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Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Is there a significant difference in fatal police killings from state to state?

There are huge differences in the number of people killed by police by state.

Click on image to enlarge.


From Peter Moskos' blog, "Cops In The Hood" on 01/01/19

"The national annual average (2015-2018) is 0.31 (rate per 100,000). And yet New Mexico is 0.98 and New York is 0.09. This is a large difference. 

Or take Utah (because of this story in the paper). Utah has a murder and violence rate below the national average, a low poverty rate, and is 90 percent white. And yet people in Utah are almost 5 times as likely an in New York to be killed by a cop. Utah has murder rate lower than NYC, 1/5 the poverty rate, far fewer cops, and Utah is 90% white. In 2018, the rate of people shot and killed by police in Utah is multiple times higher than NYC. 

I'd speculate significant variables are (in no particular order) training, fewer cops per capita, fewer cops per mile (no backup), one-person patrol, more guns, gun culture, more meth, more booze, and race (with more white states having more police-involved shootings). 

The ten leading states -- as in cops most shootingest states -- in rank order, are New Mexico, Alaska, Oklahoma, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, Wyoming, West Virginia, Montana, and Idaho. It certainly seems like if we were to focus on the states that have the highest rates of police-involved shootings (and by far), we could find some low-hanging fruit to reduce the number of said shootings. But to do this we'd have stop thinking of police-involved shootings as primarily related to race. 

Collectively the top-10 states are 4.9 percent African American (compared to 13 percent nationally). These are the cowboy states out west. The 10 states with the highest percentage of black population (collectively 25%) have a rate of police-involved homicide (0.24) that is below the national average."

For more click here.

Editor's note:
I have added the bolding.
Another factor which Moskos does not mention is politics. The high shooting states are red states while the low rate states are blue. Political orientation while not a cause does seem to be correlated.

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