Patterico's Pontifications

4/19/2021

Does the Washington Post Not Update Their Police Shooting Database When New Information Is Available?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am



I discovered something interesting yesterday: there is a chance that the Washington Post database of shootings does not get updated to reflect new information — meaning that, for example, shootings where a suspect is described as “unarmed” may not be updated to reflect later evidence showing they actually were armed. (The converse could happen too, I suppose, although such stories tend to get national attention anyway.) I’ll have to do some research to see if I stumbled on an isolated example or if this a pervasive problem, but it’s worth sharing what I found with a promise to investigate further.

Yesterday, in a discussion with Tim Miller about my newsletter on the Adam Toledo shooting, Tim cited statistics about police shootings in 2019. I accessed the WaPo database, which is well known as a universally used reference for data on police shootings, and responded to him. The precise details of our conversation are outside the scope of this post, but the discussion caused me to look up how many people killed by police in 2019 (999) were considered armed with some kind of weapon by the database (925). I then hit the racial breakdown (26 dead “unarmed” white folks, 12 dead “unarmed” black folks, 11 dead “unarmed” Hispanics, and a small handful of others). Scrolling through the 12 dead “unarmed” black folks, I picked one at random to look at the facts of their case, to see what the Post considered to be “unarmed” and what the circumstances of the case were that led to the shooting. The name I selected at random was that of Channara Tom Pheap:

Screen Shot 2021-04-19 at 8.36.31 AM

The entry has a link to a relatively uninformative news story from the Knoxville News Sentinel:

One person was shot and killed and a Knoxville police officer injured after the two got into a physical altercation Monday afternoon following a hit-and-run crash in the 1700 block of Merchant Drive.

Tammy Mattina, a Knoxville Police Department sergeant and spokeswoman, said the officer was responding to a hit-and-run around 5:40 p.m. when the officer and the suspect got into a physical altercation that led to the officer firing shots.

Then I decided to Google the suspect’s name to see if anything new had developed since that initial story. Result number one on Google was this article: Knoxville police officer was justified in killing Channara ‘Philly’ Pheap, prosecutors say:

Knoxville Police Department Officer Dylan Williams was justified in fatally shooting Channara “Philly” Pheap in August, prosecutors announced Thursday.

At a news conference, Knox County District Attorney General Charme Allen said her office reviewed a slew of evidence — including crime scene photographs, police cruiser video and five eyewitness statements — that all together corroborated Williams’ account he shot Pheap because he feared for his life when Pheap choked him, grabbed his Taser and used it on him during a struggle at a local apartment complex.

“Based upon all the witness statements, the forensic proof and certainly the Taser, we believe that at the time (Williams) did believe that his life was in danger and that Mr. Pheap was in fact going to kill him,” Allen said. “Therefore after a review of all those facts, we’ve determined that it was in fact a justifiable shooting.”

More details of the encounter are described later in the story:

What happened next was not caught on video. Pheap ran to the side of the police cruiser in the parking lot. Williams twice threatened to shock Pheap with his Taser. The officer said at that point, Pheap turned around and put his hands in the air — only to lunge forward and grab the front of the Taser moments later.

Williams said Pheap wrested the Taser from his grasp as he tried and failed to free his police dog from the back seat of his cruiser. Pheap fired the Taser at the officer, and Williams said he felt electricity in his arms and neck.

“I thought he was gonna kill me. I thought he’s gonna shoot this at me, he’s gonna incapacitate me and he’s gonna be able to take my gun and shoot me,” Williams told investigators, according to the memo. “I had time to think, I’m gonna die and thinking about my wife and kid that I’m never gonna see again.”

Williams fired two shots with his service weapon. Prosecutors said Pheap then ran, bleeding, around a nearby dumpster and fell to the ground.

Does that sound like an unarmed man to you?

Whatever the Post thought when it first entered Pheap into its database as an example of an “unarmed” police shooting victim, it’s hard to believe those criteria would apply when Pheap had armed himself with the officer’s Taser before he was shot.

