A new study published in the American Journal of Public Health has found that black and Native American men are 2.7 times more likely than white men to be shot by police. Researchers looked at 2,285 people killed by police between 2010 and 2014, and found that the death-by-police rate for black men was 6.8 per million of the population. The death rate for Native Americans was slightly higher, at 6.9 per million, and slightly lower for Hispanic men, at 4.1 per million. The death-by-police rate for white men was only 2.5 per million, and as low as 1.5 per million for Asians and Pacific Islanders.
The findings of this study contrast with an earlier study by Harvard University economist Professor Roland Fryer, who found that Houston cops were just as likely to shoot a white suspect as a black suspect. James Buehler, the lead author of the new study, explained that he “undertook this brief investigation into “legal intervention deaths” – deaths that resulted from the actions of law enforcement officers -- because I felt that the investigation by Fryer, even though it represented an in-depth assessment of police encounters, was interpreted in a way that left out an important part of the whole picture.”
“As a public health person, any large disparity in health is a concern to me,” Professor Buehler said. “Awareness of these differences should encourage ongoing attention to finding solutions to this problem.”