Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Study by Harvard economics professor found no evidence of bias in police shootings

See Good Policing Saves Black Lives A report by Harvard’s Roland Fryer shows that when the cops pull back, homicides increase by Jason Riley of The WSJ.

He discusses research by Roland Fryer. From Wikipedia "In 2011, Fryer was a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship ($625,000 ), commonly referred to as a "Genius Grant". He is the recipient of the 2015 John Bates Clark Medal, awarded by the American Economic Association to "that American economist under the age of forty who is judged to have made the most significant contribution to economic thought and knowledge.""


"In 2016 Mr. Fryer released a study of racial differences in police use of deadly force. To the surprise of the author, as well as many in the media and on the left who take racist law enforcement as a given, he found no evidence of bias in police shootings. His conclusions have been echoed by researchers at the University of Maryland and Michigan State University, who in a paper released last year wrote: “We didn’t find evidence for anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparity in police use of force across all shootings, and, if anything, found anti-White disparities when controlling for race-specific crime.”"

"When police were investigated following incidents of deadly force that had gone viral, police activity declined and violent crime spiked. It happened in Ferguson, Mo., after Michael Brown was shot by an officer. It happened in Chicago after a cop gunned down Laquan McDonald. And it occurred in Baltimore after Freddie Gray died in police custody.

Mr. Fryer stressed that it isn’t the investigations themselves that are the problem so much as the circumstances under which they are launched. Investigations that weren’t prompted by well-publicized events resulted in little change in police behavior and violent crime. “But when I look at cities in which the investigation was preceded by a viral event,” he said, “homicide goes up considerably. Total crime goes up considerably.” What happens, he said, is that police effectively pull back. They don’t stop doing their jobs, but they become less proactive and curb their interactions with civilians.

"In Chicago, there was a 90% drop in police-civilian contacts immediately after the announcement of an investigation, and “Baltimore literally went to zero” after a probe was announced there, he said. In cities where these contacts fell the most, homicides increased the most. Sadly, the decision to launch departmentwide state and federal inquiries into the deaths of Brown, McDonald and Gray resulted in numerous additional deaths. Mr. Fryer said that because of changes in police behavior following investigations in these and other cities, “my estimates show that we lost a thousand more lives, most of them black as well, because of an increase in homicides.” The protesters and their political allies insist that policing is the problem, but when police pull back, black communities are hit hardest."

Click here to watch an interview with Riley and Fryer.

Click here to read a critique of Fryer's study.

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