Sunday, March 27, 2016

Blacks are more likely to be shot by police because they resist arrest

African-Americans are much more likely than other ethnic groups to be shot by police officers because African-American are much more likely to resist arrest. For example, in San Francisco, African-Americans resist arrest about eight times more frequently than Whites, according to an article written by Emily Greeen, titled "African Americans cited for resisting arrest at high rate in S.F." and published by SFGate:
African Americans in San Francisco are cited for resisting arrest at a rate eight times greater than whites even when serious crimes are not involved, according to statistics drawn from court records. 
From January 2010 to April 24 of this year, law enforcement officers cited suspects with resisting arrest 9,633 times in cases where the suspect was not charged with a felony. African Americans accounted for 45 percent of those cited, even though they make up just 6 percent of the city’s population. 
The statistics are drawn from San Francisco’s case management system, which tracks court cases in the city. They include arrests made by all law enforcement agencies that operate in San Francisco, including the police and sheriff’s departments. ....
Whites, who make up roughly half of San Francisco’s population, made up 39 percent of those cited for resisting arrest. Asian Americans, who make up roughly a third of the population, accounted for just 3 percent of those cited for resisting arrest. Latinos are not broken out as a separate demographic and instead are generally included among whites. .... 
“Any person who has contact with the police should cooperate, regardless if they believe they are in the right or not,” [Police Department spokesman Officer Albie] Esparza wrote in an e-mail. “When anyone does not listen to order and resist police efforts ... those individuals will be held accountable for their actions regardless of age, race, creed, religion, gender, etc. .... 
In San Francisco, racial disparities in arrest rates are commonplace. African Americans made up 47 percent of all people arrested by San Francisco police from 2009 to 2014, according to department statistics. ... 
Of course, apologists for African-Americans who resist arrest argue perversely that such statistics prove merely that police officers harass African-Americans disproportionately. To read a lot of such sophistry, read the entire article.

Outside of San Francisco -- everywhere in the USA -- African-Americans disproportionately commit crimes and resist arrest. Because of these two factors -- 1) committing crimes and 2) resisting arrest -- African-Americans are extraordinarily likely to be shot by police officers.

Michael Brown was just one example of this ubiquitous phenomenon. Brown, a few minutes after committing a strong-armed robbery, was stopped by a police officer. Brown punched the officer in the face and tried to grab the officer's pistol. Then Brow ran away. Then Brown turned around and charged at least 16 yards toward the police officer, trying again to grab his pistol. As a consequence, Brown was shot dead by the police officer.


American Rennaissance magazine recently published an article written by Edwin S. Rubenstein and titled "The Color of Crime, 2016 Revised Edition", about racial differences in criminality. A small part of this article addresses the issue of police officers shooting Black people. The article's executive summary includes the following findings:
* In 2015, a black person was 2.45 times more likely than a white person to be shot and killed by the police. A Hispanic person was 1.21 times more likely. These figures are well within what would be expected given race differences in crime rates and likelihood to resist arrest. 
* In 2015, police killings of blacks accounted for approximately 4 percent of homicides of blacks. Police killings of unarmed blacks accounted for approximately 0.6 percent of homicides of blacks. The overwhelming majority of black homicide victims (93 percent from 1980 to 2008) were killed by blacks.
Rubenstein is the president of a company called ESR Research. He has worked as a senior economist at W.R. Grace & Co., and as research director at the Hudson Institute. His articles have appeared in Harvard Business Review, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Investor’s Business Daily. He is the author of two books: The Right Data and From the Empire State to the Vampire State: New York in a Downward Transition.

In his article's part about police officers shooting Black people, Rubenstein wrote (emphasis added):
... the Washington Post investigated every reported case of a fatal shooting by the police during 2015. It found 990 cases, with the following racial distribution of victims: 
     White: 50.0 percent (495 victims) 
     Black: 26.1 percent (258) 
     Hispanic: 17.4 percent (172) 
     Asian: 1.4 percent (14) 
     Other/Unknown: 5.2 percent (51) 
Given their proportions in the population, a black person was 2.45 times more likely than a white person to be shot and killed by police, a Hispanic was 1.24 times more likely, and an Asian was only one third as likely. It is reasonable to expect people of different races to find themselves in potentially lethal confrontations with the police in proportion to their likelihood to commit violent crime, with blacks most likely and Asians least likely. 
.... in California — a large state that keeps consistent statistics on race and ethnicity — blacks are arrested for violent crimes at 5.35 times the white rate, and Hispanics at 1.42 times the white rate. The low likelihood of Asians being killed by police is in keeping with low Asian arrest rates for violent crime. The black and Hispanic multiples for police shooting deaths are well within the arrest multiples — the black multiple is less than half — and certainly do not suggest undisciplined police violence. 
Moreover, FBI data show that from 2005 to 2014, blacks accounted for 40 percent of police killings. Since blacks were approximately 13 percent of the population, it meant they were 4.46 times more likely than people of other races to kill a police officer. ....
The Washington Post noted further that all but 93 of the 990 people fatally shot by police were armed, usually with a firearm or knife. The unarmed victims had the following racial distribution: 
     White: 34.4 percent (32 victims) 
     Black: 40.8 percent (38) 
     Hispanic: 19.4 percent (18) 
     Asian: 0 percent (0) 
     Unknown: 5.4 percent (5) 
An unarmed black was therefore 5.6 times more likely than an unarmed white to be shot by police, and a Hispanic was 2.6 times more likely. The black multiple is certainly high, though not that much higher than the California violent-arrest multiple of 5.35 noted above. ....
It may be that race differences in how suspects behave when they are arrested explain at least part of the difference. There are no national data, but a five-year study of non-felony arrests in San Francisco found that blacks were 9.6 times more likely than whites (including Hispanics) to be charged with resisting arrest, and whites were 8.6 times more likely than Asians to be so charged. In Chicago, from September 2014 to September 2015, blacks accounted for 77 percent of arrests for obstruction of justice and resisting arrest (page 4 of report), meaning they were 6.8 times more likely than non-blacks to be arrested on these charges. If these findings are typical, they help explain why the arrest of a black non-felony suspect — who would more than likely be unarmed — could escalate into potentially lethal violence. 
.... A 2015 Department of Justice study (page 3) of police shootings in Philadelphia found racial differences in “threat perception failure,” that is, cases in which an officer shot an unarmed suspect because the officer thought the suspect was armed. ..... 
Because African-Americans commit crimes disproportionately, they become engaged in hostile encounters with police officers disproportionately. Because African-Americans resist arrest disproportionately, they are shot by police officers disproportionately.

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