BLACK LIVES MATTER Narrative Dispelled, AGAIN - An Analysis of Officer-Involved Deaths of Black Peop
Approximately 2 years ago, I published an article entitled Monopoly of Violence v. Black Lives Matter and Moving Forward. During the timeframe of the article, America was at height of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and its frustration with the alleged law enforcement brutality & killing of black people, in particular Black men, at a disproportionate rate. The frustration eventually led to riots in major cities across the U.S., protests of “die-ins” and blocking of highways, murders and attempted murders of police officers as justification, etc. As I watch this in disbelief I had genuine questions about the validity of the numbers used by BLM talking heads when making rounds on the cable network shows to justify their outrage.
After conducting research I found it quite obvious that the numbers had been skewed to fit the narrative of the BLM Movement. That fact is there were numerous factors that were never considered when an officer-involved shooting (OIS) occurred, like whether suspect was ARMED & DANGEROUS for instance.
Since the start of the BLM Movement, former San Francisco Quarter Back Colin Kaepernick, launched the National Anthem Protest, opting to kneel during the playing of America’s National Anthem because of what he considered law enforcement brutality toward people of color and so he was “..not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people, and people of color…” which then turned into the current protest.
Now, I do not doubt Kaepernick’s sincerity or his constitutional right to protest. Hell, as a veteran, I severed the great country to protect those same rights. Unlike most of the players who have jumped on the band wagon, Kaepernick is actually putting his money with his mouth is by donating $100K each month (for a total of one million dollars) to an organization benefiting people of color. What I always have questioned is the flawed data leading to his decision.
After my initial research two years ago and now that BLM has been classified as Black Identity Extremist, a domestic terrorist organization by the FBI’s Counter Terrorism Division, I decided to pull the numbers from the same time frame to see where we stood. What I discovered was even more disturbing than what I initially found.
Black Deaths By the Numbers:
The following data was pulled from MappingPoliceViolence.org, a database of sourced data from the three of the largest, most comprehensive and supposed “impartial” crowd-sourced databases on police killings in the country: FatalEncounters.org, the U.S. Police Shootings Database and KilledbyPolice.net. MappingPoliceViolence.com is the data BLM and other social justice warrior groups use when citing an officer-involved death (OID) of a Black person.
According to MappingPoliceViolence.org, from January 1, 2017 – August 31, 2017, there have been a total of 838 OIDs. Of the total 838 OIDs, 201 (24%) were identified as Black. Of the 201 Black OIDs:
118 (58%) were coded at ALLEGEDLY ARMED
21 (10%) were coded as UNCLEAR
23 (21%) were coded as VEHICLE
6 (3%) had NO INFO attached to the case
33 (16%) were coded as UNARMED
On its home page, MappingPoliceViolence.org states in big black bold letters that: Black people were 25% (242 as of 10/26/17) of those killed despite being only 13% of the population.
A little about my background: I am a former management analyst with U.S. of HUD and was responsible for evaluating and monitoring the Department’s Congressionally allocated $1.1 billion budget as it pertains to full-time equivalent (FTE) spending, staffing projections, attrition trends and annual initiatives execution for ongoing staffing projects. I analyzed projections on factors such as usage, costs, personnel needs, FTE burn rate and end-of-year (EOY) FTE estimates. I share this information only to say, I am an analytical numbers type of guy.
There are numerous issues and inaccuracies I found with this 25% claim and as a former analyst, I also found major issues with the data MappingPoliceViolence.org used to justify the claim.
The THREE codes given to each victim involved in an OID : Unarmed, Vehicle & Allegedly Armed
MappingPoliceViolence.org Definition of Police Killing: A case where a person dies as a result of being chased, beaten, arrested, restrained, shot, pepper sprayed, tasered, or otherwise harmed by police officers, whether on-duty or off-duty, intentional or accidental.
