New University Study Shows Black People Are Not More Likely To Be Shot By Police

University of Maryland and Michigan State University researchers created a new database to analyze the issue.

A new study debunks widespread claims that white law enforcement officers are more likely to shoot minority offenders than non-white officers are.

The research, which was compiled by the University of Maryland (UM) and Michigan State University (MSU), was published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on July 22.

“There are so many examples of people saying that when black citizens are shot by police, it’s white officers shooting them,” MSU psychology professor and study co-author Joseph Cesario told MSU Today. “In fact, our findings show no support for the idea that white officers are biased in shooting black citizens.”

Cesario said the recent study was the first “systematic, nationwide study to determine the characteristics of police involved in fatal officer-involved shootings,” MSU Today reported.

Researchers created a new database that detailed every officer-involved shooting that occurred in 2015.

The group then contacted each department involved in a fatal shooting to gather information about the sex, race, and number of years on the force each officer had at the time of the fatal encounter.

What they found directly conflicted with widespread allegations that white officers are more likely to fatally shoot minority offenders.

“We found that the race of the officer doesn’t matter when it comes to predicting whether black or white citizens are shot," Cesario told MSU Today. "If anything, black officers are more likely to shoot black citizens, but this is because black officers are drawn from the same population that they police.”

“The more black citizens there are in a community, the more black police officers there are,” he noted.

“We did not find evidence for anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in police use of force across all shootings, and, if anything, found anti-White disparities when controlling for race-specific crime,” according to the study. “While racial disparity did vary by type of shooting, no one type of shooting showed significant anti-Black or -Hispanic disparity.”

The data debunked claims about white officers’ alleged racial bias with regards to fatal shootings, but also showed that changing department policy to diversify the members of the police force will likely do nothing to reduce the number of minority criminals who are fatally shot by police, MSU Today reported.

“Our data show that the rate of crime by each racial group predicts the likelihood of citizens from that racial group being shot,” Cesario explained. “If you live in a county that has a lot of white people committing crimes, white people are more likely to be shot. If you live in a county that has a lot of black people committing crimes, black people are more likely to be shot.”

“It is the best predictor we have of fatal police shootings,” he added.

An overwhelming majority of the offenders – as many as 95 percent – were actively attacking other citizens or law enforcement when they were fatally shot, according to the data.

Ninety percent of offenders were also armed.

The number of instances where law enforcement mistakenly believed that the suspect was armed were extremely rare, MSU Today reported.

But those are also often the cases that are widely reported by the media.

“We hear about the really horrendous and tragic cases of police shootings for a reason: they’re awful cases, they have major implications for police-community relations and so they should get attention,” Cesario acknowledged, according to MSU Today.

“But, this ends up skewing perceptions about police shootings and leads people to believe that all fatal shootings are similar to the ones we hear about,” he continued. “That’s just not the case.”

The data also revealed the strong prevalence of mental health-related issues affecting suspects who were fatally shot by police.

“It was truly striking,” Cesario told MSU Today. “This shows how underappreciated mental health is in the national discussion of fatal officer shootings.”

Mental health issues were a factor in 20 percent of black suspects, 30 percent of Hispanic suspects, and nearly 50 percent of white suspects.

Those findings included two specific types of mental health-related issues: suicide by cop, and mental disorders that posed a threat to officers, such as schizophrenia, MSU Today reported.

The study did not focus on the fatal shootings of unarmed suspects due to the fact that such instances were too uncommon to generate strong conclusions, Cesario said.

“Reducing race-specific violent crime should be an effective way to reduce fatal shootings of Black and Hispanic adults,” according to the study. “Of course, this is no simple task—crime rates are the result of a large and dynamic set of forces. However, the magnitude of these disparities speaks to the importance of this idea.”

“Reducing disparities in FOIS will require identifying and changing the socio-historical factors that lead civilians to commit violent crime,” researchers said.

In 2019, the Federal Bureau of Investigation began collecting use-of-force data, which will provide researchers with more detailed data for future analysis, Cesario told MSU Today.

