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A NEWS Case Study (Police Killing Innocent African-American Citizens) (Essay Sample)


SJTU Summer 2017


Paper Assignment Number 2

Social Psychology in the News

Instructions:  Prepare your paper in a word document.  It should be no more than two double-spaced pages, with a 12 point font.  Be sure to put your English and Chinese names on your paper.  Write your answers in completely sentencesPapers are due by Monday July 31 at the start of class.  Print a hard (paper) copy of your paper and give it to Kiki in class on Monday.


A NEWS Case Study (Police Killing Innocent African-American Citizens)
A NEWS Case Study (Police Killing Innocent African-American Citizens)
Most of the News headlines in the United States report of crime and murder, just to show the escalation of killings in the United States. Most of the murdered people are innocent black people in the country based on grounds of probably segregation or stereotyping. The reason behind the argument is that over the past two years in the United States, there have been a number of promulgated incidents of police killing innocent African-American citizens. A good case study scenario is Philando Castile, an African-American citizen who died after police pulled him over for a minor traffic offence. The officer then shot him after he told the officer that he had registered gun in his possession legally through the law. The essay uses four perspectives, which are the power of the situation, the perceiver shapes reality, Attribution theory and Stereotyping to help readers understand the in scenario in a psychological context.
The power of the situation
Evaluating the situation from a psychological context, the officer was wrong. People make traffic offences around the globe and punishment has never been very severe. The officer killed Philando Castile because he owned a gun. The police officer should have further investigated the situation before taking the action of shooting Philando Castile. The gun was licensed and the officer was wrong, as there is no place, where the victim tried to take out his gun to attempt shooting the officer. The above reasons prove that the judgment of the police officer hardly corresponded to the power of the situation.
The perceiver shapes reality
The perceiver shapes the reality wrongly. In this case, I take the perceiver to be the police officer. He perceives the intentions of Philando Castile wrongly because Philando Castile had not tried anything that signaled danger in any way to the officer. The chief reason as to why the officer might have killed Philando Castile might just be that he was racist and thought that black people are inherent criminals.
Attribution theory
Attribution theory is quite important in this case scenario. The reason behind the argument is that the theory plays a crucial role in explain human behaviors. Some of the human behaviors come from intrinsic traits and attributes such as resentment, love, temper, charisma and passion. The police officer seemed to have an inherent trait of resentment towards black people. Through prejudice, he short an innocent black person because he owned a licensed gun that he never even showed signs of using the gun to arm the officer or other people.
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