Friday, July 15, 2016

Surprise: a black Harvard economist says cops don't kill blacks more frequently than whites

Omaha cop at outskirts of Black Lives Matter rally, 7/14/16
But if you think this exonerates police of suspicions of racism, guess again. The study, by Roland Fryer, says police are disposed to use other forms of force against whites blacks more than they do against blacks whites. Why the difference?
Mr. Fryer wonders if the divide between lethal force — where he did not find racial disparities — and nonlethal force — where he did — might be related to costs. Officers face costs, legal and psychological, when they unnecessarily fire their guns. But excessive use of lesser force is rarely tracked or punished. “No officer has ever told me that putting their hands on inner-city youth is a life-changing event,” he said.
     Fryer's study was referenced in a recent Time piece, Police Kill Too Many People—White and Black
     The spate of dubious police killings of black citizens is focusing attention on the siege mentality of some popular "warrior"-focused police training organizations.
     Bloomberg reported on one, Calibre Press, run by Jim Glennon, which shows cop classes a violent series of clips depicting police being shot during traffic stops.
     Before proceeding, Glennon points to a threat in the back of the room: me. “In 35 years, we have not allowed the press to come into a class,” he says. “The reason is because we don’t trust them.” He says he’s letting me observe because many police chiefs are frustrated no one is advocating for them. They’re tired of being portrayed in the media as racists and unaccountable killers and want a more sympathetic depiction. If my article screws them, he tells the class with a smile, “I’ll fly out to Seattle”—where I live—“and kill him.”
     In fact, deaths by police in the line of duty are becoming rarer. The FBI says that in 1984 the 10-year average was 97 a year; as of 2014, it was 51. Although the FBI keeps tabs on how many police are murdered on the job, it doesn't keep track of how many people cops kill. Estimates are from 400-1000 per year, which means police exterminate at least 99,000 fewer people per year than do hospital mistakes.    
Below: AKSARBENT video taken at yesterday's Black Lives Matter rally at 30th & Ames in Omaha.

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