Another weird detail was evident. I work in Long Beach, which contains the largest population of Cambodians outside Cambodia. I have prosecuted many cases involving Cambodian gang members, and based on that experience, the name “Channara Tom Pheap” sounded Cambodian to me. I was curious how this man had been classified as “black” by the WaPo and read this second story to see if I could find anything about that. All I could find was this:

“Hey, do you drive a car down here?” Williams asked, according to audio and video released for the first time at the news conference Thursday.

“No,” Pheap said.

Williams used his radio to ask for a description of the suspect in the hit-and-run.

“Light to medium skin, black male or Hispanic,” came the response.

“Oh, what do you know,” Williams said to Pheap, who was of Cambodian descent.

Due to sloppiness and a failure to update the database, what the Washington Post database describes as a shooting of an unarmed black man turns out to be a justified shooting of a Cambodian man who grabbed a Taser from a police officer and tased the officer with it, before the officer shot the man and killed him.

All of these details were available in 2019. But someone consulting the Washington Post police shootings database today, in 2021, still sees Pheap listed as one of 12 unarmed black men killed by police in 2019.

I’ll be looking into this further to see whether this is an isolated case or whether the database has other failures to update.

45 Responses to “Does the Washington Post Not Update Their Police Shooting Database When New Information Is Available?”

  1. You can’t let facts get in the way of a good news story.

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  2. Williams used his radio to ask for a description of the suspect in the hit-and-run.

    “Light to medium skin, black male or Hispanic,” came the response.

    It’s curious that the WaPo (and the Knoxville News Sentinel) opted to go with “unarmed black male” rather than “unarmed male Hispanic”.

    Dana (fd537d)

  3. Even a less eloquent analyst than Donald Trump might still characterize that sort of journalism as “fake news”.

    pouncer (6c33cf)

  4. Narrative narrative uber alles.

    Don’t believe me? Ask an everyday young person, today, how many people were killed by police officers last year?

    Simon Jester (b44756)

  5. Oh, I dunno, guys. “Don’t scare white people” (which, BTW, if I have not already credited SayUncle with, I remedy the oversight now) sounds like pretty sound policy to me. Let the sheep graze placidly thinking that the wolves only eat the black lambs.

    nk (1d9030)

  6. It’s curious that the WaPo (and the Knoxville News Sentinel) opted to go with “unarmed black male” rather than “unarmed male Hispanic”.

    Dana (fd537d) — 4/19/2021 @ 9:26 am

    At least we know it wasn’t a White Hispanic.

    Hoi Polloi (093fb9)

  7. Now that they are more attuned to current narratives, this will be listed as “unarmed male Asian”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. I’m going to bet that this is maintained by interns and, while the initial entries are easy to do, changes require several approvals and no one bothers. Never assign to stupidity what can be explained by bureaucracy.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  9. I agree with Kevin.

    Time123 (ae9d89)

  10. I knew that black soldiers in Vietnam were viewed with prejudice, because to the Vietnamese they resembled Burmese, their hereditary enemies, but I didn’t know that Cambodians are dark-toned too.

    nk (1d9030)

  11. Does that sound like an unarmed man to you?

    Yes.

    The taser he used was not his. Besides that, it was a taser, not a gun, and maybe by “armed” they mean only with a firearm.

    When the struggle with the hit-and-run driver started, he was not armed. As you say:

    Pheap had armed himself with the officer’s Taser before he was shot.

    But not before he encountered the policeman.

    It was a justifiable shooting of a man who started out unarmed.

    While the cop was maybe too afraid of being incapacitated by the taser – and then possibly murdered, with his own gun (George Zimmerman claimed to have the same fear, and this without his assailant having a taser but just being able to grab his gun) he’s not required to take that risk. Or even the risk of injury.

    Some killings of unarmed men using forearms can be justifiable homicide.

