‘Riotsville, USA’ Shows the Birth of Police Militarization

Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

After the 2014 police killing of Laquan McDonald, Chicago officials appointed a commission to study policing in the city. When the commission issued its report two years later, Steve Bogira of the Chicago Reader noticed that the report bore striking similarities to a report issued after the death of Daniel Claiborne, a 70-year-old Black man, also at the hands of police.

Both reports, Bogira noted, found that residents in the city’s minority neighborhoods were frequently subjected to illegal stop and frisks. Both found that Black and Latino residents reported frequent verbal harassment and humiliation from police. Both reports found that police misconduct complaints were almost never sustained, and often weren’t thoroughly investigated. The Claiborne report found a 43-point disparity between the percentage of the city’s population that was Black and the percentage of Black people shot by police. The McDonald report found a 42-point disparity.

Here’s the punchline: the Claiborne report was issued in 1972—43 years before the McDonald report. Over nearly a half century, very little had changed.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Source: The Daily Beast

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