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by Peter Moskos

February 25, 2008

Police kill white people, too

But you usually don't hear about it. I call this the Al Sharpton effect. There is no white version of Al Sharpton.

As the trial of the officers involved in the Sean Bell killing begins, I've been thinking more about police-involved shootings and race. Given media reports, it certainly seems like police only kill black people. But I know this isn't true.

I did a little research. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports from 2000 to 2004, police-involved “justifiable homicides” kill about 350 people a year, 99 percent by shooting. [Update: see below for 2014 links.] Virtually all police-involved killings, most for good reason, are categorized as justifiable. Of those killed by police, 32 percent are black and 64 percent are white. While the percentage of blacks killed is high compared with the black percentage in America (13%), it is low compared with other indicators of violence, such as the percentage of homicide victims and offenders believed to be African American (both 48%).

Perhaps it is more useful to compare police-involved shootings with those killed by non-police officers. Among “justifiable homicides” by regular citizens—about 210 a year—African-Americans are 40 percent of those who kill and 56 percent of those killed. Compared with these numbers, police seem restrained in their use of force toward the black community.

Of course the numbers do not tell us the race of innocent people killed. And numbers are no solace to the family of any victim of police bullets.

August, 2014 Update. I have new and updated information starting here. And continuing here, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Also this post.

And while I've got your attention, consider buying my book about policing. Right now Cop in the Hood is just $10 on Amazon, which is as cheap as it's ever been. Paperback or Kindle. And it's a proven fact the book contains well over $30 of reading value!

September, 2014 Update: Here's a video of a black officer shooting an unarmed white person. (A disabled vet, for what it's worth.) It happened in March, 2014. I didn't hear about it till much later. Unarmed white people who get shot by police just do not become national news.



Though horrible and in hindsight wrong, I think the shooting was justifiable. Clearly in hindsight it's not a good shooting. And yet when that guy gets out of the pick-up truck and the long hard object goes up and into my face -- and keep in mind I'm watching a youtube video and I *know* it's not going to be a gun -- I still felt my ass pucker.

Would a reasonable officer have feared for his or life in that situation? Yeah, potentially, probably, I think so.

It would have been great if the cop had known it was a cane. It also would have been great if the guy hadn't gotten out of his truck on the highway and reached for his cane.

A mistake. But I think a reasonable one. I'd let that cop off.

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am sure that police kill whites but how many innocent whites have they killed and gotten away with that is the real question.

PCM said...

That is the real question. Some, certainly. But you rarely hear about it. Google Joseph Schultz and Christopher Braga. Horrible shooting. The agents weren't even indicted.

Anonymous said...

The King Alfred plan pt.1 .Look this shit up assholes.

PCM said...

Yeah, asshole, I did.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/King_Alfred_Plan

Your point?

blaqueheartedarken said...

sure thers no al sharpton but the media is biased thats why u only see blacks doing crimes when all americans do.the 3 major networks are the al sharptons of white america as they put a black face on crime and never show faces of white criminals. 72 percent of american drug users are white but most blacks in jail are there for drug possesion and theres more black in jail than whites on drug possesiom charges.
on whites walk on charges that blacks receive incarceration for.
its all in a human rights watch report. not to mention that 85% of white homicide victims are killed by whites yet you have all these racist ass ppl talkin about how niggers do crime and are violent when they virtually have nothing to fear from blacks in regards to violent crime. police are so busy tryin to throw us in jail they leave white america completely exposed. then you hear how " that type of thing normally doesnt happen in our neighborhood"
bull fuckin shit it is largely suppressed.

Tyrone Harvey said...

