Are You More Likely to Be Shot by Dallas Police If You're Black Or White? It Depends, Study Says

A new study on officer-involved shootings says it's the times when police decide not to shoot someone that may help us better understand why they do pull the trigger.Criminologists at the University of Texas at Dallas, The State University of New York and the University of North Texas' Caruth Police Institute analyzed data from 207 fatal shootings between 2003 and 2016 and 1,702 incidents between 2013 and 2016 when Dallas officers reported drawing their gun but not firing.Dallas police shot seven people last year, two of them fatally, and have killed one so far this year. In the latest shooting, on Feb. 27, police shot and killed the former security guard at an Uptown apartment complex after he killed the manager and fled.The security guard was a black man, and African-Americans tend to be "overrepresented" in the shootings the study examined. Almost half of the cases between 2003 and 2016 involved black people, while just one in four Dallas residents is black. But, the study says, the narrative changes when you factor in the number of times officers pull their guns but don't shoot.When those cases are considered, black suspects were less likely than white suspects to be shot, the researchers concluded. Other factors seem to matter more than the suspect's race and gender."We find that situational factors of whether the suspect was armed and whether an officer was injured were the best predictors of the decision to shoot," the researchers wrote in an article published online this week.  Continue reading...

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