Why blacks feel tar­geted by po­lice

Baltimore Sun - - FROM PAGE ONE - Toni Jor­don, Sev­erna Park

Re­gard­ing John Sch­laf­fer’s re­cent let­ter, any “anal­y­sis” of po­lice killings will of course show that in ab­so­lute num­bers, more white peo­ple are killed in po­lice shoot­ings than black peo­ple (“Po­lice shoot whites, too,” Sept. 23).

That’s be­cause whites com­prise roughly five times the share of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion as blacks. Any anal­y­sis that is based on noth­ing more than ab­so­lute num­bers and does not take de­mo­graph­ics into ac­count is in­ac­cu­rate and mis­lead­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to the most re­cent Cen­sus data, there are nearly 160 mil­lion more white peo­ple in Amer­ica than there are black peo­ple. White peo­ple make up roughly 62 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion but only ac­count for about 49 per­cent of those who are killed by po­lice of­fi­cers.

African-Amer­i­cans, on the other hand, ac­count for 24 per­cent of those fa­tally shot by the po­lice yet they make up just 13 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion. That means black Amer­i­cans are 2.5 times as likely as white Amer­i­cans to be shot and killed by po­lice.

Sounds like am­ple rea­son for out­rage to me.

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