needs more than an honest conversation about race. It needs both transparency and accountability. Police must keep ongoing and detailed statistics on the demographics of those who are pulled over, detained, searched, arrested or let off with a warning. While SFPD currently records some information on traffic stops, it is almost never analyzed or made available for public scrutiny. When it’s difficult to even gauge the severity of the problem, how can we begin to abate it?

Jeff Adachi is the elected public defender of San Francisco. His public affairs program, Justice Matters, can be seen on SFGOV-TV or at

About The Author

Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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  1. sisterhood

    As many of your regular readers know, I am a white woman and I was also unnecessarily handcuffed in my home in Davis by one officer during an Operation Vigilence sweep. I truly believe there are a few perverted officers out there who get off on handcuffing women, perhaps because they cannot find a partner to play their 50 shades games with. Or perhaps they just get a non-sexual rush from all that power they can bestow on innocent defenseless women.

    Either way, there should be a fairly easy way to weed out these freaks from the force. A simple pre-employment eval from a therapist should be enough to spot this deplorable tendency, before they are ever let loose on the streets of San Francisco or Davis or anywhere else.

  2. Tia Will

    About 20 years ago, when I was in my 40’s, I had an experience that has left me wondering about the factors involved. I was rightfully stopped for doing 80 mph on the freeway. I wasn’t deliberately speeding, I simply had gone into “automatic mode” in the fast lane. I recognized my speed when pulled over by the highway patrol. The officer was very polite and very professional, as was I. I happened to be returning from work and was still wearing my badge. I answered his questions honestly that I had only realized my speed once pulled over, that I had not been thinking about my driving, but rather about a challenging  patient, and that I was on my way home. He pointed out the danger that I had put myself and others in and issued me a warning only. Really nice guy and appropriate response given my genuine contrition.

    And yet, I cannot help but wonder :

    Would a male doctor have received the same treatment ?  How about someone not wearing a doctor’s badge ? How about a teenager ?  How about a black woman ? How about a black or Hispanic male ? How about someone not dressed nicely or proficient in the English language ?

    Was my treatment solely the result of a highway patrol man recognizing that I had had an attention lapse and only needed a reminder to slow me down ?  Or could I have been the beneficiary of some combination of bias favoring either my age, race, gender, or perceived social status? Obviously I will never know. But unless those of us who may possibly be receiving the benefit of the doubt in police interactions are willing to at least ask the question rather than assuming that the way we are treated is the way that every one is treated, we will never have even so much as a chance at perceiving the world through the eyes of those who may, in fact, be treated quite differently.



      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Barack Palin +1

        Tia and Mr. Adachi have one huge answer smack dab in the middle of the article.

        “…A patrol car flashed its lights, and Henry moved along. She and the officers ended up parallel at a light. One of the officers appeared irritated, and motioned for her to roll down her window. She answered with similar exasperation.”
        “ ‘Why are you bothering me? Don’t you have some real police work to do?’ she asked.”
        1. The officer hadn’t said a single word, and yet she was challenging and denigrating their competence.
        2. Tia was polite and cooperative.
        There is an old proverb: “You can catch more bees with honey than vinegar.”
        Translation: You have a much better chance of getting what you desire by being cooperative, polite, even flattering, than by making demands.

        1. Tia Will

          The phrase that “you catch more bees with honey than with vinegar” is favorite saying of mine. My mother used it frequently. Too bad we do not see this same behavior also demonstrated also by those in our community who have authority and should be acting as examples of good behavior…..starting of course, with our police.

        2. sisterhood

          I guess you were not raised to believe it is not okay to hit a woman or yank her hair out, even if she is verbally disrespectful. My dad, who was a cop, taught me that behavior is not okay. Some cops think they automatically deserve respect and dignity, without reciprocating it to the citizens they are paid to protect, not harass.

          There is no law that says citizens have to be polite.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          In Utopia, sure. But they are the law, and they are licensed to arrest you, they carry mace, tazer, billy club, and gun. So try out your social experiments.

          I find that with many people when I say please, thank you, excuse me, hello, and SMILE, people in return are often accommodating… though I have witnessed a new trend when I open a door for a young lady or young person, I am ignored… sometimes I say “You’re welcome”… some get it, some don’t.

