By Karen Dolan
The situation that led to the alleged murder of Walter L. Scott by a white police officer in North Charleston SC is indicative of the crisis created by the growing criminalization of poverty in America and the persistent de-humanization of black people.
Poor people are targeted and aggressively policed for minor infractions such as the broken taillight on Mr Scott’s car. Poor black people are disproportionately targeted within this demographic. Once pulled over, other debts or warrants for similar misdemeanors may show up, resulting in arrest and jail time and increased spiraling of debt. Lives are ruined.
When you put that overwrought situation in the middle of racial profiling and aggressive police action against black men, you get the killing of Walter Scott.
According to the Center for American Progress, as of 2012, blacks were “twice as likely to be arrested, and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during police encounters.”
The Bureau of Justice shows that black drivers are about three times more likely to be stopped by police than white drivers.