Survey Says Most Black Millennials Know Or Have Experienced Police Brutality

While the awareness of black people’s rights has become the subject of everyone’s attention lately, a new report says that most black millennials have known or experienced police abuse.

A new report, which was published by the Black Youth Project at the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago, indicated that more than half of black millennials have had experience when it comes to police abuse.

The report included a survey from 2009 that shows that 54.4 percent of black millennials answered yes when asked, “Have you or anyone you know experienced harassment or violence at the hands of the police?”

In comparison, the 2009 Mobilization and Change Survey recorded that only 32.8 percent of white millennials, and 24.8 percent of Latino millennials had the same answer.

“In their everyday lives, black youth are deeply ambivalent – if not outright cynical – about the police who patrol their communities,” wrote the authors in the report. In addition, the survey said that less than half of black millennials actually trust the police, while 60 percent of Latino millennials and 70 percent of white millennials said they do. However, when asked what they think of the police around them, two-thirds of black millennials still believed that the authorities in their neighborhoods are there to protect them.

The study or report was released Wednesday amidst issues about policing in minority communities in the U.S. Three victims of alleged police abuse were killed in the last three years: Trayvon Martin (2012), Michael Brown (2014), and Freddie Gray earlier this year. The deaths of black teens and others incited protests nationwide, bearing the monikers “Black Lives Matter” and “Say Her Name”.

While U.S. millennials in general are considered racially diverse, black millennials are viewed in a more negative light than their peers. They are often seen as more violent and unaccepting of authority.

Blacks are also described as “more likely to be poorer and unemployed.” They also reported experiencing discrimination more often than other groups.

However, succeeding surveys show that the prevalence of violence in black millennials may not be that high after all.

A separate survey in the 2013 Black Youth Project Quarterly Survey questioned Latino and black millennials whether they knew someone who carried guns.

Surprisingly, only 22 percent of the respondents said that they knew someone who carried guns or firearms in the past month. However, the report mentioned that the same respondents knew more people who were involved in gun violence.

“So the experiences that these different communities have had based on where they live and the kinds of policing procedures that are in place there, we would argue, lead to these different patterns,” said Jon Rogowski, an assistant political science professor at Washingon University in St. Louis.

Meanwhile, the 2014 Black Youth Project survey shows that majority of millennials believe that there is no equal or fair treatment in the justice system of the United States. Only 38 percent responded that they believe arrested black, Latino, and white millennials undergo fair treatment.

Fortunately, the survey pointed out that black millennials see a glimmer of hope: getting into politics.

When asked regarding the “role of politics to forge change,” 71 percent of them believed that they could make a difference by participating in politics. The report said that this belief could have been inspired by Barack Obama’s presidency, which leads them to believe that they have a chance as well.

As a result, there reportedly are more black millennials turning up at the polls compared to white millennials in both the 2008 and 2012 elections.

[Image by Mario Tama, Getty Images]

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