When Police Kill

When Police Kill is the 2017 book by criminologist Franklin Zimring. Some insights from the book.

Official data dramatically undercount the number of people killed by the police. Both the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Arrest-Related Deaths and the FBI’s Supplemental Homicide Reports estimated around 400-500 police kills a year, circa 2010. But the two series have shockingly low overlap–homicides counted in one series are not counted in the other and vice-versa. A statistical estimate based on the lack of overlap suggests a true rate of around 1000 police killings per year.

The best data come from newspaper reports which also show around 1000-1300 police killings a year (Zimring focuses his analysis on The Guardian’s database.) Fixing the data problem should be a high priority. But the FBI cannot be trusted to do the job:

Unfortunately, the FBI’s legacy of passive acceptance of incomplete statistical data on police killings, its promotion of the self-interested factual accounts from departments, and its failure to collect significant details about the nature of the provocation and the nature of the force used by police suggest that nothing short of massive change in its orientation, in its legal authority to collect data and its attitude toward auditing and research would make the FBI an agency worthy of public trust and statistical reliability in regard to the subject of this book.

The FBI’s bias is even seen in its nomenclature for police killings–“justifiable homicides”–which some of them certainly are not.

The state kills people in two ways, executions and police killings. Executions require trials, appeals, long waiting periods and great deliberation and expense. Police killings are not extensively monitored, analyzed or deliberated upon and, until very recently, even much discussed. Yet every year, police kill 25 to 50 times as many people as are executed. Why have police killings been ignored?

When an execution takes place in Texas, everybody knows that Texas is conducting the killing and is accountable for its consequences. When Officer Smith kills Citizen Jones on a city street in Dallas, it is Officer Smith rather than any larger governmental organization…[who] becomes the primary repository of credit or blame.

We used to do the same thing with airplane crashes and medical mistakes–that is, look for pilot or physician error. Safety didn’t improve much until we started to apply systems thinking. We need a systems-thinking approach to police shootings.

Police kill males (95%) far more than females, a much larger ratio than for felonies. Police kill more whites than blacks which is often forgotten, although not surprising because whites are a larger share of the population. Based on the Guardian data shown in Zimring’s Figure 3.1, whites and Hispanics are killed approximately in proportion to population. Blacks are killed at about twice their proportion to population. Asians are killed less than in proportion to their population.

A surprising finding:

Crime is a young man’s game in the United States but being killed by a police officer is not.

The main reason for this appears to be that a disproportionate share of police killings come from disturbance calls, domestic and non-domestic about equally represented. A majority of the killings arising from disturbance calls are of people aged forty or more.

The tendency  of both police and observers to assume that attacks against police and police use of force is closely associated with violent crime and criminal justice should be modified in significant ways to accord for the disturbance, domestic conflicts, and emotional disruptions that frequently become the caseload of police officers.

A slight majority (56%) of the people who are killed by the police are armed with a gun and another 3.7% seemed to have a gun. Police have reason to fear guns, 92% of killings of police are by guns. But 40% of the people killed by police don’t have guns and other weapons are much less dangerous to police. In many years, hundreds of people brandishing knives are killed by the police while no police are killed by people brandishing knives. The police seem to be too quick to use deadly force against people significantly less well-armed than the police. (Yes, Lucas critique. See below on policing in a democratic society).

Police kill more people than people kill police–a ratio of about 15 to 1–and the ratio has been increasing over time. Policing has become safer over the past 40 years with a 75% drop in police killed on the job since 1976–the fall is greater than for crime more generally and is probably due to Kevlar vests. Kevlar vests are an interesting technology because they make police safer without imposing more risk on citizens. We need more win-win technologies. Although policing has become safer over time, the number of police killings has not decreased in proportion which is why the “kill ratio” has increased.

A major factor in the number of deaths caused by police shootings is the number of wounds received by the victim. In Chicago, 20% of victims with one wound died, 34% with two wounds and 74% with five or more wounds. Obvious. But it suggests a reevaluation of the police training to empty their magazine. Zimring suggests that if the first shot fired was due to reasonable fear the tenth might not be. A single, aggregational analysis:

…simplifies the task of police investigator or district attorney, but it creates no disincentive to police use of additional deadly force that may not be necessary by the time it happens–whether with the third shot or the seventh or the tenth.

It would be hard to implement this ex-post but I agree that emptying the magazine isn’t always reasonable, especially when the police are not under fire. Is it more dangerous to fire one or two shots and reevaluate than to fire ten? Of course, but given the number of errors police make this is not an unreasonable risk to ask police to take in a democratic society.

The successful prosecution of even a small number of extremely excessive force police killings would reduce the predominant perception among both citizens and rank-and-file police officers that police have what amounts to immunity from criminal liability for killing citizens in the line of duty.

Prosecutors, however, rely on the police to do their job and in the long-run won’t bite the hand that feeds them. Clear and cautious rules of engagement that establish bright lines would be more helpful. One problem is that police are protected because police brutality is common (somewhat similar to my analysis of riots).

The more killings a city experiences, the less likely it will be that a particular cop and a specific killings can lead to a charge and a conviction. In the worst of such settings, wrongful killings are not deviant officer behavior.

…clear and cautious rules of engagement will …make officers who ignore or misapply departmental standards look more blameworthy to police, to prosecutors, and to juries in the criminal process.

Police kill many more people in the United States than in other developed countries, even adjusting for crime rates (where the U.S. is less of an outlier than most people imagine). The obvious reason is that there are a lot of guns in the United States. As a result, the United States is not going to get its police killing rate down to Germany’s which is at least 40 times lower. Nevertheless:

[Police killings]…are a serious problem we can fix. Clear administrative restrictions on when police can shoot can eliminate 50 to 80 percent of killings by police without causing substantial risk to the lives of police officers or major changes in how police do their jobs. A thousand killings a year are not the unavoidable result of community conditions or of the nature of policing in the United States.


The numbers in the race part of the bar graph do not add up. If you scale them to 100, there is an 8%p difference for White Non-Hispanic shares.

this part could be b.s.
-"Crime is a young man’s game in the United States but being killed by a police officer is not"
not everbody ages out of violent crime. how many of the people shot
have a history of violent crime?
-a disproportionate share of police killings come from disturbance calls
" disturbance" calls like "mostly peaceful" protesting is a broad category inclusive of a lotta violent crime

Every police shooting should be looked at individually and dealt with appropriately. But the police need our support. If cities and states decide to stick it to the police then crime and violence will skyrocket. regardless of how you feel about this issue we still need a strong and effective police force.

Police killings, Asian - none mentioned. RACISTS! Case closed.

did they look at the toxicology screens of
the people that were shot?
we bet they should.

This. How many of the people fighting cops are so high that they can't get the message that what they are doing is potentially suicidal?

My internal Bayesian predictability model says 'a whopping f*ck-ton'.

There's only one problem, there are probably statistically significant numbers that are both extremely high and not high at all that still don't get the message that what they're doing is potentially suicidal.

You mean like owning a gun to defend your castle is suicidal?

The NRA rejects that logic even though the ownership of a gun greatly increases suicide.

The police use "warrior" gun training: lay down fire blindly if you even think you are under fire. The cases of a police officer accidentally firing and thus triggering a barrage of blind firing is way too high.

What shocks me is only five wounds when 15-20 shots are fired by several officers. Clearly one of more officer is from iring blind with no idea of the threat.

Note, Taylor was shot multiple times but the person with the gun was not hit a single time. Bullets entered multiple occupied dwellings and only chance meant no other person was wounded or killed.

"The NRA rejects that logic even though the ownership of a gun greatly increases suicide."

In other news, the existence of tall cliffs, buildings, and bridges greatly increases suicide. Mulp, you're not even trying...

How many suicides are there by jumping every year? How many by gun?

I've heard some people in wars aim to miss. I wonder if that is true and if it is true with police also.

They aren’t aiming to miss-if the enemy was flying overhead they’d hit a lot of them- they aim at nothing because they are terrified of combat.

speaking of suicide
there is no mention of how many shootings are" suicide by cop"

I suspect that's why cops disproportionately shoot so many whites relative to their fairly low share of homicides. Blacks were 52.5% of US homicide offenders from 1980-2008, but blacks were a significantly lower share of the percentage of victims of police killings.

I don't think the cops are out to kill white men, it's more that white men are notably more suicidal than black men overall, and more into suicide-by-cop whereas black men are more into homicide-of-cop.

That sounds like an opinion, not fact. I could come up with other possible reasons for the disparity. For example, white people may feel more entitled to resist, or at least less fearful of being shot for arguing or resisting. So you might get a lot of non-compliance.

It could also be that the police are constantly aware of the political/racial angle if they shoot a black person, and are more subconsciously inhibited against shooting in those circumstances.

Suicide by cop is a possible explanation, but I'd like to see data, because at first blush it seems like there are other factors that should be considered first.

we bet there are more suicides by cop/ year
than unarmed black men shot by police/year

most everbody that gets shot by police gets an autopsy and should have a toxscreen.
we don't have to guess the data is mostly available.

What police department trains to shoot blindly? None zero Total bullshit

elegant non sequitur
she didn't say they were trained to shoot blindly
she suggested they missed because the didn't wanna shoot somebody

I responded to mulp

What if this is true? Would your conclusion be that people who are high and belligerent towards police officers deserve to die?

My conclusion would be that we need Police to do a better job of dealing with people on drugs (and with mental health issues)-- these people can be erratic but don't pose a serious threat to the officer. Maybe if the police can't handle addicts without shooting them, we need to be calling people without guns instead.

do you seriously think impairment makes people less of a risk to police?

Are you seriously making the assertion that “impairment” makes people more of a risk?

Yes I am

what makes you think so?
alcohol impairment sure is associated with a lotta assaults

By our college campus, there was a mentally ill person that could be aggressive when he skipped his meds. Police received a call about a person threatening people. They responded and said that it was just "Joe" off his meds again not a real threat. While he was talking to dispatch "Joe" attacked the officer from behind with a knife killing him. "Joe " then took the dead officer's gun and shot the officer's partner walking around a corner looking for his now-dead partner. He survived. "Joe" dropped the empty gun, went home where he was later arrested. Most mentally ill are not violent. But police can never tell in advance if they are. If they guess wrong their families bury a loved one.

Link to the news syory

As it is argued in the book, there is a huge amount of information missing about police shootings. Examples listed are a number of officers present, a number of shots fired, etc. Maybe alcohol/drugs present in the blood of the deceased should be another data point

Does the book attempt to parse how many killings are unjustified? I don't consider shooting someone attacking you with a knife to be unjustified.

The NRA says the 2nd amendment gives you the right to defend yourself unconditionally with any weapon based only on fear. Especially on your property.

Where does the constitutional law theory prevent We the People limiting rights but grant police unilateral power to erase individual rights?

Is there hidden text in the 2nd saying "this does not apply to individual cops"?

we bet you are misquoting both the 2nd amendment & the nra

"The NRA says the 2nd amendment gives you the right to defend yourself unconditionally with any weapon based only on fear. Especially on your property."

"Where does the constitutional law theory prevent We the People limiting rights but grant police unilateral power to erase individual rights?"
have you read the constitution?
it doesn't grant police unilateral power to erase individual rights.
it specifically limits police powers as do federal and state laws.

I believe the point Mulp was making was that, despite the 2nd Amendment, were you to defend yourself on your property against the police, you would be murdered by police and there would likely be no consequences to the individual cops.

