David Shuey
10 min readDec 14, 2016


Mr. Ezekilov (so official, I love it) —

First of all, the Mapping Violence piece I’ve looked at a several times. I’m actually a bit confused by it (can you explain it?), and it smacks of propaganda, honestly. And still doesn’t counter a stronger point: Are more people killed systematically by police who are black or minorities than whites? The answer from available data is clearly: No. Why? Because these studies don’t contextualize or benchmark for arrest or rates of violence.

Is having “use of force” occur in around 4% of arrests — whether the suspects are black or white — a pretty decent average? I’d say yes. All that is explained below. And in previous responses.

Isn’t systemic or institutional violence what happens when outcomes are different based on factors other than behavior? Bias (worth protesting on the streets) would be if police were killing at 40–50%, or even 35–45%. It’s (factually, irrefutably) about 25%! I constantly refer back to this simple argument:

Though, it doesn’t take a “genius” to conclude for the past few years that if a demographic that is 25% of those being killed by police is also 27% of the those arrested (36% for violent crimes), and 43% of the persons killing cops, then there might very well not be nationwide systemic racial bias against that demographic.

And there are studies I show (below) that show that blacks aren’t being systematically targeted more than the crime they help manifest, based on peer-reviewed academic research not often trotted out on Huffington Post. Which I think is born from the history of Jim Crow and slavery. Does Daily Caller mention that?

But how long does that American racism hangover last? Do we have such a dreadful mass incarceration state when 27% of people who commit felonies don’t get jail time?

Police shooting cases matches “use of force” cases matches “resisting arrest” cases. This isn’t about a “culture of violence” but it’s a higher propensity (demographically for African Americans) by a factor or two or three. Do you and others actually expect arrest rates to MATCH demographic rates? Should 50% of prisoners be women. Should 12.5% be black, 6.25% black men? Sometimes when I listen to my beloved NPR or read my New York Times subscription, I half think their editors do.

Simply, I do wonder if you’re missing what I write, like when you tell me to look at The Guardian — which includes every police killing under the sun, like car accidents, or cop husbands killing their families. Of course I know rates. And I’ve been on The Guardian page dozens of times which visually argue “injustice” (police-involved killings per million) without context. My entire argument is predicated on the fact that police kill blacks at 2.0 their rate of the population, but they’re arrested at 2.0 and higher (3.0 for violent crimes), and cops are even killed by blacks at more than 3.0 their rate of population (43% of all cops killed are by African Americans, according to The Washington Post). Again: 25–26% of all people shot and killed by police are African American, according to The Washington Post — what do you say to that?

Roland Fryer and I can see clearly: Based on these interactions, police kill blacks at 8-.9–likely 10-20% less than their “accurate” rate of 1.0, based on the nature of the interactions. They’re likely UNDER-killing African Americans compared to others they’re killing in similar situations. And I’ve also made the argument that some could say — pipe dreams, cough — that we could drop killings overall 300 people (25–30%) if we make MAJOR changes in law enforcement? But could we have more crime if so? Back to 1990s or 1970s levels? I’m all for sensible, evidence-based solutions. What would those be? All the focus and reforms, like a new citizen review board voted into reality in Chicago, hasn’t dropped the numbers of murders in 2016, nor shootings by officers, which are at record lows. Over time, things have gotten better, but I can’t find a single mainstream story that trumpeted this statistic that I weaved into my Fryer analysis:

Americans and media could also do some homework and point out, for example, that according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the rate of police killings per million for African Americans has fallen by 70 percent over the last four decades but the risk remains as high or higher for whites, Latinos and Asians. It got better for some, but not for others.

As for your question, can you answer what you mean by “What types of interactions do you think are dissolving?” OK. I’m against the War on Drugs (21% of people in prison are there for drugs, I’ve analyzed) but generally, I’m not convinced that police or law enforcement are wholly unprofessional or abusive on a widespread scale. Did you not notice that the Center for Policing Equity which you reference only finds that 1 in 25 times for both white and black persons per arrest (about 4% of the time), use of force is shown? I think that was missed.

But the narrative screams: The system is broken and do not trust the police! The result: 31.5% more homicides from 2014 to 2016 (half are black), but no one wants to talk about it (except Brietbart). How does that help #BlackLivesMatter? How is this not an incredible head-in-the-sand moment for media and activists who claim they want to get to the source of what’s killing people of color and harming lives?

And as I clearly showed in this essay, how can one say that blacks being killed by law enforcement at 2.0 times higher than the population is a firm reality (no one should question that stat now), BUT police are only sharing their “favorable” stats for studies (2.5 times higher use of force), and in “reality” there is probably 4.0 or 5.0 times higher use of force? How can it possibly be double the death rate? Does that sound reasonable? Why do activists still trumpet the “20% higher” use of force put in these analysis, and also say not to trust the data? Again, read the section “Quick Aside, Can We Trust The Numbers? Answer: Yes.”


You say, “ I think you paint all who support BLM with a very broad brush. We do not all think all cops are racist pigs.” Actually, I rarely go after BLM, if I can help it. I critiqued one Tweet, but haven’t included their awful “let them fry” video or NYC chant for dead cops, for fear they are doctored — which they’re not. My one most critical reference is this one, and I say it ‘cos when people talk about “hate crimes” — like Dylann Roof’s racist murders — there’s often a reference to the most inflammatory and racist statements on social networks that feed those horrible acts. I say: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. So I wrote, “When Black Lives Matter individuals Tweet about killing white people and someone eventually does it, don’t say it’s much different than the Klan.”


