A recent comment on this thread:
I wonder how we ever come to any sort of real knowledge about whether the police systematically get away with abuse, when each case is so fact dependent.
Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton (I assume that most the people in the media) certainly have an incentive to find legitimate black victims of unjustified police brutality. And yet it seems like more often than not, they pick losers. Maybe my memory is selective, but the biggest examples I can think of are Tawana Brawley, Rodney King, Treyvon Martin (Police-like violence) and now Michael Brown. Of these, only the Rodney King beating was truly unjustified. Tawana Brawley rapes didn't happen. Zimmerman shot Martin in self defense. We don't know the facts yet on Brown, but it's looking like he was shot in self-defense, too.
I'm prepared to believe that police are regularly abusing their authority. But if it happens so regularly, why can't Sharpton et al find a better class of martyr?