Police Aren’t Targeting and Killing Black Men
Excerpt: By now everyone knows that police, whether consciously or subconsciously, are targeting young black men, killing them at a disproportionate rate. But what if everyone is wrong? What if race actually has little causal effect on police shootings? In fact, the data show just that. If we as a nation can look seriously at the evidence, we can have a much more productive conversation about what’s gone wrong and how to fix it. ... Even the Post itself has noted the relevant data in the past. “In 74 percent of all fatal police shootings, the individuals had already fired shots, brandished a gun or attacked a person with a weapon or their bare hands,” the paper reported in 2015. “Another 16 percent of the shootings came after incidents that did not involve firearms or active attacks but featured other potentially dangerous threats.” Those figures are consistent with other data. In 2015, two-thirds of unarmed people of any race killed by police had been in the process of committing violent crime or property destruction. Fourteen percent were engaged in domestic violence. Ten percent were committing a robbery, 20 percent a burglary or vandalism, and 21 percent an assault on another civilian.