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Report: Debunks Claim That Black Teens Are “Vastly More Likely” To Be Killed By Police

A 2014 Report of the Crime Prevention Research Center analyzes and debunks claims that black teens are vastly more likely to be killed by police than white teens. According to the report:

“Sometimes racial discrimination is occurring and should be pointed out, but sometimes false information is being used to unjustifiably inflame concerns. The claims being put forward by Slate and Pro Publica are simply very misleading. From Slate:

The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.” . . .

Could higher rates of crime commission by black teens relative to their white peers explain that difference? . . . The data suggest that the answer is no. . . . it looks like black Americans are between two and three times as likely to commit a violent crime as white Americans. But even assuming that black male teenagers are three times as likely as white teenagers to legitimately threaten the life of a police officer doesn’t explain why they’re twenty times more likely to be killed by police.

“For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the material in the first quoted paragraph is correct. But it doesn’t make a lot of sense to look at rates of killings by police of young black and white men but then compare it to violent crime for all blacks and whites. If you look at offender data and assume that 92 percent of murders are committed by males, you find that young black males were about 8 times more likely to commit murders than similarly aged white males. However, a lot of murders occur where the offender isn’t identified and that this problem is greater for gang related murders. To try to deal with this, we have made some calculations using victim data. Adjusting the data by the rate that blacks and whites kill members of their own and other races, young black males were 9 times more likely to commit murders than similarly aged white males.” Read full report

Grossly Misleading Claims about Black Teens Being “Vastly More Likely To Be Killed By Police than Whites Even After Adjusting For Crime Rates”PDF-IMAGE-e1472054684316

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