US Police Brutality Stems From ‘Criminalization’ of Minorities

© AP Photo / JIM WATSONA demonstrator puts on a Baltimore City Police hat taken from a destroyed police car while protesting the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015
A demonstrator puts on a Baltimore City Police hat taken from a destroyed police car while protesting the death Freddie Gray, an African American man who died of spinal cord injuries in police custody, in Baltimore, Maryland, April 25, 2015 - Sputnik International
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The disproportionate number of African-Americans being shot by police reflects the US capitalist system’s perception of them as criminals and results in a reciprocal attitude toward them, the co-founder of an advocacy group told Sputnik Tuesday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik), Svetlana Alexandrova – Dix was commenting on the results of a poll conducted by ICM Research exclusively for Sputnik and released on Tuesday, which revealed that a third of US citizens think that police racism is the main cause of the high number of black people killed by law enforcement in the United States.

"The backdrop for this 'criminalization' of black people is the reality that the US capitalist system has millions of black and latino people growing up in the inner cities facing futures of hopelessness. The authorities' response to this is imposing a program of suppression on people in these communities, with rampant police terror being the spearhead of that program," Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, told Sputnik.

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The ICM Research survey focused on the results of a ProPublica October 2014 study, which found that the risk of being shot by police in the United States for young black men was 21 times higher than for their white peers.

"Black people with cell phones in their hands, with wallets, with keys, with candy bars, with cigarette lighters, and even sometimes with nothing in their hands are 'suspected' of being armed and shot by police," Dix pointed out.

"They [figures] are unacceptable. These shootings must stop, and we can't rely on the authorities to stop them. This requires independent action on the part of the people, black people, white people, latinos and others," Dix said.

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