MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle: The Problem With The Study On Police Bias Is It "Takes Our Eye Off The Ball"
Mike Barnicle: "We Refer To Studies Instead Of The Reality"
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From the June 12 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
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JOE SCARBOROUGH (HOST): This is the second New York Times article since Dallas that shows that when it comes to actual shootings, there is not the bias that I think most of us suspect that there has been if you look at the data. Gene Robinson, you look at every other area, though, there obviously is clear bias.
EUGENE ROBINSON: These numbers surprise me. It's a study I'd love to see replicated. I'd love to see some back-up because frankly a lot of people will find it hard to believe. I find it hard to comport with the reality that we see. If you look qualitatively at these incidents that we have seen over the last few years, it's difficult to find parallel situations in which white suspects have been killed. Like Walter Scott running away from the police officer in Charleston or even, you know, like what we've seen in the last couple of weeks.
KATTY KAY: Gene, is it possible that those incidents are happening, a white police officer runs -- I mean a white suspect runs away, gets shot by police, and it doesn't come to public attention in the way that it does when a black suspect is running away, or do you think it's just not happening, and the data is faulty?
ROBINSON: Look at what happened at the Michigan courthouse, right? So here is a suspect, shoots two bailiffs in a courthouse, right. So immediately, it's a huge story, and everybodyis thinking, oh, Black Lives Matter, and this and that, and it was a big deal and then turns out to be a white suspect, and then it kind of recedes.
MIKE BARNICLE: One of the issues about that study, first of all, I got a headache reading it. I had trouble following it actually. One of the problems with studies like that is it takes our eye off the ball. I mean, we refer to studies instead of the reality, and the reality is that police departments in major cities in this country have been forced over the last 10 or 15 years to be urban replicas of the Marine Corps. Everything is thrown on them, everything is thrown on the police departments. Every societal and cultural change over the last 10 or 15 years, when it breaks down, let the cops handle it. Chief Brown spoke to this yesterday. The other aspect of it is, really reality, real world aspect of it is, Gene has a son, I have three sons. I never had to tell my sons when they were 14, 15 about to get their driver's license, remember, keep both hands on the wheel if you get pulled over, act respectfully, I never had to do that.