    Second issue:

    I was curious how this man had been classified as “black” by the WaPo

    There the Washington Post was wrong, although it might have described him as a “person of color” or “Asian”

    But they could say the policeman thought he was black. Or Hispanic. There not being too many Cambodians in Knoxville, Tennessee maybe. The Hispanic designation probably means his skin was not too dark.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  12. 10. nk (1d9030) — 4/19/2021 @ 11:13 am

    but I didn’t know that Cambodians are dark-toned too.

    Some are. I don’t think all. There may be several ethnic groups in Cambodia.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  13. https://www.gunviolencearchive.org/reports/mass-shooting

    There have been six mass shootings in the United States since the April 15 slaughter at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis.

    Toledo was justified police shoot; Ashli Babbitt was murdered.

    The common denominator: GUNS.

    Assessment stands; America: you suck.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  14. Speaking of Knoxville, Tennessee, the most compelling crime story in the city’s history began with a double homicide in January 2007 and ended in August 2019. The victims suffered agonizing torture before being brutally murdered.

    There were EIGHT trials of five suspects. Because of a corrupt judge, two suspects were retried.

    To my knowledge the Washington Post has never printed a word about this case and the subsequent trials. And they often cover trials in other parts of the country.

    If anyone is interested, Google: “Channon Christian Christopher Newsom”

    DN (eb9ca3)

  15. The taser he used was not his. Besides that, it was a taser, not a gun, and maybe by “armed” they mean only with a firearm.

    When the struggle with the hit-and-run driver started, he was not armed. As you say:

    Sammy, a combination of ignorance and hyper-literalism is causing you to draw incorrect conclusions.

    The ignorance is presuming that by “armed” they mean only with a firearm. If you spent any time with the database at all it would immediately become clear to you that this is not the case. They have categories for suspects being armed with weapons other than a gun.

    I’m sorry if “ignorance” sounds harsh, but if you’re going to take issue with me and throw our suppositions I have to correct, I’d prefer you do the research.

    Your hyper-literalness is evident in your insistence on examining whether the suspect is armed *at the moment the episode begins*. If that is truly their criteria, surely you can agree it is a silly one, because what does it matter whether, at the time of the shooting, the person is armed with their own weapon or one they wrestled from the cop. Obviously the only meaningful criterion is whether they are armed at the time of the shooting.

    Patterico (e349ce)

  16. Perhaps Jeff Bezos could see fit to part with an infinitesimal, microscopic part of his money to ensure that the Washington Post updates the database.

    Even if he’s generous, and hires a $100,000 per year database updater, that’s .00005% of Bezos’s net worth. Democracy dies in darkness, you know.

    East coast dog trainer.

    norcal (01e272)

  17. Patterico, I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone criticize Sammy for insufficient research.

    On another topic, have you reached out to WAPO about their shoddy work? You’re correct that their database is widely used and keeping it updated, especially given the political importance of BLM right now, is of value to the public. I’m very curious what their response is. I emailed a couple of managing editors a link to your post, but I don’t know if I’ll get a reply. Curious if you do.

    Time123 (cd2ff4)

  18. Kevin M (ab1c11) — 4/19/2021 @ 10:45 am

    I agree with Kevin.

    Time123 (ae9d89) — 4/19/2021 @ 11:02 am

    If we discount that dataset because it’s unreliable what other data, and I’m referring to actual statistics, do we have that police shoot unarmed black males at any rate different than shootings in other categories?

    frosty (f27e97)

  19. FBI use of force statistics. But excuse me if I don’t read it. I think they make it hard to navigate on purpose.

    nk (1d9030)

  20. On another topic, have you reached out to WAPO about their shoddy work? You’re correct that their database is widely used and keeping it updated, especially given the political importance of BLM right now, is of value to the public. I’m very curious what their response is. I emailed a couple of managing editors a link to your post, but I don’t know if I’ll get a reply. Curious if you do.

