Bias leads to perception of racial bias

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by Syne, Feb 19, 2017.

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  1. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Since you conveniently (?) closed this thread, Bells, I thought I'd give you a chance to actually get around to supporting your own claims:
    "Laws exist in many States and Counties in the US, which allow one to stand one's ground (altered from being required to retreat from threats or harm) and the Castle Doctrine, which has basically been extended to amount to one's immediate environment being one's castle against not just direct threat, but perceived threat.. The perceived threat part of it is a recent addition. In the past, you could not pull out your gun unless you were directly threatened. Now the law allows one to shoot another if one merely perceives a threat. This is established law in around 30 or so States of the US. This is not up for dispute at present. We all agree on this, yes?..

    Now, what this means is that if someone perceives a threat, they can shoot that person. The high majority of the time, they face no charges for their actions. So in the case I linked much earlier in the thread, a brown skinned minority walking his dog, was nearly hit by a car in a drive through driveway. He raised his arms up, one hand was holding a leash. The driver of the truck that nearly hit him pulled out a gun and shot him and killed him because he felt threatened. That was legal and the shooter faced no charges. He was not arrested or detained. This is legal in many parts of the State.

    What is now blatantly obvious from these laws is that minorities are being killed by white people who merely have to perceive them as a threat and more often than not, they are not being charged for it. This is entirely legal."

    If these laws exist in "around 30 or so States", it shouldn't be too hard for you to cite the actual laws. The problem is that it looks like you've completely misunderstood such laws. The deadly use of force in self-defense is always legally risky. This is why there are criteria that must be met to justify a good shoot. It must be an immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death from a source that has ability (disproportional force, whether due to weapon, relative physical build, or numbers), opportunity (free of obstacle relative to the weapon), and apparent intent (menacingly approaching, disregarding any command to stop). If any of these three do not obtain, it is not an immediate threat and not a justified shoot.

    And before you attempt to move the goalpost away from civilian law (stand your ground, etc.), police often arrive at a scene under heightened circumstances, so don't pretend that the same criteria apply.
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  3. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    In real life, incidents like the Trayvon Martin shooting occur and are formally defended under the law.

    So the real world is obviously not quite as you describe it there - in particular, among other problems, for example, the "apparent intent", "disproportional force", and "opportunity" aspects of your description vary by race of victim and race of assailant. (Bells linked you to research showing a common racial bias in proportional estimation of force, for example).

    She closed it after giving you and every member of the jackalpack in that thread the last word. You have an objection?
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  5. Bells Staff Member

    I literally closed it after allowing all of you to carry on for pages and have the last word.

    And now you wish to override a moderator action?

    Okay then..

    It would have helped if you had bothered to read my first posts in the thread, where multiple links and studies were provided.

    You know, instead of demanding I repeat myself.


    In the most comprehensive effort of its kind, the Tampa Bay Times has identified nearly 200 "stand your ground'' cases and their outcomes. The Times identified cases through media reports, court records and dozens of interviews with prosecutors and defense attorneys across the state.

    Among the findings:

    • Those who invoke "stand your ground" to avoid prosecution have been extremely successful. Nearly 70 percent have gone free.

    • Defendants claiming "stand your ground" are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white.

    • The number of cases is increasing, largely because defense attorneys are using "stand your ground" in ways state legislators never envisioned. The defense has been invoked in dozens of cases with minor or no injuries. It has also been used by a self-described "vampire" in Pinellas County, a Miami man arrested with a single marijuana cigarette, a Fort Myers homeowner who shot a bear and a West Palm Beach jogger who beat a Jack Russell terrier.

    • People often go free under "stand your ground" in cases that seem to make a mockery of what lawmakers intended. One man killed two unarmed people and walked out of jail. Another shot a man as he lay on the ground. Others went free after shooting their victims in the back.In nearly a third of the cases the Times analyzed, defendants initiated the fight, shot an unarmed person or pursued their victim — and still went free.

    • Similar cases can have opposite outcomes. Depending on who decided their cases, some drug dealers claiming self-defense have gone to prison while others have been set free. The same holds true for killers who left a fight, only to arm themselves and return. Shoot someone from your doorway? Fire on a fleeing burglar? Your case can swing on different interpretations of the law by prosecutors, judge or jury.

    • A comprehensive analysis of "stand your ground" decisions is all but impossible. When police and prosecutors decide not to press charges, they don't always keep records showing how they reached their decisions. And no one keeps track of how many "stand your ground" motions have been filed or their outcomes.

