Boots & Sabers

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1402, 18 Jul 16

Police Shootings By the Numbers

Here’s a good article detailing¬†the stats from a few angles. It concludes:

The truth is that the raw statistics can’t tell us whether the police are treating African Americans differently from white people. To understand that, we’d need to look at more details about what happened in each incident. There’s a big difference between a case where someone was shooting at the police, and a case where someone was passive and unarmed.

One person who has tried to do that is an economist from Harvard University called Roland Fryer, the first ever African American to win the prestigious John Bates Clark medal in economics. This month Fryer released a preliminary study examining records from 10 cities and counties, with the best data coming from Houston – it’s not yet peer-reviewed, but it has received a lot of attention in the press.

Fryer’s research suggests that African Americans and Hispanics are substantially more likely to experience force in their interactions with the police – such as having a gun pointed at them, being handcuffed without arrest, or being pepper-sprayed or hit with a baton. This racial difference is reduced, but doesn’t completely disappear, when Fryer adds all sorts of statistical controls such as whether the incident was indoors or outdoors, in a high-crime area, took place at night, and so on.

However, Fryer doesn’t find any racial difference in the cases where police offers actually shoot someone.


1402, 18 July 2016


  1. Richard Seman

    Yeah right. That’s the great thing about statistics, they can be skewed by variables to suit your particular needs. As Congress Sensenbrennner likes to boast “I was an original cosponsor of the Brady Handgun Violence Act” and “more then one million checks have been made in the last decade leading to more than 700,000 denials”. Sounds great but statistically there has been no decrease in violent crime over that same time period. Looks great on paper but blood is still being spilled.

  2. Mark Maley

    So if I am Black or Hispanic , I can expect to be roughed up or a gun pointed in my face because of the color of my skin but the good news is that I’m not killed any more often than other races .
    So there’s that !

  3. Jason

    Your neighborhood is 98% white, Mark. If anything, your ofay paddy ass would be calling the cops if two blacks were in your neighborhood.

  4. Mark Maley

    Wrong guy.
    I went to HS in the inner city and continue to have relationships with the guys I played with in HS and college

    You might have my neighborhood right but those 2 guys are probably coming out of my house after a visit to Wisc

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