With anti-police riots and revenge killings of officers across America, the profession of peacekeeping is under siege. Fueling public outrage is the belief that police shootings of black citizens are driven by racism. Activists see proof of this racism in the fact that while blacks are only 13% of the U.S. population they comprise about 30% of those killed by police. In other words, the percentage of blacks among those killed by police should match the percentage of blacks in the population, unless police are racist. But is that necessarily so? Evidence reviewed in the following video and report suggest not.
If the higher per-capita killing of blacks by police is caused by racist officers, we would expect white officers to be more likely to shoot blacks compared to black officers. To investigate that possibility I set out to find all research with data on the comparative likelihood of white officers to shoot. After combing databases, references and libraries for months I collected more such studies than any single source cites. This collection, therefore, allows for the most comprehensive literature review to date. And what does it reveal? Among the studies with data for these endpoints:
- 11 out of 13 studies (85%) find that white officers were less likely to shoot than were black officers.
- 7 out of 8 studies (88%) find that white officers were less likely to shoot black suspects that were black officers.
Spanning four decades (1981 to 2016), the studies routinely found white police officers were less likely to shoot in general and were less likely to shot blacks in particular compared to black officers. The body race-of-officer research, therefore, fails to support the racism hypothesis for the higher per-capita killing of blacks by…