Comments (65)
No. 1-22
flybynight
flybynight

Ok LCD, move in for the kill shot on those honky bitches. The verbal kind like you do so well not the literal one. 🙄. Hit em hard with your backassward statistics. That will teach them.

JBo
JBo

Stunning...stunning report. Said no law enforcement officer.

Musical1
Musical1

This just told us what we already knew. At least those of us without a cop-hating agenda. However there are many who will never believe facts when emotions play so well.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Great article. Thank you for posting this, Holly.

"We report three main findings:

  1. As the proportion of Black or Hispanic officers in a FOIS (fatal officer-involved shooting) increases, a person shot is more likely to be Black or Hispanic than White, a disparity explained by county demographics;

  2. race-specific county-level violent crime strongly predicts the race of the civilian shot; and

  3. although we find no overall evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities in fatal shootings, when focusing on different subtypes of shootings (e.g., unarmed shootings or “suicide by cop”), data are too uncertain to draw firm conclusions. We highlight the need to enforce federal policies that record both officer and civilian information in FOIS."

It would be similarly great if we would collect detailed data about immigration status of the suspect. - JH

Yahderhey
Yahderhey

Of course.

Now, who is most likely to shoot police in the back?

Justretired
Justretired

Jim I really appreciate your candor and knowledge on topics here. You sir are a very intelligent individual but you will call a spade a spade when wrong is wrong sir.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

Do these CNN ladies have any understanding how stupid they look with their “hands up” and their, “I can’t breathe” sign, both of which will proved false.

CitizenCare
CitizenCare

Does it matter? Do you think any of YOUR elected officials will touch this?

LEO0301
LEO0301

I seriously doubt the MSM will spend much time reporting this story. And of course our resident trolls will crawl back into their holes until a story is reported that they think backs their agenda. They hate facts, especially the lowest one of all.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

Catfish said :

1-We need to do something about this. 2-This has to stop. 3-This is unacceptable. 4-We need to restore families. 5-This is because of drugs. 6-There are no jobs. 7-Education is the problem. 8-Blah,Blah,Blah 9- because of racism 10-they racist because of 11- reparations 12-whitey

Yes,something must be done by someone someday.

Stanracer
Stanracer

Anyone who has a brain knows this already. But it's good to see a comprehensive study has proved it. Media lies, polititians lies and BLM lies started the war on the police. These group need to get their facts straight.

bill fuse
bill fuse

‘An overwhelming majority of the offenders – as many as 95 percent – were actively attacking other citizens or law enforcement when they were fatally shot, according to the data. Ninety percent of offenders were also armed.’ Hmmmm....So if a LEO ask you to stop and pay Attn to Him, he probably has good reason to Shoot Your Dumb Ass - if you’re armed!!!🤔

BerettaAPX
BerettaAPX

Yrs but all studirs do show that blacks commit by far the most violent crimes

bill fuse
bill fuse

so rev al and jesse....these were dual University studies, paid for by public tax dollars/grants. And not paid for by private rainbow coalition or al’s ‘I don’t owe no 100,000 in back taxes’ funding the reports.... so there IS some strong validity here, not based on Mamas sweet little Sunday school child....

IseeWhereThisIsGoing
IseeWhereThisIsGoing

You mean actual facts don't support the racist claims of black lives matter, or the Revs Jessie or Al? Imagine that.

NCTrooper
NCTrooper

Nothing we haven’t known for years. CDC stats, FBI stats. More white people are killed in Officer involved shootings every year, but “yawn” where is the story there. Plus no ghetto lottery to be won either

Det_John_Kimble
Det_John_Kimble

Title should read "Told ya"

Vodkabreakfast
Vodkabreakfast

Thanks a bunch to academia’s knack for stating the obvious. Here was me thinking that I should believe the hype put out by race-baiting effeminate leftists. Man; egg on my face.

Sammyboy2018
Sammyboy2018

Thank you for posting.Hopefully this will help our Officer's. They go through so much conflict with people over race!

Kmcwilliams116
Kmcwilliams116

These folks on the south side, seem to do well policing each other.