Study: White Police Don’t Unjustly Shoot Black People

A newly released study proves that police officers don't consider race when deciding to shoot.

A newly released study proves that police officers don’t consider race when deciding to shoot.

Study: White Police Don’t Unjustly Shoot Black People

A study released on Thursday by the Crime Prevention Research Center has determined that white police officers are not more likely to shoot black suspects.

The study’s abstract states:

Using a unique data set we link the race of police officers who kill suspects with the race of those who are killed across the United States. We have data on a total of 2,699 fatal police killings for the years 2013 to 2015. This is 1,333 more killings by police than is provided by the FBI data on justifiable police homicides. 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.

The study also examined if body cameras resulted in fewer instances of lethal force. The idea is that if a police officer were going to unjustly kill somebody, they would be less likely to do it if they had a body camera. The study determined that body cameras have no impact on the number of officer-involved shootings.

The Washington Post famously released their statistics of officer-involved shootings, noting that black suspects make up 25 percent of the number of people killed by police, but they only make up 12 percent of the population. The Post and others pointed to this as proof that shootings are racially motivated. Unfortunately, they ignore the entire reason that officer-involved shootings occur in the first place. Just using those cited statistics suggest that police randomly kill a certain percentage of the population, so there should be no racial disparity in the number of people killed if it is, in-fact, random. However, people are not randomly killed by the police. Police officers use lethal force to protect their life or someone else’s life.

That’s why when you consider the factors involved, a Harvard study found that police officers were actually less likely to shoot black suspects. The CRRC study addresses the “disparity” issue:

Black neighborhoods tend to experience higher crime rates. Therefore, race-neutral police randomly assigned to neighborhoods will encounter more criminal activity in black neighborhoods. As such, they can be expected to employ lethal force against a higher proportion of black suspects. Furthermore, police are not randomly assigned to neighborhoods, but tend to be concentrated more heavily in crime “hot spots.” These areas tend to be relatively poor and black, leading to more encounters between the majoritywhite police force and black suspects. A small percentage of these encounters will result in the deaths of black suspects. For both of these reasons, suspects shot by a color-blind police force will be disproportionately black, as compared with the overall population.

Police officers, like those of us at Blue Lives Matter, have known that officer-involved shootings are not racially motivated. We know, because in the majority of shootings, we can look at the circumstances and say that we would have used the same level of force, and race is not a factor that we take into account. Now we have multiple scientific studies which reflect what we have been saying all-along. Black Lives Matter’s false narrative of systemic and institutionalized racism in police departments is built on false and misinterpreted data and stories.

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