More racial diversity in U.S. police departments unlikely to reduce shootings - study

By Alex Dobuzinskis (Reuters) - White police officers in the United States are no more likely to shoot dead minorities than black or Hispanic officers, undercutting the idea that increasing racial diversity in police departments would reduce those shootings, a study released on Monday said. The report from researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Maryland at College Park was published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Reuters July 23, 2019 07:06:01 IST
More racial diversity in U.S. police departments unlikely to reduce shootings - study

More racial diversity in US police departments unlikely to reduce shootings  study

By Alex Dobuzinskis

(Reuters) - White police officers in the United States are no more likely to shoot dead minorities than black or Hispanic officers, undercutting the idea that increasing racial diversity in police departments would reduce those shootings, a study released on Monday said.

The report from researchers at Michigan State University and the University of Maryland at College Park was published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It follows a number of police shootings of unarmed black men over the last few years that have triggered protests and stirred concerns about police use of force against minorities.

"Those kinds of cases, they get a lot of attention and it's right that they get a lot of attention because they're really tragic cases," said Joseph Cesario, associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University and the senior author of the report.

"But they aren't representative of what most police shootings are like," Cesario said.

Cesario's team relied on databases of 2015 police shootings from the Washington Post and the Guardian newspapers and gathered information on the officers involved in those shootings, including their race. The dataset the researchers used had more than 900 fatal officer-involved shootings.

In the vast majority of cases, the person killed was armed and posed a threat or had opened fire on officers, Cesario said.

"We find no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers," the authors wrote.

Instead, the authors found variances between local crime rates played a key role in predicting who was most likely to be killed by police.

In areas with high rates of violent crime by blacks, police were more than three times more likely to shoot dead a black person than a white person, the study found.

But the reverse was also true, with white people more likely to be shot by police in places where whites committed many crimes, the study found.

Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan-African Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and a co-founder of the local chapter of the Black Lives Matter movement, said she agreed that increasing diversity in police departments would not necessarily lead to less shootings.

"It's still true what we've been saying, which is we're less concerned about the racial make-up of police forces than we are kind of the institutional racism carried out by police, regardless of race," Abdullah said.

(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.