The Real Numbers Of “Police Brutality” in America That You Need To See
Everyone from the Hollywood elite to NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem… from the mainstream media to teachers at schools across the country… seem to want to declare that police are racists.
They’ll tell you there’s a disproportionate number of “unarmed black men” being killed by the cops.
That police brutality is out of control.
Except… the numbers once again absolutely destroy that argument.
That means 55,800,880 contacts
A good friend of mine who is a Chief of Police put that into perspective:
… than to have a police officer use excessive force on you.
But we’re just warming up. Let’s look at 2018 police shootings.
Of the 998 total Police Deadly Use of Force, here is the breakdown by Race & Age:
According to 2016 FBI data, black men commit murder 572.8% more than white men. Rapes are committed at a level of 146.1% greater, robbery at 617.9% greater, aggravated assault at 203.3% greater and violent crime in total at 263.6% greater.
Now let’s look at 2018 Police Deadly Use of Force data.
In 2018 there were a total of 998 Police Deadly Use of Force incidents. Of these incidents, 95.3% of suspects were armed:
Of the 47 (4.7%) that were “unarmed”:
Note: In almost half of the cases (22) where the suspect was unarmed, non-lethal force was attempted & failed prior to the use of deadly Force.
Listen. I’m not suggesting racism doesn’t exist in law enforcement. It exists everywhere – that’s the sad truth of it.
And yes, black people in the United States are more likely to be victims of violent confrontations with police officers (per capita) than their white counterparts.?But let’s dive deeper into why this is.
Statistically, minorities come to police attention far more than their population would suggest.
Chicago gives us some great examples. And let’s not forget the insanely strict gun laws there, by the way. For example, during the first eight months of 2016 (the most recent period for which the numbers are available), 2,818 people were shot — only 12 by police. (That’s one-half of 1 percent).
In cities with large black populations, homicide rates have skyrocketed during that same period:
So what’s going on here? Are we confusing the color of one’s skin with poverty or inequality? It’s a fair argument. Black people tend to be greater offenders, statistically speaking, because they tend to be more disadvantaged, living in poorer urban areas with less access to public services.
Then of course there’s the argument about the “violent subculture theory.” This is the idea that some black communities have developed cultural values that are more tolerant of crime and violence.
I want to leave you with a few recent studies.
First, a 2016 study by Roland G. Fryer Jr., who is an economics professor at Harvard. He found that no racial bias could be detected in police shootings, in either the raw data or when accounting for controls. He also found racial bias was detected in lesser use of police force, but not deadly encounters. His recommendation?
“Black Lives Matter should seek solutions within their own communities rather than changing the behaviors of police and other external forces.”
Second, there were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014 according to FBI Data — the most recent year for which such data are available — compared with 5,397 homicide deaths for whites and Hispanics combined. Almost all of those black homicide victims had black killers.
Finally, police officers — of all races — are also disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black. Officers are killed by blacks at a rate 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by police.
Seems to me like the real problem here is socioeconomic disparities along with a public perception issue thanks to biased reporting. And let’s not forget the huge role that social media plays in disseminating false narratives and creating emotional, knee-jerk reactions.
Finally, I’d like to leave you with some stats from the National Law Enforcement Memorial Fund.
It’s iImportant to have very real conversations about racism in America and accountability among those who hold the thin blue line. Let’s just make sure we’re basing those conversations on facts and not feelings.