Harvard Study: Police Shootings Have Racial Bias Against White Suspects

Harvard Study: Police Shootings Have Racial Bias Against White Suspects

Harvard Study: Police Shootings Have Racial Bias Against White Suspects. We’ve included a helpful image of some people whom we are biased against, according to the study. (CNN)

Harvard Study: Police Shootings Have Racial Bias Against White Suspects

We already knew that the shooting statistics spouted by Black Lives Matter are complete nonsense, thanks to nationally renowned forensic criminologist Ron Martinelli, Ph.D.’s book “The Truth Behind the Black Lives Matter Movement and the War on Police.“ Dr. Martinelli may not be swaying the opinion of many in the Black Lives Matter community though, because he’s a white and has an extensive history in law enforcement. Well now a new study has been completed by black Harvard economics professor, Roland G Fryer, which shows that black people are less likely to be shot by the police than white people.

You can read the study here: http://www.nber.org/papers/w22399.pdf

Quoctrung Bui and Amanda Cox with New York Times report:

Mr. Fryer, the youngest African-American to receive tenure at Harvard and the first to win a John Bates Clark medal, a prize given to the most promising American economist under 40, said anger after the deaths of Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and others drove him to study the issue. “You know, protesting is not my thing,” he said. “But data is my thing. So I decided that I was going to collect a bunch of data and try to understand what really is going on when it comes to racial differences in police use of force.”

He and student researchers spent about 3,000 hours assembling detailed data from police reports in Houston; Austin, Tex.; Dallas; Los Angeles; Orlando, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and four other counties in Florida.

They examined 1,332 shootings between 2000 and 2015, coding police narratives to answer questions such as: How old was the suspect? How many police officers were at the scene? Were they mostly white? Was the officer at the scene for a robbery, violent activity, a traffic stop or something else? Was it nighttime? Did the officer shoot after being attacked or before a possible attack? One goal was to determine if police officers were quicker to fire at black suspects.

In shootings in these 10 cities involving officers, officers were more likely to fire their weapons without having first been attacked when the suspects were white. Black and white civilians involved in police shootings were equally likely to have been carrying a weapon. Both results undercut the idea of racial bias in police use of lethal force.

But police shootings are only part of the picture. What about situations in which an officer might be expected to fire, but doesn’t?

To answer this, Mr. Fryer focused on one city, Houston. The Police Department there let the researchers look at reports not only for shootings but also for arrests when lethal force might have been justified. Mr. Fryer defined this group to include encounters with suspects the police subsequently charged with serious offenses like attempting to murder an officer, or evading or resisting arrest. He also considered suspects shocked with Tasers.

Mr. Fryer found that in such situations, officers in Houston were about 20 percent less likely to shoot if the suspects were black. This estimate was not precise, and firmer conclusions would require more data. But in various models controlling for different factors and using different definitions of tense situations, Mr. Fryer found that blacks were either less likely to be shot or there was no difference between blacks and whites.

While the study did show that police are less likely to shoot a black suspect than a white suspect, it also says that police officers are more likely to use low levels of force (touching, handcuffing) against black or hispanic suspects.

Hopefully more studies like this will be completed and we can get away from the false narrative of Black Lives Matter that race is a factor in police shootings.