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"Is There Evidence of Racial Disparity in Police Use of Deadly Force? Analyses of Officer-Involved Fatal Shootings in 2015–2016"
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From Social Psychology and Personality Science:

Is There Evidence of Racial Disparity in Police Use of Deadly Force? Analyses of Officer-Involved Fatal Shootings in 2015–2016

Joseph Cesario, David Johnson, William Terrill

Published June 13, 2018

Abstract

Is there evidence of a Black–White disparity in death by police gunfire in the United States? This is commonly answered by comparing the odds of being fatally shot for Blacks and Whites, with odds benchmarked against each group’s population proportion. However, adjusting for population values has questionable assumptions given the context of deadly force decisions. We benchmark 2 years of fatal shooting data on 16 crime rate estimates. When adjusting for crime, we find no systematic evidence of anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings, fatal shootings of unarmed citizens, or fatal shootings involving misidentification of harmless objects. Multiverse analyses showed only one significant anti-Black disparity of 144 possible tests. Exposure to police given crime rate differences likely accounts for the higher per capita rate of fatal police shootings for Blacks, at least when analyzing all shootings. For unarmed shootings or misidentification shootings, data are too uncertain to be conclusive.

So the media’s Ferguson Obsession was, basically, Fake News.

Meanwhile the much derided Ferguson Effect: the theory that the media’s Ferguson Obsession has gotten thousands more homicide victims killed was real.

 
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  1. Anon[568] • Disclaimer says:

    I believe that the lead researcher on this is black and set out to prove the opposite, so give him props for honesty.

    The “yes, but” is that in every other area, such as drawing guns or restraint or pat-downs, blacks get more of it than whites. This is clear profiling, acting on the bigoted stereotype that young black men are more likely to commit crimes. Oh, wait ….

    • Replies: @res
  2. Drake says:

    There are several other studies along these lines as well

    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1745-9133.12187

    The Reverse Racism Effect
    Are Cops More Hesitant to Shoot Black Than White Suspects?

    Race‐related debates often assume that implicit racial bias will result in racially biased decisions to shoot. Previous research has examined racial bias in police decisions by pressing “shoot” or “don’t‐shoot” buttons in response to pictures of armed and unarmed suspects. As a result of its lack of external validity, however, this methodology provides limited insight into officer behavior in the field. In response, we conducted the first series of experimental research studies that tested police officers and civilians in strikingly realistic deadly force simulators.

    This article reports the results of our most recent experiment, which tested 80 police patrol officers by applying this leading edge method. We found that, despite clear evidence of implicit bias against Black suspects, officers were slower to shoot armed Black suspects than armed White suspects, and they were less likely to shoot unarmed Black suspects than unarmed White suspects. These findings challenge the assumption that implicit racial bias affects police behavior in deadly encounters with Black suspects.

    The Roland Fryer study

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2016/07/19/academic-research-on-police-shootings-and-race/

    James’s work anticipated a much-discussed working paper by Harvard economist Roland Fryer. Fryer found that police officers in Houston were nearly 24 percent less likely to shoot blacks than whites (p. 50; he concluded that there was no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings there. In a data set comprising officer shootings from Dallas, Austin, Houston, Los Angeles and six Florida counties, he found that officers were 47 percent less likely to discharge their weapon without first being attacked if the suspect was black than if the suspect was white (p. 25), and that black and white victims of police shootings were equally likely to have been armed.

    • Agree: Mishra
    • Replies: @res
  3. Rather than read the whole study I’ll just ask: is this the type of social science research that will need to be reproduced before it means anything? By the same token, would their method of analysis, whatever it may have been, find similar results for a larger data window than just 2 years?

    • Replies: @res
  4. Unsurprisingly, Scott Alexander was on this way before anyone else (see the section on police shootings):

    http://slatestarcodex.com/2014/11/25/race-and-justice-much-more-than-you-wanted-to-know/

    • Replies: @Roderick Spode
  5. Unfortunately this isn’t going to change any minds on the left, because the party line is that police actively go into black neighborhoods, seek confrontations with black men, plant evidence and even fabricate imaginary crimes. So of course the shootings/encounters ratio looks unremarkable.

  6. Do you get tired of being right about this?

  7. anon[270] • Disclaimer says:

    Blacks are involved with homicide at about 10x that of whites.