The book argues that a big percentage of the killings (~30%) are unnecessary (and maybe unjustified). The author's point is that fatal force is only justified when there is a direct threat to the lives of officers or civilians, or when the suspect, if not apprehended is believed to be able and willing to cause more harm. Looking at stats about the UK and Germany and also at stats about assaults on police officers in the US, the conclusion is that a knife attack against a police officer has no chance to kill (only exceptions are 2 cases when knives where hidden on the body of suspects and were use when in extremely close proximity). Therefore, deadly police force is not justified in those cases

It seems that the reasonable response for white people who hear that police also kill white people is to support BLM because then the police reforms will reduce police killings of whites too! Fortunately, this time around it does seem that more whites (and Latinos, and Asians) are coming around to this view.

Whites have much less racial solidarity than other groups.

I feel confident in saying that the vast majority of the white perps who were shot by police had it coming. Most other white people would agree with me, and most minority racial groups would probably agree too.

What makes me a deplorable racist is that I feel confident in saying that perps of all races who were shot by police had it coming.

Because the point is not the extent to whether police shootings are an unavoidable byproduct of law enforcement in a violent, low-trust society, but that other racial groups see an opportunity to exact more concessions from the white majority.

"I feel confident in saying that the vast majority of the white perps who were shot by police had it coming."

Daniel Shaver and Tony Timpa, both white, were not those kind of people and did not "have it coming". Nor do you need "racial solidarity" to speak up against police brutality. Just only the idea that harm should not visit the innocent, especially when committed by the state who have a nasty way of protecting themselves.

Funny, we don't ever hear about those two guys, even though they are much better examples of unnecessary police killings than the ones that get trumpeted in the media. In fact, we do only hear about the ones that invoke feelings of racial solidarity and provide the opportunity to exact concessions, even though the ones we hear about are generally justified.

And just to be clear, I don't think that harm should visit the innocent, either. But it ought to be obvious, as I know it is to you, Alex, and other intellectually dishonest people who just parrot the raw number of police killings, that the vast majority of them happen because the person who is killed was threatening imminent bodily harm to either the police or other innocent people. If you don't think that harm should visit the innocent, then you ought to approve of the police taking action to defend themselves and innocent bystanders when it becomes necessary to do so.

The answer to the remaining fraction of police killings need neither be racial nor involve simply disbanding the police to allow more innocent people to be victims of criminals, and yet that's precisely the solution we're facing, which ought to tell you a lot about the true motives at play.

What percent of people who are murdered by non-police had it coming in you estimation?

Store: I worked with a young man who went to buy some crack and brought a gun. He paid but the crack was not crack and so he executed the seller right there.
Death seems to be too harsh a punishment for fraud. Where do you put that?

Perhaps we need city sections broken down more each with an elected police chief.
Also all of these problems can be reduced by better systems as Alex said.

I put it under play stupid games, win stupid prizes.

As to your proposal for sectional police chiefs, the problem is that people can still move between sections. It does not do me and my neighbors very much good if we elect a strong-handed police chief while the neighborhood next to us decides to defund theirs. Not only are we expecting our police force to incur additional personal risk by attempting to enforce a zone of control (that will by necessity be imperfect and lead to unnecessary harm in our own community), we are effectively subsidizing the other neighborhood's poor decisions.

It should be very clear at this point in time that the only solution to this differing of opinions, to put it nicely, is to physically separate them, preferably at the national level and with a big, beautiful wall between them. If upper-class white leftists believe they can defund the police and live in a peaceful, diverse utopia, then they need to leave with their pet populations and start their own utopia. I expect law and order, the vast majority of other normal people expect the same, and we should have to pay for neither the naive virtue-signalling of limousine liberals nor the social unrest and increased criminal activity they invite while behind gates and private security.

"Racial solidarity"

hey wait a minnut. I thought the big problem was blacks shooting each other. I guess when they aren't preying on each other, they are unified in preying on (I mean, "exacting concessions from") whites.

By the way, being a racist and an authoritarian meathead are not mutually exclusive, we are not impressed that you can take a break from racism to throw shade at the white trash who got killed by cops too. But this does confirm that you receive most of your information from TV shows like Cops and Jerry Springer

Now that you mention it, they do prey on whites: murders, rapes, assaults, etc. with a black perp and white victim are much more common than the reverse, even in spite of their respective proportions of the general population. Of course, given that ~13% of the population commits over half the murders in the nation, one might suppose they're preying on everyone.

1. Black USA citizens kill something like 10x more blacks than they kill whites.
2. If blacks and whites killed people randomly and had the same murder rate then blacks would kill as many whites and whites kill blacks. So this part of you comment is bogus: "even in spite of their respective proportions of the general population."

1. Telling the family of a white victim of a black murderer "It's OK, ten other black people were victims of murder too" is hardly a consolation.

2. But they don't have the same murder rate.

Why do you obsess about black on white crime, when the majority of crime is white on white? And why don't you ever talk about the murder of white women by white men?

Do you hate white women too?

Didn't you just ridicule the notion of worrying about black-on-black crime a few comments ago? Most black people are killed by other black people as well.

I checked this out using the BJS website; Race and Hispanic Origin of Victims and Offenders, 2012-15

When you controlled for proportions of the population, Blacks were about 2.5x more likely to commit violent felonies per capita then whites, and a black perp was about 1.4x more likely to have white victim than a white perp was to have a black victim.

It has to be said, the majority of violent crime is intra-racial; much more than random victim race would suggest. This is probably just locality effects; most crime is local after all. You can measure the strength of it in the big odds ratio multiplier to "victim is same race as perp". But that said, blacks are indeed slightly more likely to "export" their violence across racial lines. Again, this may be simply opportunistic targeting of higher SES groups than any animosity.

But it certainly doesn't chime with the prevailing narrative from our betters.


Focus people!

Zaua said whites should support BLM because it would decrease police brutality as a whole, and therefore police brutality towards whites.

Shark Lasers said that's not the case because white people do not have strong racial solidarity and therefore don't specifically care what happens to other white people. He then stated that furthermore, BLM is simply a way to "exact more concessions" from whites.

George then called Shark Lasers a racist and inferred that by "exact more concessions" he meant blacks committing crime against whites.

Floccina, Shark Lasers, and George then loosely debated whether or not the odds are higher for black perp:white victim crime or white perp:black victim crime.

Alistair then summarily answered the odds question. Note that this had nothing to do with Zaua's original argument, but loosely supports Shark Lasers first comment. All of this was brought on by George making an incorrect inference and then being wrong in the following argument.

I hate to break up a perfectly incorrect rant.

I did not state, imply, nor infer that SL used "exact concessions" to mean anything besides what it is generally understood to mean. Which in this case is: black people getting unearned favors from white people by means of extortion.

That's just you and him making stuff up.

It's hard to describe the act of #cancelling people who don't bend the knee, looting businesses, and forcing companies to "donate" millions to BLM (itself a front for the DNC) on pain of Twitter outrage as anything but extortion. This isn't even counting the many political acts and laws passed to make it as hard as possible to police the black community. It certainly is an extortion racket and one that only works on white Westerners, here and in Europe.

And so what do you call it when heavily armed white men literally invade a state house while the government is in session to protest wearing masks?

There's a word... extortion? Yes.

But more....

Ah yes: terrorism.

For someone who has that event seared into their memory, you are certainly incapable of relating how many people were hurt/killed and how many homes, businesses, etc. we're damaged by that terrorist act. I'll remind you: zero.

BLM. Blackmail Liberals for Money

“I thought the big problem was blacks shooting each other. I guess when they aren't preying on each other, they are unified in preying on (I mean, "exacting concessions from") whites.”


“I never said that!”

-George 10 minutes later

"we are not impressed that you can take a break..." - Who is this "we" you are referring to? Who do you speak for besides yourself here?

It is not reasonable to support BLM unless you want to "defund" the police, regardless of your race. That is such a huge minority position.

Yes, the abolition of police is definitely the way to go. Progress!

The reasonable response is to look at the results so far from the natural experiment in police pullback that we've created since the protests began. They're not pretty; shootings and killings way up in several places. If you actually care about dead black people, it's hard to conclude that the country is moving in the right direction.

"If you actually care about dead black people..."

Many (maybe even a majority) do not. Nor do they genuinely care about a solution. It is a political foil being built and justified on dead black men.

Why limit it to an analysis of pullback since the protests began? We did this all 5 years ago and there's plenty of analysis from cities that pulled back policing. The results are consistent in every single place, crime and murders go way up, hundreds of new dead black bodies, and all the people who purport to care about them don't talk about it at all.

The only generous interpretation is that they think the short term additional (crime) deaths are a worthwhile price for a long term (police killing) reduction, though their discount rate on such killings appears pitiful.

The uncharitable explanation is....

Hanlon's Razor may apply as well. It's not unreasonable to say that leftist voters have a long pattern of poor future-time orientation. Leftist elites, on the other hand...

This is true, but I'm not sure that police pullback is the only alternative to more scrutiny of police use of force.

On the whole, I don't view police misuse of force as a major problem in the country, and it being a large country where police are asked to use force a lot, there will inevitably be misuses.

While I think that police have largely been pulled back by their bosses over the last couple months, I think prior pull backs may have been started by the cops on the street, which is a pretty bad look IMO, and makes the police seem a bit like a protection racket that wants to be above the law.

Your reasoning is fallacious. I was against killings by police before BLM existed. Why should I support them instead of them supporting me (and my position on COVID, etc.) ?

+1 good point
blm is a marxist cult

"oh my gawd communists!"

Oh my god 100 million corpses. Its good when the mask comes off homicidal maniacs like Wondering.

If some of the BLM leaders professing to be "Marxists" has you all shaking in your boots about imminent mass slaughter, welcome to your snowflake world.

The vast majority of protest support is from people who have no truck with "Marxist" class struggle analysis (the theory side). And almost none have any truck with the policy implementation that resulted in mass slaughter (the historical side).

So, people here in America constantly screaming "communists" as if that was a criticism of the protests against police brutality is silly. It's "oh my gawd communists!!" Sloganeering without thought.

The "smart" people like you were there in Venezuela chanting "it could never happen here, we love our freedom". Then the monuments and statues came down and the streets were renamed . . .etc . There's a system to Marxism that's been repeated over and over and over again throughout history.

It doesn't take a Majority to take over. And the "vast majority" are giving tacit approval to the riots and methods of BLM with their silence.

Riots? Again, the vast majority of protesters did not riot. In Los Angeles, the looters (there was never any riot) were not a part of the protests, but took advantage of police tactics. When the police left the marchers and went after the looters, looting stopped. And the marchers went on, to this day.

Methods? The "methods" of the BLM in these protests is organizing marches. You against that? And now organizing sit-ins and discussions about how to deal with police brutality. You against that?; and please notice you said "methods" without any reference to substance. You can think any of their policy suggestions won't work, have net harmful effects, violate other principles, disregard human nature, whatever you want--why are the "methods" wrong? Sound very American to me. Protests, free speech, organizing, civil disobedience, marches, etc.

Don't be a snowflake. There is no violent Marxist revolution in the works. If you disagree on substance, speak your objections.

Remember, Wondering is not arguing in good faith, and has no morals or ethics. The only motivation is the drive to have power over you and your family and make you suffer. Wondering is an enemy, don't waste time arguing.

It's all critical theory based, the very term "systemic racism" is indicative of an "oppressor-oppressed" relationship that frames the world view. I mean, yeah, it's a bastardization of Marxism, but the root is right there.

People like AOC prefer Socialist Democrat. Many leading liberals talk about reparations and the confiscation of wealth. Jobs and benefits based on race. If they don't believe it, why do they claim it?

Really? we are this level of john Birch stupidity?

Social democracy is the basis of most European countries' current polity. Not communist, not Marxist.

Reparations--not Marxist. No where, no how. In fact, historical efforts of "social democrats" to ameliorate effects of the past were often driven specifically to counteract communist appeals to the poor.

Confiscation of wealth--need details. Usually ends up being a deranged railing against taxes, maybe not for you?

Race-based policies--again, not Marxist, no where, no how.