    Claiming "stand your ground,'' people have used force to meet force outside an ice cream parlor, on a racquetball court and at a school bus stop. Two-thirds of the defendants used guns, though weapons have included an ice pick, shovel and chair leg.

    The oldest defendant was an 81-year-old man; the youngest, a 14-year-old Miami youth who shot someone trying to steal his Jet Ski

    What was it that you said it had to be? Ah yes.. "It must be an immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death from a source that has ability (disproportional force, whether due to weapon, relative physical build, or numbers), opportunity (free of obstacle relative to the weapon), and apparent intent (menacingly approaching, disregarding any command to stop). If any of these three do not obtain, it is not an immediate threat and not a justified shoot."

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  7. Bells Staff Member

    Let's look at the case of the 14 year old who shot someone who stole his jet ski, shall we? And I'll be kind and not even make this a racial bias case as the victim is classified as "white"..

    Reynaldo Muñoz, a 20-year-old deaf man, was trying to steal a WaveRunner from a Miami Shores dock when the owners saw him and called 911. Dispatchers recorded Yasmin Davis telling her 14-year-old son to "get the gun." Moments later the boy fired, the shot recorded on the 911 tape. Police found Muñoz's body floating in the bay. A lawyer for the victim's family has argued that the shooting was unnecessary and that Muñoz was not on the shooter's property when the gun was fired. Originally, the family told police that Muñoz threatened them, according to Miami Herald reports. But one of Muñoz's former teachers said that would be impossible because he was nearly deaf and could not be understood when he spoke.

    The shooter, Jack Davis, was not charged and would never be charged after he and his family invoked self defense and stand your ground laws. Muñoz was unarmed, in the water, stealing a jet-ski. Jack Davis and his family were on dry land.

    "They are stealing my, my boat in the back," Yasmin Davis stuttered into the phone. Seconds earlier, the pretty Peruvian architect had been eating lunch in her $2 million Miami Shores mansion. As she tucked a slice of sushi into her mouth, she glanced out the huge glass windows and spotted a young man wrestling the family's WaveRunner into the bay. Davis had been robbed before. This time she was ready. She ripped the phone from the wall, dialed 911, and burst outside — but not before ordering her 14-year-old son Jack to grab the family's shotgun.

    As Davis angrily marched toward the water, Reynaldo Muñoz wrenched the 800-pound machine from its mooring. The 20-year-old stood only five-foot-six but was strong enough to topple the watercraft into the bay, where his girlfriend waited on their own WaveRunner.

    "I have a gun!" Davis screamed as she approached Muñoz.

    "Tell me exactly what's going on," the female 911 dispatcher pleaded with Davis, who was still clutching the cordless phone. But it was too late. Jack had already found the shotgun fastened beneath his mother's bed. Now he came running outside.

    "Let it go!" Davis yelled at Muñoz as he sat on the bobbing watercraft, trying to jump-start the engine. "Let it go, or I'm going to shoot you! Let it go! Let it go!"

    Just then, Jack arrived with the gun. "Muévete, muévete," Davis told her son, urging him toward a grassy patch of lawn overlooking the water. "You see him?" she said. "Shoot!"

    Jack raised the shotgun to his face. Sunlight glinted off its metal muzzle. The sea hissed softly. Then the child prodigy with red ringlets squeezed the trigger, and the lazy Saturday afternoon shattered like glass.

    Muñoz fell face down into the bay, blood billowing from his head into the murky water. Jack staggered sickly back toward the house, the shotgun still in his hand. "Oh my God," Davis said upon seeing what her son had done, her words captured on the 911 recording.


    Despite the buckshot embedded in the back of Muñoz's head, it was the Davises who emerged as victims. Yasmin Davis, her lawyer husband, and their high-powered attorney all claimed the family had been protecting itself against a potentially deadly home invasion. They cited Stand Your Ground, the Florida self-defense statute that would become infamous nine months later when George Zimmerman gunned down Trayvon Martin.

    The evidence, however, suggested a much darker motive: that Reynaldo Muñoz was killed to prevent him from stealing the WaveRunner and that the Davises lied to cover up their own crime.

    But bad laws and bad law enforcement conspired against the case. First, a Miami-Dade detective with a terrible track record botched her investigation. Then prosecutors, handcuffed by Stand Your Ground and harangued by the wealthy family's lawyers, decided not to charge Yasmin Davis or her son with a crime.