    Any study that reflects Black criminality reasonably will find police shootings roughly proportional to criminal behavior by race.

    • Replies: @James Speaks
  8. @anon

    Blacks are involved with homicide at about 10x that of whites.

    Any study that reflects Black criminality reasonably will find police shootings roughly proportional to criminal behavior by race.

    True, but it is racist to notice.

    • Replies: @anon
  9. Anon[125] • Disclaimer says:

    “So the media’s Ferguson Obsession”

    You may not realize it, but this Ferguson story and a lot of other racially-charged ones that have emerged in recent years have an origin on Youtube, not just the NYT and WaPo, etc. They may have first written the stories, but there are others who popularized them for a large, general audience.

    Specifically, I’m referring to the Young Turks. They pick up on stories like these and include them in click-bait video titles. The more successful ones can have several hundred thousand to a million views; they get the ball rolling.

    They are masters at racist dog whistling. It’s just amazing to go through their videos and see an endless stream of pictures of white men in the thumb nail of some story about a black guy being killed, shot, or discriminated against (white vs. black).

    EVERY time a black man is killed by a white cop, they run the story. They want their audience to know that WHITE people are killing blacks.

    They were also the ones that really got the Starbucks fiasco rolling. They ran a video that received enormous attention. The title of that vid? “Man arrested at Starbucks for being black.” …or something like that.

    Of course, that’s nuts.

    Additionally, they’ve run an insane Russia-Trump conspiracy show for nearly years with nothing to show for it.

    And they tell their viewers that Muller is closing in – any time now…any time.

    They were all over Ferguson and nearly every major cop kills black guy story – often getting the ball rolling. They denied the Ferguson effect was real but then never reported when it was confirmed accurate (nor did they apologize for their role in it).

    They promoted BLM during the 2016 election.

    Now, I’ve heard they are promoting a conspiracy theory where Nazis are running the government.

    …and on and on.

    • Replies: @HallParvey
  10. Anonymous[270] • Disclaimer says:

    The disparity was observed by the authors. I don’t understand why everyone is reading the paper incorrectly. See Figure 4, and I quote from its legend:

    Each square displays the p-value for the Fisher’s exact test of whether statistically significant anti-Black or anti-White disparity is observed. White squares represent statistically significant anti-White disparity. Black squares represent statistically significant anti-Black disparity. Gray squares represent no statistically significant disparity in one direction or the other.

    FWIW, there is one black square, 61 white squares and 82 gray squares in that table.

    • Replies: @Anon
  11. @Anon

    Who is this, “they”, you refer to????

    Aboriginals????

    • Replies: @Roderick Spode
  12. The Alternative Hypothesis did the same basic comparison two years ago, without government funding.

  13. J1234 says:

    When adjusting for crime, we find no systematic evidence of anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings

    Adjusting for crime is so white privilege. And hateful.

  14. res says:

    Steve, you totally buried the lede on this one (did you have access to the paper?). Note the wording in the abstract: “When adjusting for crime, we find no systematic evidence of anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings, fatal shootings of unarmed citizens, or fatal shootings involving misidentification of harmless objects. Multiverse analyses showed only one significant anti-Black disparity of 144 possible tests.”

    The full PDF is available at https://www.researchgate.net/publication/325752754_Is_There_Evidence_of_Racial_Disparity_in_Police_Use_of_Deadly_Force_Analyses_of_Officer-Involved_Fatal_Shootings_in_2015-2016

    From page 4. In particular note the final paragraph.

    When fatal police shootings are benchmarked against crime data rather than population proportions, a different picture emerges. Figure 1 presents the odds of being fatally shot by police given homicide (left panel), violent crime (center panel), and weapons violation (right panel) rates for Blacks and Whites. When fatal shooting data are benchmarked against the number of murder/nonnegligent manslaughter reports and arrests, the odds ratio obtained when benchmarking against population proportions flips completely. The odds were 2.7 times higher for Whites to be killed by police gunfire relative to Blacks given each group’s SRS homicide reports, 2.6 times higher for Whites given each group’s SRS homicide arrests, 2.9 times higher for Whites given each group’s NIBRS homicide reports, 3.9 times higher for Whites given each group’s NIBRS homicide arrests, and 2.5 times higher for Whites given each group’s CDC death by assault data.

