Washington, DC – Karen Bass is a Democratic Congresswoman from California. She also serves as the Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. And according to one outlet, she is breaking party lines. In a recent interview with the Washington Post, she expressed her distaste with the term “defund the police”, saying:
“I told some friends that’s probably one of the worst slogans ever.”
“Bass is also savvy enough to understand that the slogan and its message is political suicide not just with swing voters but with black urban voters who would suffer the most if police departments would lose funding to such a degree they could not fulfill their public safety functions in those sometimes crime-ridden areas.
‘Police officers are the first ones to say they are law-enforcement officers, they’re not social workers,’ said the Los Angeles member of Congress.
‘What we have done in our country is, we have not invested in health, social and economic problems in communities. We leave the police to pick up the pieces.
In my city, for example, on any given night, we have over 40,000 people who are homeless. Why should the police be involved with that?’”
Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass joins The Post to discuss reforms to curb police brutality, end racial profiling, and eliminate qualified immunity with the Justice in Policing Act. https://t.co/vSOF4xJUcQ
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) June 15, 2020
Roland Fryer is an economics professor at Harvard. He was the youngest African American professor to receive tenure at the prestigious university, doing so in 2007, at the age of 30.
He is considered an expert in the field of race and police use of force. And he has something to say regarding the current movement that aims to “defund” police departments all over our great nation.
According to his bio on Harvard’s website:
“Roland G. Fryer, Jr. is a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Fryer’s research combines economic theory, empirical evidence, and randomized experiments to help design more effective government policies. His work on education, inequality, and race has been widely cited in media outlets and Congressional testimony.
Professor Fryer was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the John Bates Clark Medal — given by the American Economic Association to the best American Economist under age 40.
Among other honors, he is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a recipient of the Calvó-Armengol Prize and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. At age 30, he became the youngest African-American to receive tenure at Harvard.
His current research focuses on education reform, social interactions, and police use of force.”
He has been researching and reporting on his findings for years. So it would be safe to assume that Fryer is what many of us would refer to as a “subject matter expert”.
Here is a video discussing his report from 2016 which states that there is no racial bias in police shootings.
He recently spoke with The College Fix about what we are seeing between communities and the police.
Here is what he had to say as part of that conversation:
“There is no racial bias when officers fire on suspects, according to a new study by Prof. Roland Fryer – black suspects are actually less likely to be shot than other suspects.
‘Defunding the police is not a solution and could cost thousands of black lives. I think the streets are talking and we should listen. People are frustrated.'”
Here at Law Enforcement Today, we have published numerous articles that have shown the facts, figures and statistics that support Fryer’s conclusions.
Fryer and his team spent 3,000 hours gathering, analyzing and reporting on the data they collected on more than 1,000 shootings. That data covered 15 years and 10 police departments, including Austin, Houston, Dallas, Los Angles, Orlando and several others.
What did his research show?
“In officer-involved shootings in these cities, officers were more likely to fire their weapons without having first been attacked when the suspects were white. Black and white civilians involved in police shootings were equally likely to have been carrying a weapon. Both of these results undercut the idea that the police wield lethal force with racial bias.”
Fryer said that mainstream media has an “absolute refusal to grapple with the data” which has resulted in an “insistence” that he should not publicize it.
For some reason, the mainstream doesn’t want this information out in the open.
His new research, called “Policing the Police: The Impact of ‘Pattern-or-Practice Investigations on Crime,” shows that after events such as those surrounding Freddie Gray, Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Philando Casteel and numerous others, homicides often increase following national scrutiny of police.
“For investigations that were preceded by a viral incident of deadly force – Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Riverside and Ferguson – there is a marked increase in both homicide and total crime. The cumulative amount of crime that we estimate due to pattern-or-practice investigations in the two years after the announcement for this sample is 21.10 (5.54) per 100,000 for homicides and 1191.77 (429.50) per 100,000 for total felony crime.