I agree with Wondering. It may be so that the Woke, by their method of actions, look like communists in USSR or China, but ideologically, they are more nazis than marxists.

Right down to the nights of broken windows

why do you feel the need to overreact when somebody points out
that they are marxists? are you trying to project fear onto the person
making the point? do you think deflection is a valid way of addressing the point?
"we are trained Marxists"


“Trained Marxists”? Are there trained Freudians, trained monetarists, trained Keynesians too?

we didn't invent the phrase
"trained marxists"
we are quoting the blm lady

Then maybe you shouldn't be so concerned when someone says something so silly. It's like you think they are policy ninjas now that they are "trained".

how old are you?
when I restated the blm ladys assertion instead of addressing her assertion, you projected an emotion "concern" onto me.
are you claiming her assertion is false or silly?
are you saying she is not a marxist despite her assertion?

I don’t know if she is a Marxist, whatever that is. I don’t know if anybody actually said they were a “trained Marxist”. Anybody can describe themselves as anything. There’s a lot of odd Christians around. Anyway “trained Marxist” is a pretty crass idea.

if you go to the link provided the blm lady clearly and unironically self-identifies as a trained marxist.
you assert she both silly & crass?

I think this extensive thread is losing conversational coherence. I asked how old you were because you seemed to be completely missing another commentor's satirical parallellism of something from long ago--not sure it was even this thread.

As to the Marxist thing--my comments are above. That you take this seriously, or think it means anything with respect to the protests, is disappointing, whatever your age.

lets review
we think you worked yourself into a corner and cant get out. that is not incoherence. we will try and help.
-the blm lady stated on the link provided that she was a trained marxist
we inferred that the training refers to an educational background
or credential. you brought up ninjas and suggested we had an emotional reaction.
-marxism has a specific meaning and a lotta the blm rhetoric is consistent with that ideology. the idea is to determine what that means
not how somebody else feels.
do you wanna get back in the saddle and take another swing?
if not no problem.
Dr. Thomas (happy birthday) Sowell can explain it a lotta better than cornpops

I don't think the conversation is losing coherence at all. It seems to me like you have someone openly claiming to be a Marxist and ostensibly using whatever ideological position this is to inform their work with BLM. How is this incoherent? I hear edgy losers waving American flags at protests called Nazis or Fascists constantly where I'm from. I doubt any of these edgy losers has ever been close to openly stating that they are Nazi sympathizers or fans of Fascism. It makes sense to trust people when they openly identify with an ideology - especially when we seem so intent on labeling people as holders of ideologies even when it's not clearly and openly self-reported.

we think it is a bigly tell
that wondering cant talk about marxism other than in the
context of projecting fear (shaking in ones boots)& incoherence on cornpops

If the fundamental issue is police brutality, why not unite under that banner, with a footnote about how it's even worse for blacks, rather than conflating the issues and taking demonstrably false positions like there is an epidemic of police violence against blacks?

And if this really is about BLM, why is every left-wing progressive cause along for the ride? Focus people! By the way, the incompetent children of CHOP produced some more young dead black bodies, murders have shot up across the country (mostly black lives AFAICT, at least in Chicago), and thousands of small black business owners have had their lives demolished. Collateral damage? Some eggs that gotta be broken along the way?

I agree with the premise, but it's actually worse for whites, who get killed at a larger percentage when adjusted for crime rates.

I guess I don't think this is a helpful move. I could counter that there is a lot of evidence that blacks are subject to more low-level harassment from cops due to their race, and off we go.

Police brutality is the real problem, as Alex shows.

+1, Policing needs some obvious reforms. However, I think the Left is going to push an agenda over Reality.


JFC I'm so sick of people who say "this thing should be fixed but I'm not going to actually engage the argument."

And yet you don't Make any suggestions for reform? Instead you just YELL at other posters.

Here you go:
- Prohibition of no-knock warrants
-Banning the purchase of military hardware
- Banning chokeholds
- Ending qualified immunity
- Requiring body cameras
- Protecting citizens who film police
- Prohibiting officers covering their name tags or badge numbers
- Requiring de-escalation
- Establishing clear use of force continuum
- Requiring drug/alcohol testing immediately after shootings
- Prohibiting shooting at vehicles
- Prohibiting blue wall of silence behavior such as assisting other officers evading laws
- Prohibiting for-profit policing, i.e., civil asset forfeiture
- Requiring community oversight
- Requiring community representation in police hiring and patrol assignment criteria
- Requiring independent investigation of police/prosecutorial misconduct
- Requiring that police use of force settlements come from police pension funds
- Prohibiting union contracts that permit any interference in accountability or transparency
- Other criminal justice initiatives (sentencing, prison reform, etc.)

I also would add standardized incident reporting accross all PDs nationwide

Banning no knock warrants is a good idea, but has little to do with the police.

Prohibiting union contracts that permit any interference in accountability or transparency

So....prohibit water if it’s wet?

Personally I'd prefer not having police unions, but a compromise would be that they are only allowed to bargain on the typical things other unions do - wages, benefits, hours etc. Anything around discipline vis a vis incidents should be handled by another entity.

Also, police unions should not be offering "warrior training," which the Minneapolis union did after the city stopped doing it.

Seems like a mix of throwing the kitchen sink that probably wouldn't work, and vague ideas that may cause more problems than they solve, e.g: community oversight sounds like a great way to NIMBY your police force! Community representation quota hires is gonna increase your infiltration by corrupt and unqualified officers from the community!

By all means shoot for this, working through normal democracy, but you'll see compensatory activity even for the things that might work (police unions will sue the city for lost pension funds etc).

The US has a relatively violent society. The most violent, arrogant, and cruel ethnic minority among your population face the highest risk of violence from police in proportion to behaviour, apparently largely due to their behaviour in domestic incidents. Life's like that.

The Original D is demanding what is already the law in most big-city police departments. No-knock warrants are issued by the courts. Military hardware is a red herring. Qualified immunity is protection from civil suits. Police are subject to criminal law and constitutional violations. Civilians can film as long as they are not obstructing. Blue wall of silence means what? Police in every part of this country do not hire themselves. They have oversight by elected officials and the courts. A list that shows amazing ignorance.

Step one is defanging the police unions.

More training. If you aren't trained to be able to fend off an unarmed attacker going for your gun so you gotta shoot the guy instead, you shouldn't be out there with a gun.


That would eliminate all women in policing. There isn't a woman in the world who could handle George Floyd without a gun.

It would eliminate most male officers too. The officer who was attacked by the unarmed child Michael Brown was about half his size.
"Unarmed" doesn't mean they don't have the ability and intention to cause serious bodily harm.

You're aware that women do MMA, right?

you are aware that women do mma with other women in very tight weight classes

MMA is a sport. Girls don't fight men. There are weight classes, a referee, ringside doctors, matted surface, cornermen, Joe Rogan, action stopped as soon as anyone starts taking excessive punishment, everyone in the ring signed a contract. Nothing at all similar to cop's job on street dealing with belligerent people.

I like 90% of what is in the GOP police reform bill, with the exception of the extension of hate crime punishments in a section that talks about "lynching" that has zero to do with lynching. But, Democrats are blocking it: https://www.npr.org/2020/06/24/882530458/democrats-vow-to-block-gop-police-reform-bill-unless-republicans-agree-to-negoti

Alex hasn't shown anything. It's a lot more complicated than that. We could stick with murders, which have nothing to do how police enforce the law ( unless you think they ignore white people killing people). My previous comment stands.

> I could counter that there is a lot of evidence that blacks are subject to more low-level harassment from cops due to their race

This is probably true, but it's likely also true about sex and age. That is 23 year old white men are hassled more than than 65 year old white women. When you ask police to "look for crime" they, like all of us, will tend to apply filters that will net them the biggest return.

Police brutality is a real problem, but it's tiny compared to hospital killings. Our police kill maybe 100 unarmed people a year. Our hospitals kill 200-500K each year due to mistakes. Thus, our hospitals kill 3000X more unarmed people a year than police. And criminals kill 170X more than the police do.

The issue at hand is one of proportion. We have destroyed cities, a billion $ in property, ruined sole shopping outlets for poor neighborhoods...for what? So that we can reduce our accidental murder rates by 40-50 killings out of 400K per year?

And if the police shootings are indicative of systemic racism, what conclusions can be drawn about our hospitals? Our doctors and nurses must be far more racist than cops given the number of blacks killed in hospitals.

A % of the country needs to admit: This has nothing to do with black lives. It has everything to do with their dislike for the cops.

Your average doctor or nurse has killed far more black people due to a mistake than your average cop.

If somebody said, I want to have a reasonable conversation where we talk about how Police may treat too roughly people who are members of high crime classes (young men, people who live in bad neighborhoods, black men) but are themselves acting fine- about 99% if conservatives would be happy to have a logical, data based explanations. If the conversation starts with the reality of the crime statistics.

Just above, you supported not having such a data driven conversation because, to quote the commentor you supported, "BLM are Marxists".

That's a slogan, not a conversation. If you want that conversation, you rightly want actual data to have it. But puffing out slogans is just as non-conversational as pushing bad data.

How is this actually the case? There is quite a lot of perfectly reasonable conversation about Fascist influences in the current administration - despite the fact that no one in the current administration has ever openly claimed to have Fascist sympathies. Now there is someone tightly coupled with BLM leadership who openly states to be a Marxist. How is this person's open admission to being a Marxist not worth discussing?

How is one person's claim they are a "trained Marxist" relevant to Anon's request for "a reasonable conversation where we talk about how Police may treat too roughly people who are members of high crime classes (young men, people who live in bad neighborhoods, black men) but are themselves acting fine"?

It is not. It's distraction and sloganeering. There are 500 people in the country who think the important thing about protests against police brutality is some BLM leader's view of Marxism.

-the one marxist person cited is one of the founders of blm
-its relevant to zuas original assertion
"It seems that the reasonable response for white people who hear that police also kill white people is to support BLM"
& also relevant to antifa since they are blms "allies"

Can you introspect a bit and see that as an obviously white perspective.

It's all about "them" right. Without really listening to them.

I comment a lot, but even I hesitate to be on this page. it's going to be a lot of sound and fury, and people refusing to move off their priors.

But for what it's worth, in the beginning people rejected BLM because "it was totally ridiculous" and police were not killing black people.

Now they are rejecting BLM because "it's totally ridiculous" Police are killing everybody and not just black people.

What can you do?

"people refusing to move off their priors"

as he refuses to move off his priors

Swing and a miss.

I've had quite a rolling response to BLM, and have had to downgrade my median expectation of the police significantly.

I'm quite open to the problem being bigger and more general than I originally imagined.

A shrewd observer would also acknowledge that "BLM" has never been just one thing.

So we need a rolling response to an evolving phenomena.

People who claim to be leaders of BLM and are getting sizable donations from corporate America are coming forward all the time. In the future, I am sure you will never say Republicans want x, because some Republicans may disagree

"as he refuses to move off his priors"

That was a home run. But of course it's anonymous, so it was a Home Run in T-Ball.

Hmm. This looks bad, but maybe if you insult me you can feel better .. for a little while.


Let me guess, an irrelevant “Boo Outgroup!” tweet that has nothing to do with police or BLM

Boy are you running on empty.

Why are Skeptical and JWatts mad at me? It's not because I was wrong, or because I held on to bad priors.

They are mad at me for one reason only.

My 2017 priors held up.

The lesson kids is to never become like them. If things veer south, and it looks like you're wrong, admit it.

Or if you can't admit it, at least stay silent.

Don't wake up every morning to work at your job as butthurt loser.

More childish and irrelevant ad hominem, sigh. Typical.

None of your priors held up, but that’s barely relevant to the conversation. Not even sure prior makes sense, since it was all baseless insane Alex Jones stuff, but I digress.

