There’s no doubt that American cops kill way more people than cops do in most nations, and there’s no doubt that our police seem to have a tendency to bully citizens, overreact to otherwise tame situations, and just generally act like entitled jerks. But if you’ve been watching the news lately, you might be convinced that American cops are also racists who frequently gun down black people for no reason.
According to a recent Harvard study however, there is some evidence to suggest that the police have a racial bias, but the results don’t exactly paint the kind of picture that Black Lives Matter would like us to see. The study did find that police are more likely stop black people, which means that there’s a disproportionate amount of deadly encounters between police and the black population.
And once a cop stops a black man or woman, they’re more likely to push them into a wall or onto the ground, they’re more likely to use a baton or pepper spray, and they’re more likely to draw their weapon and point it at them.
However, Roland G. Fryer Jr., the black academic who authored the study, found that when it comes to actually shooting and killing suspects, there is no racial bias among the police at large. And after looking at 1,000 shootings in 10 major police departments in Texas, Florida and California, the study found that police are actually more likely to fire their weapons without first being attacked when they were dealing with white suspects. And in all cases, black and white suspects had an equal probability of carrying a weapon.
Fryer was inspired to conduct the study after hearing about the deaths of Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. But after the study was concluded, he admitted that it had “the most surprising result of my career.”
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger.