Police Violence: How Many Black People Have Been Killed by the Police?

Today there is a cry for justice in the streets of America as untold numbers of Black Americans are hunted down and killed by the police all throughout the United States. There is not a more racist institution than the police, and the number of black Americans they kill yearly is staggering! Usually the media just passes over these murders in silence, especially in the past five years or so…

This is the narrative that has taken the world by storm. But is it true? Are the police hunting black Americans? Are untold numbers of African Americans being killed by the police? Is racism the cause when Police shoot them? Does the media really pass over this in silence? Are our police departments systemically racist?

Why don’t we just take a look at the data? How often do you see any statistics in the media about these questions? How is it that this discussion has been raging for months and there is not one major media outlet with the guts to publish the statistics for all to see? Sure there might be a blip here and there off to the side where no one sees, but I think most people would be shocked to know the facts.

The Washington Post has kept a database of police shootings for at least the past five years and it is one of the most accurate. There are others as well and they all corroborate quite closely. The Washington Post has no real interest in a conservative narrative but data is data. In a recent article they said,

Black Americans are shot at a disproportionate rate. They account for less than 13 percent of the U.S. population, but are killed by police at more than twice the rate of White Americans.


Did you catch that? “Black Americans are killed at TWICE the rate of White Americans. That is a huge percentage! Now something I conveniently left out was the clause that precedes this quote which said, “Although half of the people shot and killed by police are White,…” I skipped it because it is so overshadowed by the following statements that it fades into insignificance. But wait. If Blacks are killed at twice the rate of Whites, and half the people killed are white how can blacks account for the other half (which they don’t even make up half) and yet still be killed at twice the rate? That would mean that blacks make up 100% of the 150% of people killed by police, but that is absolute nonsense of course!

It’s just a word trick they use to get around the obvious fact that there aren’t that many black people killed by police compared to white people. The key is “rate.” Stats are tricky because those with an agenda can make the data say the opposite of what it says.

Let’s take a look at this graph that they so graciously provided in the article and see if we can find any evidence of misleading information:


The key misleading statement is highlighted in the upper right corner. Then the bar graph has all of the right numbers but it is arranged in a visually “interesting” way. The orange bar represents blacks killed by police as it sky rockets far above the others. Hispanics are glazed over although they are almost as high as blacks, and then the “White” bar is at least half the height of the orange bar. Visually it LOOKS like twice as many blacks were killed last year than whites. However, this is not what the little numbers on those bars say.

Apparently in the past five years 2,533 White people were killed by the police and 1,322 Black people were killed in the same time period. WHAT? Almost TWICE as many WHITES were killed than blacks. Could that be true? Then why does the bar graph visually represent the opposite? Because the data doesn’t support the current vision.

The current vision justifies this representation with a premise that is regarded as fact. No, let me rephrase that, it’s regarded as truth. Truth more sacred than the saints would consider the Bible. And the truth is this: If there is a racial disparity then it exists because of racism.

What disparity you might ask?

  1. African Americans make up only 13% of the population in the US, which means that no more than 13% of the people killed by police should be black. Any more and this would be a disparity.
  2. Although almost twice as many whites are killed they make up a far larger percentage of the overall population in the US so they are underrepresented.
  3. Therefore, this is racism.

However, it is only racism according to the above syllogism, but the question is wether it is really racism at work? Never mind the fact that people would have a hard time believing that so few African Americans have been killed by police in the past five years. That in itself blows a huge hole in the accusations against police. But the next step should be a question not a conclusion.

The question: Why is there such a racial disparity? The reason is because although African Americans make up only 13% of the population, more than 50% of the nations’ crime is committed by African Americans. So if we were to evaluate crime based on behavior as opposed to racial quotas then we would see that the overall national population of any ethnicity is irrelevant in this instance. What is relevant is the populations that are committing crime.

The next question could be asked: Why does such a small percentage of the African American population commit such a high percentage of the crime? The vision of the day shouts: “SYSTEMIC RACISM!” And so the next layer of the onion must be peeled back yet again.

Nonetheless, most people would not even accept these facts because they’ve been touting the line of the day for so long that they wouldn’t want to recant the justification for their frenzy. I mean, for crying out loud cities are burning and police departments are being defunded. Not to mention all of the school districts throughout the nation who broke their contracts with the police in order to make their students “feel safer.” Never mind the scourge of school shootings and the need for more security, not less.

Q: In 2019, how many black people were killed by the police?

A: 250

Q: In 2019, how many interactions/contacts did police have with potential crime?

A: Over 50 million

Q: How many of these 250 were in possession of a gun?

A: 166

Coleman Hughes writes in his essay, “Stories and Data: Reflections on race, riots, and police”:

For every black person killed by the police, there is at least one white person (usually many) killed in a similar way. The day before cops in Louisville barged into Breonna Taylor’s home and killed her, cops barged into the home of a white man named Duncan Lemp, killed him, and wounded his girlfriend (who was sleeping beside him). Even George Floyd, whose death was particularly brutal, has a white counterpart: Tony Timpa. Timpa was killed in 2016 by a Dallas police officer who used his knee to pin Timpa to the ground (face down) for 13 minutes. In the video, you can hear Timpa whimpering and begging to be let go. After he lets out his final breaths, the officers begin cracking jokes about him. Criminal charges initially brought against them were later dropped.


The stats go on. What will surprise you even more is that a black person is much more likely to be shot by a black police officer than by a white police officer. We could just keep on whittling the stats down. But the simple point is that the stats do not fit the narrative we hear in media and public perception. All of these deaths and police shootings are worthy of investigation, but the question at hand is wether we can upend our nation based on such relatively minuscule statistics. The rhetoric at times speaks of “holocaust” and “genocide,” but in light of the evidence despite the emotional frenzy and moral outrage, we can’t and must not abandon reason.

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