I’m not mad and i doubt Jwatts is either. But again this is irrelevant. The derailment is tiring.

The spamming of irrelevant tweets on unrelated threads, the sweeping generalizations of tens of millions of individuals, the spamming of “Boo outgroup!!” tweets....

It’s obnoxious

Another swing and a miss. Ever see Charlie Brown playing football with Lucy? https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1277073772915249152

I think some people take issue with BLM because many of their constituents and "leaders" say things like this:


The ideology leaks out everywhere - and regular folks detect it and don't necessarily come up with the articulate reasons for why they reject it. People know which way the wind blows and inherently understand the social risks when the cultural majority uncritically sees BLM is inherently good. It's not people resisting the historically disenfranchised being lifted up and helped. Only psychopaths, misanthropes and the ideologically twisted resist that. It's people resisting a purely divisive ideology that purports to lift up and help disenfranchised but in actuality directly hurts them along with everyone else.

“people refusing to move”

“in the beginning people rejected“

“they are rejecting BLM”

Trumpian “People are saying !! “

I’d say outgroup homogeneity bias but it’s more willfully stupid than that.

Who is doing what ? Name them specifically

It's all over this page and every prior page on BLM at MR.

By the way, maybe somebody who has been consistently wrong about everything should STFU.

All of my predictions have been correct. I make falsifiable predictions for that specific reason, the accountability.

It's all over this page and every prior page on BLM at MR.

Who? One internet commenter said something, two commenters? Who are you even talking about?

The “....people are saying!” bs is willfully stupid since it prevents any actual discussion or accountability.

Try “Person X said Y, he’s wrong for these reasons.....”. Try that instead

Obviously your big headline error is saying that it doesn't matter who's president.

But sadly every link showing how horrible a president can be is either spam or off-topic, am I right?

Aside from starting wars, yes. I said that because it’s true.

I offered falsifiable hypotheses in order to test our priors, and you adamantly refused to put forth any falsifiable hypothesis at all. You also refused to put forth any plausible causal mechanism in which the POTUS sets state and local policy for all 50 states and hundreds and thousands of counties and municipalities. State and local policy plus federal regulatory agencies are about 99.99% of how government impacts the individual.

The president is almost irrelevant to all 330 million of us, especially in comparison to the general consensus among the population. You need to read more Tolstoy. And get off Twitter.

The POTUS will not be setting California Corona-chan policy, nor “sending in the Marines” to invade California.

Every adult in the room realized this a long time ago.

From the guy who posted hundreds of comments about hydroxychloroquine and Russian collusion. Why would you even think this will pan out in your favor? What are you, 0-10, 0-12, in TDS related themes?

Is that your answer to the Rice essay?

What Rice essay is that?

Linked above. But there's more. There's always more.


This is like his 1,000th attempt to turn an unrelated post into a thread about Trump. Just ignore his TDS.

Maybe he’s just reacting to the explosion in Corona cases in California and LA county.

Easier to blame a buffoon 3,000 miles away than the collected, calm, technocratic governor (whom he voted for) who actually controls the entire reopening process where he lives.

Of course the real answer is that the lockdowns were never sustainable in the long run due to public choice constraints. And as Prior likes to say, the virus is indifferent to partisan politics and signaling.

But those who find the truth unpalatable can at least soothe themselves in their loathing of the outgroup.

... there are almost a million armed federal/state/local law enforcement officers in the US of various types.

They are the "standing army" so feared by America's founders.

Police have way too much firepower, legal authority & discretion, and de facto immunity from laws imposed upon normal citizens.

The Problem with our police and criminal justice system is massive.

This perspective just emphasizes how rare police violence actually is.

Police violence doesn't need to involve a gun or being heavily armed. Snapping necks or choke holds work with bare hands.

Even a stingray can kill a man.

"Snapping necks"

You watch too many movies. Next to impossible in real life.

Real easy - "medical examiners reported Gray sustained more injuries as a result of slamming into the inside of the transport van, "apparently breaking his neck; a head injury he sustained matches a bolt in the back of the van"."

"Snapping necks ... work with bare hands."

Being thrown against a bolt in a van is not using bare hands.

Let's settle this. How about you put your neck into his hands and he'll try to snap it? Since you think its all Hollywood, there should be no problem.

> Police have way too much firepower, legal authority & discretion, and de facto immunity from laws imposed upon normal citizens.

There are around 25M police initiated stops each year. Roughly 100 end up with an unarmed person dead.

We have 34M people admitted into hospitals each year. Roughly 300K end up with the admittee dead **DUE TO AN ACCIDENT**.

Which "system" is doing a better job?


Well, the hospital does deal with a lot of sick people, but I agree some perspective is in order.

The police are not exempt from criminal law, they have limited protection from civil suits. Given the state of tort law in this country that is understandable.

Given the fact the decision was made by judges to protect judges, it is understandable. The legal 'standard' is obtuse, as most things made up of whole cloth to handle complex situations are.

While we are re-examining our justice system, this report from Reuters about bad judges is astounding. This terrible decision in the opening paragraphs.

"Judge Les Hayes once sentenced a single mother to 496 days behind bars for failing to pay traffic tickets. The sentence was so stiff it exceeded the jail time Alabama allows for negligent homicide.

Marquita Johnson, who was locked up in April 2012, says the impact of her time in jail endures today. Johnson’s three children were cast into foster care while she was incarcerated. One daughter was molested, state records show. Another was physically abused."


The best/worst part of that article is, "In Indiana, three judges attending a conference last spring got drunk and sparked a 3 a.m. brawl outside a White Castle fast-food restaurant that ended with two of the judges shot. Although the state supreme court found the three judges had “discredited the entire Indiana judiciary,” each returned to the bench after a suspension."

Public choice in action

Maybe the incident gave them some insight to the lives of those they are judging :)

Reminds me of New Haven a few years back when a cop got drunk at a bar and started shooting a road sign with his gun after closing. The cops who responded recognized their buddy, falsified a report to cover up his misdeed, and let him drive himself home.

"Police have reason to fear guns, 92% of killings of police are by guns."

If police unions want to protect their members, the best use of their lobbying power would be leading the charge for gun control. Something that kills 92% of your fellow cops is a no-brainer.

Think of all the violence that attends police efforts just to enforce social distancing (or cigarette sales laws, or forgery). Now imagine an army of police charged with confiscating nearly all the guns in New York or Chicago. How could that possibly end without significant loss of life?

It has been explained that most gun owners are law abiding citizens.

Um, I imagine the conversation is not about taking a hunting rifle from me or you, but taking handguns from criminals.

The trick is finding a way to differentiate between the two. Hand guns are used in hunting, as I explain below. And criminals don't exactly go around with scarlet letters tattooed onto their faces (well, not the overwhelming majority anyway). How is a cop going to differentiate between a black man with a pistol that was out hunting and has never gotten a speeding ticket, vs. a black man who has a pistol because he stole it from his neighbor and has been to jail twice for possession?

Most LEGALLY owned guns are indeed owned by law abiding citizens.

You get the handguns out of the ghetto the same way they got in-by theft and resale. Ban handgun manufacture, criminalize hanging ownership, start buying them, make the price rise.

Sounds like a wonderful black market opportunity for either 3d printing or even a clandestine stamped metal factory.

I mean this is exactly the sort of logic tried with alcohol and marijuana - ban production, ban possession, raise the price. How well do you think those worked out?

At least according to one MR commenter.

In the old days handgun scarcity forced low-level hoodlums to make zip guns. They are much less deadly than semiautomatic handguns, if only because they don't cycle reliably.

And in the old days, heroine was the most potent opioid that dealers could push.

Yet somehow criminals adapted to modern technology and I suspect they will here. I am, of course, quite sympathetic to the idea that prohibition can work, but even I realize that there will be tradeoffs. If you are paying cash, particularly no questions asked for stolen guns, you are just begging for somebody to find a cheap way to print the suckers and fence them for massive amounts of legitimate money.

Etalon, please volunteer you and your children to enforce this law on Chicago's south side.

You could reduce the availability of guns if you could address the Constitutional concerns. But frankly the Constitution is clear that American's are allowed to own guns.

"Ban handgun manufacture, criminalize hanging ownership..."

Both my grandfathers owned hand guns. One did it because he was a farmer and a hand gun is far more effective for dealing with various critters that are attacking livestock or farm hands than a rifle. The other did because he was a hunter and a hand gun was more effective at killing a wounded animal (a situation we tried strenuously to avoid, but it happens to the best of us) than a rifle. Neither is unique in this; there are areas of Ohio, for example, where folks in the country do not go out unarmed, due to the presence of coyote/domestic dog hybrids.

The wilderness is not as far away as you seem to think. If you ban handguns law-abiding people will die. Or they will cease to be law abiding people.

If you ban them locally, people will just import them (see the War on Drugs).

"...start buying them..."

Cash for Clunkers? This is supposed to be an economics blog.

"...make the price rise."

That only works for purchased goods. Stolen goods, not so much. Especially if you stole it so that you can use it once and then discard it.

You are responding with reason and logic to somebody who wants you dead and your family enslaved. Etalon and the left are only interested in your submission, not logic or facts. See Kurt Schlichter. Don't imagine that logic is going to do any good with the left.

And I'm sure you view yourself as being the opposite.

This is why we, as a society, are screwed....

You increase the penalties for people who use guns in criminal activity. Wait long prison sentences are unfair,

Agreed, it's telling that police unions are not strongly against concealable firearms.

Telling how? As long as you don't use a gun to commit a crime the law says it is OK. Police think people should have a right to defend themselves because police can't be there to protect you most of the time. Which view do you find awful?.

I really do not understand how we, Americans, allowed crooked policemen commit atrocities in our name. As Hanoi Party Secretary Vuong Dinh Hue says, authorities must obey the law, too!

My father told me Hanoi Party Secretary Vuong Dinh Hue's tenure as Minister of Finance was beyond reproach and he may be the next General Secretary.

"[Police killings]…are a serious problem we can fix."

Based on the numbers presented, it is not a serious problem.

The number of "unarmed black men" killed by the police depending on your estimate is between 8-13 last year. And some of those unarmed individuals were violent.

For reference, 51 people die from being struck by lightning every year.

This is a non-problem.

"The police seem to be too quick to use deadly force against people significantly less well-armed than the police. "

If you pull knife on the police, you deserve to die. I don't understand why you would want the kind of person that pulls a gun on the police to live? If they do, that's OK I guess, but who cares if they die.

If you accept his estimate, that’s two years of murders in Chicago.

Not just the police, either. As the post notes, a lot of these calls are domestic disturbances, where some guy is holding his wife or his kid hostage with a knife. If the police downscaled their responses in those situations, the same people complaining about police aggression would complain that police don't care about women's lives.

Historically, the police didn't respond to those calls unless someone was being killed. If the woman and kids were being beaten, well that was a family issue. But as a society, we stepped up policing to deal with this issue. As a result, some of these wife beaters (let's be realistic, the overwhelming majority are male) are getting shot by police.

I guess the answer being proposed now is to send young and old female social workers instead. Great job!

Female violent domestic abuse is surprisingly common, but men know not to expect the support of the police or community, so its unlikely the police are called often for such perpetrators

"so its unlikely the police are called often for such perpetrators"

You don't know any cops. It's a very common call. There's not always an arrest, but the calls are frequent, many times from the neighbors.

They answer calls from men with abusive wives? I do jujitsu with some police and I hadn't heard of that.

My mistake, I misread his comment. I missed the "Female" qualifier. The very first word in the sentence.

So just ignore my dumb reply.

Thank you for the sane responses above.

Alex is garbage here.

“Alex is garbage here”

Yes indeed, complete and total rubbish. Thank god almighty that he will never be in charge of police policy anywhere.

