Monday, April 27, 2015

An indication that US police killings have more to do with class than race

From Talk show host: Police kill more whites than blacks | PunditFact:
Over the span of more than a decade, 2,151 whites died by being shot by police compared to 1,130 blacks.
If that's accurate (see the article for more on the data), what's striking is that twice as many white people are killed, just as there are twice as many non-Hispanic white people in poverty. But correlation doesn't necessarily mean a thing, and I didn't see the definition of "white". In poverty, if you include Hispanic whites, there are nearly three times as many white people as black. If the data for killings includes Hispanic and non-Hispanic whites, then the killings don't look like US poverty.

However, as always, the picture is further complicated by geography and race: white poverty is far more rural than black poverty. If police killings are more urban, that might account for the disparity.

Teasing out class and race in the US is hard because most Americans are content to look at race alone.

Also interesting: Is Police Brutality Color-Blind? | Consortiumnews

ETA: Another important fact from the first link: "The felony rates for poor whites are similar to those of poor blacks." Yes, that's logical, but identitarians of all stripes miss it because they ignore class.

ETA 2: If you think this was prompted by events in Baltimore, you're right, but if you think Baltimore is like Ferguson, you're wrong: Baltimore has a black mayor, police chief, and deputy commissioner, and 43% of its cops are black.

ETA 3: An older post: Race, class, and people killed by cops

ETA 4: Someone just complained that police abuses are racially disproportionate. Yes, they are. The solution is not to make them proportionate. It's to end them.