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by Peter Moskos

August 25, 2014

Race and justifiable police homicides (V): black police

Fact 5: Black officers are disproportionately more likely than white police to kill black people. But this should come as little surprise since black officers are much more likely to work in black areas and in cities where there are more blacks. Again, given the bad data, take all this with a huge grain of salt, but according to the data we do have (UCR justified police-involved homicides 1998-2012), 73 percent of those killed by black police are black (which is kind of amazing). For white police officers, 28 percent of those killed are black.

Put a different way, if you are black and shot by police, the odds are about 1 in 5 you'll be shot by a black cop. If you're white and shot by police, there's less than a 1 in 20 chance your police-officer shooter will be black.

In these 15 years, 547 black police officers killed 402 blacks and 141 whites. 4,388 white police killed 1,213 blacks and 2,998 whites.

Also, the officer's race is "unknown" 10 percent of the time. (n = 535)

Next question: Do black police shoot and kill white people?

Update: Additional data were added to this post in January, 2015.


Anonymous said...

What is this data based on?

Moskos said...

UCR homicide supplement for many year (can't remember how many. It's in a previous post)