The lightning comparison is suspect. Lightning has no choice in the matter--as a natural phenomenon it simply exists. Police, on the other hand, DO have a choice in the matter. We therefore should compare death by police against deaths by some other action where volition is an issue.

Speeding killed an average of 25 people per day in 2018 (injuryfacts.nsc.org). I suspect that's not entirely accurate--there are political reasons to say speed was a factor when it was irrelevant--but let's run with it. Drunk driving killed an average of 31 people per day in 2014 (NIH website). Trampolines have killed about 5,000 people since 1990 and injured about 105,000 (livestrong.com, so caveat emptar).

Due to people like Alex, nobody is allowed to count the number of Americans killed by illegal immigrant drivers every year. It almost certainly >3000 people, every single one of them innocent. I have been in physical therapy for two years because of an illegal, suspended driver's license, ramming into me at a stop light. No consequences for them in CA of course. If I had not been in a big, safe, SUV I'd be dead. If my kids had been in the back they would be dead.
But Alex puts no priority on my life or the 3000+ innocents killed by illegals driving badly because, to him, it only BLM, not all lives matter.

What percent of these killings are "suicide by cop"?

The book was published by Harvard University Press in early 2017, just after the big noise caused by police killings during the Obama administration (he exploited the killings for political benefit but did nothing). Apparently, very few people bothered to read and discuss it. I wonder why politicians and their academic bureaucrats have shown so little interest in this work.

For those that prefer to read a summary, I suggest


Going beyond the book, two points. Those that put too much attention to the comparison with European countries should remember that "to be like them" is not a solution. Those that favor the prohibition of gun ownership should remember that "to deny self-protection" is not a solution.

Anyway, too much hypocrisy. Read


>The best data come from newspaper reports

Whenever you find yourself writing a sentence like that, you need step back and realize that what you are going to write will be pure garbage. Literally the worst data, on any subject, comes from newspaper reports.

>Police kill more whites than blacks which is often forgotten, although not surprising because whites are a larger share of the population.

And there you go. Pure garbage. In fact, so garbage-ridden that one has to question your motives. Population doesn't matter; number of encounters with police is what matters.

>The police seem to be too quick to use deadly force against people significantly less well-armed than the police.

Jesus. It's no longer enough for liars like Alex to pretend that unarmed men are not dangerous -- that the guy trying to rip your gun away, or the guy bashing your skull in with his fist, pose no real threat and should never be shot in self-defense.

Now, just being "less well-armed" also qualifies. Knives, machetes, baseball bats, bricks, tasers -- these are really not a problem anymore, either.

Alex, you are pathetic.

A professor at Michigan State just got demoted for publishing research suggesting a lack of racial bias in police violence. Alex has his career to think about.

Of white people saying they cannot breathe before dying, of unarmed white people being shot in the back, of legal carry white people being shot by the police, of white Walmart customers being killed by the police when holding a Crosman MK-177 air rifle, ....

Well it's out there, people just aren't interested

How many innocent white people have been gunned down at a Walmart by the police in the last 6 years? And you honestly think that at least the people living in the area served by that Walmart would not be concerned about the police gunning down innocent customers?

And you think the same organization that has talked about jack booted thugs would not highlight the death of an innocent legal carry white citizen by a police officer, and demand accountability from said jack booted thugs trampling an American's 2nd Amendment rights?

There is a paucity of such video, because lots of people would be extremely interested in seeing how commonly white people are killed in such fashion by the police. Heck, at this point, a majority of white people find such videos of black people interesting enough to support reforming the police.

Ah, I get you - if white people knew they were being killed by the police at an even higher rate than black people, then there would be real political change. Thus the cover-up of the three or four times as common video of white people dying on camera saying they cannot breathe.

Dylan Noble, Daniel Shaver, Tony Timpa, Kelly Thomas.

Start there.

None were killed in a Walmart, none were the passenger of a vehicle and killed with a legal carry permit. (Shaver did point out a peller gun out of his hotel window, making him roughly - very roughly - the equivalent of Tamir Rice, a case not mentioned in any post)


Say their names faggot or I will make say their names. Jewish ass white boy cracka. Say it- say it jew boy say the goys name.

Say their names!

It's unclear what you are saying. Alex isn't saying the newspaper data is good he is saying that it is the best data that we have on police killings. Do you disagree? If so, which dataset do you prefer and why?

IPA thinks saying "Alex is garbage" is a detailed and dispassionate analysis. You won't get more.

a lotta data presented is from 2010 and is probably not
the best data available

Police kill many more people in the United States than in other developed countries, even adjusting for crime rates (where the U.S. is less of an outlier than most people imagine).

The "crime rate" is not the same as the "homicide rate", where the U.S is indeed an outlier compared to most first-world countries. Graph police killings against that (unfortunately I can't remember where I saw that) and the U.S isn't an outlier (I think it was right near Argentina on both axes).

You can find it somewhere in Lyman Stones tweet replies over the last month (not going hunting for it personally, as guy sends like a hundred tweets a day or smth).

He objects to the author's use of log-log scaling, but yeah, seems like it describes a real and logical relationship to me (and yes US was in that plot near Argentina, Uruguay - "nice South America").

"Blacks are killed at about twice their proportion to population. Asians are killed less than in proportion to their population." Why does Tabarrok not mention the racial differences in committing murder, which explains these numbers? By presenting the rates by race of being killed by police without mentioning obvious explanations, he is not being intellectually honest.


(He doesn’t mention it because it will ruin the narrative)

Alex presented the dots. He expects you to connect them without getting him fired.

Too many dots to connect. Too few braves.

Indeed, we need brave people as in


And to know what you are arguing against, read


But 40% of the people killed by police don’t have guns and other weapons are much less dangerous to police. In many years, hundreds of people brandishing knives are killed by the police while no police are killed by people brandishing knives.

Spoken like a true academic.

Here's a video of a guy with a knife charging an officer a couple of months ago in MD.


Ding! Ding! Ding!

I love how all of these ivory tower academics don’t know or understand the risks involved.

E.g. Has Alex ever heard of the Tueller drill?

Agreed. I'm really not comfortable with the "knives are harmless!" subtext here. Though it would be nice to have more contextual data on number of knife encounters and number of dead cops they cause relative to guns.

I can see an argument that the police might be asked to carry a bit more risk to ensure more perps/mentally ill surviving contact with them. It's not an all-or-nothing trade.

Knives are extremely deadly. Myth Busters looks at this. If someone charges you with a knife within about 10 yards of you, you might get a shot off, you might even hit him before he stabs you, but you are likely mortally wounded.


High speed chases by the police kill more than a hundred totally innocent bystanders a year (total deaths from such chases are over 300). That is 10% of all people killed by police gunfire, and not insignificant in itself. This too is incorrect - "Police kill males (95%) far more than females" in terms of those innocent victims of police high speed chases.

Strange how this might equally apply to high speed chases - "Clear administrative restrictions on when police can pursue at high speeds can eliminate 50 to 80 percent of killings by police without causing substantial risk to the lives of police officers or major changes in how police do their jobs"

Yup. The law and order types cling to high speed chances just as they cling to blanket waiver for police shootings. And when you peel the onion, the motivation clearly has less to do with officer safety and more to do with "respect my authoritah"

No one is claiming that high speed chases are necessary for officer safety. This is a completely dishonest framing. High speed chases are necessary to protect the community because without them, violent criminals can simply get in a car and escape justice every time.

That doesn't mean we can't judge the costs and benefits of chases, and that discussion has been going for a long time as nearly every department has narrowed the scope of offenses that justify a chase, but talking about the completely wrong subject and comparing it to civilian deaths during chases is BS.

+1 The idea that because it has a cost that it should be banned is idiotic. See Baltimore if pulling back the police served it well.

'No one is claiming that high speed chases are necessary for officer safety.'

You are undoubtedly aware of the fact that less police are killed by gunfire than by vehicle accidents in the line of duty. Making the argument that reducing high speed chases to keep police safe is eminently reasonable.

Not all fatal police vehicle crashes involve high speed pursuit, obviously. "Although it’s rarely reported, traffic crashes and high speed pursuit kill roughly as many law officers as firearms. According to the nonprofit National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, traffic-related incidents have been the leading cause of death for officers in the line of duty for most of the past two decades. These “traffic-related incidents” run the gamut, from single and multiple vehicle collisions to traffic police being accidentally struck by passing vehicles during or run-down by fleeing suspects. But in the majority of cases, a law officer is piloting the vehicle during a fatal crash.

The most recent annual reports from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting program show that, over the last decade, 1,068 officers have been killed in the line of duty. While 330 officers were killed by handguns, 577 died in accidents, almost always involving a motor vehicle. In 70 percent of those accidents, the officer was driving the vehicle when the deadly incident occurred." www.pursuitresponse.org/high-speed-pursuit-leading-cause-law-officer-fatalities/

Perhaps we should go back to the old days in Camden. Offenders could get in car and wave bye-bye to the police. Then they would go to the end of the street and taunt the police. Squealing tires, doing donuts, etc. How did the police react? They stopped caring. Idiots like Alex blamed the union. But the officers became so demoralized that policing in Camden became a joke and effectively quit.

So who is claiming high speed chases are necessary for officer safety?

In many years, hundreds of people brandishing knives are killed by the police while no police are killed by people brandishing knives. The police seem to be too quick to use deadly force against people significantly less well-armed than the police.

If you're a utilitarian life maximiser, I can see how this makes sense.

But, and perhaps I'm totally out of touch, it seems like for the majority of people, "If you attack a police officer, using a knife, it's kind of OK that's it for you" would be the generally accepted thing. With zero problems. Regardless of how many police officers actually get killed by knife attacks.

Perhaps this is, in 2020, regarded as some sort of thoughtlessly authoritarian position.

looks like the correct metric would be how many police are injured by knives not killed by knives
-no police killed by "brandishing" knives is not suprising if one understands the definition of brandishing

Alex must think that if 100 officers are stabbed and that saves one attackers life he is OK with that. If you devalue the Officers' life and justify criminal attacks (perhaps even motivate an increase in knife attacks) Alex is willing to go with that.

edit alert!! "Police kill many more people than are killed by police"?

"In many years, hundreds of people brandishing knives are killed by the police while no police are killed by people brandishing knives. "

There is this silly idea that it's supposed to be a fair fight between the cops and citizenry. It's not. The cops have to work with the fact that they will encounter a huge number of unpleasant people in their careers; they adjust the use of force to make sure they win contests involving deadly force almost every time.

The question on the table is: can we de-escalate this, or are we doomed to accept ever-escalating confrontation between militarized police who are preemptively presumed justified in killing citizens, and the citizens who reasonably conclude they may get shot by police without any real scrutiny of the shooter?

Of the two options, changing the culture, protocols, and accountability of the police is in fact the more achievable path.

Can it be done without leading to a dystopian right-wing freakout world with armed blacks roaming the streets killing people at their whim, and police dying in droves or cowering in their surplus APCs?

Well, let's find out.

I doubt we will find out. Public sector unions are the dominant financing arm of one of the two idiot parties.

Without removing public sector unions, there will be no real change to how the police operates.

Public choice in action

"Without removing public sector unions, there will be no real change to how the police operates."

I'm not convinced this is correct. I could see a strong Democratic majority voting in a huge amount of money to hire an army of proxy Police who are mostly social workers. And of course some extra money to hire additional police for when the proxy Police need it.

That all would lead to more public sector employees that would be reliable Democrat voters.

It solves the problem of a) appearing to do something And b) increasing the political constituency.

Are you suggesting most police officers are Democrats? They must be, because they are unionized. It's like a rule or something.

This is childish and illogical.

Do you actually not understand the point or are you trolling?

He simply read this - "Public sector unions are the dominant financing arm of one of the two idiot parties.

Without removing public sector unions, there will be no real change to how the police operates."

I understood the point perfectly.

