Research seems to indicate that American cops shoot WHITES at a higher rate than blacks

Academic research on police shootings and race

The percentage of homicide victims who die from police shootings is greater for whites and Hispanics than for blacks. Twelve percent of all white and Hispanic homicide victims in 2015 died from police shootings, based on The Washington Post’s shootings database, compared with four percent of black homicide victims.

And police officers are at greater risk from blacks than unarmed blacks are from police officers. If we accept at face value The Post’s typology of “unarmed” victims, which I discussed yesterday, the per capita rate of officers being feloniously killed is 45 times higher than the rate at which unarmed black males are killed by cops. And an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black assailant is 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.

Also worth a read.

From The EconomistBut looking at the Black Lives Matter campaign in detail raises some worrying queries. For example on its website, the group claims that “every 28 hours a black man, woman, or child is murdered by police or vigilante law enforcement.” That is a deeply questionable claim. According to the Washington Post, which is running a tally, 155 black people have been killed by police so far this year—out of 607 total. That is not quite one every 28 hours—but no matter. What is important, however, is that less than a tenth of this total was unarmed, 24 of whom were black. So to state that every black person killed by a police officer in a country as violent as America is “murdered” is inaccurate. Sure, 155 people killed by police is too many, and 607 is a problem, but of those who were black 85% were armed.

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I'm confused by the wording:

homicide victims who die from police shootings

Is every police shooting considered a homicide? What if the "victim" is actively attacking the police? Are they still considered a homicide victim?

Twelve percent of all white and Hispanic homicide victims in 2015 died from police shootings, based on The Washington Post’s shootings database, compared with four percent of black homicide victims.

This is either poorly worded or intentionally misleading.

  • X homicide victims in 2015
  • Y (subset of X) white or hispanic homicide victims
  • 12% of Y was killed by police
  • Z (subset of X) black homicide victims
  • 4% of Z was killed by police

Without the details about X, Y, and Z, it's difficult to find any useful statistical meaning from this... it's like comparing apples and pears (sort of similar but actually different enough that the comparison is useless).

155 black people have been killed by police so far this year

When was the article from the Economist published? If it was June, that's about one dead every 28 hours. In a country of 300+ million people, only 607 were killed by police (0.0002%. Lower considering the population is significantly higher than 300 million) and of those 155 happened to be black (about 25% of the 607 killed by police). Here's where we get to a statistic that actually matters: Are black people being killed by police in numbers out of proportion with the size of their population in the general populations? i.e. What is the percentage of people who are black? Wikipedia says 13.2%. So it would seem blacks are indeed killed by police more often than we would expect from their population. The real question is why, which these statistics have totally failed to address. Being armed is largely irrelevant in the US... being armed AND aggressive would be more interesting to talk about.

I agree that the writer of the first piece needs an editor, but it was a blog and perhaps bloggers are exempt from editing. 

Is every police shooting considered a homicide? What if the "victim" is actively attacking the police? Are they still considered a homicide victim?

A homicide is a person killed by another person. It is not considered a murder unless it is intentional. For example, an accidental shooting is a homicide but not a murder. Not every police shooting is considered a homicide since many people are shot and do not die. 

Twelve percent of all white and Hispanic homicide victims in 2015 died from police shootings, based on The Washington Post’s shootings database, compared with four percent of black homicide victims.

This merely states that 12% of white and Hispanic people who were victims of homicide (killed by whomever) were killed by police vs. 4% of blacks. I see no ambiguity. Nor am I surprised. There is a lot of black-on-black homicide, much of it due to drug gangs, so it's not surprising at all if police shootings account for a relatively smaller proportion of it. 

As for the Economist article, I included it in part to show what a statistical briar patch these race/homicide statistics turn out to be. You almost have to be an actuary to make sense of it all. The one nugget I got out of it explains why police may be edgy in black neighborhoods or when dealing with black people. 85% of blacks killed by police were armed. Probably the number one thing you can do to increase your chance dying at the hands of police is to be armed. Blacks in the US are have had their consciousness raised both by facts and by activists fanning the flames that apparently many of them become defiant and uncooperative, which also increases the chance of being shot because it needlessly escalates the situation. 

