The federal Bureau of Justice statistics has finally put out a report on “Arrest-related deaths:” people shot by cops, suicides in jail, heart attacks in the back seat of the police car, and so forth.
Carl Bialik writes at FiveThirtyEight.com:
The Government Finally Has A Realistic Estimate Of Killings By Police By Carl Bialik
About 1,200 people were killed by police officers in the U.S. in the 12 months that ended in May, according to a federal report released Thursday. That number is much larger than government counts of police killings for earlier years — and is much more in line with private estimates.
Criminal justice researchers have long argued that official counts of police killings, which rely on voluntary reports from local police departments, are woefully incomplete.
It’s striking that of the nine states with the highest per capita level of arrest-related deaths, only one of them, Louisiana, has a high percentage of blacks in the population. (I can’t see black and liberal Washington DC on this map: it may have a high rate as well).
Notably, of the states convulsed by Black Lives Matter-related riots, terrorism, and surges in black-on-black homicides, only Louisiana (site of the Baton Rouge murder of three cops by a BLM supporter) falls in the highest rate of law enforcement-related deaths. Maryland (Baltimore), and Wisconsin (“we need our weaves”), and Illinois (homicidal weekends) have below average rates.
One reason that high per capita rates of arrest-related deaths in the not very black Great Plains and Great Basin is small sample size: the disparity between the two Dakotas is probably due in part to random variation caused by tiny samples of ten or fewer deaths in each state. But, the larger pattern is clear: states with a lot of blacks don’t usually have high rates of arrest-related deaths.
Why? Probably because the media cares less about whites, Hispanics, or American Indians dying than about blacks dying.
Of the two police killings in my neighborhood in this decade, both were of white males.
One shooting got huge coverage while it was happening because a middle-aged white man was sitting on a crowded sidewalk shooting into the air. But everybody immediately lost interest after the LAPD killed him because it was obviously suicide-by-cop. (The doomed man had made sure not to hit anybody with his gunshots.)
My guess is that white men and, perhaps, American Indians engage in more suicide-by-cop, while blacks are not very suicidal. This may help explain the unexpected geographic pattern.
In the other shooting, an 18-year-old violist was shot dead by an Obama Administration DEA agent during a minor traffic accident. This story got remarkably little press coverage until the victim’s family won a $3 million judgment three years later. (I happened to meet the grieving mother at the scene of the shooting a week later and told her the law enforcement story sounded fishy and she should consider suing.)
I always thought that this case would have been a good one for the Obama Administration to highlight as a tragic case of law enforcement over-reaction and the need to develop better procedures and training to reduce this kind of thing. There was no need to demonize the DEA agent, so it would have been a good example of how bad things can happen without ill will.
But instead the Administration, the media, and the Hillary campaign seemed more concerned about black deaths due, presumably to base turnout motivations and broader racial biases.
Because believing “all lives matter” proves you are a racist hater.