Black Lives Matter activist and professional social justice warrior Shaun King now wants a law requiring all police officers in the United States to have college degrees. To make his case, he cites several police brutality cases involving — wait for it — college-educated police officers.
King, who rose to prominence following the shooting death of Michael Brown, sets forth his bizarre argument in the New York Daily News — in the fifth installment of a “25-part series exploring solutions for police brutality in America.”
“Some of the most known cases of police brutality in America, like the violence suffered by Rodney King, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott and Sandra Bland, were all caught on film,” King begins.
“Study after study has proven that requiring police officers to earn a four-year degree, any four-year degree in fact, would radically improve virtually every metric essential to good policing,” he writes.
King then lists 26 benefits cops could gain from obtaining a college degree including “enhanced grant-writing abilities” and a “decrease in dogmatism, authoritarianism, rigidity” and, of course, “conservatism.”
“In spite of the proven benefits,” King writes, “just 1% of all law enforcement agencies in America require a four-year degree.”
The Black Lives Matter enthusiast notes that teachers and physical therapists are required to have college degrees. He says that attorneys must have law degrees as well as college degrees — which isn’t the case in all states.
“While a few larger cities now require officers to have either two years of college or a mix of police and military experience, many police departments have set the bar so low that all you need to become an officer is a pretty clean criminal history, a high school diploma or GED and a willingness to attend police academy for eight to 10 weeks,” King criticizes. “That’s just not good enough.”
The five instances of police brutality against black people which King cites — those of Rodney King, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott and Sandra Bland — involved 10 police officers who faced criminal investigations.
Of those 10 cops, exactly half of them either had college degrees or would go on to receive college degrees. Three of the cops did not attend college at all. The educational backgrounds of two officers are unknown.
In the 2014 case of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, two cops, Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback, responded to reports of a young boy brandishing a gun. The gun turned out to be an Airsoft replica gun. Almost immediately upon arriving on the scene, Loehmann shot and killed Rice at close to point-blank range.
Loehmann, the shooter, obtained a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Cleveland State University. He had a solid 3.1 grade-point average.
Garmback, who was driving the squad car, did not pull his gun or shoot anyone. He is a high school graduate with no college experience.
A grand jury later declined to indict both officers. The city of Cleveland settled a civil case brought by Rice’s family for $6 million.
In the 2014 case of Eric Garner, two police officers, Daniel Pantaleo and Justin D’Amico, approached Garner for allegedly selling single cigarettes without tax stamps. When Garner resisted arrest, Pantaleo choked harshly Garner with his arms for about 15 seconds, causing Garner to lose consciousness and, after about an hour, die.
The educational history of D’Amico, the other cop, is unclear. D’Amico did not put Garner in a lengthy chokehold and, according to reports, did nothing to cause Garner to die.
A grand jury chose not to indict either officer. The city of New York settled with Garner’s family for $5.9 million. A federal investigation of Garner’s death is ongoing.
In the 2015 case of Sandra Bland, no police officer caused her death. An autopsy revealed that Bland committed suicide in a jail cell. However, Brian Encinia is the Texas state trooper who arrested Bland because he didn’t like her attitude during a traffic stop for failure to signal.
He was later fired and indicted on a perjury charge. His trial is forthcoming.
In the 2015 case of Walter Scott, police officer Michael Slager shot Scott after stopping him for a bad brake light. Scott ran off at some point during on the arrest. Slager then pulled out his gun and shot Scott — eight times, in the back — as Scott ran. The cop would later claim that Scott took his Taser gun but video of the incident appears to contradict this claim.
A grand jury later indicted Slager on a murder charge. He faces the prospect of life in prison.
In the 1991 case of Rodney King, police chased King at high speeds. When the cops eventually forced King to a stop, they pummeled him severely, kicking him and beating him again and again with batons.
Four police officers faced federal criminal charges for their role in the brutal beating (and there were massive riots).
Juries found officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell guilty for crimes related to King’s arrest. Two other officers, Timothy Wind and Theodore Briseno, were acquitted.
Koon has a trio of college degrees. He has both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from California State University, Los Angeles. He also has a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Southern California.
Powell did not attend college.
The educational background of the fourth officer charged in the King incident, Theodore Briseno, is unclear.
Shaun King, the Black Lives Matter activist who wants to require all police officers to attend college, does not mention the 2014 police shootings of Michael Brown or Laquan McDonald. However, Jason Van Dyke, the officer who shot McDonald, has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Xavier University. Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, has no college education.
King also claims that “Donald Trump supporters” become police officers in overwhelming numbers because “73% of American police officers are white” and “99% of police departments don’t require a college degree.” King makes this odd argument despite the fact that 33 percent of American white people have at least a college degree while only 19 percent of black people in the United States have at least a college degree.
King, who has claimed on Twitter that white males enjoy holding firearms because they have “small penises” and “low sex drive,” was once forced to resign from his job at his alma mater, Morehouse College, for brandishing a gun while trying to drive his car through a crowded campus block party. (RELATED: Shaun King Was Fired From Job At Morehouse College Because He Brandished A Gun)
King has also maintained in a self-help book that a race-based attack left him clinging to life, bloodied and with a broken back and ribs. However, witness statements included in a police report show that someone beat up King because King threatened they guy’s ex-girlfriend over a broken CD. (RELATED: More Damning Details Emerge About Black Lives Matter Activist’s Hate Crime Claim)