Unfortunately, we seem to be caught in a rather unfortunate feedback loop.

It seems I read the OP with the same confusions as you, Matt.

Hypothetical in nowhere land...you are pulled over by pissy and authoritarian dickhead cop and you are black but can transform into white for the time being...you are white and same transformation is available...

Betcha 90 sumpin percent of blacks transform to white and no whites transform.

In the percentage of blacks killed by cops how many of them had their hands in the air or were unarmed?

Did you read the second article?

@Noel:

"In the percentage of blacks killed by cops how many of them had their hands in the air or were unarmed?"

What percentage of whites killed by police had their hands in the air or were unarmed?

What percentage of police who shoot people were Black?  White?

What percentage of police shoot people of a different skin color?  Categorized by Black and White of course.

@Gregg Thomas

What percentage of whites killed by police had their hands in the air or were unarmed?

Not that many white peoples, who get shot by cops, recording the incident. So I don't know of any studies that can show us the big disparity other than what I see with my big lying eyes.

What percentage of police who shoot people were Black? White?

Again, my lying eyes tell me that more white cops shoot black people than black cops shoot black peoples. Again going by my lying eyes.

What percentage of police shoot people of a different skin color? Categorized by Black and White of course.

My lying eyes again, see incidence of more white cops shooting unarmed black people than black cops shooting unarmed black people. Not saying that my lying eyes have never seen black cop shoots unarmed black person because they have seen it, my lying eyes.

You're making my statement into us against them which it wasn't. It's what I asked; "In the percentage of blacks killed by COPS how many of them had their hands in the air or were unarmed?" I'm not asking for a racial or ethnic breakdown of cops shooting blacks but COPS in general. I seriously do not have an agenda Gregg. Do you?

Nope no agenda, I tend to stay away form cops and thugs.  Being dead is something I'm allergic to.

Its hard to tell, the statistics have too little context.

IE: A possible conclusion could be that more blacks survived being shot, or the white people died more easily, etc...again, because the contexts for the statistics are missing.

Another is the simple fact that cops, statistically, are more likely to be confronting an armed criminal, and, due to socioeconomic factors, they can tend to be black or other minority depending upon the location.

A black guy being arrested may, or may not be armed, but the cop will be.  Most of the time, if the arrest is of a black guy for example, the black guy and the cop will have a shoot out if the black guy is a gang banger, etc.

If if the black guy is NOT armed, there is a much lower risk of a shootout, as only one side has a gun. 

And so forth.

I'm not sure if ANY conclusions can be drawn from the articles.

Here's a question raised by the most recent shooting in Charlotte, N. Carolina (Keith Lamont Scott).

When is it justifiable to shoot someone for NOT doing something? For not being compliant. For not following commands. For not stopping on command when running away? Etc.

It's easy to justify a shooting when the civilian makes a positive move. Picks up a weapon. Raises a weapon. Points a weapon. Moves toward the officer. Etc.

Many of these shootings are justified in terms of the victim being noncompliant. 

One more thing: The Charlotte shooting happened when the cops saw a black man in the car next to them roll a "blunt" (the term they used) and then revealed that he had a gun. They were actually there on a stakeout to attempt to serve a warrant on someone else. So they left their post to deal with the gun toting, marijuana smoking, black guy. Two more facts are relevant. He had the gun legally. He had a concealed carry permit. He also had a traumatic brain injury and his wife yelled that he had just taken his "medicine." It's possible that the marijuana provided relief from his injury. Perhaps that was the medicine to which is wife referred.

(BTW, she yelled that "He has a TBI. He's not dangerous" (or something to that effect). Who knows if the officer who shot him even understands that medical code? Perhaps if she'd actually used the words "traumatic brain injury" they might have backed off. We'll never know.

If the individual is unarmed and running away and you have his car you already know where he lives. Shooting unarmed people in the back, who happen to be black, is now a thing. And we're having conversations about "is it justified to shoot unarmed people in the back".

The guy in N.Carolina was fucked from the get go. He was blasting a blunt, while sitting in a car, while legally carrying a weapon, while black. The trifecta plus one.

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