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Relative to the rates at which people of different races commit murder in the United States, are police more likely to use deadly force against black or white people?

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African Americans comprise about 13% of the U.S. population, 55% of murder offenders, and 33% of people killed by police. In 2018, the academic journal Social Psychological and Personality Science published a nationwide study which 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 330 million people, 800,000 police officers, and 16,000 murders per year. Politicians, activists, and journalists commonly focus on a tiny fraction of these murders, typically a white against another race. This is a common strategy of racists and demagogues, who demonize broad groups of people based on the actions of a few.

DocumentationRace & HomicidePolice Killings2018 Study



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