Put plainly, the causal effect of the investigations in these five cities – triggered mainly by the deaths of Freddie Gray, Laquan McDonald, Timothy Thomas, Tyisha Miller and Michael Brown at the hands of police – has resulted in 893 more homicides than would have been expected with no investigation and more than 33,472 additional
felony crimes, relative to synthetic control cities.
To get a sense of how large this number is, the average number of fatal shootings of African American civilians by police officers in Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Riverside and Saint Louis, per year, is 12.5 Thus, even if investigations cured these cities of all future civilian casualties at the hands of police, it would take approximately 75 years to“break even.”
Our estimates suggest that investigating police departments after viral incidents of police violence is responsible for approximately 450 excess homicides per year. This is 2x the loss of life in the line of duty for the US Military in a year, 12.6x the annual loss of life due to school shootings, and 3x the loss of life due to lynchings between 1882 and 1901 – the most gruesome years'” the paper says.”
So, where is the mainstream on reporting this?
A quick search of Roland Fryer on CNN’s website revealed only 3 results. The first alludes to an incident in Tulsa, where the police chief quotes Fryer’s previous reports.
The second is a story about Fryer being suspended after allegations of sexual misconduct.
The third is from 2016 and is headlined:
“Black men nearly 3 times as likely to die from police use of force, study says”
But the part that is left out of that formula is the fact that black Americans make up 13% of the population, but account for 27% of all arrests in the US, based on current DOJ stats.
The study arrived at this conclusion based on the number of legal intervention deaths, by race as part of their percentage of population. But, police do not have interactions with people in proportion to their percentage of the population. The conclusions of this study would only be accurate if police only contacted black citizens in 13% of all their calls. If the numbers didn’t change, then the findings would make sense.
Does this mean that blacks are twice as likely to break the law than whites or Hispanics?
Of course not.
The point: you cannot simply look at a percentage and make a declarative statement beyond the percentage itself.
There must be consideration given to the raw numbers.
In 2019, there were 25 unarmed (meaning that they were not brandishing a weapon, does not conclude that they were not posing a threat to officers at the time of their deaths) white people killed through legal intervention, compared to only 8 black people.
Thus, unarmed whites are 3 times more likely to die in interactions with police. The actual facts behind the numbers do not support the study that CNN was touting, but entirely backs up the study from Fryer.
Part of that piece by CNN states:
“Black men are nearly three times as likely to be killed by legal intervention than white men.”
The author, Dr. James Buehler, says of his study:
So, what does the media have to gain from refusing to share this reality with its readers and viewers? Revenue.
In one of the citations for its paper, Fryer’s team notes:
“In the 27 months before the event, cities that were investigated without viral incidents, those that were investigated after viral incidents, and those that experienced viral shootings (but were not investigated) have remarkably similar trends in media attention.
Yet, the amount of attention that occurs for these different samples of cities differs in the month of the event. Cities investigated without viral incidents experience 7.47 articles in the month of the investigation and this returns to pre-investigation levels quickly thereafter.
Similarly, cities that experience a viral shooting have media attention increase from 0.03 in the months before the event to 11.26 on the month of the shooting. The media attention quickly dissipates and resurrects roughly eight months after the event – typically to announce that the officer in the shooting has been acquitted.
Cities investigated after viral incidents follows a similar pattern of media – though stunningly more intense. Media attention in these cities increase from 1.87 articles per month, in the months before the event, to 45.86 articles on the month the investigation is announced.
Media attention decreases but it does not return to pre-investigation levels and spikes again 12 months later when the findings of the investigations are typically released. Its plausible that a negative article involving police every three days, and almost 2 per day in the month of the investigation, may be enough to make police officers feel like they are under siege.”
Speaking with officers on a daily basis, we know that they do feel as though they are under siege. It is time for the mainstream media members to start telling the truth and stop pushing a divisive narrative.
It needs to happen quickly.
Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today? With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.
Make sure you click “following” and then click “see first” so you don’t miss a thing! (See image below.) Thanks for being a part of the LET family!