It’s a canard to simply attack racist police or claim “institutional racism” leads to these outcomes. Studies conclude similarly stating, “Relative to violation frequency as reported by crime victims, the likelihood of arrest for white and black offenders is roughly equal.” And in a 2016 Criminal Justice Review published paper that went further, “Results indicate that race does have an indirect effect on police contact, but it is white individuals who are more likely to be questioned and arrested.”


I hate to reprint this, but see the bold areas. And see the other areas of

I suspect the perception and occasional reality of being treated different feeds the mistrust. Yet even if use of force is not shown 954 times out of 1000 arrests for black Americans (or 964 out of 1000 arrests for white Americans), writers on esteemed news sources like Public Radio International will continue to offer platforms for distortions like, “I know why Freddie Gray ran. And it’s not because of any history or anything he’s doing wrong. He ran because for young Black men, encounters with police often do not go well.” Actually, according to the Center for Policing Equity’s own data, 21 out 22 times they do “go well” with no “use of force” for blacks, and 27 out of 28 times it’s the same results for whites. And I’d say logic dictates Gray ran because he had more than 20 criminal court cases against him, often for drug dealing.

AND ARE THOSE “PER ENCOUNTER” POINTS TOO HIGH? THE 70% “STOPS” MATCH CALLS MADE TO 911 BY 3RD PARTIES! (from Paul O’Neal shooting and how Chicago police aren’t shooting that much essay)

Follow the Case Report...

Fact: Around 70% of perpetrators of crime as described by victims and arrests in Chicago are black (Case Reports*, Arrest Rates)

Fact: Around 70% of people in contact by Chicago police are black (Contact Cards*)

Fact: Around 70% of people shot or killed by Chicago police are black (Chicago Police Accountability Task Force Report)

* THIS ELUSIVE “CASE REPORT” GRAPHIC (info provided by CPD for Chicago Public Radio) IS FULLY EXPLAINED BELOW. HERE IS AN EXCERPT: “CPD may have felt a bit ‘rushed’ by the bad publicity in Spring 2015 [by the ACLU], because they misspelled “Latino” as “Lation.” … Anyway, similar data-driven evidence has been featured by Chicago’s WBEZ in 2013, where you can see case reports match the contact rates, a key linchpin to any argument that no racial bias is taking place systematically by Chicago police.”


Also, there is evidence the “scrubbed” WBEZ website page did once exist, as it’s mentioned on the March 2015 archived stream by a reporter as she’s asked about ACLU’s approach and context for police “stops” in her reporting. It’s available only on WBEZ’s Sound Cloud page (go to 4:45 mark). Believe me, I’ve Googled endlessly to find evidence of those CPD-released numbers above mentioned elsewhere in the media, to no avail. This is about it. Here’s what WBEZ’s Katie O’Brien said: “I have some doubts that the ACLU [ran all the corrections for stops, i.e. controls]. I did hear from Martin Mulroney of CPD, who says racial profiling is strictly prohibited, but as far as the CONTACT CARD numbers and demographics, he said they closely mirror what’s called their CASE REPORTS. Like when someone calls in and they say ‘Someone is stealing a car, they look like this.’ That profile goes into a CASE REPORT. You can see on WBEZ.org [again, not anymore] that they’re very close to the percentages found in the CONTACT CARD.


CONTACT CARDS: Chicago cops stop African Americans around 72% of time

CASE REPORTS: Suspects third parties identify are black 73% of the time

Where is the racial bias if that’s true?


Also, real quick on the “cops choosing who to arrest” bias, check out page 43 of this 2009 Chicago Police Department Annual Report and try not to be a little shocked by the data. Hispanics, white and black members of the community are fairly evenly split in the city by population (29% Hispanic, 33% black; 32% white; 5 % Asian; 2.7% 2 or more races). But the arrest for murder, rape, aggravated assault, and pretty much every crime is several times higher for the black population. 85% of the robberies are by African Americans. These are arrests that typically require a witness and a case report by a third-party calling it in and aren’t simply at the whim of police.

Drug arrests in Chicago, which are often at the discretion of the officer or unit, actually matches those rates. Nationally, it’s the same, too. And though notoriously the War on Drugs (which should end) often lends to cries of disproportionate arrests for the same drug useage and dealing, it’s still not entirely clear if there’s a cut-and-dry case for that. For example, a University of Illinois at Chicago study shows African-Americans are vastly more likely to fib on surveys self-reporting for cocaine or marijuana use. Of course, Chicago has higher rates than the national average. So let’s look nationally. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration reports that African-Americans are 23% more likely to use marijuana. Common sense will tell you that the low-hanging fruit of outdoor pot use and dealing — selling “dime” bags and smoking the stoop in high-crime areas — will likely result in police arresting vastly more minorities than whites. This is one of the stronger arguments for structural inequality. Yet, it’s predictable, and one can hardly fault the police who are following their leaders whose mandate is to uphold the law. Again, like The Wire’s “paper bag” metaphor of covering up one’s liquor so the police won’t hassle black men, there’s a proper argument for full marijuana legalization, if not all drugs. Despite all that, and the fact greatest disparities do occur in criminal drug charges, only 1 in 5 people serving time in state or federal prison are doing so for drugs.

Back to all crime, when the FBI Uniform Crime Report combines Hispanic and white demographics (80% of total U.S. population) and compares to the black population (12–13%), you can see the difference with FBI crime stats for any given year (here is 2013): Burglary, aggravated assault, car theft, and rape (all more than 30% for blacks); robbery and murder (more than 50% for blacks). So the rate higher than the general population is 3.0 to 5.0 on these key crime indexes for African Americans. They’re killed by police at 2.0.

These are key criminal acts and arrests I’ve yet to hear a convincing argument for disparities other than the mixture of poverty and poor social mobility leading to crime — not the racism of police officer turning innocent citizens into statistics, or blatantly ignoring white criminality.



David Shuey

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.