You got busted with reflexive partisan union bashing.

You would have been fine if you had stuck to police unions as an obstacle, but you couldn't resist the partisan dig.

Why would I care at all about bashing a specific party? I belong to neither. I don’t care about unions either, who would? The only point is that unions create a set of incentives in which public sector employees are only accountable to their union.

The is/ought distinction matters here.

Apparently the logic needs to be spelled out explicitly, so here goes.

- police reform to ensure accountability is a Democrat party base priority (as it should be!)

- police reform to ensure accountability is not a Republican Party base priority (unfortunately!)

- the Democrat party is largely funded by public sector union dues

- police unions are public sector unions

- public sector unions allow public sector employees (to include police!) to be unaccountable to the public

- the one party that has police accountability reform as a priority (good!) cannot do the actual thing that would address it, because it would violate their main base and financiers priorities

That’s why I predicted several times:

1) no democrat party controlled municipality will dissolve their police union in response to these protests

2) there will be no statistically significant decrease in unarmed African American deaths by police in Democrat party controlled municipalities

"2) there will be no statistically significant decrease in unarmed African American deaths by police in Democrat party controlled municipalities"

This will be blamed on "Republicans" by many on the Left.

You could look at getting more widespread use of tasers, tear gas and chokeholds to try and resolve those situations nonlethally.

Main point is, if some % of guys charging police with a knife get shot, how much do we really care? It's low stakes (the guys' lives don't really matter); politically descalte it.

The author of this article doesn't seem to have much firearms experience.

You can shoot 5 rounds in 2 seconds or so and you shoot until the threat has been eliminated.

Most fatal bullet wounds don't stop someone immediately, the person has to bleed out which can take 60s+. Some people can be shot 5+ times and still be able to manhandle another person.

People armed with knives are just as dangerous as someone with with a gun if they are within 21 feet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGzeyO3pGzw

Real life is not the movies. Here an activist experiences how quickly a threat must be assessed. https://twitter.com/robbystarbuck/status/1272402659732004869

"Most fatal bullet wounds don't stop someone immediately, the person has to bleed out which can take 60s+. Some people can be shot 5+ times and still be able to manhandle another person.

People armed with knives are just as dangerous as someone with with a gun if they are within 21 feet. "

+1. It's not limited to just knives. Glass, a piece of rock (even concrete), even a 3-in nail can be deadly.

1) 56% of people killed by police were armed with a gun. If I was shooting an armed man, I would probably empty the magazine.

2) The data on Asians are interesting. Are police biased pro-Asian, or do Asians have a culture that causes them to be less likely to attack police?

The cops deliberately overlook murders by Asians. The real question is: Where are the bodies of their murder victims hidden?


That would make for a far more interesting article that the one posted. 🤣

One thing that would help is just have cops pay for their own liability insurance. The implementation would need to have some provisos and limitations and nuances but it would most certainly give cops pause to shoot a drunk/high knife brandishing guy in the chest when winging the guy would have a more desired result. Hit cops in the wallet and they would be less likely to go rogue.

Before you pull solutions out of your rear again, it may be wise to consider that you've just made the police officer personally liable for ensuring your safety.

The police already have no obligation to protect you; they will have even less inclination to do so if, for example, they take the risk of financial ruin for arresting the person currently assaulting or murdering you. (They already take a large non-financial risk, not simply from bodily harm but also social ostracization, and you can see the results of that today.)

So, you've now increased your personal burden of protecting yourself and your family, which is great, except that the same people who think idiotic solutions like liability insurance will work for police believe the same for gun owners, assuming they think you should be allowed to own guns at all ("because the police are there to protect you").

Congratulations, you've now put yourself at financial risk for defending yourself, your property, and your family, and are effectively paying protection money to those who wish to harm you and their families (the same people who believe that it's morally permissible to loot stores because "they have insurance" will sue you and your insurance company regardless of who was in the right).

Of course, this is compounded by the fact that if you "wing" someone, you've now opened up the question of the wisdom of your shot placement. What if your attacker loses his arm? Shouldn't you have just shot the gun out of his hand? This is all assuming that you have the capacity to, for example, shoot a charging attacker, or someone in the dark, anywhere except center mass, in a split-second and stressful situation, which I can assure you, you don't.

It's truly shocking to me how few people on this site have any sliver of awareness regarding the tenuous state of their personal security. I get that it's an economics blog run by college professors and similarly read by sheltered leftists, but even if you haven't personally been in a situation where you are forced to defend yourself, possibly with deadly force, there's no excuse for failing to realistically think about your options. That's r-selection for you, though. But it's also why your policy solutions are garbage.

John, how much would you expect such a policy to cost? How much do you think police officers are paid?

People will refuse the job.

How well does malpractice insurance work in medicine? Leads to defensive medicine. What would defensive policing look like? Police inaction and avoidance.

If an officer has a reason to shoot an attacker they have a reason to kill an attacker. Don't shoot unless you want to kill. This idea that officers are marksmen who can aim with that kind of accuracy under pressure is stupid beyond words.

John is trolling all you libertarians that think private parties don't need to be regulated because they will just buy insurance to cover their own liability.

With marriage rates dropping like a rock are domestic problems falling? Could we help with that by encouraging the building of very cheap tiny apartments?

Opposite, children with single mom +unrelated boyfriend about 20X more likely to be abused than married biological parents. Women abuse rates much higher as well. Intact, nuclear, biological families are the best institution for women and children that has ever existed. This is why women in the west have always been Christianity's leading proponents. New Testament marriage is the best social institution for women and children that has ever existed. + Traditional Christianity bans men who are abusers from positions in the Church. (Look at St. Paul's requirements for deacons.)

"Traditional Christianity bans men who are abusers from positions in the Church."

Finding out exactly which positions would be open for family men in the Catholic Church (the biggest Christian denomination in the USA and in the world and basically the only one in the West until circa 1500) is left as an exercise for the reader... Same for positions as Bishop and above in the Eastern Orthodox Churches... But maybe "traditional" means onlynwhatever Christians were doing when they were not busy being fed to the lions. Which, as influence over society institutions go, is pretty underwhelming.

Deacons, and parish priests in the orthodox church. Deacons are very important in churches with celibate priests.

The same way janitors are important for company and government buildings. Neither gets to make policy though. Keeping family men out of (or being more precise, down in) the organizational chart, probably explains most of the dysfunction we usually see in Catholic and Orthodox countries (Mexico, Russia, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, etc.). We don't see much of it among Jews, Protestants, Shintoists, Confucionists, etc.

Let’s assume there are even 2,000 officer-involved _deaths_ a year. Even spending $100K/ea for a full outside investigation would be an incredible bargain relative to the public health, political, economic and social strife caused by the doubts surrounding them. If it reduces the number of deaths it’s literally invaluable. Increases in social welfare from increased trust in policing, potentially reduced need for policing, increased safety of officers, identification and prevention of root causes, etc. makes it criminal that it’s not done.

They are all investigated. Professor Alex is complaining because the investigations don't turn out the way he prefers. He wants statistical convictions regardless of individual facts

Investigated by self-interested and conflicted parties, regularly caught in lies in both reporting and results--not such a good investigation system. You wouldn't want it in charge of you if you were on its wrong side.

You should ask the liberals who have run big cities for a generation why that are so corrupt in support of the police. Or perhaps you should stop with the nonsense.

"Police have reason to fear guns, 92% of killings of police are by guns."

This doesn't seem right given the number of cops killed accidentally by vehicles. Maybe right as intentional homicides, but dying is still dying.

So much sophistry.

The question at hand is not the people shot while aiming or firing a weapon at police. Or how fast a knife holder can run. Or how fast a cop can practice at emptying his clip.

There are certaily conversations than should be held about protocols and deescalation, and police culture, and full transparent reviews of shootings, not to mention about substance abuse. But that's not the issue that led to demontrations.

The issue is the citizens who die while in handcuffs on the ground, or in their car without a weapon, or with their hands up, or running away.

We do not expect right wingers to give two effs about excess or preventable deaths among people they dislike. That is well-established by now.

The issue here is the cops who receive no close scrutiny over the people they shoot. And the cops who lie. And lie. And lie.

Lying by sworn officials. Lying about murder. Murder of citizens by agents of the state. One might expect right wingers to care about that.

But then again, not if you spent much time around right wingers.

The right cares about deficits when 'done' by Democrats.

The right cares about improper use of government authority when it hits them.

It was not always so.

But now, we can ignore the right on deficits, and we can ignore the right on the extent of government action.

Sweeping generalization of tens of millions of individuals? Check

Massive Turing test fail? Check

Total lack of any data to support any of these generalizations? Check

Absurd conclusion based only on outgroup hatred ? Check!

"The issue is the citizens who die while in handcuffs on the ground, or in their car without a weapon, or with their hands up, or running away."

Do you have figures for that? Nobody would defend such killings - the question is how big a problem they are.

Nobody defends such killings.

I am glad you do not. But you are mistaken about others---there is a significant portion of this country saying "don't resist arrest', "they deserved it for committing a crime", "they were running away", etc.

And one is a problem. But we are not at one. We are at many, with no sign the police and prosecutors would do anything about it.

Indeed. we were subjected in these very pages to weeks of wingnuts declaring that this "large violent criminal thug" remained a threat to the number of police standing around him for the full nine minutes he was cuffed and restrained on the ground.

Well, in fact, no. We do not have figures for that.

That's the point Einstein.

Hence the protests. Hence the call for body cameras. Hence the call for vigorous investigations of deaths in custody. Hence the complaints about police lies.

Your claim is that the protests are about lack of data?

No, it is about George race baiting again.

And Wandering pushing some vague socialist. Marxist view of the world, developed while wasting time in college

" Is it more dangerous to fire one or two shots and reevaluate than to fire ten? "

OIS typically have hit rates between 22 and 54% per the literature. The most extensive recent analysis of real world OIS was in Dallas were officers managed a 35% hit rate. Stopping at 2 shots would then have a 42.3% chance of not hitting the threat at all. And remember this is average so for some of your officers they will hit the target at rates below 20% and it is, thankfully, very hard to tell which officers lie at the high end for real world accuracy and which are at the low end.

Now it has been my experience with both the military and in civilian life that when somebody shoots at you, your threshold to fire drops dramatically. However dangerous the threat was before the shooting started, it is exceedingly unlikely to have gotten less so. If the suspect actually has a gun, I submit is far more likely for them to fire after two misses than prior to the shooting starting. And further remember that "reevaluation" means giving the other guy time to move and quite possibly looking off your site line. Both of these means that shots 3 and 4 will be less effective, which increases the risk to any bystanders.

Similarly with knives. However likely it is that he will go after his wife with the kitchen knife, it has not been my experience that they are less likely to attack or maim their partners after being shot.

With real world OIS data, you likely want to either stop officers from firing in the first place or go for around 6 shots. In my experience there are, very rarely, a few deadeye cops who can empty six into center of mass even with a large scale mag. Far more often what I end up seeing for the 5+ wound category is some idiot who has engaged multiple cops and manages to provoke not just the twitchiest finger of the lot, but all of them. Not uncommonly they will have continued to refuse to drop a firearm or even fired it after being shot.

Also we need to look not only at the danger to the officers in these situations, but also to the danger to others. Knives are indeed ineffective at killing trained individuals with firearms who will use them to protect their lives. But a lot of the knife wielders I have treated were not going after the cops. They were threatening their wife/girlfriend/prostitute/child and I have seen far too many knife wounds lead to permanent morbidity.

A 15:1 tradeoff against fit officers in body armor suggests a vastly higher risk to anyone else who might be the target of the suspect. It is all too common for violent domestic disturbances to turn into murder-suicides.

Exactly what odds of a noncompliant suspect killing his girlfriend should police accept in order to reduce the police death count?