    Not yet. I discovered this late yesterday, and of course had to work today, and here’s what I want to do. I seem to recall listening to a podcast with one of the creators of the database who talked about the classification issues — which, to be fair, are indeed difficult and inherently subjective in any undertaking like this. I want to find that and listen to it again, both to remind myself who it is and to re-educate myself on their process. Maybe he addressed the updating issue in the podcast. If you come up with his name, let me know. I suspect the podcast (based on my usuals) might have been Fifth Column or Sam Harris (unlikely I think) or Econ Talk or who knows. If I can figure that out it will make it easier.

    I have the sense, despite the paucity of comments on this thread, that this is potentially a very significant find and could be (and ought to be) a very significant story . . . but it could also turn out to be a blip. I want to do my research, contact the right people, and see where it leads.

    Good question. If you find the name or the podcast let me know!

    Patterico (e349ce)

  21. I have my suspicions about bias behind this — I think this is a good piece back from when they first launched it — but I really want to be fair and not do a partisan hit job.

    Patterico (e349ce)

  22. Patterico, I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen someone criticize Sammy for insufficient research.

    It’s been done before, when Sammy gets his crystal ball out and drills down to infinitesimal details based firmly on supposition.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  23. The media seldom lies because it is to easy to get caught. They just spike unpleasant news. If the don’t report the news it didn’t happen or if they have to report an unpleasant story they report it once and never mention it again. If it is pleasant news for the media they report it over and over again. Fox and talk radio does the same for the other side.

    asset (407ed6)

  24. @24: The most common type of lie is the half-truth (e.g. Adam Toledo was unarmed when shot). Next most common is the inaccuracy (e.g. needing to ban “automatic” weapons).

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. Adam was unarmed when he was shot. By half truth I guess you mean truth that you feel needs a larger context, i.e. that he was armed shortly before being shot. But that again perhaps requires even larger context – do we want police carrying guns chasing 13 year olds down alleys prepared to shoot on a less than second notice?

    “inaccuracy” of calling something automatic when it should really be called -” semiautomatic firearms with a large magazine of ammunition that were designed and configured for rapid fire and combat use.”[3]

    Who cares? Either way it’s a firearm that can put out a lot of bullets quickly and which is designed to kill a lot of people quickly. You think quibbling over this definition really advances the discussion much? Or perhaps the real problem is confusing clip and magazine?

    Victor (4959fb)

  26. As an addition to this conversation about police shootings and how we should be addressing them, I note this article, an interview with a sociologist who spent extended time embedded in three large city police departments and her observations about police culture and its emphasis on protecting police above other priorities:

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2021/04/police-violence-shootings-culture-fear-adam-toledo-daunte-wright.html

    Some sample paragraphs:

    From the first day in the academy, you are taught that officer safety is your No. 1 concern.

    Officer safety not public safety?

    It’s never stated that police life is more important than public life, but in practice what officers learn is that I actually can’t keep anybody safe if I’m dead. Ergo, keeping myself alive is the most important thing that I can do in order for me to do my job.

    So you’re taught to be vigilant about your own safety first for these sort of reasons of protecting the people around you.

    That’s the way that it gets framed. The idea is that the public is the sheep, and there are the wolves that would do them harm. And we as police officers must learn to use violence in a way that defends the defenseless. And in order for us to be able to do that, we have to make sure that we are safe. To be clear, there is a lot of discussion of sacrifice. There is a lot of discussion of bravery and laying down one’s life. But again, in practice, we’re not talking about an active shooter every day or every week or every month. It’s about these low-level interactions that still demand constant vigilance and a willingness to engage in violence to stay safe at all costs.