        4. Davis Progressive

          “But they are the law, and they are licensed to arrest you”

          this is completely false.

          the police are not the law.  they are hired to enforce the law but they are bound by the law and they are regulated by lawyers, judges, and elected officials.

          the police are not licensed to arrest you.  in fact, any citizen can effect an arrest.

          we charge them with responsibilites but they have to operate within the law.

  3. sisterhood

    In 2002 I just purchase a used Acura Legend & was happily driving in the fast lane near West Sac on my way to work in Natomas. I was going a minimum of 80 and my plates had just expired. A very young officer from Yolo Co Sheriff’s pulled me over. I was kinda surprised, I mistakenly thought only CHP pull you over on the freeway.

    “Yeah, I was doing 80 on the 80. I’m really sorry. I just got this car & didn’t realize how fast I was going.”

    “Oh, well, actually m’am, I was pulling you over for your expired plates. What were you doing?”

    “Um I don’t know…Are they expired? I just bought this car. Can you check again? I read the DMV is very behind with mail in registrations right now.”

    “I’m giving you a fix it warning. Contact the DMV & make sure your registration is paid.”

    “Okay, thanks a lot for giving me a break.”

    Was it because he was a nice cop, or because I was all dressed up to do a presentation that day? I don’t know and I really don’t care. I have a couple of gorgeous women friends who have never been ticketed in their lives. They flirt their way out of every ticket. Some day a gay cop isn’t going to fall for that, (unless, of course, the gay cop is a woman). More power to them. Use what you’ve got in those situations…Crying sometimes works, too.

  4. Davis Progressive

    ” doesn’t it make you scratch your head when people have to put race into everything.”

    i mean why would people put race into racial disparity statistics, that’s just insensitive of them.

    1. Barack Palin

      When I got up this morning and poured myself a bowl of cereal and wondered to myself if I was black would I be so privileged to be sitting here eating my Cheerios?

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          In grade school one of my black friends made fun of me for “eating cold cereal for breakfast”. I was confused, also wondering what the heck he had for breakfast.

          If I only had the Vanguard then, I would know that I was a victim of micro aggression.

    2. TrueBlueDevil

      Race, Crime, and Justice: A Reader; By Shaun L. Gabbidon, page 225

      “And yet, amid this national outcry over the extent of black-on-black crime, there appears to be little concern about the fact that there is actually more black-on-white crime. Nor does there seem to be much interest in the fact that blacks are 50 to 200 times more likely than whites to commit interracial crimes of violence.”



  5. Davis Progressive

    you guys are doing a great job of dodging the subject.  research has shown that blacks are more likely than whites to be arrested for the same acts, more likely to be charged, more likely to be prosecuted, more likely to go to trial and be convicted of the same acts.  so to some extent looking at crime rates as control variables are misleading because the crime rates themselves are artifacts o the same problem.  it’s not the police are necessarily racist, it’s just that they think like you guys – frankly, bp, and tbd – and they like you never bothered to question their premises.

  6. Davis Progressive

    you guys constantly use the term “high crime neighborhoods” but that too is a bit of an artificial construct.

    first of all, i remember a few years ago, all of my neighbors – affluent, white, educated used to go to someone’s house, have a bbq and smoke pot.  they had houses and cover and no one ever got arrested.  in black neighborhoods on the other hand, often lower income people don’t have the cover of a house to smoke their pot or meth or in the old days crack and they would get arrested and they’d be in the system as felons.

    in a lot of states once you’re a felon, you are stuck in that status for life.  and even california, you have to apply to have your rights fully restored.  the result you end up with a bunch of people who have diminished prospects, they some served time in custody under mandatory sentencing laws for drug possession and the result is you end up with a huge number of criminals who go back to their neighborhoods, they few job prospects and they cycle through the system.

    a lot of that can be traced to the initial decisions by police and prosecutors as to who to charge.

    some of the cases i have defended over the years are little more than glorified fistfights but the difference is that a black kid in a fight is much more likely to get charged with an assualt than a white kid in the same fight.  in fact, sometimes we even saw that differential within the same fights!  once they are in the system, they are in the system.

    so even high crime neighborhood may be an artificial construct of how we enforce and track crimes.

    but you guys don’t care about any of that stuff, you want to talk about cheerios and misappropriate terminology.


