Flashback: Evidence for police ‘systemic racism’ challenged

by WorldTribune Staff, June 5, 2020

In July 2016, then-President Barack Obama claimed during the memorial for five Dallas police officers killed by a Black Lives Matter–inspired assassin that black parents were right to fear that their child could be killed by a police officer whenever he “walks out the door.”

South Bend mayor and failed Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg has said that police shootings of black men won’t be solved “until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism.”

‘It turns out that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians.’

Failed Democratic presidential and senate candidate Beto O’Rourke claims that the police shoot blacks “solely based on the color of their skin.”

A July 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences “demolishes the Democratic narrative regarding race and police shootings, which holds that white officers are engaged in an epidemic of racially biased shootings of black men,” Heather Mac Donald, author of the bestseller “The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture”, noted in a July 31, 2019 analysis for National Review.

“It turns out that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians. It is a racial group’s rate of violent crime that determines police shootings, not the race of the officer. The more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that members of that racial group will be shot by a police officer. In fact, if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians,” the study found.

The authors, faculty at Michigan State University and the University of Maryland at College Park, created a database of 917 officer-involved fatal shootings in 2015 from more than 650 police departments. Fifty-five percent of the victims were white, 27 percent were black, and 19 percent were Hispanic. Between 90 and 95 percent of the civilians shot by officers in 2015 were attacking police or other citizens; 90 percent were armed with a weapon. “So-called threat-misperception shootings, in which an officer shoots an unarmed civilian after mistaking a cellphone, say, for a gun, were rare,” Mac Donald noted.

“Earlier studies have also disproven the idea that white officers are biased in shooting black citizens. The Black Lives Matter narrative has been impervious to the truth, however. Police departments are under enormous political pressure to hire based on race, despite existing efforts to recruit minorities, on the theory that doing so will decrease police shootings of minorities,” Mac Donald wrote.

“The persistent belief that we are living through an epidemic of racially biased police shootings is a creation of selective reporting,” Mac Donald added.

In 2015, the year the PNAS study addressed, the white victims of fatal police shootings included a 50-year-old suspect in a domestic assault in Tuscaloosa, Alabama who ran at the officer with a spoon; a 28-year-old driver in Des Moines, Iowa, who exited his car and walked quickly toward an officer after a car chase; and a 21-year-old suspect in a grocery-store robbery in Akron, Ohio, who had escaped on a bike and who did not remove his hand from his waistband when ordered to do so.

“Had any of these victims been black, the media and activists would probably have jumped on their stories and added their names to the roster of victims of police racism. Instead, because they are white, they are unknown,” Mac Donald noted.

“The anti-cop narrative deflects attention away from solving the real criminal-justice problem, which is high rates of black-on-black victimization. Blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate of non-Hispanic whites, overwhelmingly killed not by cops, not by whites, but by other blacks. The Democratic candidates should get their facts straight and address that issue. Until they do, their talk of racial justice will ring hollow,” Mac Donald concluded.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson noted on June 4:

Since 2015, The Washington Post has maintained a comprehensive database of fatal police shootings in this country. Last year, The Post logged a total of 1,004 killings.

Of the 802 shootings in which the race of the police officer and the suspect was noted, 371 of those killed were white, 236 were black. The vast majority of those killed were not, in fact, unarmed; the vast majority were armed. And African-American suspects were significantly more likely to have a deadly weapon than white suspects, yet more white suspects were killed.

Overall, there were a total of precisely 10 cases in the United States last year, according to The Washington Post, in which unarmed African-Americans were fatally shot by the police. There were nine men and one woman.

Carlson’s full monologue can be viewed here


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