Lastly, how on earth are you attributing this to private gun stocks? Germany has around the same number of private guns per capita as Canada, yet has only 1/7th of the police killings as Canada. France also has around the same number of firearms per capita and has around 1/2 the German rate of police killings. The of course there is the UK where they manage to have half the German rate with one sixth of the guns. And on it goes. I have a very hard time believing this correlation when pretty much all of it is due to one outlier (the US). I suspect a far superior explanation is that the culture of how you interact with the police (and authority more generally).

"Germany has around the same number of private guns per capita as Canada, yet has only 1/7th of the police killings as Canada. France also has around the same number of firearms per capita and has around 1/2 the German rate of police killings. The of course there is the UK where they manage to have half the German rate with one sixth of the guns. And on it goes. I have a very hard time believing this correlation when pretty much all of it is due to one outlier (the US). I suspect a far superior explanation is that the culture of how you interact with the police (and authority more generally)."

Do you have a link for that?

The quick google one is:


Alex hates the police and will twist any facts dealing with them. If an officer has a reason to shoot he has a reason to kill. Shooting to wing an attacker is something out of an old western. It is silly and shows total ignorance on the issue.

Blacks commit about 37% of the violent crimes in this country. Should it be a surprise that Police confrontations with Blacks are more violent?

Who kills Police officers? Mostly Black offenders.

"Firearms and the threat of violence play a central role in the decision to use deadly force, with gunfire accounting for >90% of citizens who were killed in police custody in 2015–2016 according to The Guardian and approximately 97% of all felonious homicides of police officers across the country (Zimring, 2017)."

"While it is true that minorities face an elevated risk of being killed by police over their life course (Edwards, Lee, & Esposito, 2019), this is ultimately the result of a host of societal factors beyond that split second when officers decide whether to use deadly force. Reducing that life course disparity will require much more than police-focused reforms, and is unlikely to occur overnight. "

Instead, we just get twisted data from biased police haters like Alex

Alex doesn't hate police. Matt Yglesias has been using his research to show that that more police means less crime, as well as his posts about how police pulling back in Baltimore caused a shift to a worse equilibrium with more homicide. He's also been the lone person at panels arguing against the abolition of cash bail, and while part of that is because he's a proponent of the bail bonds business, it's also because he sees the people being locked up as more crime prone than most reformers do. If you were familiar with the broad scope of what Alex was written you wouldn't have claimed that, although you might still dismiss him as a libertarian ideologue.

He does hate cops. He supports the abolition of cash bails. He wants to limit due process as promised under union contracts. Read his stuff again.

You are the opposite of correct regarding cash bail:

I think eliminating cash bail is a poorly thought out idea that may very well backfire

> Blacks are killed at about twice their proportion to population. Asians are killed less than in proportion to their population.

What makes anyone think that people should be killed by their proportion to population?

Alex already mentioned that men are 95% of those killed by police. Is he seriously arguing that we need to increase the number of women killed so that it's 50/50? It would be nice to say "No, just the reduce the number of men killed" but to do that means the cop must NOT shoot when faced with a person pointing a gun at him. Not possible. So, shot more women? That is the takeaway? Or do we understand the disparity is what it is?

Black men commit 36% of all murders. But they are 25% of those killed by police.

Alex knows what is up. Read between the lines.

500 or 1000, its an incredibly small number in a country of 330 million with billions of police contacts each year.

And no, I don't care about European rates. We are not Europe, our day to day culture is rougher and more violent. European cops would shoot just as many and US cops far fewer if we switched populations.

I dunno, just about 3x that number of deaths on 9/11 led this nation into a multi-trillion spasm of retributive military violence that has been still going for almost 2 decades.

They killed too many white male office workers and it hit close to home.

radical islamists have killed a lot more than 3,000 people around the world during the last 2 decades. and a lotta people long before

Oh yeah, I forgot, we are the world's cops too.

lol. Talk about police murdering civilians....

nice non sequitar
but it didn't address your funny math or your illogical assessment of the
potential risk of radical islam

Did I make an assessment of the potential risk of radical Islam, illogical or otherwise? I must have missed that.

Also please let me know if I did an assessment of earthquake risk, murder hornets, or the heartbreak associated with psoriasis.

your 3k 9/11 deaths vs. cost of the war is a cost(risk)/benefit calculation
that doesn't include the risk mitigation to the u.s.
since they did declare war on us after all

cornpops, did you read Bob from Ohio's first sentence?

whats your point. unlike you cornpops wont pretend to read somebody
elses mind?

So its just a comprehension problem?

no problemma comprehending.
do you have an expressive aphasia or typing problem?
if you have a point type it in the little box below like everbody else

Exactly the same.

If the police were seizing airplanes filled entirely with innocent people and then destroying office buildings filled entirely with innocent people I would change my opinion about their use of force.

Look jack, I'm not the one who claimed 1,000 deaths is no big deal

I mean you have several times in the past when you needed to justify open borders. Whoopsie George done shit his pants again.

What in the hell are you talking about

Bob, this is just craziness. You seem to be arguing that X amount of wrongful deaths from improper use of force by police is OK but 2X amount of wrongful deaths by terrorism is not OK. So what upsets you is the manner of force delivery? the belief systems of the perpetrators? the racial makeup of the victims? What?

Almost all police killings are fully justified. Zero grabbing airplanes and plunging them into buildings are justified.

You started with because the number is small, its odd it is so much concern. Now you have moved to almost all were justified. It's a different point, but now understand it.

> I dunno, just about 3x that number of deaths on 9/11 led this nation into a multi-trillion spasm

That single incident was $1T in economic damage all up.

Are you saying therefore it makes sense to spend three or four times that amount to get revenge?

We didn't spend anywhere near that to get revenge. Read the Iraq war resolution that Hillary and Biden signed. It mentions nothing about "revenge" or 9/11, but instead notes Iraq is an enabler of terror in the middle east.

Are you standing in support of that resolution?

I'm not sure. We don't meet the guns at the same frequency, but UK cops encounter knives, batons, and all manner of melee weapons. They usually don't end with dead perps. The death rate per blade encounter is way lower than in the US; US cops seem to escalate to deadly force at the drop of a hat. (Again, I suspect training and competency issues; if all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail...).

"Clear administrative restrictions on when police can shoot can eliminate 50 to 80 percent of killings by police without causing substantial risk to the lives of police officers or major changes in how police do their jobs."

Well, that sentence reveals how ignorant the author is of the purpose of the firearm in the police "toolbelt".

Like everyone else with the right to self defense, the police firearm is for self defense. The decision to shoot or not shoot is based on the same self defense criteria, imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury.

Are we to administratively deny police officers the right to self defense?

Now, you can restrict the police shooting by police snipers and others who use deadly force from a distance to protect other officers or hostages or bystanders.

Now, if you want to administratively limit how far the officers can go to arrest, detain, or stop someone suspected of a crime. If you are okay with some one who uses violence to resist arrest being "let go" then okay. But that means later, no pontificating on the "tragedy" that police could have prevented if they had locked someone up when they go on to rape or kill a child/old lady/school full of children after being "let go".

Not a problem. The people who pontficate about the 'tragedy' of those who are "let go" commiting crimes tend to be the same ones who are happy to see fleeing unarmed blacks shot in the back.


+1 for brevity.

If you must troll, please do so succinctly.

-under-rate the risk of policing
-over-rate the racial angle
-under-rate the effect of violent crime on victims
-under-rate human policing error while
projecting "happiness" when people get shot
that's meets our definition of b.s.

You're very modest.
In a post just above, you claimed you weren't a mind reader.
Yet here you are, reading me like the Great Carnac.

not reading your mind
reading your comments

JK Brown, you have seriously damaged visual processing if you think "police officers [exercising] the right to self defense" has anything to do with the multiple people shot in the back, shot in their own backyards, in their beds, shot as fast as a cop could jump up from their car, shot while shopping at Walmart, etc.

I think it is funny America, our country, the alleged paragon of human rights, the world police, has a police brutality issue while Laos, under General Secretary Bounnhang Vorachit's correct leadership, has not such a problem. Maybe we should eat humble pie and try to learn from Laos's dizzying successes.

That is a pretty good point. Thanks for sharing it, Mr. Kelly. Trump's mismanagement of the police brutality issue has shaken my trust on our leaders and our political-economical system. Maybe we have been lied to.

I'm done with this stupid blog.


Because he doesn't pick up on Thiago's jokes

I think this was a great, well-informed post, and it boils my blood a bit to be reminded of some of the awful features of US criminal "justice" and enforcement. However, there is something that is getting too neglected by all these calls for reform:

The job of being a cop is already pretty shitty, and these reforms are proposed with the attitude that we should make it even shittier by requiring cops to do x, y and z on top of everything else they already must do. The whole idea is that "cops" are a pre-established group who have gone rogue and we have to claw back some of their excesses.

What I'm thinking is that we need better people to be cops. But what decent people who are paying attention right now are thinking "hey, maybe I should become a cop?" Anyone here? Maybe some cooler heads in BLM? Anyone encouraging their talented kids or grandkids to go be cops?

We already have shockingly weak filters on who we allow to be a gun-wielding cop. Well, the job just became even less desirable, which means we have to lower our recruitment standards even further. I find this a scary thought. I would honestly feel much better about the BLM reaction if they put out a call for decent people who care about justice to join the ranks of the officers. But no, they're happy to just confront the cops as some alien "other" who must be defeated. Who wants to get a badge and join that war? Whoever it is, I don't want them on the police force.

I'm not saying that I have a solution for increasing the human quality of police recruits, but right now we're ignoring the question in all our debates, while agitating for steps that will inevitably *lower* the quality of the recruits. That is sure to lead to disaster.

+1. US Cops are underpaid, undertrained, and under-manned. Tyler is reasonably convincing that the US should spend more on Cops (and raise their status).

+1, cops are paid less than teachers on average.

I suggested some weeks ago a Police for America program - require 2 years on the beat in an urban police force as a requirement to be admitted to the Ivy League. It would be eye opening for a lot of people, and I’m sure would make for some interesting classroom discussions. Harvard and Yale could do this tomorrow, if they really cared.

What is left out is killings in jail.

To be sure, most such killings are just criminals killing criminals.

But do the authorities ever do a killing themselves? "Judge, the prisoner hanged himself in his jail cell "

And do they indirectly commit a killing by looking the other way when criminals kill?

(Did Jeffrey Epstein really kill himself?)

Let's expand the discussion.

Also, do police killings include events such as the siege of Waco, or the two block burning in the confrontation with MOVE in Philadelphia in the mid-1980s?

FBI statistics are nice. Do they include killings by federal agents?

A final point. There is a lot of controversy about "stop and frisk" in New York. Illegal firearms are confiscated. That policy reduces guns on the street and reduced killings of both police and civilians by criminals, and by reducing guns on the street, reduced police killings of suspects in gun battles. We can reduce police shootings, but BLM might not always appreciate the methods of doing so.

Without bothering to read the comments I am going to make a prediction that at least 50% of the comments will bring up something about crime rates among African Americans, and/or relative rates of police killings of blacks vs. whites, both in an attempt to explain why cop killings are justified and/or why there is nothing racist about it at all, so Black Lives matter is bad and wrong. Also racist and socialist.

I am not disappointed.

When they dive into the MR sewer.

Your powers of prediction are remarkable. Who would have thought people would bring up perfectly reasonable and relevant data points with respect to narratives like that of BLM?

Hazel is right. Data has no place in this discussion unless it supports the premise that Cops are indiscriminately slaughtering innocent black people in America.

Alex is better than us because he signals that he understands the plight of these innocents getting slaughtered. He feels their pain more than us. More empathy. Hazel wants to be as virtuous; he's almost there.

You? You're hopeless. You and your data can go do calculation on your white paper.

