Are you sure you’re in more danger? I read presumably the same studies as you, but my conclusions are below. Is anyone willing to debunk these statistical chances one may be hurt (or killed) by police?
I have little doubt some cops will surmise suspicious behavior from all sorts of irregular interactions — and possibly while playing Pokeman While Black. But in totality, no, I don’t buy this “fear” of police, even if I admit to my own inexperience due to my complexion (though, on occasion, I’ve experienced police abuse & hostility). Especially the concept that it’s police are the ones that are going to kill you, when 4% of black killings are at the hands of police (compared to 10% of white homicides are by law enforcement). If you want to do the math, divide 500/5500 (white), and divide 250/7500 (black). Numbers are backed by The Washington Post, The Guardian, and FBI’s Uniform Crime Statistics. Also, as a whole, only 1 in 12,000 arrests even lead to death. So paranoia much?
Also, shocker: Blacks and whites interact with law enforcement at around the same percentage in key areas (both are around 40% of incarcerated and 40% of “violent crime” arrests), but whites are TWICE as likely to be killed by police, 500 to 250, roughly.
As far as being treated differently based on color, despite what Baltimore reports said today, it’s questionable how the the Department of Justice is drawing these conclusions. Below are real stats from a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship winner and renowned economist from Harvard, Roland G. Fryer Jr. (who happens to be black), who’s data leads to the following conclusions about police in New York City during the infamous “Stop & Frisk” era, 2003–2013:
- 1 in 64 blacks per 10,000 stops will have a weapon DRAWN on them
(1.5 % of encounters)
- 1 in 77 whites per 10,000 stops will have a weapon DRAWN on them
(1.2 % of encounters)
Is this wrong? And that’s even separate from what Fryer calls “the most surprising result of my career” in discovering no racial bias for shootings after studying 1332 of them over a 15-year period.
More excerpts below derived from this post:
Nationwide Statistics on Police Killings: According to year-end 2015 tallies of people killed by police in the US in The Guardian (1146) and The Washington Post (984), roughly 50% were white, 25% were black, and 10% were unarmed. Hon-Hispanic Whites are 63% of the US population, and African-Americans make up a little less than 13%. Thus, a disparity. However, when factoring in police interaction — violent crimes or incarceration, for example — both demographic groups are 40% of the total, give or take a few percentage points, but twice as many white persons are killed at hands of the police. (Side note: According to The Guardian, 12 black women were killed by police and 35 white women were killed by police in 2015. For The Guardian, a car collision counts as a police killing.)
Then head to this section…
Bonus Point on “Are the Police Treating Different Races Differently?”
The New York Times states based on the Center for Policing Equity report, “For those who were arrested, the mean rate of use of force against blacks was 46 for every 1,000 arrests, compared with 36 per 1,000 for whites.” You can also accurately say the use of force rate is roughly 20% higher. I use the same numbers, but with a more relevant context (“next step”): Use of force is not used 944 times out of 1000 arrests for black Americans and 934 out of 1000 arrests for white Americans — which is 5.6% of the time for every black person arrested and 6.6% of the time for every white person arrested. So roughly 95% of the time for no matter your race, police in the United States won’t be harsh with you. Again, this is according to the studies implying police do get rough and are doing so unequally based on the complexion of your skin.
And yet, there’s more to process. This report is like so many others before it. And in recent months, there’s similar data offered by a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship winner and renowned economist from Harvard (see twin graphics below) and one by a numbers guy getting a graduate degree, though some prefer the latter’s “Multi-Level Bayesian Analysis” over the former’s 3000 hours of data-analyzing. However, both claim that all-things-being-equal, the use-of-force rate is also 20% higher for blacks than whites.But on the streets, “20% higher” translates to about the SAME percentage of encounters, give-or-take 1% (look at the two columns on the right). That’s the “next step.”
To be a broken record, as I wrote at the very bottom of my last Medium post. “And is the mistreatment by ‘NYC Cops’ so extreme in general if your chance of getting handcuffed [per stop] is 3%, whether you’re complexion is black or white?”
Do the simple math on any interaction above, and you get nearly the same percentage:
- 1 in 64 blacks per 10,000 stops will have a weapon DRAWN on them (1.5 % of encounters)
- 1 in 77 whites per 10,000 stops will have a weapon DRAWN on them (1.2 % of encounters)
- 1 in 185 blacks per 10,000 stops will have a weapon POINTED at them(.5% of encounters)
- 1 in 232 whites per 10,000 stops will have a weapon POINTED at them(.4% of encounters)