A recent survey conducted that was titled “How Informed are Americans about Race and Policing?”, roughly 44% of respondents who collectively self identified as either “liberal” or “very liberal” believed over 1,000 unarmed black Americans were killed by police in 2019.
Yet, these estimates are a far cry from the published data within most comprehensive sources available on police shootings, as noted in the study.
…cross-tabs shared with me by the researcher) pic.twitter.com/tFI80FHF2z
— Zach Goldberg (@ZachG932) February 23, 2021
This study was a relatively simple one to understand just how familiar Americans are with published data on police shootings.
As noted within the study, researchers relied on two sources that offer detailed breakdowns of police-involved uses of force that result in death, namely “Mapping Police Violence” and the “Washington Post”:
“According to the Washington Post database, regarded by Nature magazine as the “most complete database,” 13 unarmed black men were fatally shot by police in 2019. According to a second database called “Mapping Police Violence”, compiled by data scientists and activists, 27 unarmed black men were killed by police (by any means) in 2019.”
The study first sought to see how people identified themselves politically, breaking down respondents into one of five categories when given an option to choose between the following:
- Very Liberal
- Very Conservative
Once respondents identified their general political stance, they were asked the following two questions:
- If you had to guess, how many unarmed black men were killed by police in 2019?
- If you had to guess, in 2019 what percentage of people killed by police were black?
For the first question relating to the number of unarmed black Americans shot by police, respondents were afforded the following estimates to choose from:
- About 10
- About 100
- About 1,000
- About 10,000
- More than 10,000
For those identifying as “Very Liberal”, the following percentages of respondents answered the first question as follows:
- 15.71% “About 10”
- 30.71% “About 100”
- 31.34% “About 1,000”
- 14.29% “About 10,000”
- 7.86% “More than 10,000”
When breaking that down, 53.49% of those who identify themselves as “Very Liberal” think roughly 1,000 or more unarmed black Americans were shot by police in 2019.
As for those identifying as “Liberal”, those respondents answered the first question as follows:
- 22.42% “About 10”
- 38.79% “About 100”
- 26.67% “About 1,000”
- 6.67% “About 10,000”
- 5.45% “More than 10,000”
Venturing into the mere “Liberal” category, 38.79% think that about 1,000 or more unarmed black Americans were shot by police in 2019. When weighing the average between the “Very Liberal” and “Liberal” respondents, even rounding down on percentages comes to about 45%.
But when using the cross-tabs provided by the researchers, the weighted average comes closer to about 44% between the “Liberal” and “Very Liberal” categories of respondents.
3/n According to the Mapping Police Violence database, the actual figure is 27.
— Zach Goldberg (@ZachG932) February 23, 2021
For the sake of perspective, just about any reliable source on fatal police shootings or interactions put the total number of 2019 incidents at about 1,000 (that includes armed, unarmed, black, white, and so on).
Ironically, when examining the responses from those who self identified as “Moderate”, “Conservative”, or “Very Conservative” – the estimates of unarmed black Americans killed by police in 2019 were far closer to the available statistics.
Those who identified as “Moderate” answered said question as follows:
- 33.6% “About 10”
- 40.59% “About 100”
- 16.4% “About 1,000”
- 5.91% “About 10,000”
- 3.49% “More than 10,000”
Moving on to those who identified as “Conservative”, those respondents answered follows:
- 46.39% “About 10”
- 40.36% “About 100”
- 9.04% “About 1,000”
- 3.01% “About 10,000”
- 1.2% “More than 10,000”
And lastly, those who identified as “Very Conservative” responded as follows:
- 45.99% “About 10”
- 33.58% “About 100”
- 13.14% “About 1,000”
- 2.92% “About 10,000”
- 4.38% “More than 10,000”
In short, 2.8% of “Moderate” respondents, 13.25% of “Conservative” respondents, and 20.44% of “Very Conservative” respondents estimated about 1,000 or more unarmed black Americans were killed by police in 2019.
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Basically, this study shows that there’s a healthy amount of uninformed Americans when it relates to available data on police-involved uses of force that result in death – but those left-of-center are more likely to be uninformed about this available data.
This of course brings us to the second question of the survey, which was, “If you had to guess, in 2019 what percentage of people killed by police were black?”
Based upon available data on the matter, studies show that in reality about 24.9% of fatal police interactions involved black Americans.
Here are the averages collected from respondents:
- “Very Liberal” respondents averaged out at 60.4%
- “Liberal” respondents averaged out at 56.16%
- “Moderate” respondents averaged out at 45.88%
- “Conservative” respondents averaged out at 37.8%
- “Very Conservative” respondents averaged out at 44.5%
5/n Link to full report https://t.co/O8CEkG3raZ
— Zach Goldberg (@ZachG932) February 23, 2021
While none of the averages among the political categories were dead-on, the “Conservative” group of respondents wound up being the closest to the 24.9% figure relating to fatal police interactions involving black Americans in 2019.
