Police Shooting Numbers and How they are used by media

The police shooting of Black citizens has garnered much attention over the past couple of years. Although there have always been hundreds of citizens shot by police every year, protests, marching, social media and organizations such as Black Lives Matter have kept these matters in the news. A few narratives have surfaced to either emphasize the issue being a part of racial discrimination against African Americans or to counter that notion. As usual both narratives use statistics to back up their theories. The truth is that more White American citizens are killed by police but African American citizens are killed by police at higher rates. Both of these articles give a deeper insight into the numbers.

From the Washington Post:

“In 2015, The Washington Post launched a real-time database to track fatal police shootings, and the project continues this year. As of Sunday, 1,502 people have been shot and killed by on-duty police officers since Jan. 1, 2015. Of them, 732 were white, and 381 were black (and 382 were of another or unknown race)…..

…African Americans, however, account for 24 percent of those fatally shot and killed by the police despite being just 13 percent of the U.S. population. As The Post noted in a new analysis published last week, that means black Americans are 2.5 times as likely as white Americans to be shot and killed by police officers.”

The Washington Post goes further highlighting the argument that police shooting rates have more to do with crime rate among the population but also displays a chart that shows some lower crime cities with high police shooting and visa versa. Please read the articles below and let us know what you think.

The Washington Post: Aren’t more white people than black people killed by police? Yes, but no.

Snopes.com: Fact Check. White Fright. More whites are killed in American police shootings than blacks, but overall whites are statistically less likely to be killed by police than blacks.


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