    The whole tragedy was captured on the 911 call. Muñoz was on the water, facing away from them, on a jetski.. Jack Davis and his mother were on dry land, in their yard, when she instructed her son to shoot. No threats were heard in the call. But, they cited the stand your ground laws and got away with it. Even though Muñoz was some distance away from them, facing away from them, was unarmed, on the stolen jetski bobbing on the water, while the shooter and his mother were on dry land..

    What was it that you said again?

    "It must be an immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death from a source that has ability (disproportional force, whether due to weapon, relative physical build, or numbers), opportunity (free of obstacle relative to the weapon), and apparent intent (menacingly approaching, disregarding any command to stop). If any of these three do not obtain, it is not an immediate threat and not a justified shoot."​

    Ya. I would laugh if this was not such a god damn awful tragedy that keeps repeating itself. There are countless of cases cited in the links I provided here and in the other thread, where there was no immediate threat of serious bodily injury or death. At all. And the shooter is more often than not, not even charged.

    Now onto racial bias.

    The American Bar Association looked at the stand your ground laws quite intensely and released their report. If you want to read their findings on racial bias and how it is grossly affected by stand your ground laws and perceived threats, you can read it for yourself from page 24 of the report itself. The report looks at multiple states, where hearings and meetings were held in those States, where they addressed racial bias in those States and areas.

    If you want to read and understand more about racial bias and how studies have found about how white people view black people, you can see some of the links in my post in the thread I had closed.

    Once you respond, I shall close the thread.
  8. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Which of those criteria do you claim were absent in the Treyvon Martin case?

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    Claiming things so doesn't make them so. Do you have actual examples where "apparent intent", "disproportional force" (sorry, I meant "disparate force"), and "opportunity" vary by race?
    Even with a smaller physical build, someone accustom to fighting could prove to be a greater threat than initially estimated. Yes, some ethnic cultures may have an edge in the amount of violence they are accustom to.

    Yeah, and I made a grand total of three posts on the next to last page of that thread. Hence starting a different topic than the one closed to discuss tangential issues raised therein.

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  9. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    No, and don't try to railroad this into a forum rule violation. I posted three posts on the next to last page of that thread, and here I'm starting a new and different topic. If you don't like me calling you out, we can discuss that. Otherwise, let's just proceed in good faith.
  10. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    All of them.
  11. Syne Sine qua non Valued Senior Member

    Came in late. TL;DR But you could have simply linked to the relevant post.
    You probably didn't notice a key bit of missing data from this finding:
    • Defendants claiming "stand your ground" are more likely to prevail if the victim is black. Seventy-three percent of those who killed a black person faced no penalty compared to 59 percent of those who killed a white.
    This says nothing about the race of the shooter. For all we know, this could be largely black on black and white on white crime, and the vast majority of the cited cases indeed were.

    And I have to assume you didn't bother to read any of the cases linked in that article, since the vast majority make my case. Discrepancies in jury verdicts depend solely upon the makeup and biased or uninformed nature of the jury. Too bad they didn't at least report the racial makeup of the juries, huh? But choosing to charge and the granting of SYG immunity by judges seems to be fairly consistent with the circumstances...regardless the editorializing by that articles authors.
    Yeah, if you bothered to research beyond your confirmation bias, you would've found that:
    ...the man repeatedly refused to acknowledge their panicked warnings as he reached for the object as he straddled the WaveRunner.
    The “weapon” was actually a black box key-type device used by Reynaldo Muñoz to start the engine of the stolen vessel, prosecutors said. And Muñoz didn’t respond to commands because, unbeknownst to the family, he was a deaf mute.
    The State Attorney’s Office, however, did not outright deem the shooting “justified” under Florida’s self-defense law. Instead, prosecutors simply said they could not “prove beyond a reasonable” doubt that Jack Davis — or his mother, who instructed him to shoot — was not justified in using deadly force.

