Tags: George Floyd Protests | police | social reform | blacklivesmatter | killings

Are Blacks More Likely to Be Killed by Police?

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By Friday, 17 July 2020 10:17 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The following is the second in the series

Are Blacks more likely to be killed by police?

We looked at examples for police killings on both Blacks and whites. In those examples:

Black victims were more likely to have had a criminal record.

White victims were less likely to get a financial settlement.

Police were far more likely to get a significant conviction when killing Black people.

Examples are always anecdotal. So, let's look at data.

Most articles say that Blacks are disproportionately murdered by police. The media highlights these statistics (2017):

  • Blacks are only 13% of the population, but they suffer 25% of the police killings.
  • Whites are 61% of the population but they only experienced 51% of police killings.
  • That suggests that Blacks are killed at double the level of their population.
  • 5.5 out of every 1 million Black persons were killed by police in 2017.
  • Only 2.3 out of every 1 million white persons were killed by police in 2017.

The disparity seems stark. Black people are killed by police at more than double the rate of white persons.

Data also shows that between 2013 and 2019, 27% of killings by police were against Black males. But Black males make up only about 6% of the population, so police are killing Black men at over 5 times the rate of their population.

Yet only 3% of police killings were against white females. They represent 30% of our population. Therefore, police kill white females at a rate that is 10 times lower than their population. Is this a relevant statistic? It's ridiculous.

Question: Is population the correct comparison? Or is it crime incidents? Do crime rates result in more police encounters, or more police incidents?

The Black community has a far higher crime rate. The Black community has a rate of crime that is 4 times higher than their population. Thirteen percent of the population committed 53% of the murders in our country. Black males are only 6% of the population, but they committed around 45% of the murders.

Blacks committed nearly 40% of violent crimes in 2017. Blacks committed violent crimes at nearly five times the rate of whites.

In 2017, for each 1,000 violent crimes committed, about 1.5 blacks were killed by police. For each 1,000 violent crimes, 2.9 whites were killed by police. The incidence of Black killings is half the rate of police killings against whites. Let's say it again. Just 0.15% of violent crimes by blacks results in a killing by police. About 0.29% of violent crimes by whites results in a killing.

We need to tell truth. Blacks are not killed at double the rate of whites. In fact, based on violent crimes committed, they are half as likely to be killed. They are also the least likely ethnic group to be killed by police when they commit violent crimes.

Deception by the media and politicians feeds a narrative that reinforces in Black minds that police are targeting them. Any politician or newsperson who says that Blacks are killed at double the rate of whites is deceiving the public.

This deception victimizes the overwhelming percent of good cops, and it stirs up racial hatred. The consequences are that the Black community distrust good cops more — and this only increases tension with police.

If we respond to false data, we will make poor decisions regarding our police force.

In 2017, according to FBI data, Blacks killed 2,570 other Blacks. The FBI data says that just eight Black unarmed men were shot by police in 2019. But The Washington Post claims that when you add people in custody, there were 13 deaths. Even if it is 13, that is just 0.5% of the Black-on-Black killings. Compare 13 unarmed Blacks killed by police to 2,570 Blacks killed by other Blacks in 2019.

What is the problem? Is it police enforcement or is it the Black community? Do Black lives matter only when a cop shoots them? What about the 99.5% of murders by Blacks on other Blacks?

Next: Are Police Getting Better or Worse?

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We need to tell truth. Blacks are not killed at double the rate of whites.
police, social reform, blacklivesmatter, killings
Friday, 17 July 2020 10:17 AM
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