Five police officers were shot and killed last week when military veteran Micah Johnson launched a coordinated attack after a “peaceful” Black Lives Matter protest. The gunman proclaimed that he wanted to “kill white people, especially white officers.”
While Johnson confirmed that he was not affiliated with BLM, the movement hasdone its very best to demonize police officers (especially white police officers) and has only added to the growing distrust of America’s police force. Black Lives Matter, which> began in 2013 after the death of Trayvon Martin (and the acquittal of the cop who killed him), regularly protests against the death of black “victims” who are killed at the hands of police officers.
But are blacks really more likely to be shot by police than whites?
A new study conducted by Harvard Professor Roland G. Fryer says no. “On the most extreme use of force – officer-involved shootings – we find no racial differences in either the raw data or when contextual factors are taken into account,” reads the report.
Black Lives Matter may have started as a justifiable campaign, but has since evolved into an extremist group repeatedly involved in the very kinds of violence it was created to eliminate.
“The importance of our results for racial inequality in America is unclear,” admits Fryer. “It is plausible that racial differences in lower level uses of force are simply a distraction and movements such as Black Lives Matter should seek solutions within their own communities rather than changing the behavior of police and other external forces.
In examining lower levels of force, however, the unbiased report confirms that blacks and Hispanics are more likely to undergo abuse. For example, NYPD cops will use their hands 2,165 times per 10,000 encounters when the suspect is black, but only 1,845 times when the suspect is white. Officers will point their weapon at the suspect 54 times out of 10,000 for blacks, and only 43 times for whites.
“Using data on NYC’s “Stop & Frisk” program, we demonstrate that on non-lethal uses of force – putting hands on civilians (which includes slapping or grabbing) or pushing individuals into a wall or onto the ground, there are large racial differences…blacks and Hispanics are more than 50% more likely to have an interaction with police which involves any use of force.”
The discrepancy for shooting at suspects, however, was nonexistent. “It is the most surprising result of my career,” writes Fryer.
“The study did not say whether the most egregious examples,” for instance the recent deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota, “are free of racial bias. Instead, it examined a much larger pool of shootings, including nonfatal ones. It focused on what happens when police encounters occur, not how often they happen.”
“In stark contrast to non-lethal uses of force, we find no racial differences in officer-involved shootings on either the extensive or intensive margins,” concludes Fryer. In fact, when it comes to police shootings in Houston, TX, blacks are nearly 24% less likely to be shot than whites, and Hispanics are 8.5% less likely.