Analysis uncovers racial bias in fatal shootings by police

A recent analysis found that among 990 individuals fatally shot by US police officers in 2015, Black civilians were more than twice as likely as White civilians to have been unarmed, and civilians from "other" minority groups were significantly more likely than White civilians to have not posed an imminent threat to the officer(s) or other civilians.

The analysis included information from The Washington Post, whose journalists scoured Web-based news articles, public records, Internet databases, and civilian reports to identify all civilians killed by a firearm, discharged by an officer acting in the line of duty, in 2015.

"Our findings are suggestive of implicit bias — minorities were significantly more likely to have been fatally shot as a result of an apparent threat perception failure by officers," said Dr. Justin Nix, lead author of the Criminology & Public Policy article.

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Penny Smith
sciencenewsroom@wiley.com

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