JUST ANOTHER DEAD BY COP BLACK MAN
The family of the black Pace University football star fatally shot by white cops. Who claim he plowed into two officers believes he was "singled out" because he is black -- and is vowing not to rest until they learn the truth of what happened that fateful night. Danroy "DJ" Henry's family "feels he was singled out by the police because he's a young African-American," said Annemarie Masciarelli, the next-door neighbor and close friend of Henry's parents."We will not stop until the truth is out!" wrote parents, Danroy Sr. and Angela Henry, who hours before DJ's death had watched him play the last football game of his life in Pace University's homecoming game. Henry's killing early Sunday morning outside a Mount Pleasant bar in Westchester County occurred after the junior defensive player began driving off -- hitting several cops -- when an officer tapped on his car window as he sat parked in a fire lane with several buddies. What is being lost is::
1.Why would any person jump in front of a moving car?
2. Why would cops shoot at unarmed citizen in a car?
3. If Mr.Danroy accidentally hit two cops does that justify murder?
4. Did Mr. Danroy think the tapping on his window was for him to move his car?
5. Why did cops go against protocol which state officer can not shoot at a moving car?
6. Why is it that ones again it's a unarmed black man in a car HELLO SEAN BELL?
7. Why is the option of shooting the tires out when unarmed black people are involve off the table?
8. Why didn't cops write down the Licence plate?
NOTE: This is now the NORM in America! Unarmed black men are shot by mostly white cops! Are back to work before the body is out the hospital or in the ground! Shamefully Mr. Danroy will become just another murder by cops black man. The police will lie and say Mr.Danroy was drunk and will state the he had a record whether he does or not! To justify murdering a unarmed human being for nothing!!!! A judge or jury will find that the cops where justify. Even after many witness come forward and state that the cops LIED! Black life is seen as worthless and cops don't have to worry about losing their jobs for murdering a black child or adults!

Anonymous said...

PCM - respond to blaqueheartedarken!

Max said...

Its no surprise that racism is alive and well in this country. Its a shame that a young man was shot for no reason, But when everybody starts talking about it being a race motivated shooting it gets people riled up and ready to go to the streets and riot. Then more people are harmed. Its no wonder when we have people like Oprah, Whoopie, and Al Sharpton doing their best to keep racism in the minds of people across the U.S. Racism will never die as long as people keep blaming everything that happens on it. Who are the real racists?

Anonymous said...

Everyone just hush. This is so dumb. Black people wonder why they get a bad rep, let me tell you. When a young black male dies, why does that give you the right to riot and loot? Why do you destroy your own community over a single death? You act like children. You act like you celebrate these deaths. Like black people just sit around watching the news all day, and as soon as they see "white cop kills black teen" you go get your friends start rioting, looting, and intentionally causing violence. You act like you're justified, but you're not. White people watch other people die all the fucking time. And what do most of us do? We go about our own lives being thankful that it didn't happen to us. We don't flip our own towns upside down over it. It doesn't matter what your skin color is, chances are you will be persecuted for SOMETHING until the day you die. You just need to learn to live with it so that others may have peace.

Anonymous said...

Easy for you to say! I'm light brown living in Oregon, I see those eyes of mistrust! I have never been aware of the color of my skin until I hit 30 and felt more aware of my surroundings! I feel for the black community! I see how they get treated! How I get treated! Enduring racist jokes! All by white people! Anyway, doesn't matter! Whites will be the minority in the next decades to come! Don't get me wrong, my family is white as well

Anonymous said...

