Friday, August 15, 2014

Race, class, and people killed by cops

I just came across Local police involved in 400 killings per year:
Nearly two times a week in the United States, a white police officer killed a black person during a seven-year period ending in 2012, according to the most recent accounts of justifiable homicide reported to the FBI. On average, there were 96 such incidents among at least 400 police killings each year that were reported to the FBI by local police.
Another article suggests the absolute number of killings is higher. From Americans Killed by Cops Now Outnumber Americans Killed in Iraq War:
In the last decade alone the number of  people murdered by police has reached 5,000. The number of soldiers killed since the inception of the Iraq war, 4489.
What's missing so far is a class analysis. Are most people killed by cops poor? In the US, 2/3 of the poor are white, so if one out of four killings by cops are black victims killed by white cops, there may be no racism. There may just be class warfare.

But we don't have the statistics to know. What we do know is that you're more likely to be killed by a cop than by sharks or terrorists.

Bonus fact: The US obsession with security may cause an additional 500 deaths per year. From Is Airport Security Killing 500 People a Year? | Science Blogs | WIRED: "The increased automobile deaths due to people deciding to drive instead of fly is 500 per year."

ETA: Kareen Abdul-Jabbar's The Coming Race War Won’t Be About Race | TIME