The “take-home messages” listed in the study’s finding noted the following:
“Our overall findings indicate that people are uninformed regarding the available data on fatal police shootings in the US.”
“Specifically, we found that the more people reported being “liberal” or “very liberal” on social and fiscal matters, the greater the discrepancy between the available data and their estimations.”
Certainly some interesting food for thought.
Former Police Chief: Oh, all cops are racist killers? The real numbers prove you very wrong.
This editorial was written by a former Chief of Police and incorporates extensive data from statistics across the country.
WASHINGTON D.C. – Since last week, all we have seen and heard in the mainstream media is about the “systemic” racism in police departments, and how police officers kill African Americans at a higher rate than whites. A recent report citing data from the Washington Post disputes that notion.
Clearly, what happened in Minneapolis last week to George Floyd was an outrage.
Any right-thinking American and an overwhelming majority of police officers condemn what was done to that man. He did not deserve it.
Police officers are better than that and we should demand that they are.
Now, we have politicians on both sides of the aisle, strictly from the standpoint of trying to score cheap political points, saying that there is some kind of inherent bias against African Americans by the police.
So, Daniel Horowitz took the Washington Post’s searchable database on police shootings and did some digging. It did not take long.
Let’s look at one glaring statistic first, outside of police shootings. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, in 2019 in the city of Chicago…one city…315 African American males between the ages of 15 and 40 were victims of homicide. Let’s just get that out of the way.
Meanwhile the Washington Post database showed that in 2019, nine unarmed African Americans were shot dead by police, while 19 unarmed whites were similarly killed.
So, one does not need to be a math major to see that over twice as many unarmed whites were killed in 2019 than African Americans. If you watch the news, however you get an entirely different story.
Now, George Floyd was not shot by police. Still as Horowitz points out, if there existed a trend where police officers were hunting down African Americans for the purposes of killing them, it is not reflected in the 2019 shooting tally.
Horowitz cited a poster on Twitter who actually analyzed the nine shootings of black males in 2019, and in each case, the suspect was in the process of using potential deadly physical force against either an officer or a civilian.
There are scores of cases on record where an unarmed individual was able to overpower an officer, gain control of their duty weapon and then kill them.
The nine cases are as follows:
In the first case, a Knoxville officer shot and killed Channara Pheap after Pheap “choked him, grabbed his Taser and used it on him during a struggle at a local apartment complex. The officer, Dylan Williams, had his story corroborated by five witnesses.
The second incident involved a shooting in Los Angeles, where a Deputy from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department shot Ryan Twyman, who was under investigation for illegal gun charges (he was not armed at the time).
Twyman attempted to back his car up into the deputy. In the interest of transparency, there is some question as to how much danger the deputy was in.
The next incident occurred in Fort Worth, Texas, where a woman was shot through the window of her home after she pointed a gun at an officer through that same window.
It is not known why this was classified as a shooting of an unarmed person. Her 8-year-old confirmed she pointed the gun at the officer.
In the fourth incident cited, Deputy Glen Sims shot Christopher Whitfield. According to Sims, he shot Whitfield “accidentally” during a scuffle.
Whitfield had broken into a convenience store. Sims claimed that Whitfield had struck his gun during the struggle, causing it to go off. Full disclosure, Sims had previously been fired for a domestic incident, however he regained his job.
He had a couple of other arrests on his record as well, so it is unclear how he was able to still serve as an officer. This one is questionable.
The fifth incident involved in incident in Edmond, Oklahoma, where Isaiah Lewis was shot to death. He was running naked and charged at an officer, beating him unconscious. A second officer shot and killed him.
The next case involved a career criminal who was shot and killed near Boerne, Texas by a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper on I-10. That followed a physical altercation between the trooper and the suspect, Marcus McVae.
The seventh shooting was in Blythevile, Arkansas, where officers were dispatched to a store where an employee was attacked.
The suspect, Marzues Scott was tracked down to a hotel parking lot. A female officer became involved in a physical altercation, where Scott knocked her to the ground, striking her several times in the head.
She fired her service weapon, striking Scott, who continued being aggressive toward her while she lay on the ground. She fired another shot, killing him. The prosecutor ruled the shooting justified.
Incident number eight occurred in Baltimore where Kevin Bruce Mason was killed after a standoff with officers. He had a previous history of shooting at police in a similar standoff.