How many of the white folks killed by police were unarmed? Were they killed during the commission of a crime? Were they minding there own business, find me just two cases where a black cop has killed an unarmed white person. Just as the saying goes, those with power tend to abuse it, well the police are gangs, gangs were started to protect folks from another supposedly dangerous gang,eventually your power of the gun will make you feel invincible and instead of you being a protector of the good you morph into exactly what you started out defending, so yes the police are a GANG, rules are "puttin in work" (kills under your belt) NO SNITCHING, and you are your brothers keeper! I don't care if a cop kills whoever, IF that person was innocent then someone should avenge that persons death, with extreme prejudice, and I'm sure this shyt will stop, strange that the police don't screw with arab americans, I suspect because they know that they have no fear and they will retaliate, look at Israel, those arabs are NOT marching, or calling in speakers, they are getting some retribution, if you're looked at as subhuman and it's open season on you then common sense would tell you to turn the tables and become the hunter. EVERY white person believes the lie of blacks being "dangerous" when in fact it is their own kind who commits the most crimes, I know some dyck will spout off the usual "percentage of population yada yada yada" but facts are facts, bottom line is the police need to be watched, isn't it mysterious how the cops car was parked crossways instead of straight forward so the dash video (if equipped) could be seen? I'm sick and tired of the whites(not all, only the ignorant ones)who quickly believe the "he went for my gun" crap, just as in the Trayvon Martin case WHO IN THE FUDGE is that stupid to go for someone's gun when they themselves were minding their business! There are some good cops but just as you whites lump ALL BLACKS in with the ones that do illegal things I'm doing the same with cops, fudge them ALL!

Anonymous said...

Joseph Schultz(innocent 20 year old white man shot in the face)....James Whitehead (also innocent and unarmed)

Anonymous said...

"Joseph Schultz(innocent 20 year old white man shot in the face)....James Whitehead (also innocent and unarmed)"

That is seriously the best argument you have? There were FOUR unarmed black people shot by police THIS MONTH.

Anonymous said...

In a corrupt, unconstitutional, rougue, out-of-control, illegal, oppressive, lethal, oligarchy, like the U.S, police should be killed by citizens, for not only actual, but potential threats and damages to legitimate citizens. This has to be the case because the state(local, state, and federal), has ceased to exist as a legitimate governing body, due to it's malfeasance.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately a few make all look bad for every race . If everybody would just give each a chance we would all realize we could get along. This country is falling apart because of these types of things. We need to stand together for everything not just when it happens to any race. I'm white by the way. And my dad is old fashion. I'm 32

Anonymous said...

Its amazing you have got to travel the whole world and meet every person :) your statement confused me because you said every white person thinks one thing? Yet your only sick of the ignorant ones? I think we should follow the late martin luther king jr advice. he made change in this world and brought people together.

Anonymous said...

Has there never been a black cop kill a black man ? No one complains about that .

Anonymous said...

Yeah and I'm white in a black neighborhood and everyone here but two neighbors talk to me everyone else give me dirty looks and talk about me and my family. They even jumped my daughter and she is only nine and it was five of them. When my wife said something to the kids the parents acted like animals and tried to jump her. So you tell me again how you feel for the black community how about the white family in a black community. I have to sit outside when my kids go outside to make sure they don't get hurt. Don't tell me blacks aren't prejudice either because my son don't even know what that is had never even heard the word but yet every black child in this neighborhood knows the word and the meanings because their parents teach them to be. Or even when I was younger and was in a kids home with only five white students and 32 black students and had to sleep with a broken mop handle under my mattress because they jumped us all the time. So don't tell me because I know better! I'm a 37 year old man and even after all that I'm still not prejudice and I say prejudice not racist because I don't think any race is better then the other. Sorry if I offend you be cause that was not my intention.

PCM said...

I too am curious how many black cops have killed white people. The UCR will have that data (though I'm not home to access it). It's happened, I can assure you, but the number will be small. For two reasons:
1) There are no white neighborhoods as violent as the most violent black neighborhoods. And police-involved shootings are highly correlated with neighborhood violence. And then 2) there are not many black officers patroling in high-crime/drug white areas.

Anonymous said...

Proven fact that when people are angry and upset they will destitute anything close to them. Yes it's stupid to destroy you own town but it's a natural reaction. It's was done many times during the 1700,s when the British was the authorities and were the olive at that time people. They would shoot for many wrong reasons. The people seen and the didn't like it so they rioted and many or their town were burned down by who themselves. I think you hate the race card is pulled. But the fact of the matter is you are still missing the real sole purpose. White people thru out history are notorious for the crafty ways. It's in ever history book. They stretch the truth to work in their favor. It was done to the Indians, it was done to the Chinese it was done in africa. It's being done to any race the not their own.