    A similar pattern emerges when we benchmark fatal police shooting data by violent crime arrests, with Whites (mostly) more likely to be killed. Odds were 1.3 times higher for Whites to be killed given SRS violent crime arrests, 4.8 times higher for Whites given NIBRS violent crime reports (on the more severe definition), 2.7 times higher for Whites given NIBRS violent crime arrests (more severe definition), and 1.4 times higher for Whites given NIBRS violent crime reports (less severe definition). For NIBRS violent crime arrests (less severe definition), odds were 1.02 times higher
    for Blacks. Regarding the NCVS data, according to the more severe violent crime definition, odds were 1.03 times higher for Whites, but according to the less severe definition odds were 1.2 times higher for Blacks.

    Finally, a consistent anti-White pattern exists when benchmarking on weapons violation data. Here, given each group’s violation of weapons laws, odds were 1.5 times higher for Whites given SRS weapons violation arrests, 1.7 times higher for Whites given NIBRS incident reports, 1.6 times higher for Whites given NIBRS arrests, and 1.1 times higher for Whites given NCVS weapon reports.

    In sum, in nearly every case, Whites were either more likely to be fatally shot by police or police showed no significant disparity in either direction. Although Blacks have greater odds of being fatally shot given population proportions, Whites overall were more likely to be fatally shot given each group’s involvement in those situations where the police may be more likely to use deadly force.

    Figure 4 gives the complete results of the Multiverse analyses. ~60 of 144 cases indicate a statistically significant anti-White disparity.

  15. res says:
    @Anon

    The “yes, but” is that in every other area, such as drawing guns or restraint or pat-downs, blacks get more of it than whites.

    Do you know of any data showing there is still (anti-Black) bias after adjusting for crime rates (i.e. the methodology of the current paper)?

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  16. res says:
    @Drake

    Fryer found that police officers in Houston were nearly 24 percent less likely to shoot blacks than whites (p. 50; he concluded that there was no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings there.

    So 24% less likely equals “no evidence of racial discrimination.” I will have to remember that.

  17. res says:
    @Roderick Spode

    I think comment 2 by Drake covers that.

  18. Lots of bad shootings. Everywhere. Most cases, cops are seriously over-armed with their Glock .40s. Uniform cops ought to be re-fitted with revolvers. Detectives and urban uniform cops get semi-autos, the rest, .38 revolvers. These incidents where a cop (or more) sprays out one or two 15-shot magazines (or more) in a ten second incident are ridiculous. Since we don’t always get the truth and because cops lay drop weapons when they shoot unarmed citizens, we can’t trust them anymore and hence, cameras. Cops screw up a LOT. In my old region of DC, my experience with Fairfax City, Fairfax County Virginia, Va. State Police was they’re all storm troopers, overarmed, steroidal, aggressive as hell, even traffic stops begin with pistol unstrapped, hand on the butt, ready to go. This is everywhere, really. The DC area has the widest variety of local and State and Federal cops anywhere and they’re all on duty, 24/7 and they all have jurisdiction and lots of them are plain clothes. I have no idea how they tell one another apart out on the job when there’s trouble, it’s nuts! Suburban police departments have no right to all that. Street-level uniform cops haven’t the experience and/or discipline and gun fighting skills to wrestle with semi-autos and the risk to citizens ought to be paramount, but no, the “safety” of the officer is all that matters anymore.

    That said, I don’t blame them wanting their over-armed status in majority Black districts in the meanest cities. And sure as hell, because of Ferguson, I don’t blame the recent tendency to slow-roll every call that involves a shooting in Black cities. It doesn’t pay to get there before the shooting stops. Doesn’t pay to interview the neighborhood, doesn’t matter if you have the weapon they shot at you with. If you make a bust, the perp walks on 2000 dollar-bail. And if you have to defend yourself once you get there, you cannot win the PR battle.

  19. Anon[301] • Disclaimer says:
    @Anonymous

    What do you mean?

  20. Anonymous[301] • Disclaimer says:
    @res

    One would think that Anon’s claim, if true, would also show up in the anti-Black police shooting numbers (because they may lead to that sort of thing, too).

