According to an analysis by Pro Publica, black males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than their white male counterparts.
The analysis was based on 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012.
[Federal data shows that] blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.
One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring – 185, more than one per week.
ProPublica’s risk analysis on young males killed by police certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population.
Pro Publica’s examination involved detailed accounts of more than 12,000 police homicides stretching from 1980 to 2012. The data, self-reported annually by police departments throughout the country, confirms a few assumptions, runs counter to others, and adds a different perspective to a wide range of questions about the use of deadly force executed by police.
But the data is somewhat incomplete. A large number of the country’s 17,000 police departments do not file fatal police shooting reports at all, and many have filed reports for some years, but not others.
Departments in Florida having filed reports since 1997 and New York City last reported in 2007.
The analysis found that information contained in the reports is also flawed. Still, a lot of reporting police departments are in larger cities, and at least 1000 police departments filed a report or reports over the 33 years.
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