David Shuey

Jul 9, 2016

35 min read

The Debunking of a Misleading NY Times Headline: “Study Supports Suspicion That Police Are More Likely to Use Force on Blacks”

Another New York Times article this week says it all: Shootings Further Divide a Nation Torn Over Race

“It’s kind of like, ‘Is water wet?’” said Aislinn Sol, organizer of the Chicago chapter of Black Lives Matter. “But what we gain with each study, each new piece of information is that we are able to win people over who are on the fence. The evidence is becoming overwhelming and incontrovertible that it is a systemic problem, rather than an isolated one.” * Quote from NY Times’ article. See addendum at bottom.

Another day, another ugly American killing. And yet another New York Times article (July 7, 2016) highlighting racism in police actions while omitting the most glaring context: Crime rates and arrest rates.

How can the study authors claim with The New York Times’ validation that they’ve proven “[there’s ‘far more’ bias] even when racial disparities in crime are taken into account” when these are the undisputed stats for Black Americans?

• Homicide offender (and victim) = 50–55% of total US population (4 times higher)

• Arrests = 28% (2.25 times higher than the general population)

• Incarcerated = 37% (3 times higher)

• Violent crime arrests = 39% (3 times higher)

• Property crime arrests = 29% (2.3 times higher)

• Weapons arrests = 40% (3.2 times higher)

(Racial disparity higher than overall population in parenthesis; mostly based on FBI Uniform Crime Reporting.)

Isn’t that how you’re supposed to take racial disparities in crime into account, thus debunking this report’s argument? Does The New York Times purposely choose to not vet their findings?

Look closely at this Table 5 created by the Center for Policing Equity that show whites have higher rates of use of force for violent arrests. It appears they present this data, but ignore it in their narrative. The next three paragraphs updated April 2018 show that all along the Center for Policing Equity were misleading the media when presenting their data to the masses. This proved dangerous as homicide rates were increasing 20% from 2014 to 2016.

How Center for Policing Equity Misleads and Lies by Omission

Here’s what’s really shocking. That 3.6% vs. 4.6% use-of-force difference doesn’t factor in violent crime and the writers of this report obfuscate that fact. P. 17 of the Center for Policing Equity’s report on use of force says, “Table 5 shows that benchmarking to violent Part I arrests reverses the direction of the Black-White gap.” But several times, they try to say violent crimes don’t matter. But just looking at this data it appears outcomes are worse for whites in violent arrests.

The Center for Policing Equity’s report left this little Easter egg showing the anti-black disparity does not occur in lethal use of force. This is details more below in the “October 2017 Update.”

How Suspect Behavior is Different Between Races

Regardless, these studies hardly mention antipathy towards police that can lead to problematic interactions, and are likely factors behind a racial difference of 3.6% for whites vs. 4.6% for blacks. The Center for Policing Equity mentions it only in passing on page 26:

Jeff Sessions the White Supremacist (where I got this image) vs. Jeff Sessions the guy who wants to help people affected by crime victimization in minority communities (an argument I’m willing to make at the risk of alienating friends and damaging my personal reputation).

Criminal Context not Clearly Presented

I’ll get to the downplaying of no racial bias in lethal shootings in a minute.

Something in the red circle isn’t like the other columns. Look closely. That light grey bar is slightly higher.

Reason for Goff and Center for Policing Equity Bias: Money, Power

And the reason the Center for Policing Equity and its leader Dr. Goff are hiding things? Money. They admit as much when they attack Dr. Roland Fryer and other researchers that don’t find racial bias in police treatment of blacks: They say it will cost them funding! I even speculated that was the case when I first published this article regarding how the Center for Policing Equity is built up around paid-for racial bias trainings. I wrote, “While most of our trainings are free of charge (in exchange for access to research-related data), trainings that have already been completed may require a fee.”

Cont. with Original 2016 Essay:

Do they mention how Non-Hispanic White Americans may, in fact, have significantly lower crime rates than Black Americans — and despite left-wing pundits’ ideological lies are even lower than society as a whole in many key areas — thus interacting with law enforcement 3.6 times less?


I purposely avoided standard style guides and chose not to write out numbers for three, five, eight, etc. Numbers matter, and want them to “pop,” so it’s clear. i.e. The Southern Poverty Law Center points out there are 5–6 “hate crime” homicides a year OR the “offending rate for blacks was almost 8 times higher than whites,” which is copied from Wikipedia directly. Calling Wiki Editors! It’s “eight”!


And that “Canary in the coal mine” of racial bias in killings by police is answered! Only a few days after this report, a groundbreaking study by an acclaimed black Harvard economist (and recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship) judiciously backs my longtime argument that there’s no racial bias in police shootings. See NY Times (July 11, 2016): Surprising New Evidence Shows Bias in Police Use of Force but Not in Shootings. Note, this study may also miss key factors that show the slightly higher use of force for minority persons over white people, i.e. known gang members who may cycle through police stops repeatedly, or stronger negative attitudes towards police in the black community. As I said above, “Issues of trust around police make this a chicken or egg situation, which I don’t deny needs fixing.”

Ask yourself about these stats by a Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer, Jr.: On an everyday patrol with a NYC cop in the Brooklyn in 2004, with these numbers above (i.e. 1 in 32 black people will get handcuffed; 1 in 37 white people get handcuffed), would you even notice that difference? And is the mistreatment by “NYC Cops” so extreme in general if your chance of getting handcuffed is 3%, whether you’re complexion is black or white? And that’s before getting to 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.
Sources for graphic here.

* ADDENDUM 2 (to opening quote I just added 11/15/20):

Why don’t we connect the threads of HOW the media and activists constantly validate that police are uniquely dangerous to black lives — defying data — and how that’s resulted in a vastly more black lives lost this past half decade?

The Carnage & The Data

The consequences are our new bloody and irrational reality? Likely 20,000 murders per year in 2020 compared to 14,000 per year in 2013–2014 when BLM started taking shape. That’s thousands of lost black lives to murder — all not mentioned on the web pages of Black Lives Matter, where they “memory hole” their own call to “disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure” and neglect any mention of gun violence as a subject topic unless by cop. Many resources and studies support the idea that a “Ferguson Effect” has transpired in America, but its underplayed in TV pundits and smart phone news feeds.

SOURCES FOR GRAPHIC: CDC — 19,510 homicides in 2016. | ColorLines showed black homicide victim rates that are almost 7 times higher for blacks than whites. | 2018 Study: “Is There Evidence of Racial Disparity in Police Use of Deadly Force? Analyses of Officer-Involved Fatal Shootings in 2015–2016” shows 34 white and 23 black people killed by police were “unarmed and not aggressing” using Guardian data. | Running data here from The Washington Post shows 36% of unarmed killings are black. | The Washington Post in 2015: “There were 511 officers killed in felonious incidents and 540 offenders from 2004 to 2013, according to FBI reports. Among the total offenders, 52 percent were white, and 43 percent were black.”

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes. Also searching for relevant facts and logical arguments above expedient or politial narratives.

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