New Study: Police 20% Less Likely To Shoot Black Suspect

Alissa Lopez | July 11, 2016
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An empirical study conducted by Harvard professor Roland G. Fryer Jr. has disproven the claim that police officers are more likely to shoot an African American than a white person.

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. Using data from Houston, Texas – where we have both officer-involved shootings and a randomly chosen set of potential interactions with police where lethal force may have been justified – we find, in the raw data, that blacks are 23.8 percent less likely to be shot at by police relative to whites. Hispanics are 8.5 percent less likely.

The study, entitled ‘An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force,’ examined a total of 1,332 shootings between 2000 and 2015 in 10 major police departments. The data, which reportedly took about 3,000 hours to assess, was derived from departments in Los Angeles, Houston, Austin and Dallas, along with four counties and two cities in Florida.

Fryer told the New York Times that this conclusion is the “most surprising result of [his] career.”

It’s unfortunate that although research studies such as these are being conducted, people continue to push the false narrative that black lives are more at risk under the hands of police officers and that their communities are being deliberately targeted.





Another study titled ‘The Reverse Racism Effect’ that was published online in May found that “…despite clear evidence of implicit bias against Black suspects, officers were slower to shoot armed Black suspects than armed White suspects, and they were less likely to shoot unarmed Black suspects than unarmed White suspects.”

So even despite the possibility of a phsycological bias, police officers were still not more likely to shoot a black suspect as opposed to a white one.

What more is there to prove?

Study participants did display what the study referred to as a “reverse racism effect.” The researcher stated that this finding challenges the notion that an officer shooting a person of color is a result of racial bias. Basically, the officers were hesitant to shoot because of their “concerns about the social and legal consequences of shooting a member of a historically oppressed racial group…paired with the awareness of media backlash that follows an officer shooting a minority suspect.”

Thanks again, society, for making police officers hesitant and fearful to do their job.

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