    1. TrueBlueDevil

      Now we are getting somewhere! I had a friend years ago, a black professional, I’d chat with him at break time outside. Great guy, and not PC. But one day he said, “Why are so many more black kids arrested for petty drug crimes than white kids?”

      It quickly hit me. “Brandon, I’ve seen plenty of white guys buy $20 worth of pot at a party. But they do it in the garage, or in a back bedroom, from someone they know. … But in the city, in the Tenderloin or Bayview or Sunnydale (projects) or Mission, these kids do it in public, on a well-known, public street corner, selling to strangers.” Brandon shook his head. “Yeah, you’re right, they make stupid mistakes.”

      I disagree that there is no “cover”. I’ve seen dozens of people and friends smoke pot at the park, on the playground, soccer field, and never get arrested or even approached. My guess is if you get high on a rooftop or stairwell in New York, you’re safe.

      What I have seen is that just like driving, multiple offenses will get you arrested. Speed, don’t use a blinker, old tags, you’re ticketed. Get high, have some stash, have a switch blade on you, gang colors, you’re arrested.

      I do agree that cops have great leeway. A friend / former police officer said when money was tight he would generate more income. He would arrest someone at the end of his shift, which would add a few hours of overtime because he would have to read him his rights, book him, and write his report. FWIW, this officer happened to belong to a minority group.

      1. Davis Progressive

        there are several levels of protection.  a police can go into a park or alleyway whenever they want.  they can only go into a house with a warrant.  houses offer the most constitutional protection of any location in the country.  police know the spots where people use drugs and on slow nights they will ride by.  you may be correct that you have some safety, but not like the cover of your own house.

        at the end of the day, studies have shown pretty conclusively that each level from arrest to conviction to sentencing – a black is more likely to be arrested and to be punished and if punished to get a long sentence than a white who is otherwise comparable.  and i don’t think that’s just racism, i think it gets into the area of unconscious bias.

          1. David Greenwald

            I think the point is that if you get felony status, that impacts someone young for the rest of their life.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          David, am I missing something here? How does a minor juvenile transgressions warrant a felony? How does a minor transgression warrant a felony?

          1. David Greenwald

            Up until Prop 47 in California, possession of drugs was a felony. There all sorts of ways to attach felony status to a range of relatively minor (non-violent) violations. And once they get a felony status, they are essentially under system control for life.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          But a small amount of marijuana wasn’t included even before Prop 47 is my understanding.

          A lot of people don’t consider possession of heroin, crack, or meth a “minor transgression”.

    2. sisterhood

      What disgusts me more is rich white people who go to a pal’s house to get drunk on expensive booze, then drive home. Happens all the time in Davis. But they rarely, if ever, get pulled over in their expensive cars.

        1. sisterhood

          “outsiders committing crimes…”

          Plenty of wealthy locals commit crimes, too. Under the protection of their mcmansions: domestic violence, prescription drug abuse, child neglect. DUI going home.  If cops hang around bars waiting for “outsiders’, that sends a message that “outsiders” aren’t welcome. Hard to grow a vibrant economy when law abiding out of towners aren’t welcome. or are treated differently from the locals behaving similarly.

          The current rape trial being covered by the Vanguard involves a local man, not an outsider.

          1. David Greenwald

            The primary crime by outsiders are the burglaries where people come off I-80, break in, steal, leave. I’m not sure you extrapolate beyond that. Most of the murders for example were conducted by local people who lived in town.

  7. Tia Will

    I don’t know and I really don’t care.”

    I think that sisterhood brings up a good point. That point is unequal treatment under the law. TBD also makes a good point in stating that perhaps I was issued only a warning because I was perceived as being polite. But these are issues that we should care about. Do we really want the disposition of a ticket vs a warning, or arrest vs  letting us off with a verbal reprimand to be based on our personality, or how nicely we are dressed, or whether the officer finds us attractive ? Or do we want there to be equal application of the law based on the misbehavior being observed. I would argue that in a nation that prides ourselves on equality under the law, we should not support our police officers in their differential treatment of individuals based on how articulate, polite, or fluent we may be or on any biologic criteria be it age, race, gender, or individual superficial choice such as skin or body decorations, hair length or style or choice of clothing.