"He feels their pain more than us. "

Is it not hard feeling other people's pain more thay you, Nazis, do.

Intentional self satire or not?

I honestly can't tell.

Well, as to the socialist thingy, I think it is that BLM is responsible for Pol Pot-- you know, the communist thing.

Seems pertinent to the conversation. A reasonable one at least.

"In many years, hundreds of people brandishing knives are killed by the police while no police are killed by people brandishing knives"

The latter point is thanks to the former. Does Alex think it would remain true if police didnt respond with deadly force against someone threatening them with knives?

See the UK. Lots of weapons, not near as many fatalities, either of police or brandishers.

Maybe the police should be trained to disarm people brandishing knives in some way other than killing them.

There has to be some gradation as to how "deadly" the force involved is, in order to justify the use of deadly force, don't you think?

What if someone was brandishing a pitchfork?
Or maybe a wrench?
Or a screwdriver?
Perhaps a skipping rope - that could be used for strangulation.

Holy shit, they have a laser pen. They could blind me and then stab me in the eye with it.

I posted this link above, but here it is again. A couple of months ago a guy armed with a knife charges a lone cop (he has called for backup, but it hasn't arrived).

Tell me, exactly, what this officer did wrong, and what he should have done instead.


You are just so tough. Go out into the streets and try the shit you are talking about. Or why don't all the liberal protestors march into the gang-infested sections of this country to protect black lives? Don't the children in these communities have a right to a normal life. These liberals busy spitting, throwing bricks and bullying cops are cowards afraid to go into communities that police go into everyday. Don't tell me Black Lives Matter while you do nothing for the slaughter of innocents. Act all high and superior while you are too cowardly to do anything beyond tear down dangerous memorials. I'm sick of this bullshit. More children will die on the streets of Chicago then unarmed "victims' of the police. But that doesn't count to you. You feel good because you can wear a BLM shirt you can tell yourself that you are doing something. You are doing shit.

Why put "victims" in quotes?

As in any political discussion, there is virtue signalling. But, I think a lot more was reaching a tipping point on something they thought was wrong. Are there other issues to deal with? Yes, and you point some out. That they exist does not mean the marchers' issues are irrelevant. Nor that a person could decide wrongful state-action is more important to them. Or that there might be a causal relationship between the justice system as experienced in the "gang-infested" parts of cities and the issues you point to? Or, horrors, that the 'social justice' issues being talked about may be relevant?

Poverty pumps trying to use it to line their own pockets. Politicians and the media hyping racial tensions for electoral gain. Cowardly liberals destroying monuments like drunken frat boys. White women screaming at Black police officers that actually try to make a difference. A sad display of the failures of our education system. Chanting Black Lives Matter while aiding in the destruction of the Black Community with the same failed programs of the past. Scapegoating the police for the failures of cities ruled by failing liberals. The latest two victims were career criminals with violence in their backgrounds. Fake liberals telling us how they would have done better. Try it. Leave your silly marching for a weekend and go into the inner city and stop the slaughter. Or just move into the community for a year. Or invest your life savings in a business there and watch as liberals justify the looting and arson that destroys it. I will take Alex seriously on these issues when he moves his family into the ghetto.

Thanks for the vent.

"The latest two victims were career criminals with violence in their backgrounds.' Relevant how?

Who is justifying looting and arson? what does it have to do with marching?

"who is justifying looting and arson?"
(you left out the riots, shootings & assaults)-
presumably the looters, arsonists, shooters & assaulters are justifying the looting, arson, shootings &assaults.
some of these people are "activists"

Mayor Lightfoot of Chicago. is now begging the police to be more aggressive. She wants them to crack down on the violence and sweep through the worst sections of Chicago. Alex better call her. Tell her that police are bad, aggressive police are the worse. But the Mayor thinks the time for more empty rhetoric about police violence is over. Just please stop the slaughter of innocents.

looks like the chicago mayor is worried about the upcoming July4 shooting count and what it will do to defund the police narrative

> Maybe the police should be trained to disarm people brandishing knives in some way other than killing them.

You are arguing that a cop should be able disarm someone considerably larger and stronger using a weapon that is far inferior. Would you ever sign up to do that, if failing meant you died?

Of course not, but you are demanding other accept that risk. Check your privilege. And quit thinking movies are true. When you see a 35 year old 135 pound woman outrun and then take down a 210 pound 21 year old man, it's fake. She cannot do that in real life. Remember, when the US Women's National Soccer Team played a U15 boys team, they lost 5 to 2. There are currently 250 high school boys that can outrun the fastest female olympian. This idea that size means nothing in the real world is fantasy.

and yet every day, tens of thousands of people descend into mines, or take their place on the meat cutting floor

That probably sounded better in your head.

speaking of laser pens, that Andy Ngo fella who got wreckoned by antifa just testified to congress that mostly peaceful protestors at the mostly peaceful protests are using laser pens as a weapon to blind the police.

The best data come from newspaper reports

There's your misconception right there.

Please explain where the better data on police killings comes from.

The misconception may not be where the best data are, but rather how good the best data are. If your dataset is crap, you cannot use it to arrive at good conclusions (unless you're examining how bad datasets can get, I suppose).

Logic is GIGO. Given bad inputs, you get bad outputs.

Sam Harris makes a good point: there is always a gun in play. Cops are armed, resistors might get that gun. This seems a key number missing from your summary: per cent who resist arrest.

Sam Harris was spot on.

There's a significant subset of lowlifes who think scuffling or fighting with police is no big deal. It IS a big deal. There's ALWAYS a gun involved - the gun on the officer's belt.

Harris also pointed out that many police agencies training standards (hand to hand & firearms) are poor. Firearms and self-defense experts agree. Add in civil service protection and you get a some cop culture's that are little better than college administrators or postal workers with guns.

activists always wanna have a "conversation"
but activists never wanna talk about resisting arrest & fighting police and
they never wanna talk about the arson

"even adjusting for crime rates (where the U.S. is less of an outlier than most people imagine)"

The US is always compared to other wealthy countries with regards to incarceration rates and police killings, and the US in fact an outlier in violent crime with regards to those countries, at least by my definition of an outlier. For instance, compared to Germany the US has more than 5x the homicide rate, 3x the robbery rate, and 2x the rape rate.


Violent crime coupled with gun ownership has to explain a lot of the policing discrepancies with Europe. According to a decade-long survey released by the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, US gun ownership is 121 firearms per 100 civilians. The next highest rates are 53 in Yemen, 39 in Montenegro and Serbia, and 35 in Canada.

Here's an idea: What if we increase the proportion of women in the police force? Consider the extreme case where all police are women. I would bet that, in general, women officers are less likely to shoot than male officers. I would also bet that males in general are less likely to attack female police officers. Thus, we could dramatically reduce violent encounters by attacking the problem at the source (Machismo). I would also be the public would be much less willing to crucify a female police officer who decided to shoot a male. Everybody wins!

I would bet heavily against you because the data already says you're wrong:

That article says nothing about women. It's about race.

female officers were more likely to commit shootings than their male counterparts, a fact—he speculates—that could be tied to sexist pressures on female officers, who might feel the need to act “tough” to prove their bona fides

You evidently didn't read the article that closely.

You made this too easy:


"Male officers were more likely to shoot than female officers, and college-educated officers were less likely to be involved in shootings than officers with no college education."

" The bulk of the study’s findings reaffirmed earlier assertions about women officers. The findings suggest that female officers and same-gender female-female officer pairs generally use less force in police-citizen encounters than do their male counterparts."

"A slight majority (56%) of the people who are killed by the police are armed with a gun"

This is another weird statistic that should get some thought. What % of police encounters include the other person being armed with a gun? 1%? 5%?

Most people don't carry guns. So, if 5% of police encounters include a person with a gun, and the number of people shot with guns is split about 50 / 50, you are 20x less likely to get shot by a police officer if you are not carrying. Given the number of police shootings / total interactions, the stats start to look really good for unarmed citizens.

A. Unclear how simple admin restrictions could reduce killings by 50-80% , when 60 percent are armed. Yes, in theory police could shoot less, but I'm guessing many of those deaths involved more than one officer shooting.
B) the issue isn't how many police are killed by people with knives and guns. The police are supposed to be between criminal Nala and the general populace. It's how many people do criminals kill with guns, knives etc

"the issue isn't how many police are killed by people with knives and guns"
do you actually believe this isn't an issue? or did you mistype

Great post.

Lessons can be learned from the state of Victoria in Australia. There was a disproportionate number of police shootings in the 1990s and broader problems in the police force. They implemented a completely new training program and dramatically reduced the number killed, with long term effect (things have got better in recent years after a bit of a relapse in the early 2000s).


Undoubtedly, racist and class stereotypes play important roles in police abusing their firepower. However, I'm sure that a big reason why U.S. police are so disposed to shoot is because they never know which suspect may be packing a firearm. That's not true in other developed nations, giving cops the luxury of being able to take things calmly.

Cops commit lots of abuses. However, the great number of guns in the U.S. makes them understandably often afraid to wait and give someone the benefit of the doubt.

Transgender Lives Matter.
The War on Trannies must end. Reparations must be paid.
Recommended reading:

Great post and Happy Canada Day Alex!!

You should reach out to the Center for Policing Equity (https://policingequity.org/) to share your thoughts.

This post by Alex makes a lot of good and important points, I'll focus on just one of them: "Fixing the data problem should be a high priority."

Yes. Sloppy reporting by police departments to the FBI (or whatever organization) is unacceptable and should lead to penalties. Even colleges are required to report accurate annual data about their student enrollments, graduation rates, etc. -- with a fine of up to $57K and more importantly possible expulsion from the federal student air program if they fail to comply.

Airlines have to report their crashes. Hospitals have to report certain communicable diseases.

And police departments should have to report the deaths associated with their activities. It's staggering that such a fundamental measure of government accountability and public safety is permitted to be so sloppily collected.

We already have a Uniform Crime Reporting program, and it appears that a Use of Force reporting program is finally on the horizon. This seems a good 50 years overdue.

You must be young. Hospitals Can easily cook their infection data. Just look at how covid data are being reported. Unless we’re talking about something obvious and visible like a plane crash, the data will be massaged when it starts being scrutinized and used to determine who will be rewarded and punished.

More data is only a solution if you’re naiive or autistic or you work in physics. Everything else is too messy.

This statistics is also very biased. It doesnt counts in crime rates among different racial groups. (see https://crime-data-explorer.fr.cloud.gov/explorer/national/united-states/crime). I.e. violet crimes by race. 2018 - Blacks contributed to 43 % violent crimes, despite only 12,7 % of total population.
So taking this into an account gives us another, not very popular, yet also very true reading. When you are commiting violent crime as white person in the US, you have roughly 2-3x higher chance to be shot by police than if you are black....

Community outreach is a implementable partial-solution. Stop telling people that they don't have to comply if they never did anything wrong and they think they can avoid taking responsibilities for their decisions by insincerely claiming harassment or discrimination (both of which they could argue in court, if they really believe it--they will certainly find some advocacy group to help).
In other words, inform the community what their rights and what their responsibilities are.
Also, you could tell them not to fight with cops making a legal arrest if you have a diseased heart and are on drugs.

The data make it clear that men are an oppressed group who are disproportionately murdered by police. Men must get money from female taxpayers to settle current and past injustices. #MLM

It would be interesting to map police killings either during or immediately after resisting arrest/brawl with police. That is completely under the "victims'" control, and should be a weighting factor in determining total and percentage of police shootings.
Given that propensity to fight and resist arrest, attempting to chase the number of police shootings to zero is a fools errand.

"The obvious reason is that there are a lot of guns in the United States."

or maybe if you look more than an inch into the data it's the criminals, not the guns... local customs dictate whether disagreements will involve gunfire, not the rate of gun ownership

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