Politics & Policy

The Corner

Another Study Finds White Cops Don’t Target Black Suspects

A study by the Crime Prevention Research Center’s John R. Lott Jr. and economist Carlisle E. Moody at the College of William and Mary finds that white police officers may be less likely than their black counterparts to use deadly force against black suspects. This study has not received much attention in the media, but the pair’s findings align with previous studies that indicate racism does not play a significant role in the deaths of black Americans at the hands of police. It also found no evidence that body cameras affect “the number of police killings or the racial composition of those killings.”

The Black Lives Matters movement has staked their claim on the assertion that police “hunt down” black Americans or systematically deprive them of life. Activists have charged that racism led to the deaths of Michael Brown, Philando Castile, and others, but Lott and Moody examined 1,333 more cases than are in the FBI data set and their findings show that white officers’ use of force is generally “race neutral.”

They gathered statistics that expand on the FBI data from the same period, incompleteness of which has limited previous studies, and they provide a more general picture than even Fryer, who studied eleven localities and drew conclusions about officers’ use of lethal force from Houston alone. Those surprised by Fryer’s findings should appreciate the efforts by Lott and Moody to provide data that is more generalizable for the entire country.

Additionally, the fact that body cameras do not appear to affect the use of force undercuts a key point that activists and the media often make, namely that body cameras will deter the current high levels of racial bias. Lott and Moody named body cameras as a “potential deterrent” of discriminatory violence, saying “When a shooting is recorded by a body cam, officers know that it will become a central focus of the public debate.” But their data did not show body cameras having any effect. Again, racism is not showing up as a serious factor in the data.

Paul Crookston — Paul Crookston is a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review and a graduate of Gordon College, at which he studied history and communication. At Gordon he was managing editor of ...

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More