    If we have broken the law, we should be treated exactly the same regardless of whether or not the officer likes our style, appearance, or choice or aptitude of verbal expression and/or tone.


    1. TrueBlueDevil

      You weren’t perceived as being polite, you were polite.

      I can’t tell you how many times I have seen black friends, or heard said friends tell me how they gave a cop gruff because “they weren’t respected”. But I don’t think this is isolated to police officers. I think you’ll find similar documented behavior in the school districts, and elsewhere.

      Maybe we’ll move away from middle America / Eurocentric forms of communication and societal norms. LAUSD is changing how they discipline students who are disruptive and not respectful. Maybe we will move away from concerns about being polite and disciplined, and talking back and insulting officers will be accepted.

        1. Davis Progressive

          restorative justice is not coddling.  it’s actually the opposite because it forces people to confront the harms they did and take responsibility.  much easier to get a suspension than to have to listen to the person you’ve wrong and take responsibility for that.

      1. Tia Will


        You weren’t perceived as being polite, you were polite.”

        This does not change my point one iota. I notice that you did not address the issue of whether or not police disposition of a case should be based on politeness……or the police in questions view of “politeness” since this is a cultural construct and interpretation, not a legal requirement.

        I know that I want the police action to be based on the law, not on whether or not they happen to like the way in which I choose to address them verbally, even if it happens to be in my favor.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          It seems like you’re mincing words. Who is more likely to have an FTA (failure to appear), be out on bail, or carry a weapon. A pro-actively angry, anti-social citizen; or someone polite & respectful? Who is more likely to pull a gun on an officer, an angry citizen, or one who is reasonable?

          The disposition should be based on the law. But given that communication is 90% nonverbal, an angry, combative, insulting citizen poses more of a threat than someone who is reasonable. Search youtube for disrespectful citizens who then beat, shoot, kill, run over, or run away from police officers.

    2. hpierce

      So, Tia… what sort of ‘restorative justice’ are you willing to commit to for the fact that you know you were in the “wrong”, and got a ‘pass’?

  8. sisterhood

    Talking back should be accepted, because it is not illegal. I was raised to be polite, but if someone is not polite, it does not make them a criminal or a punching bag for a macho cop.

    1. Miwok

      Bet your kids have a great relationship with you. I personally have a language problem with most kids, because of language. Foul Language. To me, in a public contact position, I have purged most bad words from my vocabulary. Kids today are emulating their hero criminals and Rap stars who use the F word like water. If I say anything about it, they want to fight.

      When you talk about talking back, then I get physically threatened for talking to them, I say they need to learn more. If I talked like that to anyone when I was young, I would have to pick myself off the floor.

      1. Tia Will


        If I talked like that to anyone when I was young, I would have to pick myself off the floor.”

        So I hear you saying that violence was the approach that was used in response to unwanted verbal behavior in your upbringing ?

        Did I get that right, or did I misinterpret your post ?

        1. Miwok

          Tia, violence was the approach for about anything I did that was perceived as wrong by my parents. Sometimes it was not even talking. They were/are weird people.

          TBD, talking back in the business world? I am not sure what you mean in that context.

  9. sisterhood

    ” “friends tell me how they gave a cop gruff because “they weren’t respected”.”

    How is that different from the cop yanking the womans hair & pushing her to the ground because the cop felt disrespected? Isn’t it all about the ego?

    “Bet your kids have a great relationship with you.” (Sarcasm? I can’t tell.)

    Not the best relationship  but not the worst, either. I feel pretty blessed. I agree with you about cussing.

    When my teenagers talked back to me, they received the silent treatment.  I tried not to mirror their bad behavior and remain calm. Not easy.  If one allows the other person to push their buttons, the button pusher wins.  It isn’t that difficult to ignore someone who’s mouthing off. You have to show them the behavior you want. Cops have to take the high road. It comes with the job. If a cop constantly feels disrespected, and has the need to prove he is in charge, he should seek different employment.

  10. sisterhood

    “If a black eye seems a reasonable consequence for a law-abiding mother who dared to complain about a traffic stop, what does that say about the level of violence we are willing to accept from officers in more stressful situations?”

