David Shuey
4 min readJan 18, 2018


“This is ominous,” said Mark Kleiman, a criminologist at New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management. “What you worry about is that the trend is broken, and the numbers are going to go back up. A 20 percent increase in homicides over the past two years is not trivial. We’ve got what looks like a serious problem here.”

— From New York Times Sept 25, 2017 article, “Violent Crime in U.S. Rises for Second Consecutive Year

Steve,” who just randomly found my article, which for some reason has been read 10 times more than any of the other pieces I’ve written on police shootings and criminal justice (it’s short!), is someone I’m in absolute agreement. Unfortunately, I can’t get on-board with the comments from “Slightly Cranky,” even though her sentiments align with a vast majority in my own social network

There is no rational argument that says when a population (Black Americans) are in contact with police 25–30% of the time (30–50% for violent crime), that outcomes should match their percentage of the population (13%). Thus, for 3 years I haven’t found it surprising that 30–35% of total unarmed people killed are black (25% of total killed), and in low #s. I have found it surprising that almost no one knows the other 60–65% of unarmed people killed — not a single name. The argument that is widely shared, from celebrities to politicians, that African Americans are far over-exposed to police interactions due to racial bias — systemic, implicit or overt — I find doesn’t hold up to scrutiny. My writings address these issues in-depth. Here are 3 studies to tell you how cops do not systemically impose racial bias against blacks: Here, here and here.

Here are 5 studies or analyses that show police aren’t shooting blacks disproportionately, and may be shooting whites slightly more: Here (Washington State), here (Roland Fryer), here (College of William and Mary), here (Center for Policing Equity) and here (The Social Cognition Laboratory).

I’m surprised that vast numbers of rational people — some on the political left, but also the right — can’t imagine that with tens of millions of contacts with Americans where cops DO get shot quite often, that SOMETIMES (between 50–90 times a year) a person without a weapon gets shot. It sucks. Luckily, it’s rare.

Again, it’s called probability. If every % of the population was proportionately shot unarmed (or with a toy) with the current crime rates, it would make no sense.

But actions have consequences, and unfortunately, mostly African Americans face those consequences when policing and public attitudes change.

Yes, More People are being Murdered in the United States by Other Citizens: The Real Tragedy from Push Back Against Policing

Steve’s data is again correct. FBI link on arrests obviously won’t show all murders, but their final report did show a 8.6% murder increase from the 2015 estimate. There were 17,250 murders in 2016, more than 3000 additional people since 2014.

The Ferguson unrest was in August 2014. This is the United States afterwards:

  • 14,164 murders in 2014 (Reuters: “U.S. crime rises in 2015, still far below peak levels: FBI”)
  • 15,696 murders in 2015 (PBS: “Murders rose by more than 10 percent in 2015, but violent crime is still historically low.”)
  • 17,250 murders in 2016 (FiveThirtyEight: “The U.S. Murder Rate Is Up But Still Far Below Its 1980 Peak”).

I’ve been analyzing this progressive horror well before the mainstream media declared the results.

What happened in that time? The identity politics of Black Lives Matter and the full-throttle media, activist and academic attack on policing where WHEN you look at the data, there’s a negligible difference in treatment in recent years. I’ve made the argument that in the not-so-distant late 1960s and early 1970s there was likely three times the rate of African Americans killed by police as there is today. I put that at the bottom of my original post. Here it is again:

At the end of my days, I’ll say: I tried to save black and brown lives. But unfortunately, not too many people think “outside their box” when it comes to these issues. It’s either “conservative” or “liberal” with nary an overlap.

I’m not ready to throw in the towel on this argument yet.

By David Shuey the past 16 months:



David Shuey

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