Anonymous said...

confused asks,, the united states is far from being racist free, that is obvious.. I WANT TO KNOW THE ANSWER TO ONE QUESTION,, WHY DON'T YOU HAVE THIS MASS LOOTING AND BURNING , AND PLAIN VANDELISM WHEN A COP SHOOTS AND KILLS AN UNARMED WHITE PERSON? i THINK THE BAD BLACK SECTIONS OF THESE TOWNS, ARE USING THESE TRADGEDYS AS A REASON TO PERFORM THESE CRIMES.. these people need to be caught and be drug through the legal system.. instead of the public feeling sorry for them.. To ad to this I THINK IT IS TIME FOR ALL MINORITIES IN THIS COUNTRY SHOULD QUIT SHOVING DOWN THE THROGHTS OF THEIR YOUNG PEOPLE WHAT HAPPEND TO THEIR ANCESTORS IN THIS COUNTRY ALONG TIME AGO,, THE PEOPLE HERE TODAY WAS NOT THERE, WE DID NOT DO THAT, AND THEY NEED TO LET IT GO , SO THIS COUNTRY CAN GO FORWARD.. THAT'S RIGHT , THE BLACK MAN, THE NATIVE AMERICANS , AND MANY OTHER RACES THAT MIGRATED TO THIS COUNTRY ALONG TIME AGO, NEEDS TO ,LET IT DIE i grew up in a major city in this country and am totally ashamed of the way people treat each other,, they ought to be ashamed , and because of the ignorance, they are not thinking of the future of their kids , or this county

Anonymous said...

The point is you people focusing on skin color is the problem. Police brutality has been a big deal for all races but it's ok when it happens to whites and believe the fbi stats,it happens to whites more than blacks but the media wouldn't have you informed of that. They focus on this crapola as a misdirection and boy is it working. I know I know, I'm a racist pig blah blah blah. Fact of the matter is, many black people love this shit cause it justifies their own racism.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that people don't talk about the 22 blacks that are murdered in this country daily by other blacks? That's over 7000 per year. It is time that you stopped blaming others for the high crime and murder rates in your community.

When 70% of the babies born into the black community have no fathers and no male guidance, crime and gangs are a natural outcome.

When 40% of blacks drop out of high school in LA,

PCM said...

Tell me what that 70 percent statistic actually says and tell me how it relates to "no male guidance." Seriously.

Anonymous said...

I honestly think that these successful black "leaders" that make money off "black suffrage", may be encouraging bad behavior by making certain cases such an outrage. The more chaos, the more money for Sharpton, Jackson, Melissa Harris-Perry, etc. Or maybe they are trying to get them all to kill each other.

Anonymous said...

Cops have helped me more times than not. When cops don't act things get out of hand like in St.Louis, Chicago, Detroit, Louisiana, where there are cops but no one cooperates to help catch the murderers. So no, killing them will bring in all thugs instead of thugs being the exception on the force.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you

Anonymous said...

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/07/tyler-comstock-shot-dead-police-iowa-state-university_n_4234039.html

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2014/01/06/22205826-family-demanding-answers-after-police-fatally-shoot-mentally-ill-nc-teenager

http://theantimedia.org/police-kill-mentally-ill-teen-after-family-calls-for-medical-help/

Anonymous said...

lets hope this does not turn into a circus. Can a person imagine faking a crime just for the media attention? world wide exposure. It sure does help us learn our geography. But as usual we will forget and get back on with our lives. Its to bad that young man died and all the problems it has caused. Hang in there we will get through this.

Andrew Thomson said...