    The significance of the prevalence of guns:

    Yeah, it’s very much at the center of this current discussion around defunding and abolition. Do we continue to have this outsized reliance on police to solve our problems? Police do a shocking amount of things that they’re actually very poorly equipped to do. They deal with mental illness, they deal with homelessness, they deal with substance abuse, they deal with runaways. They deal with these petty disputes over fence lines. There’s no reasonable reason for them to do all of these things, unless you operate in an environment where you can with a straight face, say, “Well, we need to have armed agents go do this because at any one of these interactions, there could be guns.” And that’s this really awful equilibrium that we’re stuck in. There’s no way for us to address the fact at present about there being so many guns. And so we continue to send police to more and more and more and more things because there are still more and more and more and more guns.

    How police perceive their environment:

    I actually had an officer from West River who read a paper that I published on commemoration—on how the commemoration of police death underlies and animates this culture around death and avoiding it at all costs and the danger of the work—and she wrote back 11 single-spaced pages after she read it.

    Whoa. What’d she say?

    She, on the one hand, says things like, Yeah, I tried to avoid the officers that seemed really obsessed with this version of culture that I write about this or that view the public as enemies. But then she came back to these instances where her life was under threat. She talked about one instance in which she got into a wrestling match with a suspect in a parking lot alone in the rain. She was attacked and was beaten in the head with an object a couple of years before she retired. She has confronted danger. She has confronted violence. And in some ways, once you do that, from an officer’s perspective, it’s difficult to not see the world as if it could careen into catastrophe at any moment. All of my statistics, all of my writing, is all moot when you’ve seen the worst of humanity for decades. She’s seen awful things, and she feels misunderstood. And I think a lot of officers feel that way.

    There are bigger issues here than whether the Washington Post hires enough people to keep its statistical summaries always completely and unquestionably accurate (perhaps the federal government should be investing in doing this?)

    Our current police system isn’t working for large chunks of the population and perhaps it’s time to really confront that fact.

    Victor (4959fb)

  27. Victor (4959fb) — 4/20/2021 @ 1:51 am

    Our current police system isn’t working for large chunks of the population

    It used to work for large chunks of the population. Now it is working more for the drug dealers and gangs. Except that doesn’t do the average gang member any good. Just the leaders, maybe.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  28. 16. Patterico (e349ce) — 4/19/2021 @ 5:31 pm

    I’m sorry if “ignorance” sounds harsh, but if you’re going to take issue with me and throw our suppositions I have to correct, I’d prefer you do the research.

    You”re right, My speculation that they maybe were only counting firearms was wrong.

    Your hyper-literalness is evident in your insistence on examining whether the suspect is armed *at the moment the episode begins*. If that is truly their criteria, surely you can agree it is a silly one, because what does it matter whether, at the time of the shooting, the person is armed with their own weapon or one they wrestled from the cop. Obviously the only meaningful criterion is whether they are armed at the time of the shooting.

    Yes, but they may be tilting the statistics. I didn’t say the WaPo was fair. It would be informative to find out what their criteria for being armed is. I suspect it is is at least when the struggle started.

    They could argue that if they counted weapons wrestled from the police, then every suspect who resisted arrest could be considered armed because the gun was available to him, so for statistical purposes Pheap was not armed.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  29. Too many women and sissy-boys who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag. And use guns as a substitute for balls and muscle. Not to mention brains.

    Daunte Wright was killed by the system. When it hired a woman. Who needed a gun “that she mistook for a Taser”. When a normally-sized, normally-fit man would have easily pulled the little guy back out of the car. By the shoulder. With one hand.

    nk (1d9030)

  30. Our current police system isn’t working for large chunks of the population and perhaps it’s time to really confront that fact.
    Victor (4959fb) — 4/20/2021 @ 1:51 am

    Actually, it is working for a large chunk of the population. Statistically, our country has never been safer. Statistically, police use of violence is quite low. However, our “if it bleeds, it leads” media wants you to believe otherwise.

    And if you think banning guns will somehow make police interactions with criminals safer, I have this really cool NFT I would like to sell you…

    Hoi Polloi (b28058)

  31. I wonder if they answer questions.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  32. @26 Victor, what actions would you like the police officer to take when it’s late at night, Gunshots are heard, and they see 2 people, one with a gun, running away from them?

