Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Police killings of blacks are an extremely rare feature of black life and are a minute fraction of black homicide deaths
The police could end all killings of civilians tomorrow and it would have no effect on the black homicide risk, which comes overwhelmingly from other blacks. In 2013, there were 6,261 black homicide victims in the United States — almost all killed by black civilians — resulting in a death risk in inner cities that is ten times higher for blacks than for whites. The police kill roughly 200 blacks a year, most of them armed and dangerous, out of about 40 million police-civilian contacts a year. Blacks are in fact killed by police at a lower rate than their threat to officers would predict. In 2013, blacks made up 42% of all cop killers whose race was known, even though blacks are only 13% of the nation’s population. The percentage of black suspects killed by the police nationally is 29% lower than the percentage of blacks mortally threatening them. The NYPD fatally shot eight individuals in 2013, six of them black, all posing a risk to the police, compared with scores of blacks killed by black civilians.