I am from Canada Windsor across from
Detroit I go there on a weekly basis
Lions pistons shopping etc.I dont no where yous live but I walk downtown Detroit which is about 80% black and never have had a problem. I have been stopped the cops a couple times who seem to be mainly black and they were just like any other cop not nice but didnt beet me

cali said...

Max. If you are not racist that's fine. However there are large movements of racist and terrorist groups like the key Nazionale low riders etc vikings who were lapd and there were some known key in Chicago pd. Secondly
many prole are racist that you probably deal with daily. You already know that though and the oppressed group will always have speakers like the Ira spoke out against the British

nrnowlin said...

AS an former California peace officer, I can say without equivocation that every incident where a police officer uses lethal force is different, but all are the same in a particular way. Every police officer who uses his handgun uses it to defend himself or someone else. If an officer believes he is in jeapordy for his life, he is justified to pull and use his weapon. Let's say the cop is 5'8" and the suspect is 6'5" and weighs 300 pounds. Is the cop at a disadvantage in a hand-to-hand combat situation? You bet he is.

In the case of the shooting of 300 pound, 6'3" Michael Brown by Officer Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, the blacks are trying to say that because Brown was shot in the hands, he had his hands up in front of him trying to give-up. Yet, how does a person attack another person? With his hands down, or up in front of him? A person attacks with his hands up. If Brown was attacking Officer Wilson, he was trying to harm the cop with his hands. Wilson said he shot Wilson when he came at him. Why won't they believe that a man who had just committed a strong-arm robbery would attack a police officer? Just like Trayvon Martin, they want to say that Michael Brown was just a peaceful black 18 year old who was trying to surrender to a police officer. Does that really sound believable after watching the video of Brown robbing the store?

buggin said...

@nrnowlin...

First off, thank you for your service. More of us appreciate it than it seems.

Yes exactly. But all of these people calling for/demanding the officer's conviction, will never accept the facts of this case. Even if it was on video from beginning to end, they'd still be screaming foul. As a direct example, look at the reaction to the robbery video that shows Brown and Johnson robbing a store while being violent. First they said it was a fake video. Then the police edited it to look like brown, because they were certain he was wearing different clothes when he died, which is 100% false. Then they said it was irrelevant. How is a man being physically violent over stolen cigars, only 10 minutes prior, irrelevant? It is proof that Brown was not a "gentle giant" as his family and community falsely claimed. Its proof that he may be more likely to confront an officer, because he may have thought the cop was there about the robbery. But now that the lies are out, They won't stop claiming that the cops shoot them with their hands up.
And it will start up again every time something similar happens.

They have been told that 2+2=5 for so long by people like Sharpton, Jackson, and the rest that they will never accept that it's 4.

In reality though, 70 more whites are killed every year than Blacks in police custody. Of the top deaths, a very small amount are unarmed, and they aren't mostly black.

And when considering the amount of US arrest a year are approximately 12 million and the amount of cop related deaths are approximately 400, there are 99.9% of arrest subjects that are not killed.

That means cops are more effective at arrest without death, than birth control is effective. But we trust birth control.

Anonymous said...

Blaqueheartedarken, more blacks are in jail for drug possession than whites because drug possession includes possession with intent to sell which is where blacks outnumber whites. Most whites who use drugs can only be found guilty for the small amounts theyre going to use. They arent caught with stashes, amounts over an ounce or baggied supplies. Do some real research on their charges and not just lump people into one category. Possession of narcotics near schools, in known drug areas and in larger amounts leads to higher charges and longer sentences. A black guy with a kilo hes about to sell is more likely to go to jail than a white guy with a gram hes about to use personally. 64% of police homicides occur where a cop kills a white person. Only 32% are against black people which pales in comparison to crime statistics that show blacks killing 91% of other blacks. Whites killed only 7% of blacks yet blacks killed 14% of whites... twice as many white people die by black hands than blacks by white hands.

Anonymous said...

Well then, it's perfectly equal, unless you consider the fact that African Americans are only 12.6% of the population.

Anonymous said...

