Black people in Missouri are disproportionately stopped or harassed by police. Twenty years of collected data shows Black drivers are stopped at a rate 85 percent higherthan white drivers. And too many police departments across the state regularly use disproportionate force in dealing with minority individuals.
Missouri offers yet another example. Josh Bills, a Black man living in Kansas City, found himself on the receiving end of just this kind of police misconduct.
In December 2013, walking blocks from his home, Bills was approached by five officers who surrounded him. He greeted the officers calmly. He stood with his hands down to his sides at a 45-degree angle. He did not act aggressively.
The police stopped him because of a call about a “Black man, black clothing.” Then the encounter went south — a scene emblematic of racialized policing that is all too familiar. Despite being cooperative with the officers, Officer Jordan Nelson, without warning, grabbed one of Bills’ arms and violently kicked his legs out from under him, smashing his face into the concrete.
As Bills lay on the ground, injured and motionless, another officer knelt on his back to restrain him while they placed him under arrest. Chillingly, a few minutes after the brutal altercation, Nelson re-enacted the takedown for his fellow officers at the scene while Bills was still lying on the pavement waiting for medical attention.
And it was all caught on video.
Read the full story at Police Brutality Against Black Kansas City Man Caught on Video
Kansas City police officer smashes man’s face into ground during arrest
- Could the problem be that cities hire police officers without valor?
- Or maybe the officers were so stressed their implicit bias took over?
- Or maybe police officers are no better than the gang of thugs they claim to keep off the streets?