A new study of officer-involved fatal shootings in 2015–2016 found there was no systemic evidence of racial disparity in police use of deadly force.
The study, offered by two Michigan State University psychology professors and an Arizona State University professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice, William Terrill, who has written extensively on police behavior, stated, “When adjusting for crime, we find no systematic evidence of anti-Black disparities in fatal shootings, fatal shootings of unarmed citizens, or fatal shootings involving misidentification of harmless objects.”
The study benchmarked two years of fatal shooting data on 16 crime rate estimates. The abstract for the study states, “Multiverse analyses showed only one significant anti-Black disparity of 144 possible tests. Exposure to police given crime rate differences likely accounts for the higher per capita rate of fatal police shootings for Blacks, at least when analyzing all shootings.”
The evidence from the new study is supported by other studies. As Heather Mac Donald pointed out in The Wall Street Journal in October 2016, “Officers’ use of lethal force following an arrest for a violent felony is more than twice the rate for white as for black arrestees, according to one study. Another study showed that officers were three times less likely to shoot unarmed black suspects than unarmed whites.”
Additionally, as The Daily Wire reported in 2016, a Harvard study also found no evidence of systemic racism displayed by police:
A new study of over a thousand police-involved shootings found what researcher Harvard Prof. Roland G. Fryer Jr. calls “the most surprising result of my career”: There is no racial bias in police-involved shootings. Not only are blacks not more likely to be fired upon by police than whites in tense moments, the study found that, if anything, they are less likely to be shot at.
In what is one of the most comprehensive studies on the issue to date, Fryer — an African-American economist who says he began the study in response to his anger over the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray — examined 1,332 shootings that occurred between 2000 and 2015 in 10 major police departments. By the end of the exhaustive research, Fryer and his teams spent an estimated 3,000 hours poring over the data from Los Angeles, Ca., three cities in Texas (Houston, Austin, and Dallas), and four counties and two cities in Florida (Orlando and Jacksonville).