Nathan, I think you’re onto something, and I mostly agree. “Mostly” because I don’t see a great deal of difference between blacks and whites and their treatment by police. Do you have any personal history with law enforcement to echo this sentiment that they’re “hesitant” to shoot their weapons at African Americans?
It’s the irony in the mantra “Black Lives Matter” because the statistics and research clearly show that when it comes to fatal shootings — and Dr. Roland Fryer agrees with this — police likely pull back and don’t shoot. I believe my exhaustive post above covers it.
Clearly the data in Chicago shows that police have been shooting less than before 2015, and averaging the same as the rest of the country’s police despite dealing with at least 3 times the violence per capita — around 1 fatal shooting incident per 300,000 citizens per year (around 10 killed per year in Chicago compared to 1000 killed in the United States). And as I wrote in this piece, Chicago police shoot far less today. Even when CPD shot a decade-high 60 people in 2011 (killing 23), it’s far less than the 137 citizens shot by Chicago police in 1974 (page 20 of PDF, original source).
If you want something even more in-depth and focused on Chicago as well as ACLU and U.S. Department of Justice oversight of policing — 23,000+ words of it and expanding, just like this piece — feel free to check out this posting below. I’ll leave an excerpt of 2 of 3 studies published in the last two years that prove that police shooting outcomes today aren’t racially biased against African Americans (the third study being Roland Fryer’s). In fact, police shootings may be ever-so-slightly biased against white Americans.
An Evidence-Based Analysis of Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ Call to Review Obama-Era U.S.
Attorney Generals Loretta Lynch and Eric Holder Missed the Mark and The Evidence Clearly Shows: There’s No Systemic…
- Research at Washington State University focused on how police reaction times in shootings may be disadvantageous to white people even if the officer have implicit bias against black people (“The Reverse Racism Effect”), and was reported about by The Washington Post. Excerpt: “Policy Implications: This article reports the results of our most recent experiment, which tested 80 police patrol officers by applying this leading edge method. We found that, despite clear evidence of implicit bias against Black suspects, officers were slower to shoot armed Black suspects than armed White suspects, and they were less likely to shoot unarmed Black suspects than unarmed White suspects. These findings challenge the assumption that implicit racial bias affects police behavior in deadly encounters with Black suspects.”
- A November 2016 hard data-driven study by the College of William and Mary Department of Economics and the Crime Prevention Research Center — largely ignored by the media — concluded there is no racial bias in police shootings. They also concluded body cameras don’t reduce killings. “When either the violent crime rate or the demographics of a city are accounted for, we find that white police officers are not significantly more likely to kill a black suspect … Our estimates examining the killings of white and Hispanic suspects found no differences with respect to the races of police officers. If the police are engaged in discrimination, such discriminatory behavior should also be more difficult when body or other cameras are recording their actions. We find no evidence that body cameras affect either the number of police killings or the racial composition of those killings.”