    Should they pursue or not?
    If you want them to pursue armed people who they think have been shooting at someone should the officer be prepared to defend themself?

    Time123 (653992)

  33. Patterico, I think you’re right that this is important. i like Wapo so i want to see them take this feedback and respond constructively. Hopefully they do. I wasn’t trying to criticize you when i asked if you’d reached out them btw, I know this is your hobby. I’ll see what I can find today.

    Time123 (653992)

  34. They do say that Rayshard Brooks was armed:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database

    Rayshard Brooks A 27-year old Black man armed with a Taser, was shot on June 12, 2020 in a parking lot, in Atlanta, Ga.

    They don’t even quibble that the cop should have realized that the taser had been fully discharged (it could hold only two charges) But Brooks also punched the police officer.

    This also fits into the categories:

    No/Unknown mental illness

    Body cam recording

    Fleeing on foot.

    So it is true that they don’t update obscure cases once they’ve been entered into the database, or they are not consistent.

    This is the Wikipedia article about this:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_Rayshard_Brooks

    It’s one the famous “unjustified’ shootings.

    There’s limited accuracy in this database, and it doesn’t capture all the nuances.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  35. nk, so where are these dudes with natural strength that should be populating the police force? Is this the adverse dividend of monetized athletics? Foreign wars? I thought deindustrialization put a lot of guys that would be your a-hole foreman or burly line-mate behind a badge, but it sounds like not even these guys are interested

    urbanleftbehind (2958cd)

  36. “Adam was unarmed when he was shot. By half truth I guess you mean truth that you feel needs a larger context, i.e. that he was armed shortly before being shot. But that again perhaps requires even larger context – do we want police carrying guns chasing 13 year olds down alleys prepared to shoot on a less than second notice?”

    The problem is that a teenager probably does not fully appreciate the perspective of the officer and the threat posed by chasing an armed suspect. If the officer does not see him toss the gun aside and then the teen hurriedly spins….then the officer has to near instantaneously assess whether the gun is there or not. If the gun is there and the cop hesitates, he could be shot. We all want that cop to clearly see a gun before shooting, but the point here is that in a poorly lit alleyway…..after an adrenalin-pumping chase….a mistake was made. The question becomes do you not want police chasing armed suspects….following a shot fired incident at 230am….because there is a possibility that a teen might be involved? We already have teens carrying guns so older gang bangers won’t get possession charges. So the problem is also the gang culture and general criminality that needs to be addressed. Making cops less able or willing to address gang violence just seems to be playing whack-a-mole. Is it horrible that a teen was killed….sure…..but it’s also horrible that innocent kids are regularly killed by stray gang “shots fired”…

    AJ_Liberty (ec7f74)

  37. AJ_Liberty (ec7f74) — 4/20/2021 @ 7:12 am

    The problem is that a teenager probably does not fully appreciate the perspective of the officer and the threat posed by chasing an armed suspect. If the officer does not see him toss the gun aside

    He didn;t want him to see the gun. He thought maybe he could argue that he never had a gun, or that not having the gun at the moment he was arrested would clear him of the charge. Same thing with tossing secretly anything he had stolen.

    and then the teen hurriedly spins….

    He wanted to quickly disabuse the officer of the idea that he was carrying a gun – the sooner the better, so he wouldn’t shoot. That/s why he turned around quickly, trying to show him he wasn’t carrying a gun. He had no intention of getting into a gun battle with the police. He didn’t understand the limitations of the officer’s vision, (which was not as good in dim light as a 13-year old) plus his absence of X-Ray vision, so the police officer could think he was hiding it. He also didn’t know he could be asked to drop the gun.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)

  38. nk, so where are these dudes with natural strength that should be populating the police force?

