In today’s society it is essential to understand the difference between disparity and discrimination. There are numerous people who still believe that the world is prejudice. This paper will compare and contrast disparity and discrimination. The paper will give examples of both and there relation to the criminal justice system. Disparity VS Discrimination “The word discrimination comes from the Latin “discriminare”, which means to “distinguish between”. To discriminate socially is to make a distinction between people on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit.
Examples of social discrimination include racial, religious, sexual, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic, height-related, and age-related discrimination”. (Wikipedia, 2006) Discrimination is used in every day life. There are many times when a police officer who is white pulls over an African American. Sometimes because of the discrimination, the African American will plead in court that the only reason that he got pulled over was because of his color. In this day and age, many people who go to court claim that it is because of their color. There have been examples of white vs. black, Hispanic vs. black and Muslim vs. hite, which goes to court. This student believes that many people use the color card to get out of jail. An example of discrimination being used by law enforcements is the Rodney King Story. “On the night of March 3, 1991, California Highway Patrol officers saw King speeding on Interstate 210 and chased him for 8 miles at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. When he stopped in Lake View Terrace, he did not obey repeated commands to lie down and as can be seen in the first few seconds of the video, charged one of the officers, after which the police struck King with a PR24 baton that put him on the ground.
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Initially, a female highway patrol officer, Melanie Singer, approached King and drew her pistol. Officer Singer reported that King then turned around and shook his buttocks at her and did not comply with her commands. When the local police arrived, Sgt Stacey Koon requested that Singer stand down and that weapons not be pointed at King. Verbal commands were made to force King to comply but he refused. A Taser was used on King, however, King repeatedly attempted to get up. King was repeatedly told to put his hands behind his back, but still refused to comply.
At that point, Officer Stacey Koons, in full compliance of the LAPD’s use of force policy, commanded the officers to use their PR24 batons to break King’s arms. At trial, the defense argued that the officers had legitimate reason to believe King was extremely dangerous and possibly on a mind-affecting drug such as PCP and that the force used was justified by that threat. One piece of evidence offered to support this argument was that King showed no response after having been shot by at least one Taser weapon. The Taser will immediately incapacitate most people.
The video also shows the officers repeatedly striking King while giving him verbal commands. However, the videotape shows King repeatedly trying to get up, for most of the incident. The officers later argued that they were responding to King’s failure to comply with their commands, and that their actions were in compliance with standard police procedure. Careful study of the video seems to show King repeatedly moving and trying to get up from the ground. King suffered eleven skull fractures, broken bones and teeth, kidney injuries, and possible brain damage due to injuries suffered during his arrest. Wikipedia, 2006) The example above illustrates law enforcement officers taking matters into their own hand. Some would say that they were just doing their job, while others say that they were being prejudice. Disparity is defined as “The condition or fact of being unequal, as in age, rank, or degree; difference;” (Wikipedia, 2006) If a white male and a black male are arrested for the type of murder and the white male receives the minimum time in prison but the black male receives the death penalty, is it disparity or discrimination?
If the white male was brought in and tried for the first time and the black male was tried for the third time it would be disparity. It depends on each person’s criminal history. If it was the other way around with the black male’s first offence and the white males third, it would still be disparity. Discrimination and disparity are sometimes perceived as the same issue. In reality discrimination is more of people doing hate crimes because of the race. Discrimination is doing things on purpose, such as leaving out other races because of their color.
Disparity occurs when all the facts are involved. One way that discrimination and disparity are similar occurs when statistics show that a black family is low-income and less likely to succeed. While it is true that example is part of disparity however, it is also a part of discrimination because they limit the race. In conclusion, both disparity and discrimination are assumed to be the same. Many people confuse the both because they have similar meaning.
The only difference between the two definitions is that it is all about the facts that are presented in the case. Discrimination is never a good thing. People use discrimination when applying for a job or going to school. It is sad that society is still so prejudice of one another. Reference Wikipedia (2006) retrieved October 08, 2006 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Rodney_King Wikipedia (2006) retrieved October 08, 2006 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Discrimination Wikipedia (2006) retrieved October 08, 2006 from http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Disparity