    They had considered possible charges of manslaughter or murder.
    Charges filed often do depend on whether the prosecutor thinks they can make the case.
    Again, all these are a result of blacks (or other minorities) disproportionately committing more violent crime. Suspiciously missing in this data are the results of same versus different race. But that report, published by the ABA, was by The National Task Force on Stand Your Ground Laws is a project of the Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice. Do you think that's devoid of agenda? Blacks generally rate other blacks as more dangerous too.
    I've braced myself in the presence of unknown black men, felt myself ready for a potential attack even as all they threw my way was a head bob and a "What's up, brother?"
    That's why I attended the Million Man March in Washington, D.C., in 1995. I needed to immerse myself in a sea of black men gathered for a cause of uplift so that I could alleviate dark thoughts I'd secretly harbored about men who wear dark skin -- because I've been afraid of black men.
    Because I'm a man who has feared black men, despite the gaggle of black brothers and cousins and black father and stepfather who lived in the same house I did and loved me -- despite the dark skin I've worn since birth.
    That's why I know that the skin color of the police officer who killed Keith Lamont Scott in Charlotte in a still-disputed shooting is largely irrelevant, just as it is in most such incidents, no matter what media critics such as Howard Kurtz think.

    According to the Implicit Association Test, I have a "strong automatic preference for European Americans compared to African Americans." That's a sterile way of saying that I'm biased against black people. For most people, such a designation would probably be unsettling. After all, the United States is a nation that ostensibly aspires not to judge others "by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." But for me, it caused a mini-existential crisis.

    Why? Because I'm black.

    It happened. I failed the “black” test. My hair stylist and I were chatting while she was taking a break from retightening my locs. I made a funny quip, and she extended her palm so that we could partake in the standard Black American handshake. In what was most likely the longest three seconds in the universe, I stared at her hand in befuddlement, trying to figure out what she was doing. By the time I realized that this was the handshake, it was too late. I tried to recover with some weird amalgamation of a fist bump and a high five, but the damage had been done. I had revealed myself to be the Carlton to her Fresh Prince.
    I replayed the scene over and over in my head during my walk to the train. How could I have been so oblivious to an obvious cultural norm? This set off a mini existential crisis where I came to one of my greatest philosophical epiphanies: I’m uncomfortable around black people. This is a peculiar realization being that I am also a black person.
    Do black people dominate many sports? Do black people hold records, like fastest men (Usain Bolt and Justin Gatlin)? Seems there's some objective evidence to support disparate stereotypes on physical ability.
    More than three-quarters of NBA players (76.3 percent) and nearly two-thirds of NFL players (66.3 percent) are Black, while Major League Baseball has the fewest Black players at just 8.3 percent. Latinos have a strong presence in MLB (28.2 percent) and MLS (24.1 percent).
    Martin had the opportunity and a physical attack is clear intent to do harm. Remember, Zimmerman didn't shoot until after being attacked, at which time he could have determined that Martin had the ability as well. SYG was not even a factor.
    But the duty to retreat was not an issue in either Dunn or Zimmerman. In both cases the defendants argued that deadly force was used because they "reasonably" believed that it was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily injury. That, is at its core, no different than the law in almost every other state.
    So again, you just making the bare assertion (fallacy) that they are means nothing unless you can actually manage to argue and support your own claim. You have not, and until you do, your proclamations are laughable.

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  12. wellwisher Banned Banned

    In the case of Trayvon Martin, Martin was fighting and wrestling with Zimmerman, with Zimmerman less athletic looking. The incident was immediately spun by the left and the liberal media as Martin being a victim of racism, via a white hispanic. The use of the buzz word "white" hispanic was to void the minority card for Zimmerman. It was designed to make him appear guilty in the arena of public opinion due to a connection between whites and slavery.

    Instead of innocent until proven guilty the jury pool was already subjected to biased assumptions before all the facts appeared. Black lives matter was spawned on a mythology created by the media, before all the facts were in. This is why many states changed the law away from the leftist media led spin, to individual perception of threat. Individual perception of threat makes it easier to be innocent, until proven guilty. Just because you claim there was a threat, does not mean it will always be held up. But it will allow one to be innocent first, before always guilty if you vote on the right. If the main stream media did not scam and lie so much, but remained objective until all facts were in, this may not have been needed.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Mod Note

    1) It is the same topic of discussion that saw the last thread closed. But you knew that already.
    2) You got to fire off 2 responses and yes, get the last word on the subject matter.
    3) Please refer to this site's rules about interfering with moderation in this way.
    4) If you wish to complain about my decision to close this thread as well after allowing you to respond once more, because you aren't done discussing it, or you wish to pontificate about how whites perceive blacks as threats and your response to that is to comment about, 'well, blacks are good at sports', your hairdresser, how you shake hands, or whatever other reason, then you are free to PM another moderator or senior staff about said thread.

    Thread closed.
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