The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
1 Points

Resolved:On balance, police are more responsible than protesters for recent civil unrest in the Uni

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/28/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 778 times Debate No: 85676
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I negate the resolution: on balance, police are more responsible than protesters for recent civil unrest in the United States

Observation 1: In order for the pro to win, they must prove that the protesters are not the cause of civil unrest


Recent: Having happened, begun, or been done not long"ago"or not long before; belonging to a"past period of time"comparatively"close to the present OXFORD

Responsible: Having an"obligation"to do something, or having control over or"care"for someone, as part of one"s job or role OXFORD

Contention 1: Police Not Responsible

The police aren"t responsible because they are part of the government and the government was built on racism. The reason Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, and Michael Brown incidents keep happening is because our government was built on racism. Racism is a part of our country, not saying that"s good, but the country has racism embedded in it. We can"t change racism if it is a part of the government. Not all the police are racist but the Ferguson and Baltimore police were trained in a racist society. They were trained by racist instructors. They aren"t responsible. Another reason they"re not responsible because whenever black people see them, they mock them and say that they are just pigs eating donuts. When protests and riots break out, the police come out with the only sole purpose to protect the people in case the situation gets out of hand. If no one is listening and the citizens commit arson, assault the officers, and loot stores, the police have no choice but to use force and make the citizens listen. They are only using brute force because no one will listen to them. Of course, no matter what situation, good or bad, there is always that one group that won"t listen and rebel. For example, what happened in the Baltimore and Ferguson riot, some listened, but some thought that police were being complete scrubs and they rebel, making the situation worse for them and the police officers. For example, one mom saw one of her children in the riot, and then she pulled him out and yelled at him. Later in an interview from CNN, she stated that she didn"t want her son to participate in the riot. "Graham said when she arrived at Mondawmin Mall, she saw people throwing objects at police. She said what she saw could not be called protesters out for justice." She thought the riot got out of hand, and she didn"t want her child to be looting and burning buildings.

Sub Point A: Misconception

According to Ta-Nahesi Coates, senior writer of The Atlantic from March 5, 2015, "The investigation concluded that physical evidence and witness statements corroborated Wilson's claim that Michael Brown reached into the car and struck the officer. It concluded that claims that Wilson reached out and grabbed Brown first "were inconsistent with physical and forensic evidence." "The investigation concluded that there was no evidence to contradict Wilson's claim that Brown reached for his gun. The investigation concluded that Wilson did not shoot Brown in the back. That he did not shoot Brown as he was running away. That Brown did stop and turn toward Wilson. That in those next moments "several witnesses stated that Brown appeared to pose a physical threat to Wilson." That claims that Brown had his hands up "in an unambiguous sign of surrender" are not supported by the "physical and forensic evidence," and are sometimes, "materially inconsistent with that witness"s own prior statements with no explanation, credible for otherwise, as to why those accounts changed over time." So saying that Wilson shot Brown because Wilson was racist is completely false. And if a police officer feels that his or someone else"s live is in danger, he can take out his gun and fire.

Contention 2: Protesters Are Responsible

The protesters are responsible because they are making the lives of other people and the lives of officers harder. The officers have to go through mocking, harassing, and discrimination by the citizens and that does not help anyone. The officers then have to deal with protests, riots, and looting very often and it is just making their jobs very rough to go through. They didn"t choose to be racist; they were raised in a racist society. The protesters just make it worse by light stuff on fire, assaulting the officers, looting, mocking, and harassing the officers. The officers are just trying to keep everyone safe and keeping the situation from going out of hand. And even if they use unnecessary gear, we agree that it is a bit unnecessary, they need the people to listen, and since the gear is not fatal and the effects are temporary. That"s why the protesters are not doing any good for themselves or for the society.


I affirm the resolution.

Observation One: The wording of the resolution shows that in order to win, I need to show that police are more responsible than protesters in instances of civil unrest. Con needs to show how police are not more responsible in order to win. This means that if I'm giving you sufficient evidence to show that police are more responsible for the creation of civil unrest, then you affirm.

Observation Two: I don't defend that the fault lies 100% on the police. I don't even necessarily defend that 50% of the fault lies on police. All I need to defend is that more fault lies on the police than the protesters, regardless of how much at fault any particular side is in order to win. In order for Con to win, he must show that more fault lies on the protesters than the police, regardless of how much fault in particular.