    It says we are a society that accepts violence against women and children. I don’t have to tell you statistics re: sentencing for drug possession or drug dealing vs. the sentences for domestic violence.

  11. Tia Will


    You’re right, next time I hope they just give you the ticket so then you won’t feel privileged.”

    How about instead of that, they treat everyone the way this very professional officer treated me ?  Wouldn’t that really be a better way ?

  12. Tia Will

    The disposition should be based on the law. But given that communication is 90% nonverbal, an angry, combative, insulting citizen poses more of a threat than someone who is reasonable. Search youtube for disrespectful citizens who then beat, shoot, kill, run over, or run away from police officers.”

    The first sentence is the only one with which I agree. How the police treat the individual in front of them should be based solely on that individual, not what they might have seen, heard, or assumed that some other individual did under similar circumstances. Also, speaking of mincing words, I make a distinction between the use of words which the police officer may find rude or disrespectful, and being “combative” which to me implies some form of physical combativeness which of course is illegal and should be dealt with accordingly.

    I believe that this is not a fine distinction. In my work, depending on which facility I am at on any given day, I may be seeing highly educated people with university affiliations who use the same terms, demonstrate respect for my experience and knowledge, and who behave in what I would consider a considerate manner. At another facility, I may see patients who are illiterate, medically unsophisticated, to my eyes unkempt, sometimes what I would consider rude, demanding, and disrespectful. It simple does not matter. If they have the same condition, I am going to treat them the same way. I will speak at a level that they have demonstrated the ability to understand. I will perform any uncomfortable procedures exactly the same way. I won’t penalize the rude patient by examining more brusquely, or using less painkiller, or deliberately inflicting pain. My treatment of them is the same regardless of their treatment of me unless there is a physical threat involved. I have been yelled at, cursed, and threatened with reporting to my superiors. But my duty to them remains the same. I am paid to provide the best health care that I can to each individual with out bias. I do my absolute best to fulfill that mandate and expect no less from our police officers.


    1. TrueBlueDevil

      You have good intentions, but your analogies don’t hold.

      It is a given fact that communication is 85-90% nonverbal. Body, mannerisms, voice, intonation.

      Police officers and medical personnel deal with fundamentally different life scenarios. I googled the topic, and approximately 15 doctors are shot each year. Shot, not killed. If I recall correctly, approximately 120 officers are killed every year in the line of duty. This is after professional training, hand-to-hand combat, weapons training, bullet proof vests, and helmets. Medical professionals do deal with mentally unstable people as well, but they don’t typically pull a semi-automatic weapon on them, or pound them into the ground.

      Police do treat the individual in front of them, and if they display verbal and nonverbal signs that are confrontational, the officers take keen note. (Phil Coleman is the expert here.) Here in this abbreviated video we see a female CHP officer beaten by a citizen. She was too close to him, she was distracted, and she lost 1-2 seconds when he dropped his shoulder – i.e., a right hand was coming. There are subtle and not-so-subtle signs, they are there. Some also argue that a 225-pound male officer would have a much better chance of survival when assaulted.


      1. Matt Williams

        TBD, take a look at the 2013 breakdown of those 120 deaths. That is a wide net that is being cast. It will be interesting to see what the comparable numbers are for doctors

        Line of Duty Deaths: 119
        9/11 related illness: 11
        Aircraft accident: 1
        Automobile accident: 25
        Boating accident: 1
        Bomb: 1
        Drowned: 2
        Duty related illness: 3
        Electrocuted: 1
        Fall: 4
        Fire: 1
        Gunfire: 31
        Gunfire (Accidental): 2
        Heart attack: 10
        Motorcycle accident: 5
        Stabbed: 2
        Struck by vehicle: 8
        Training accident: 2
        Vehicle pursuit: 4
        Vehicular assault: 5

        By Month
        January: 7
        February: 12
        March: 11
        April: 10
        May: 15
        June: 7
        July: 7
        August: 9
        September: 12
        October: 8
        November: 7
        December: 14

