Huffington Post Study Finds that White Juries are Usually Empanelled When White Cops Murder Non-Whites

What is Collective Power? This Huff Post study missed the Eric Garner grand jury which was composed entirely of white people. Yes, an all white jury in NYC, the mecca or Blackest city in the country! White Collective Power exists where a race soldier cop murders a Black or Latino man in broad daylight in front of several cameras and their fellow white officers, white police chief, internal affairs, white run union, white jurors, white prosecutors, white elected officials and the white media support, defend, and finance the officers “right” to do so. [MORE] Thanks for the study Huff Post but we already know. 

From [HERE] If you’ve been wondering why white police officers who murder people of color keep getting let off, take a look at the jury makeup. A new study by Huffiington Post shows that the majority of these juries are white, and when these all-white juries get the chance, they let white cops off the hook. 

Police officers in the U.S. fatally shot at least 991 civilians in 2015, and, with just weeks left in the year, 2016 is likely to keep pace. The overwhelming majority of the officers involved in these incidents, which The Washington Post and The Guardian have been tracking, were never tried in court. Legal protections shielded officers from criminal liability in many cases, leading police officials or prosecutors to determine that the shootings were justified.

In the few instances in recent years in which police officers did go to trial for fatal shootings in the line of duty, juries have been unlikely to return a guilty verdict.

A Huffington Post investigation using Philip Stinson's research (an associate professor of criminology at Ohio’s Bowling Green State University who has compiled nationwide data on the prosecution of officers facing murder or manslaughter charges for on-duty shootings since 2005) suggests the racial composition of juries may have influenced the outcomes in many of these cases. HuffPost obtained juror information for all 13 police shooting trials that have gone to a jury since August 2014 through reviews of news reports and interviews with court officials, attorneys and local reporters. See graph [HERE]

Their investigation found that majority-white juries decided 11 of those 13 cases, which represent those since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. (In the Brown case, a grand jury ultimately declined to charge the officer, Darren Wilson.) As in Ferguson, at least eight of the cases HuffPost reviewed involved officers fatally shooting people of color. Of the 14 police officers tried in the 13 cases, one was Hispanic and one was Asian. The rest were white.

In nine of the 13 cases, one-third or fewer of the jurors represented a minority group. And in almost every case, the racial makeup of the jury did not reflect local demographics. Although jury pools are supposed to reflect a cross-section of the surrounding area, there is no requirement to seat a panel that looks like the community it’s representing.

[lol. The Dummies at Huff Post are only going back to 2014 with this study. As if the issue of police brutality started in Ferguson with Michael Brown! White folks are something else . . . police brutality is probably a century old tool of white supremacy. We suppose that, among thousands of other non-white victims, they have never heard of Rodney King & were unaware that a jury of 10 whites acquitted the white cops who tried to murder him -which led to a foul riot in LA in 1992] 

In the cases HuffPost examined, there was no clear connection between the racial composition of a jury and the likelihood of a guilty verdict. Majority-white juries were responsible for returning guilty verdicts in four out of the five cases that ended in convictions. The only majority-black jury among these cases also returned a guilty verdict, against former Portsmouth, Virginia, police officer Stephen Rankin, who is white, in the shooting of William Chapman, an African-American. [we already know - no study is necessary]. 

Filling juries with a disproportionate number of white people could benefit law enforcement [thus benefit white supremacy], as white Americans are more likely to express pro-law enforcement views than non-white Americans, and they are less likely to be acquainted with or sympathetic to issues of race and policing that many see as integral to these cases.

Sixty-eight percent of white respondents reported having favorable views of local police in a poll released in early December, compared with only 40 percent of African-Americans and 59 percent of Hispanics. In the same survey, just 35 percent of whites said police are too quick to use lethal force, compared with 73 percent of African-Americans and 54 percent of Hispanics. And 64 percent of whites were highly confident that their local police departments treat all racial groups equally, a position shared by just 31 percent of African-Americans and 42 percent of Hispanics.

Angel Harris, a staff attorney at the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said these jury trends are troubling considering the significant racial disparities in the way Americans experience and interact with law enforcement. She’s concerned that minority groups are being systematically disenfranchised and removed from the judicial process.

“We’re dealing with police officers who are put in a very special position in our society, and if our society doesn’t have an equal say in how police officers should be performing and protecting and serving the community, then I think we’ve failed in that process,” said Harris.

The outsized influence of heavily white juries can prejudice outcomes in favor of police, say critics, and is reflective of a criminal justice system that fails to fully represent and include communities of color.

“The whole system doesn’t look like the people who come through it,” said Stephen Bright, a lecturer at Yale Law School and the president of the Southern Center for Human Rights.

He noted that 95 percent of the nation’s elected state and local prosecutors are white, according to a 2014 study, along with 80 percent of state judges. “When even the jurors don’t look like the people coming before them as parties and witnesses, how can courts have any credibility with the community?” [MORE]