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The Myth of Wanton Police Shootings Collapses under the Weight of Facts

January 21, 2016  | 

In a project titled “The Counted,” British newspaper the Guardian is tracking killings by police in the United States and has compiled a comprehensive list for the year 2015. The tracker was motivated by much-discussed but poorly founded concern about excessive use of police force particularly against blacks.

In December, police killed 92 people — 21 blacks, 40 whites, 17 Hispanics/Latinos, five Asians/Pacific Islanders, and nine of unknown race. Fourteen were unarmed, including five blacks. Those who were unarmed reportedly still posed other types of threats to officers. These threats included physical violence and ramming officers with a vehicle.

Most of these reports are based largely on the accounts of eyewitnesses and the officers involved and so might not include all relevant details, such as results from ongoing police investigations. But the available facts fail to support the claim, made most prominently by the movement Black Lives Matter, that police systematically target unarmed black men. Of note among those who were killed is, however, the prevalence of mental illness.

The basic facts of each case in the month of December are summarized below; links to coverage of the incidents in local media are also provided.

Read more at National Review

Comments (13)

Displaying 1 - 13 of 13

Robert @ 1/21/2016 9:16 AM

I never really bought into the BLM group...but the headline of this article seems to be misleading. To me it seems like the statistics point to a potential problem (even though the sample size is small.
~18% of the US Population is African-American (blacks as the article states)

83 known race shootings / 21 blacks = 25.3% AA
14 unarmed shootings / 5 blacks = 35.7% AA
So the stats seem to support the following:
--AA are shot more often than the general population...almost by 1 complete Standard Deviation (SD).
--Unarmed AA are shot at almost twice the rate as the general population...if the SD is correct; the odds of this being naturally occurring are .5%!!

Now, as I stated the sample size is much to small to make the inferences I made above...but that works both ways. The headline of this is misleading.

As for the briefings given: The LM shooting in Chicago had an initial headline..."man shot after lunging at officers with knife" we still believe that narrative?

Wayne @ 1/22/2016 4:41 AM

You are an idiot! No matter what you see in black and white you will always find a way to twist it to fit your moronic attitude towards police. Unless you have been put in a situation where you have to defend yourself or someone else’s life, stay off this site and stop spouting your BS. Stop blaming the police for what is going on in this country and put your energy towards fixing the real problems

Chris @ 1/22/2016 5:27 AM

I agree with you Wayne. I am glad to see somebody responded to Roberts ignorance. Robert you are a MORON. Robert you are obviously not a police officer and WE are glad your not part of the brotherhood. You would be the coward that would run the other way with your BS statistics. You have no clue. Thanks Wayne.

?? @ 1/22/2016 6:28 AM

I wonder when this report will be shown on the big news channels? Will Mrs. Lynch be doing a press release on this? I mean, unless I'm reading this wrong, this is great news for this Country and it could potentially soften some of the tension we are hearing about.

Bob peterson @ 1/22/2016 7:29 AM

Most law abiding citizens knew what Black lies matter was saying was bullshit. All police knew what Black lies matter said was untrue. If you remember, Black Lies Matter was created to stop black on black crime. Now they have turned it into a racist hate group. All Lives Matter. Police Lives Matter.

Robert @ 1/22/2016 8:23 AM

Chris & have kind of lost touch with reality.
The main article, uses a small sample size, and come up with a misleading headline based on an incorrect use of statistics...and I am a moron?
I am NOT saying the opposite is true (that AA are targeted more than their fair share)...what I am saying is the statistics in the very article being quoted, do not support the headline of the article.
When shown facts, you resort to name is really kind of sad...and tells alot about your character. I hope for 2 things: you are not representative of LEO in general & you do not work in my home town.
You want to dispute the stats seems pretty easy. Show that AA are armed felons more often than the general population (if AA are 25.3% of all armed felons..than the statistics would fit OR that AA commit 35.7% of felonies)...but that is not what you, nor the article above shows for proof.
Learn to think and not just react!

Jim @ 1/22/2016 8:36 AM

What Robert is trying to say is, if the facts don't agree with your agenda, keep twisting them until they do.

RDS @ 1/22/2016 8:49 AM

Robert, Here are your stats. With a quick search the FBI 2012 stats show that blacks are arrested for 49.4% of murders, 32.5% of the rapes and 54.9% of robberies. AA do commit a disproportionate percentage of violent crimes and therefore it is quite logical that they are represented disproportionately as the subjects of police shootings. That's facts.

Now depending on your world view you may still say that they are arrested disproportionately because of some bias to begin with but that's not just not a reality.

Tom Ret @ 1/22/2016 10:33 AM

Cops are forced to deal with the reality of working the street whereas those who come on this forum, who obviously have not handled one police call, spout
their theoretically based BS. I am confident in saying that most on this forum,
who are current or retired cops, know that there is no substitute for experience in police work. Yet those who often criticize the police, who admit they have no
police experience, even mock the notion that experience is even important when
analyzing a situation. Too bad these individuals are allowed on this forum which is suppose to be about and for cops and not every numb nuts who wants to pick a bone with law enforcement. Cops take enough crap on the street without having to read it here. Instead of listening to what cops have to say who have been there and done that and maybe learn something, they have the gall to tell cops, a lot of which have 3 decades or more of experience, how to handle things.

Jim @ 1/22/2016 10:47 AM

Tom Ret......I know you can't hear it, but I'm applauding you!

Randy @ 1/22/2016 11:37 AM

Just my two cents, - it falls back on tactics, if tactics would be utilized when the situation lets you, some of incidents that are making the major headlines would all be avoided.

Randy T @ 1/22/2016 11:40 AM

my two cents, if tactics would have been used, in some of the major incidents, then there would not be such a major media coverage. Example the shooting of the 12 year old by the officers that get a call of man with gun and they drive right up to the person , had they stage properly nothing should have happened

Robert @ 1/22/2016 2:07 PM

RDS..I did not review your stats; but I will assume they are correct.
So, yes YOUR stats would point towards the headline of the article being correct. I am sure some will argue with those stats..but I am not going to dig that deep.
I am not arguing that AA are not a larger proportion of criminals..I am not even arguing that the article was incorrect. My problem is that a major magazine, went to press with a headline and article that was NOT SUPPORTED by the statistics that the article used to support their conclusion.
My next problem is why no one called them on the issue.
Lastly, you get LEOs like Chris & Wayne who do not need facts...they make their decisions on what other people tell them (and berate others who disagree)...and they apparently carry guns.
The citizens of this country should expect LEOs are level headed and thinking 100% of the loose cannons with hand cannons!
So, thank you for at least finding some facts that back up the headline & article.

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