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Relative to the rates at which people of different races commit murder, are police more or less likely to use deadly force against African Americans than whites?

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African Americans represent about 13% of the U.S. population, 54% of murder offenders, and 33% of people killed by police. In 2018, the academic journal Social Psychological and Personality Science published a nationwide study that examined racial disparities in police use of deadly force. It found: "Although blacks have greater odds of being fatally shot given population proportions, whites overall were more likely to be fatally shot given each group's involvement in those situations where the police may be more likely to use deadly force." The U.S. is the third-most populous nation in the world, with more than 320 million people, 900,000 law enforcement officers, and 15,000 murders per year. Thus, by focusing the public's attention on selected events and ignoring others, the media, activists, and politicians sometimes create materially misleading impressions about their frequency.

DocumentationRace and Violence2018 Study



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