He was warned not to approach and refused to comply with orders. Officers fired several shots. He was found later in the house and had succumbed to his injuries. It does not appear any officers were ever reprimanded in this incident.
Number nine involved Officer Jovanny Crespo of the Newark (NJ) police department, where he shot and killed Gregory Griffin after a pursuit.
An officer involved said that one of the two men in the car pointed a gun at him several times during the chase. In a previous traffic stop, which he also fled, the officer said he saw a gun in the car.
A second man in the car, Andrew Dixon was also shot in the face during the same incident. Dixon was later charged with possessing a gun loaded with hollow point bullets.
Somehow a grand jury indicted Crespo for aggravated manslaughter. That particular case appears to still be pending.
The poster from Twitter who examined the nine cases did offer a couple of caveats. The database did not include all police related deaths, only shootings. Also, he wanted to make it clear that police are not always justified in shooting people who are armed.
So, what does this all mean? Let’s say that maybe out of the nine cases three or four are questionable. That still means that at least where it concerns deadly force situations, this is not exactly open season on African Americans by the police.
Horowitz notes that according to the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, police have contacts with approximately 53 million people each year, often having multiple encounters with the same people.
Last year, researchers from both the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland said:
“We did not find evidence for anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in police use of force across all shootings, and if anything, found anti-White disparities when controlling for race-specific crime.”
The said that based on the study conducted of 917 officer-involved fatal shootings published in August 2019, it was found that “officers are less likely to fatally shoot Black civilians for fear of public and legal reprisals” and therefore “all else equal, this would increase the likelihood that a person fatally shot was White vs. Black.”
They concluded that “per capita racial disparity in fatal shootings is explained by non-White people’s greater exposure to police through crime.”
Clearly, police are “gun-shy” (no pun intended) when it comes to using force against African Americans by and large.
Monday night, five police officers were shot, and one is in critical condition, while a police officer was run down by a car in New York City and a group of officers was mowed down in Buffalo, New York.
Last year, 49 police officers were killed, with 30 percent of the suspects being African American, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.
Thus far in 2020, the number of police officers killed year to year is more than last year, which is stunning considering that the country has been virtually shut down for nearly three months up until we got the “riot exception” to the lockdowns.
Is race an issue the cause of these police killings? No. It is a personal responsibility issue.
While people are protesting the death of Mr. Floyd (and peaceful protests are deserved), where are the protests for the 82 people shot this past weekend, 22 fatally? Oh, and that was only in Chicago.
Statistically, African Americans are killed by homicide at a rate of eight times that of whites.
Yet what have we seen since the pandemic took hold? Progressive officials have released tens of thousands of known criminals back onto the streets, some of them violent felons.
I found this stat from Bureau of Justice statistics, US. Their handling of racial violence is clearly botched up and inefficient. Their media portrays one picture while the reality is something else. Numbers speak for themselves @Divya0094 pic.twitter.com/o6ywsWrxmN
— Son_of_Shashanka (@GaudaVanshaj) May 31, 2020
In New York, the NYPD’s crime data for 2018 showed that of the 209 homicide suspects that year where the race was known, 149, or 71 percent were either black or “black Hispanic.” Forty, or 19 percent were “white Hispanic,” while just 14 (6.6 percent) were white. So, 93.4 of homicides in New York where the race was known were committed by “minorities.”
Now for victims. Out of 289 homicide victims in 2018, where the race was documented, only 26 or 9 percent were white. Blacks or “black Hispanics” comprised 196, or 68 percent of victims while 54, or 19 percent were “white Hispanic.”
In a tale of two cities, over the years, at least up until Bill de Blasio became mayor, New York had taken a more aggressive law enforcement tone.
The city used to have something on the order of 2,000 murders annually. Aggressive crime-fighting approaches by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and continued by Michael Bloomberg drove those numbers way down, which saved countless African American lives.
Contrast that with Baltimore. That city in 2015 took a “hands-off” approach to policing that has kicked off several years of record murders, which have victimized primarily African Americans.
The fact of the matter is that while the death of George Floyd was a senseless, appalling act, the fact remains that by and large police officers across the nation should not be punished for the sins of one officer.
Clearly something needs to be done to weed out the bad actors among the ranks of our law enforcement officers.
But when you look at where people are complaining about their voices not being heard, about systemic injustices in the criminal justice system in their communities, there is a common thread. Look at who has been running these cities for decades. If nothing is changing, you need to look at the people in charge.
What was the definition of insanity again? Doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results. Nothing will change until the mindset of the people who run these cities changes. Instead of treating people as victims constantly, give them the tools that they need to succeed. That will make a huge difference. Hopefully, it isn’t too late.
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