Contention One is Institutionalized Racism:

The facts are pretty straight: the United States Federal Government is discriminatory against those of a race that isn't white. The statistics are absolutely dumb-founding: traffic stops, arrest rates, sentencing time length, severity of the sentencing, anything you really want to potentially think about is staggeringly higher for blacks and other minorities than it is for whites[1]. This institutionalized discrimination spreads over into the Criminal Justice System, and into the nation's police force. Officers, both current and former, are quick to admit that the force is blatantly racist[2][3].

This institutionalized racism is what's noted as the root cause of the kinds of civil unrest that leads to the riots that have taken place recently[4][5][6]. These roots can be traced all the way back to the 60s and 50s where these same racial triggers cascade downwards into massive rioting and looting[4][5][6].

This leads us to affirm the resolution because the police are the hand of the state: they're the tool that the government uses to enforce their laws and do their bidding. The police take this task to heart and arrest, search, and detain more blacks than whites[1], where the judicial system finishes them off with harsher sentencing and unfair jury panels[1].

So this argument is pretty simple: if racism is the root cause of civil unrest, civil unrest much like that of the recent uprisings of rioting, and police racially discriminate against those they police, then they perpetuate the causes of civil unrest and are, therefore, more responsible than the protesters.

And, don't let him stand up and say that the logic works both ways because that line of reasoning is blind to the vastly superior power that police officers wield compared to the average citizen as well as the existing divide between the police force and the citizenry that has been the direct cause of the uprisings: a white citizen killing a black citizen is a tragedy, but a white cop killing a black citizen is a reason to riot against the state.

With that being said, let's address his case. I'll go line-by-line:

He says "Observation 1: In order for the pro to win, they must prove that the protesters are not the cause of civil unrest"
  • First, there's no way that this burden is resolutional or fair. Prefer my observation one that outlies my burden of proof to be to prove that police are "more responsible" than protesters, not that protestors are not responsible at all since my burden comes straight from the wording of the resolution itself whereas his burden comes from literally nowhere and has zero warrant to it.
  • Second, even if you're holding me to this burden, I'm fulfilling it by showing how the state-sponsored racism and discriminatory police enforcement of the law is the root cause of civil unrest. So even by his standard, I'm still winning.

Then go to his Contention One.

  • The contention is logically bankrupt. Not everyone raised around racism is suddenly and automatically transformed into a racist without their consent. Moreover, to say that the police aren't responsible because it's the government's fault for being racist is so backwards I'm confused where to start on this...
  • Second, cross apply my stat talking about how ingrained racism is in the police force. Racism isn't only a government problem.
  • Even if his contention here is true, it doesn't actually negate the resolution. It's still the police officer's choice to react to unruly citizens with excessive amounts of force, therefore holding them ultimately responsible.
Then, go to his Subpoint A to Contention One:
  • This is literally the definition of irrelevant. I don't argue that the police illegally killed Michael Brown. This is attempting to respond to an argument I'm not making.
  • Second, cross apply my stats talking about how discriminatory the police force is. Prefer my evidence because it's a) far more extensive than just looking at a single case as it examines national trends, and b) more recent, my stats come from the middle of 2015 whereas he cites a single instance that occured in 2014, which makes my stats more indicative of what's true in the status quo.
Then, go to his second contention:
  • There's zero warrant to this outside of an attempt to emotionally persuade readers.
  • This is victim blaming at it's finest: the con is literally blaming the citizens for not liking the circumstances placed on them by a racist government passing laws that a racist police force discriminatorilly enforces. Cross apply my argument about how the root cause of the creation of civil unrest is the racism inherent within our government system.
  • Even if it's not just straight up victim blaming, the simple timing of things makes it near impossible to blame the protestors unless you just forget to even ask the question of "Why are they actually rioting in the first place?" People don't just get up and burn down stores and throws stones at cop cars without sufficient motivation or justification, otherwise events like Fergusen and Baltimore would be daily occurances. Whether or not they're decision to riot is correct ignores the fact that something has pushed them to the point of wanting to riot. That "something" would be the reason for the civil unrest, which means it physically can't be the protestors at fault.


I'm showing that the root cause of civil unrest in the US is the institutionalized racism that is enforced via the police force, which creates the tension and circumstances that creates riots. This means that the fault rests more on police than protestors, which means that the resolution is affirmed.


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Debate Round No. 1


titanic1216 forfeited this round.


Extend my arguments.
Debate Round No. 2


titanic1216 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
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1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by famousdebater 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: ff