Police departments and corrupt, crooked cops are regularly being exposed now. In a new study, it seems that a little over 47% of Americans rated their police precinct with a grade of D or F. Honestly, this is not at all surprising. Arkansas, Idaho, Missouri, Virginia and Georgia are among those ranked highest in the number of people reporting negative perceptions of police.
The reasons for such low scores are different and depend on a number of different variables, according to Philip Leaf, a Johns Hopkins University professor who does a lot of work in preventing youth violence and violence in communities, among other things.
“If you talk to young people in Baltimore, I don’t think their feelings about police have changed at all in the last five to seven years,” says Leaf. “There has been a negative perception of police in many communities for a long time. There just haven’t been conversations with these young people or in the media about it until recently. There hasn’t been an upsurge of disconnect with the police. With cellphones, there has been documentation of things that people have been talking about for a long time. People haven’t been believed, and now it’s hard not to believe it, if you see it on TV.”
“It literally changes the way their brain functions,” says Leaf. “These things are occurring in communities where lots of things are going on. Kids will think, ‘Have you seen my school? How can I think that people in my community care about me?’”
Exactly. A bit more than 13% of states offered a C grade to police departments, including Texas. Interestingly, 3 Texas cities — San Antonio, Austin and Fort Wort – gave their police department an F. The cities of Boston, San Francisco and Chicago offered C grades.