American police officers are under heightened scrutiny. From the August 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown to more recent events in which police shot and killed someone, there has been growing attention to what many characterize as systemic racial disparities in how the police in the US do their jobs.
The issue has gotten particular attention with the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has long advocated against the systemic racism that, activists argue, is ingrained in many aspects of American life.
This isn’t just talk. There are studies and data that show American policing is, at the very least, racially biased.
Still, the heightened scrutiny against police has also inspired a backlash — with “Blue Lives Matter” and President Donald Trump’s “tough on crime” policies supporting even the most aggressive policing, regardless of its disproportionate impact on minority communities.
Here’s what you need to know about police and cops’ use of force in America.