        By State
        Alabama: 3
        Alaska: 2
        Arizona: 2
        Arkansas: 6
        California: 10
        Colorado: 1
        Florida: 4
        Georgia: 3
        Illinois: 3
        Indiana: 1
        Iowa: 1
        Kentucky: 3
        Louisiana: 4
        Maryland: 1
        Massachusetts: 1
        Michigan: 3
        Minnesota: 1
        Mississippi: 6
        Nevada: 1
        New Mexico: 1
        New York: 16
        North Carolina: 2
        Ohio: 1
        Oklahoma: 2
        Oregon: 1
        Pennsylvania: 3
        Puerto Rico: 2
        South Carolina: 2
        Tennessee: 2
        Texas: 13
        Tribal Police: 1
        U.S. Government: 12
        Utah: 1
        Virginia: 2
        Washington: 1
        Wisconsin: 1

        By Gender
        Male: 112
        Female: 7

        Average age: 43
        Average tour of duty: 14 years, 6 months

  13. TrueBlueDevil

    University Report: A Room Full of White People Is a Microaggression

    “…“Students of color reported feeling uncomfortable and unwelcomed just walking into or sitting in the classroom, especially if they were the only person of color, or one of a few,” stated the report, which designated the experience a microaggression.”

    “…But a lot of the report’s “most commonly described” racial microaggressions could also be interpreted as having nothing to do with racism at all.”Read more at:

    1. Frankly

      Let’s reverse this.  Let’s say a university reported white students feeling uncomfortable and unwelcome walking into or sitting in the classroom if they are the only, or one of a few, white people.  Well then, the claim would again be “microagression” from those privileged whites.  Seems like the victim class and their social justice crusaders have it covered at all ends.

      How about this example “macro” aggression?  Makes the “microagression” claim seem very petty indeed.

      1. Barack Palin

        Frankly, that poor guy had the crap beat out of him.  Why doesn’t the Vanguard ever report on black on white brutality?  Does it not fit into the agenda?


        1. David Greenwald

          You guys don’t seem to understand the difference between crime and what we aretalking about here. We have a criminal justice system (btw we cover the courts every day) and spend millions on it. The question of biased policing is separate from the question of crime.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          BP, such topics are forbidden here. In fact, I think your question is another form of micro aggression. {sarcasm}

          I’d prefer the DV just report on crime, forget the ethnicity … unless a pattern is revealed.

        3. Frankly

          Although this statement is a bit absurd, I think I know what you are trying to say.

          I think there is a dichotomy of perspectives:

          One is owned by people that tend to have stronger or more numerous personal association with people that tend to get more attention from law enforcement for many reasons, and hence tend to see cops as causing unwarranted trouble and because of this they see some of the bad behavior that attracts attention from the cops as explainable and justified to some degree.

          The other is owned by people that mostly associate with people that rarely get attention from cops for a number of reasons… but most prevalent of those reasons is that these people go out of their way to make sure they dot all their I’s and cross all their T’s and be extra kind, considerate and polite to cops if and when they do have an encounter. These people tend to have less sympathy for those that get more attention from the cops when there is evidence of bad behavior.  They also see some over-reaction by cops as justifiable given the real dangers they face from the misbehaving.

          Even though the bar is set higher because of a higher level of appreciation for the dangers in the job of policing, this last group seems more than consistent in supporting punishment for any cop that mistreats any suspect not deserving.

          The gap and conflict that I see is that the former group fails to hold misbehaving suspects to any reasonable standard.  It seems that the people in the first group would just as soon enable anarchy rather than concede authority to police to enforce the law.

          And what really burns my britches is how many people in the former group are attorneys… the profession that routinely exploits their authority to enforce the law… and cause tremendous harm to people from any walk of life.

          It is this gap that is the source of the conflict we are having on this topic.  And the majority responsibility is with those in group #1.

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          Frankly, that is an interesting and excellent summary. I’d add that the “misbehaving suspects” who are chosen / anointed are often so underwhelming, or worse. Criminals, low-level hoodlums. If they actually held their breath, and chose reasonable citizens to rally for … I see plenty of daylight and cause for analysis in the Staten Island case, much of it has to do with police procedures, not racism … but there is a segment that just wants to bring out the pitch forks and torches like they’re going after Frankenstein…

          Next week: The over policing of black children

  14. David Greenwald

    There was an interesting report that perhaps as many as 30 deaths a year are preventable – the police getting killed in accidents often don’t wear their seatbelts and police shot are often not wearing vest.

