• Bobby Woods

Are Police Officers More Likely to Kill Black People?

Every year, American police officers have about 370 million contacts with civilians. Most of the time nothing happens, but 12 to 13 million times a year, the police make an arrest. How often does this lead to the death of an unarmed Black person? We know the number thanks to a detailed Washington Post database of every killing by the police. What is your guess as to the number of unarmed Blacks killed by the police every year? One hundred? Three hundred? Last year, the figure was nine.

In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 Blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The paper categorized only 16 Black male victims of police shootings as "unarmed." That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest.

Contrary to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the police have much more to fear from Black males than Black males have to fear from the police. In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a Black male than an unarmed Black male was to be killed by a police officer.

From 1980 to 2013, there were 2,269 officers killed in felonious incidents, and 2,896 offenders. The racial breakdown of offenders over that 33-year period was 52% White, and 41% Black. So, the 13% total Black population in the U.S. commits 41% of police murders.

Further, Black males have made up 42% of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. That 18.5 ratio undoubtedly worsened in 2016, in light of the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers — committed vastly and disproportionately by Black males.

Nine unarmed Blacks were killed by police in 2019 (seven of whom physically assaulted the officers), as opposed to 19 Whites, according to the Washington Post’s database, but Blacks are much more likely to have police encounters than Whites. In an average year, about 49 people are killed by lightning in the US, according to the National Weather Service.

Here are the report’s major findings:

  • The evidence suggests that if there is police racial bias in arrests it is negligible. Victim and witness surveys show that police arrest violent criminals in close proportion to the rates at which criminals of different races commit violent crimes.

  • There are dramatic race differences in crime rates. Asians have the lowest rates, followed by whites, and then Hispanics. Blacks have notably high crime rates. This pattern holds true for virtually all crime categories and for virtually all age groups.

  • In 2013, a black was six times more likely than a non-black to commit murder, and 12 times more likely to murder someone of another race than to be murdered by someone of another race.

  • In 2013, of the approximately 660,000 crimes of interracial violence that involved blacks and whites, blacks were the perpetrators 85 percent of the time. This meant a black person was 27 times more likely to attack a white person than vice versa. A Hispanic was eight times more likely to attack a white person than vice versa.

  • In 2014 in New York City, a black was 31 times more likely than a white to be arrested for murder, and a Hispanic was 12.4 times more likely. For the crime of “shooting” — defined as firing a bullet that hits someone — a black was 98.4 times more likely than a white to be arrested, and a Hispanic was 23.6 times more likely.

  • If New York City were all white, the murder rate would drop by 91 percent, the robbery rate by 81 percent, and the shootings rate by 97 percent.

  • In an all-white Chicago, murder would decline 90 percent, rape by 81 percent, and robbery by 90 percent.

  • In 2015, a black person was 2.45 times more likely than a white person to be shot and killed by the police. A Hispanic person was 1.21 times more likely. These figures are well within what would be expected given race differences in crime rates and likelihood to resist arrest.

  • In 2015, police killings of blacks accounted for approximately 4 percent of homicides of blacks. Police killings of unarmed blacks accounted for approximately 0.6 percent of homicides of blacks. The overwhelming majority of black homicide victims (93 percent from 1980 to 2008) were killed by blacks.

  • Both violent and non-violent crime has been declining in the United States since a high in 1993. 2015 saw a disturbing rise in murder in major American cities that some observers associated with “depolicing” in response to intense media and public scrutiny of police activity.

The Myth of Systemic Police Racism:

An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force

Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings

6 Facts From New Study Finding NO RACIAL BIAS Against Blacks In Police Shootings

Tucker Carlson Breaks Down Every Police Shooting Of Unarmed Black Suspects In 2019:

Police are more likely to shoot whites, not blacks:

Study Concludes White Police Officers Are Not More Likely To Shoot Black Citizens:

Black Officers More Likely than White Officers to Shoot Suspects:

There Is No Epidemic of Racist Police Shootings, By Heather Mac Donald:

Blacks should be shot more often, based on the number of crimes committed:

Color of Crime:

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