Well,There you have it.More whites killed then blacks by police....

Anonymous said...

What percentage of killings of white suspects are by black cops and how does that compare to the percentage of blacks killed by white cops? Might that be the telling statistic?

Anonymous said...

I would like to know how many black police officers have killed unarmed white teens or white adult men in the past 30 years?

Anonymous said...

They drown white people in Missouri, St. Louis post dispatch sept 4 ,2014. Face it, white or black, when the police are in the news everyday.....aren't we becoming a police state. By the way..no charges filed, handcuffed behind his back at the bottom of the lake of the ozarks.

Anonymous said...

Umm. He ran over two cops. He wasn't parked where he is suppressed to be. You don't drive away when a cop is trying to talk to you. Any driving instructor tells their students that a vehicle is merely a weapon. Because cars kill. Oh, that is unfortunate, because he is in possession of a potentially deadly weapon. Which, he used against police. Yeah, he technically wasn't unarmed. Because he had a several thousand pound weapon that he did use against the police. Outside of a bar, none the less. Was he intoxicated? That's another crime, considering he was the driver. You forgot that protocol DOES let an officer shoot if their life or the lives of others are in danger.

What you've shared is that this guy was parked illegally, tried fleeing from the officers, ran over 2 officers with a potentially deadly weapon, outside of a bar.

Parked illegally. - 1 crime.
Hit 2 officers. - 2 crimes.
Fleeing from an officer. - 1 crime.
Potential DUI. - 1 potential crime.

Final verdict?

He could have killed 2 law enforcement officers because of his violations of traffic laws.

Would you have rather him drive away and kill innocent civilians? Somehow, it'll STILL be a white man's fault if he drove off and hit an innocent civilian.

Anonymous said...

Do you think maybe if young black America wouldn't strive to be "thugs" maybe they wouldn't be profiled as one?
It's about role models, of which black America has not had since King. Hip Hop "Culture" is as much to blame for the continuation of profiling than anything. (Not all of it, but for sure the Rap part, which is a HUGE demographic for young black males, and females). And let's not forget, 2 out of 3 black children are being born out of wedlock. So without a father to teach them to be a man, who is? All too often it is Slim Thug or some other rapper that goes, "hard for their hood."
I seriously doubt any of these innocent victims was wearing a polo shirt. The black community needs to understand what hip-hop is to conservatives in this country: a counter-culture. Do you have the right to SAG? Of course, but you can and will be judged for it. And what is wrong with that? To be honest, to be thought of as "Hard," is what many of these kids strive for! Somewhat of a double standard, and a sad one at that.

Anonymous said...

i am half black and half white i have lived in a predominantly white, very affluent neighborhood for the past six years and i have never endured such racism in my 32 years of living!! all people see in this world is rich,poor,and skin color!! i was never arrested in my life time until i moved to where i live. i have been arrested over 6 times in the past 4 years the most serious charge was for jaywalking and there was no cross walk!! but you better believe the next day they put one down all because i tried to fight the charge with a paid lawyer which this town had no idea i was able to afford one. they were under the assumption that he is just a darkskin person we can take advantage of. i was also arrested for resisting arrest. my whole arrest was video recorded and it was proven in a court of law that i did no such thing all because a white police officer did not like the way i walked around the corner of my own house!! the only chare was resisting arrest which was thrown out because of my video!! nothing ever happened to the cop!! is he not supposed to be in trouble dor lying? ?? oh yeah i forgot i am the only black person in a town of abot 3000!!! so if there is any doubt in anyomes mind that these white police officers arent power hungry and racist then wake up and join the rest of society people should not be mad because i can afford to live in a rich area and im not white i know thats what the problem is!! i have endured both sides of the spectrum by far and i can honestly say i have heard the word nigger all my life it wasnt until my ollege years that black people came up with cracker!!! so whats all this tell you racism is alive and wiil never die because of ingnorant people!!