    1. hpierce

      David… this is probably one of your most “ill-contrived/ill-informed statements to date”:   “… and police shot are often not wearing vest.”  over the last six months, at least, look at how many police officers were ambushed and ‘head shot’?

      The cops in NYC (where the jerk got the wrong order in murder/suicide) as at least one example…

      Guess what you are saying is MRAP’s ‘bad’, and if cops aren’t wearing vests, they’re fair game.  Ok.  Get it.

      1. David Greenwald

        USA Today article:

        WASHINGTON—An FBI analysis of police officer deaths is revealing a troubling and persistent pattern in which substantial numbers of officers were not wearing body armor or seat belts when they were fatally shot or involved in deadly vehicle accidents.

        Of the 46 officers killed by firearms in 2014, 11 were not wearing bullet resistant vests. During the same period,10 of 28 officers killed in vehicle accidents were not wearing seat belts. Six of the 10 auto accident victims, according to the FBI report, were ejected from their vehicles during the crashes.

      2. hpierce

        Non-responsive, David… how many/percentage were “head-shots”?  Or should all police wear bullet-proof head-gear? Read the bolded part of my previous post. Meant it to emphasize. You chose to ignore. Nice.

        Good knight.

        1. David Greenwald

          You called it an ill-conceived statement, I was just showing you that it was not my conclusions that you were criticizing – it’s based on an FBI report.

        2. TrueBlueDevil

          David seems highly reluctant to ever put any blame or onus on those perceived or cast as victims… but he will easily find fault in what law enforcement should have done here or there. … he won’t give law enforcement even modest credit for helping to drop our murder rate in half, but they have to treat a 300-pound hoodlum with kid gloves, and then he’ll criticize how they forgot to put on s seat belt while trying to save our lives … David seems to have views close to Eric Holder.

          1. David Greenwald

            You continually miss the point of what we (the Vanguard) are trying to do. We already have a system set up to deal with crime. What we as a society do very poorly at is address abuse of power. It is very rare that officers are held accountable either criminally or even administratively for an abuse of power. Whereas the average criminal gets arrested, prosecuted and incarcerated.

            The vast majority of police officers are honest and hardworking and do their jobs. But those officers are harmed by a system that fails to properly oversee the conduct of the small percentage of officer who abuse their power.

            “then he’ll criticize how they forgot to put on s seat belt while trying to save our lives”

            If you’re worried about officers dying and you have a report that shows that a fairly sizable number of the deaths that occurred last year was preventable by simply putting on a seatbelt or wearing a vest, it seems to me a no-brainer that you start there with the low-hanging fruit and the preventable deaths. But obviously that’s a foreign concept.

            “David seems to have views close to Eric Holder.”

            On somethings I think Holder did a good job. I’d fault him on the surveillance stuff and think the justice department was too willing to defend bad cops (in court) and not go after prosecutors who were dishonest.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          I agree there is room for improvement, but you ignore what we do have in place, which are several layers of protection. These include internal investigations, whistleblower, citizen’s groups, and use of cameras by the public. There may be others I missed. Some departments use video cameras, and that’s an area where capabilities can be expanded.

          Abuse of power is more mixed. Where we have proof, officers frequently pay the price; but I somehow think you’re thinking Michael Brown, Zimmerman, Fergeson & Staten Island were an abuse of power, which I don’t think they are. (Staten Island needs a review and analysis by objective professionals like Mr. Phil Coleman.)

          You’re incorrect that the average criminal gets arrested. I once read a Rand study which says the average criminal commits 22 crimes before they caught. You further misstate that they get prosecuted and incarcerated. I watched a police show on SFPD once and the cops didn’t make numerous arrests because they knew criminals would be released. Of the arrests they did make, every single one was let out during the hour show, and charges were not filed. Welcome to permissive San Francisco. Further, criminals in LA often serve no time, or get released after a day or two due to severe overcrowding. (See Lyndsey Lohan.)

          Eric Holder helped gin up riots, hamstrung police departments, and helped set back race relations (with our President, his wife, Al Sharpton and the liberal press).

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