U.S. Police Are Killing Men

The United States is going through an analysis of the possible causes of police departments disproportionately killing Black people and considering methods of dealing with the situation. It is certainly past time to consider the reasons that police are killing men at a significantly more disproportionate rate than women.

According to Statista, police killed about twice the number of White people than Black people between 2017 and 2020. However, accounting for the fact that there are 5.7 times the number of Whites (76.5% of population) than Blacks (13.4% of population), the adjusted ratio implies that an average Black person is three times more likely to by shot by a cop than a White person.

Exhibit 1: People Shot to Death by Police, by Race

Year White Black W/B Multiple B/W Adj Multiple
2017 457 223 2.0x 2.8x
2018 399 209 1.9x 3.0x
2019 370 235 1.6x 3.6x
2020 YTD 172 88 2.0x 2.9x

The numbers for police killings are much worse when examining the numbers by gender. There are slightly more women (50.8%) than men in the United States. However, men are almost exclusively shot to death by police according to data by Statista.

Exhibit 2: People Shot to Death by Police, by Gender

Year Men Women M/W Multiple M/W Adj Multiple
2017 940 45 20.9x 21.6x
2018 942 53 17.8x 18.4x
2019 961 43 22.3x 23.1x
2020 415 13 31.9x 33.0x

An average male is 33 times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than an average woman, while an average Black person is three times more likely to be killed than an average White person. As society examines how to reduce the disproportionate killing of Black people, we must no longer be blind and silent to the catastrophe impacting men in this country.

An image taken from video shows Walter Scott shortly before he was shot dead by North Charleston, S.C., Police Officer Michael Slager in 2015.(Associated Press )


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