    At the bottom of the hiring list.

    nk (1d9030)

  39. Or possibly better answer: Who knows? It’s not a requirement.

    nk (1d9030)

  40. Not in Columbus OH circa 1995-1997, there had to be a 6 ft, 200 lb + requirement. I have heard that applications to Chicago PD from traditional cop abodes like Edison Park, Union Ridge and Mount Greenwood (think Staten Island and Simi Valley) get tossed in the can.

    urbanleftbehind (2958cd)

  41. nk has a point.

    I think fit, smart men who want to be police can get those jobs, but the alphabet soup of law enforcement agencies need bodies desperately. Those guys who are bright, fit, good at talking, calm under fire, why wouldn’t they just borrow some money and get an MBA?

    I’ve administered a physical fitness test for hiring new cops. Compared to, say, the Army APFT I also used to administer (a long time ago), it is very easy.

    Plenty of cops are in great shape. But that’s like saying plenty of drivers are sober.

    I don’t even think this is a reflection of law enforcement, really. I think the whole country is declining, profroundly. Of course cops are out of shape. Everyone is out of shape. Nobody is playing baseball outside. They are logging into Call of Duty. Who paints their own house or builds their own deck? “you’re not paid enough to go toe to toe” I was told when given my first Taser class in my academy. I think the Taser is probably good but to the extent these tools are used to justify putting tiny tim or tubby tim on the beat, nope.

    Dustin (4237e0)

  42. time123

    You ask a good question, what would I want police to do in the Toledo case? I’ve been working backwards, a kid shot with his hands empty and how do we not get there?

    And I think chasing people is ok but shooting them isn’t. So yes I think a police should be taking more of a risk of getting shot, if taking that risk means the police shoot fewer people. It’s why I think being police is difficult and should require better training and perhaps higher pay.

    As for the theory that statistically the police use of violence is low, well I am not sure where that statistic comes from, but statistically police violence in the U.S. is much higher than comparable countries. And I don’t think it should be.

    And I am not sure why, Hoi, you think that banning guns wouldn’t effect interactions of police with civilians, if the ban were actually enforced. (I’m not sure I’d argue for a gun ban on its own merits, there are some complications, but I would like to see fewer guns floating around). Countries with smaller percentages of gun ownership have lower levels of police violence. But maybe it’s just a coincidence.

    Victor (4959fb)

  43. So yes I think a police should be taking more of a risk of getting shot, if taking that risk means the police shoot fewer people. It’s why I think being police is difficult and should require better training and perhaps higher pay.

    So your solution is; Police should pursue armed suspects in the dark but should not use deadly force to defend themselves. and this will be accompanied by higher pay. I don’t think we’re going to be able to pay people enough to actually do that.

    Time123 (235fc4)

  44. Victor (4959fb) — 4/20/2021 @ 11:17 am

    As for the theory that statistically the police use of violence is low, well I am not sure where that statistic comes from

    The Washington Post, for one thing. It’s low and been getting lower the last five years or so. Or was until they decided to go easy on serious crime in 2019 or so.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-myth-of-systemic-police-racism-11591119883

    In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235),[last year = 2019] a ratio that has remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects. In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published, African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.

    The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed” broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

    On Memorial Day weekend in Chicago alone, 10 African-Americans were killed in drive-by shootings. Such routine violence has continued—a 72-year-old Chicago man shot in the face on May 29 by a gunman who fired about a dozen shots into a residence; two 19-year-old women on the South Side shot to death as they sat in a parked car a few hours earlier; a 16-year-old boy fatally stabbed with his own knife that same day. This past weekend, 80 Chicagoans were shot in drive-by shootings, 21 fatally, the victims overwhelmingly black. Police shootings are not the reason that blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined; criminal violence is…

    See also:

    https://www.manhattan-institute.org/white-cops-dont-commit-more-shootings

    , but statistically police violence in the U.S. is much higher than comparable countries.

    Which countries? There are probably less guns and less crime in those countries.

    If you really want police violence, try Brazil, or Mexico or India.

    Sammy Finkelman (51cd0c)


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