posted at 17:50
Author Name: The Economist
Its Clear That Race Is Americas Deepest Problem
By 8pm on November 24th, when the prosecutor in Ferguson, Missouri, announced the grand jury's decision not to charge a police officer with a crime for shooting an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, cops in riot gear were already in place and barriers surrounded municipal buildings. Soon America's TV screens were full of burning police cars, crowds coughing on tear gas, and young black men throwing bricks and smashing shops. Looking back at the riots in Los Angeles in 1992 that followed the acquittal of four white police officers who had savagely beaten a black motorist, Rodney King, a lot has changed. Blacks plainly still suffer prejudice across America: they account for 86% of the vehicle stops made by police in Ferguson. He is in charge of the police force, in which three out of 53 officers are black. Mario Anzuoni/ReutersA police officer holds his riot gun while demonstrators protest the shooting death of teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Smaller cities should stop using their police forces and courts as tax-collectors. Police shootings should be taken much more seriously, and the federal government should stop enabling small police forces to buy military-grade weapons.

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