Saturday, September 21, 2019

Police shootings

The video embedded in the following tweet is pretty darn funny. That guy's reaction...!

Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the reference to a study by the National Academy of Science. What did it actually say?

The study referenced in the video appears to be this one. Here's the summary.
There is widespread concern about racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings and that these disparities reflect discrimination by White officers. Existing databases of fatal shootings lack information about officers, and past analytic approaches have made it difficult to assess the contributions of factors like crime. We create a comprehensive database of officers involved in fatal shootings during 2015 and predict victim race from civilian, officer, and county characteristics. We find no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers. Instead, race-specific crime strongly predicts civilian race. This suggests that increasing diversity among officers by itself is unlikely to reduce racial disparity in police shootings.
If I understand a-right, these findings indicate that black officers and white officers are just as likely to pull the trigger. But what about the race of the victim (the topic addressed in the video clip)? For that information, we need to look at another NAS study, first published in August 5. Here's the summary:
Police violence is a leading cause of death for young men in the United States. Over the life course, about 1 in every 1,000 black men can expect to be killed by police. Risk of being killed by police peaks between the ages of 20 y and 35 y for men and women and for all racial and ethnic groups. Black women and men and American Indian and Alaska Native women and men are significantly more likely than white women and men to be killed by police. Latino men are also more likely to be killed by police than are white men.
Kind of puts the matter in a different light, doesn't it?

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