Cops kill (a lot) more white men than black men

Twice as many white men killed by cops

Chris Ernesto

(RINF) – Today’s critical issue of cops killing people has largely been framed in a racial context.

But a database created by The Washington Post cataloging every fatal shooting nationwide by a police officer in the line of duty since January 1, 2015 paints a different picture.

Of the 1502 people that have been shot and killed by police, 46% were white men, and 24% were black men. In other words, the number one target of cops today is white men, not black men.

While it holds true that on a per-capita basis, black men are more than twice as likely to be fatally shot by a cop than white men, this does not hold true for white and black women, who are about equally as likely to be killed by cops.

So are police racist against black men but not black women?

Further, 96% of those fatally shot by an officer were men, meaning males are nearly 20-times more likely to be gunned down than females. Can a claim be made that cops are sexist against men?

The real message conveyed in The Post’s data is that cops kill an average of nearly 3 people per day, and it is quantitatively indefensible to claim the shootings are racially motivated. It may be true, but the numbers do not validate that assertion.

Systemic racism is a large, ugly part of American society. But individual claims of racism are very serious, and accusations should be based on proof, not speculation.

The real outrage should be at the number of people cops kill, period.

Certainly there are racist cops, just like there are racist judges, journalists and auto mechanics. And people in the law enforcement profession in the U.S. (ICE, FBI, DEA, etc.) belong to a brutal, oppressive profession, regardless of their race.

Racism isn’t a one-way problem either, as recently shown in Canada, where a woman yelled “I hate white people” and then punched a white woman in the face, knocking out one of her teeth. Yet somehow the Canadian judge ruled that there wasn’t enough evidence to assert that the attack was racially motivated.

Are we headed towards a society in which people who are historically oppressed will be allowed to become oppressors? Or will the ongoing study by the Post help people realize the issue of trigger-happy police goes way beyond the simple dichotomy of black versus white?

  • Austin

    Yes, it is fair to say that they are not only racist, but sexist. The patriarchal society that we have makes men seem (and strive to be) more dangerous. Women are usually portrayed as innocent. This, like racial prejudices and stereotypes, shapes how cops think, feel, and react.

    Also, kind of shot yourself in the foot with the per capita stats, because those are the ones that really matter.

    • ayriuss

      Or maybe white and black men especially are just much more likely to resist arrest and try to kill police officers? Women just legitimately dont carry weapons as much… what is it about these facts that bother people?

      • Austin

        What is it about facts? Nothing.

        What is it about fetishizing facts, when in reality they are useless without guiding philosophy. of course women don’t carry weapons as much, because they are not supposed to be ‘macho’. This is also a problem. We should all carry weapons.

  • Thebuder4

    Um, I think you’re mixing things up, Austin. So you agree cops are sexist against men??

    • Austin

      Yes. That is agreed.

      I was responding to this “So are police racist against black men but not black women?”

  • jack dunster

    Thank-you for putting the statistics in context. However, regarding the police forces – especially the American, in a society that worships – indeed, glorifies violence – this thin blue line is stretched and strained. Those in the police forces are human and they see the worst in humanity. Why condemn them when the problem is society? Of note, I’d rather deal with American police than Canadian…

    • bosunj

      Hilarious. Your contention that cops are human is specious at best.

      I’ve been all over the world and I’d rather not deal with ANY cop. Ever. For ANY reason.

      • jack dunster

        then you are a hypocrite… and dimwitted at best. Was your pocket picked, were you robbed an gunpoint? You’re still alive aren’t you? That is because there are cops – honest cops enforcing the laws of society that permits dimwits like you with your chip on your shoulder to walk the streets.. dimwit!

        • Bill the eighth

          Hahahahahaha, honest cops enforcing the law make s us “safe”. Hahahahahahahahahahaha, you are one funny man!

        • bosunj

          Cops attempted to kill my grandfather twice, raped my sister, nearly killed her boyfriend for trying to defend her and put me in the hospital for a month then threatened my mother to try to prevent a lawsuit. Shove your hypocrisy where the sun don’t shine.

          • That’s unspeakably evil. Yet it doesn’t surprise me, I’ve been on the receiving end of the criminal justice system as well.

          • bosunj

            Not one of us had committed a crime. My grandad was targeted for organizing a union at his workplace, and I tried to prevent my sister’s rape. I HATE cops. Always have always will.

          • It makes one despair for humanity. How can one human being do such things to another ? Those cops should be in prison. The only explanation I can come up with is that thr vast majority of mentally ill people join the police force. They are simply insane.

      • Denny

        Come to the UK, the cops are lovely here. THey ask you if you want tea every half hour when you get arrested. No lie. Ture story.

        • bosunj

          Much too cold for me.

  • Colin

    “it is quantitatively indefensible to claim the shootings are racially motivated. It may be true, but the numbers do not validate that assertion.”

    The first sentence quoted above does not follow, given the evidence provided in the article that “it holds true that on a per-capita basis, black men are more than twice as likely to be fatally shot by a cop than white men”. That statistic could, in combination with supportive evidence, constitute evidence of miseterism against black men.

    • Because black women are killed at the same rate as white women it is not mathematically accurate to generalize and say that black people as a whole are killed by cops at a higher rate. And it is not sufficient to look at only rates; raw numbers must be included in the analysis.

    • JosephConrad


  • bosunj

    Cops MUST be brought to heel.

    • Anti Everything

      Just like any other dog

  • Sophia Jones

    All lives matter. And that includes the lives of those we’ve bombed in Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia. Violence and oppression against all human beings must stop.

  • desertspeaks

    the police have proven that they cannot be trusted to carry lethal weapons. they destroy due process when they murder anyone and that is perjury of their oath to obey the constitution, which includes what guarantee?? DUE PROCESS!
    No where in the Constitution will you find the authority for the police to kill anyone!

  • Anti Everything

    To answer the last two questions: YES, NO

  • JosephConrad