If you are in the United States and your skin is black, you view the police differently than you would if your skin was white. In either case, the view of the police is generally of suspicion to fear for your life. Much of this generally negative view comes from our natural survival instinct as to not trust before trust.
As our instincts are just that being instincts, the fine analysis comes later once we feel we are safe from harm. In example if you are swimming and you see the silhouette of a shark in the water near you, your instinct is to get out of the water as fast as you can. Once you are out of the water and safe, you will evaluate if it was jaws swimming near you or just a harmless sand shark.
The same is true with police simply because of a collective behavior of infringing on the rights of people without justification or probable cause. There are good police and bad police, but our survival instincts lumps them all as bad police until it is analyzed after the threat has been removed.
To further add to that mistrust, the police union is going the extra mile asking that ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirts be removed from Amazon.com LINK HERE. This attempt to interfere with free market rules suggests to some extent the same behavior people are distrustful of. Free market behavior says if a product is popular it will endure. If it is not popular, it will go away all by itself. The open request to remove the shirts by the police suggests in its own way, take the spotlight off us. The correct behavior should be to clean up their behavior that is causing the distrust, and the demand for ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirts will also fade away. So the police are addressing the effect and not the cause.
The Black Lives Matter movement was spawned by what seems to be police regularly shooting black people without just cause. That is further fueled by not making evidence public very easy. In legal jargon, if the video evidence shows the police were justified in the shooting and it is a SLAM DUNK, the evidence is made public very quickly to calm any unrest. However if it is not a SLAM DUNK the evidence never seems to come. In fact releasing police video evidence is such big news, it seems to get national coverage on news often being the lead story. So in this case the inconsistency in the release of evidence adds to the suspicion.
If your skin is white, for the most part distrust in the police comes from violation of rights, and the police creating situations where none exist. Our look at police behavior when someone is exercising their protected rights under the First Amendment (AKA the top law in the United States) suggests the police would take advantage of a legal act and manipulate things to allow them to violate the rights of people. Also a foot note that when black people look to exercise these same rights, they are often treated more harshly and arrested and not just simply detained.
There are also different police behavior norms for people with brown or Asian skin tones, but we don’t have enough evidence as yet to make a proper analysis. Police behavior seems to differ based on geographic location and population density of those mid-tone skin colors in relation to black and white.
So in summary, there is sufficient evidence to distrust the police based on repeated behavior. Looking at the underlying psychology of police behavior, Connecting the Dots will be addressing that in another entry at some future date.