As far as the Black/not Black thing....you may think it is deeply offensive/racist. Others may look at it as getting shot or not getting shot.
I agree with this. Some cops are just the bullying sort. That inherent tendency seems to be what draws some people to the professionsion, so there is a much higher percentage of psychopaths among cops than in the general population. But the way they go about harassing different people varies by race. For black people, it tends to be more rampant, more obvious and more physical. Anyone who lives ina large urban area has probably witnessed an incident firsthand. It is reality.
That is not to say that many [probably most] cops are not bullies to other people when they can be. They definitely are. The post above is right when they say cops are often just looking for people to get aggressive and give them an excuse. It is more challenging to them when people are defiant but very polite. And part of that response is cultural.
I have lived in Bed-Stuy for many years. Why I live here is a long story. Suffice to say I like it here. For those who don't know, this is an area of NYC that has historically had a relatively high crime rate. Most of the residents on my block are black. I am white. It gives me an interesting perspective. It is difficult to explain the psychological effects of police profiling to someone who has never witnessed it.
Small example: If I take the subway home, I get off the train, there is an officer there. Watching. You don't see this on the Upper East Side. No big deal, right? This is great. Well, maybe for me. I give a small smile when I walk by. He or she smiles back. This officer doesn't really make me feel safer. If anything, they make me feel more likely to witness an altercation. But, at least I know how not to get a bad reaction out of them.
Most other residents don't smile. What in their knowledge of or history with the police would make them want to smile? They are suspicous of the police. This fear/suspicion/distrust shows on their faces. The response they get from the police: A nasty look that says more than I can explain. It says not to make one wrong move. It says I have complete power over you. Just a couple of years ago, it said it was completely legal for me to stop you and frisk you at any time, and if you resist--and I hope you do--I will throw you against the wall with all the strength I have. If you think a look can't say that, come pay a visit to Bed-Stuy. If police made me feel that way, how would I respond? I don't know.
The police bother and annoy me, too, but in a very different way that is not comparable. At least four or five different times when I was just walking down the street near my apartment, a cop car has pulled up slowly beside me, rolled down his window (it has always been a man, never a woman cop), and asked me what I was doing in the neighborhood. Like I'm a lost puppy or something. Too stupid to know I shouldn't be here. Most cops on this beat know me by now, I guess, but when there's a new guy, this can happen. I explain that I live here. I explain that I'm in a hurry. They proceed to inform me about how dangerous the area is. I nod. Thanks. Appreciate it. See you around. Hold on, they say. They drag on the conversation. This is not about helping me. This is about their power trip mindset.
Now, from all of this, you must think I live in a third world country. This is how cops treat it. But I am a fan of statistics. Some facts: Statistically, Bed-Stuy is only slightly less safe than the Upper East Side. Who would have thought? And in all the years I have lived here, no one has ever, ever given me a hard time about anything--except the police. I walk by, people nod, say hello.
The way policy treat black people is different. The way the police see black neighborhoods is different. That is just the reality.