Young Black Men 21 Times More Likely Than Whites to Be Shot Dead by Police

According to a ProPublica study, young black men are fatally shot by law enforcement at alarmingly higher rates than their white counterparts.  

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There are two sides in the debate surrounding the fatal police shooting of unarmed Ferguson, Mo., teen Michael Brown and still not many answers. There are those who believe he must have done something to have been stopped and ultimately shot to death by Officer Darren Wilson, and those who believe that police unfairly target and fatally shoot black boys.

An alarming report reveals that the latter group just might be on to something. Federal data of fatal police shootings from 2010 to 2012, reviewed and analyzed by ProPublica, expose in grim numbers that young black men are “21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts,” or, as the Daily Beast notes, “In order for whites to have been at equal risk over those three years, 185 more—that’s more than one per week—would have had to have been killed.”

According to the report, “Blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.”

The report also noted that from 1980 to 2012, 41 teens, 14 years or younger, had been fatally shot and 27 of them were black, eight were white, four were Hispanic and one was Asian.

The report pointed out that white officers have mostly been responsible for the fatal shooting deaths of black boys, and noted that while black officers make up a little more than 10 percent of all fatal shootings, 78 percent of them involved young black men.

According to the ProPublica findings, “There were 151 instances in which police noted that teens they had shot dead had been fleeing or resisting arrest at the time of the encounter. Sixty-seven percent of those killed in such circumstances were black. That disparity was even starker in the last couple of years: of the 15 teens shot fleeing arrest from 2010 to 2012, 14 were black.”

Read more at ProPublica and the Daily Beast.

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