A victim was coded as Unarmed in the database if they were one or more of the following:
not holding any objects or weapons when killed
holding household/personal items that were not used to attack others (cellphone, video game controller, cane, etc.)
holding a toy weapon (BB gun, pellet gun, air rifle, toy sword)
an innocent bystander or hostage killed
a pedestrian or motorist accidentally hit by a police car or passengers in a vehicle chased by police with no weapon on them
drivers or passengers accidentally hit by a police car
a person who dies in police custody after a police use of force or police neglect of their medical needs
alleged to be armed by the police, but multiple independent witnesses maintain the person was unarmed, video evidence shows that the person was unarmed, and/or circumstances indicate it was physically impossible for that person to be armed (i.e. claiming a person shot themselves with their own gun while handcuffed and under surveillance in police custody after being searched for weapons)
A victim was coded as Vehicle in the database if they were one or more of the following:
a driver who was killed while hitting, dragging or driving towards officers or civilians
a driver being chased at high speed by police (they could be considered a threat to others by driving at such reckless speeds)
a person was killed by a civilian driver fleeing from a police pursuit, then they are not included in the database
A person was coded as Allegedly Armed in the database if they
were alleged to have possessed objects or weapons in circumstances other than those stated above
Notice anything missing from the list of codes? How about if there was no dispute that the suspect was flat out ARMED or was an immediate danger to the officer or others? I also take issue with the definition of Police Killing and believe it should be streamlined to more accurately reflect what we’re talking about here, OIDs of Americans, particularly Black Americans. The current definition is a catch all for any OID, even when the officer followed protocol, policy and was 100% justified in his actions.
The category UNARMED is a misnomer and completely inaccurate. While conducting research on each of the 201 Black people involved in OIDs, I found a completely different meaning of unarmed. For instance, if a suspect used a knife, screwdriver or other stabbing instrument, used stone bricks or other items used as weapons; used vehicles as weapons; was engaging in a deadly domestic violence incident, was attacking other civilians or officers, time after time I found these incidents were coded as UNARMED, simply because the suspect didn’t have a firearm.
It was also quite apparent that after MappingPoliceViolence.org entered the initial code into their database that they never followed up on the case or researched to updated the code. This process is extremely important because in almost every case of an OIS, an internal and/or external investigation takes place. Information at the beginning of the investigation regarding whether the suspect was armed is either not immediately available, inaccurate and many times is not release until the investigation is complete. When conducting research on each case of an unarmed-coded OID, I found a high number of updated reports that shows that the suspect was in fact armed; however, this information was never updated in the MappingPoliceVolience.org report.
Finally, MappingPoliceViolence.org uses all “Police Killings”, regardless of coding to justify its 25% disproportionate rate of Black people being killed by law enforcement, regardless of the whether the suspect was armed, in the middle of conducting a heinous crime, putting the lives of the public or officers at risk, etc.
After weeks of plowing through all cases (Black & Non-Black) of IOD's and an in-depth analysis of the data these are The Conservative Urbanite’s findings:
Of the 201 (24%) of Black victims of OIDs:
144 (72% of Black OIDs/17% of total OIDs) were ARMED.
25 (12% of Black OIDs/3% of total OIDs) were VEHICLE.
5 (2% off Black OIDs/.05% of total OIDs) were UNCLEAR whether the suspect was armed. Of the 5 cases, below are 4 outlined
1 case involved the suspect who unknowingly broke into an officer’s house, attempting to burglarize the house. The off duty officer used his personal firearm and fired at the assailant. The suspect died as a result of that gunshot.
1 case involved a violent domestic altercation were an off-duty state trooper fired shot her boyfriend, which resulted in his death.
1 case involved the suspect using his vehicle to ram the officer’s cruiser during an attempted arrest.
1 case involved a suspect that had a physical altercation with the officer then jumped in to the police cruiser and was shot.
27 (13% of Black OIDs/3% of total OIDs) were UNARMED. Of the 27 cases of UNARMED OIDs
3 cases were accidental officer vehicle-related deaths
11 cases occurred by means OTHER than shooting (taser, medical emergency, pre-existing medical condition, vehicle accident, etc).
13 cases were a result of officer-involved shooting
8 cases involved a physical altercation with offer(s) in which officer(s) reported that the suspect posed a serious threat of bodily harm/death to officer(s) and/or others
In 3 cases officer(s) were indicted and subsequently found guilty of murder, aggravated assault and other charges. Charges for other officers are still pending.
Even if you were to combine the Vehicle, Unclear & Unarmed numbers, OIDs of Black people total a mere 6.05% of all that occurred, which is not even ½ of the 13.5% (according to the U.S. Census Dept. 2016 Q2 Report) of the Black population of that OIDs of UNARMED Black people represent a total of 3% of ALL OIDs nationwide.
TCU Conclusion: OISs/OIDs of Black people occur at the rate in direct relation to the violent/armed crimes that are being committed. There is NO disproportionate ratio of OISs/OIDs of Black people. In fact, it seems that Black Lives DO Matter...just as much as any other race.
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