  21. anon[223] • Disclaimer says:

    UPDATE (2:12 p.m. Friday) Police sources tell Channel 11 there is video now in the hands of law enforcement that shows Antwon Rose firing a weapon in the drive-by shooting that occurred in North Braddock just minutes before Rose was shot by a police officer in East Pittsburgh Tuesday night.

    Channel 11 asked the attorney representing the family of Antwon Rose about the empty gun clip that police sources told us was found on Rose after the shooting. The attorney said that has no impact on his case, since the officer shot a teenager as he was running away.

    The innocent boy was just involved in a driveby, prior to getting shot while fleeing. The attorney was earlier quoted as arguing that the gun clip, abandon weapons and other evidence can’t be used to justify the shooting because they weren’t known to the officer at the time of the shooting. Those comments seem to have been retracted.

    The BLM types will never give up on their hope for an innocent, sympathetic victim. Just another gangbanger.

    Withholding the victim’s guilt will ultimately backfire.

    • Replies: @anon
  22. anon[223] • Disclaimer says:
    @James Speaks

    Fortunately, NHST is losing popularity everywhere, and will fall into disfavor in criminology soon enough.

    No need to put too fine a point on it. The main justification for use of deadly force is risk of homicidal behavior, and being a youthful black male is the major factor.

  23. anon[223] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    De mortuis nihil nisi bonum

    Not much chance of that in this puff piece.

    “He was just a good kid,” she said.

    Family and friends described the teen as incredibly smart and always flashing a wide smile. They expressed disbelief at his death.

    His aunt, Mica Tinsley, said she received a call in the middle of the night saying, “Your nephew died.”

    “I said, ‘No he didn’t,’ and hung up,” she said. Then she called her sister, Rose’s mother, and learned that it was true.

    She said her nephew was intelligent, and he took Advanced Placement and gifted classes at Woodland Hills High School.

    High school Principal Candee Nagy said Rose competed in academic competitions throughout high school.

    “He was a very intelligent, well-mannered, respectful individual that worked hard to do his best,” she said. “He’s somebody you really recognized as a powerhouse, with the gift he had bestowed upon him as a young man.”

    District officials said he scored high on his SAT test and was one English class shy of graduating.

    Tinsley said her nephew was working two jobs at two local pizza shops and had his sights set on college. He wanted to leave Rankin.

    A good kid that was returning from a drive by shooting.

  24. anon[407] • Disclaimer says:

    People are acting as if fleeing from a cop is a constitutional right.

    A police officer may not seize an unarmed, nondangerous suspect by shooting him dead…however…Where the officer has probable cause to believe that the suspect poses a threat of serious physical harm, either to the officer or to others, it is not constitutionally unreasonable to prevent escape by using deadly force.

    — Justice Byron White, Tennessee v. Garner

    If someone is fleeing a drive by shooting, they pose a threat. On the other hand, is black on black homicide a sufficiently serious crime to justify deadly force?

    A right to shoplift. A right to run from police.

  25. @Carbon blob

    Thank you. A treasure trove of useful information

  26. anon[115] • Disclaimer says:

    They seem to have found the first black victim since Emmet Till who could plausibly be pitched as innocent and sympathetic. The DA wants the cop convicted for 3rd degree murder.

    Rose was in the front seat of the vehicle and there is evidence the guy in front did the drive by.

    The DA seems to believe youth have a constitutional right to run from cops. It seems to be a popular view. I think the drive by justifies deadly force if Rose is guilty. If he was just unlucky enough to have been picked up by a jitney used in a drive by, ran from cops, and was gunned down – not so much.

    The law seems to rest on probable cause, but I think being right about the fleeing felon is critical. If he was fleeing a drive by, then he assumes the risk — if he was a victim of bad luck, then he shouldn’t have been shot.

    Regardless, the cop has a decent technical defense. http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/LI/consCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&ttl=18&div=0&chpt=5&sctn=8&subsctn=0

    Rose had an empty clip on him. Maybe he was an honor student the dindo nothing. We will see. It is surprising how few people just minding there own business are shot by cops.

    • Replies: @anon
  27. anon[115] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Whoops. The guy in back did the shooting. He was arrested for sawing off an ankle bracelet.

    To me a drive by is serious stuff. But it is black on black crime, so the cop should have taken that into account. If the victim was a civilian, I’m with the protesters.

    It will all come out Antone wither knew the shooter or not. He was either involved or not.

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