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Deadly Force, In Black and White: Analysis of Killings by Police Shows Outsize Risk for Young Blacks

| December 26, 2014

Looking at numbers through a scope. (Hannah Birch and David Sleigh, ProPublica)

Looking at numbers through a scope. (Hannah Birch and David Sleigh, ProPublica)

Note: This story’s footnoted documentation appears below the text. A response to critics of the story appears further below.

Young black males in recent years were at a far greater risk of being shot dead by police than their white counterparts – 21 times greater i, according to a ProPublica analysis of federally collected data on fatal police shootings.

The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that 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.


One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring – 185, more than one per week.

ProPublica’s risk analysis on young males killed by police certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population.

Our examination involved detailed accounts of more than 12,000 police homicides stretching from 1980 to 2012 contained in the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report. The data, annually self-reported by hundreds of police departments across the country, confirms some assumptions, runs counter to others, and adds nuance to a wide range of questions about the use of deadly police force.

Colin Loftin, University at Albany professor and co-director of the Violence Research Group, said the FBI data is a minimum count of homicides by police, and that it is impossible to precisely measure what puts people at risk of homicide by police without more and better records. Still, what the data shows about the race of victims and officers, and the circumstances of killings, are “certainly relevant,” Loftin said.

“No question, there are all kinds of racial disparities across our criminal justice system,” he said. “This is one example.”

The FBI’s data has appeared in news accounts over the years, and surfaced again with the August killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. To a great degree, observers and experts lamented the limited nature of the FBI’s reports. Their shortcomings are inarguable.

The data, for instance, is terribly incomplete. Vast numbers of the country’s 17,000 police departments don’t file fatal police shooting reports at all, and many have filed reports for some years but not others. Florida departments haven’t filed reports since 1997 and New York City last reported in 2007. Information contained in the individual reports can also be flawed. Still, lots of the reporting police departments are in larger cities, and at least 1000 police departments filed a report or reports over the 33 years.

There is, then, value in what the data can show while accepting, and accounting for, its limitations. Indeed, while the absolute numbers are problematic, a comparison between white and black victims shows important trends. Our analysis included dividing the number of people of each race killed by police by the number of people of that race living in the country at the time, to produce two different rates: the risk of getting killed by police if you are white and if you are black.

David Klinger, a University of Missouri-St. Louis professor and expert on police use of deadly force, said racial disparities in the data could result from “measurement error,” meaning that the unreported killings could alter ProPublica’s findings.

However, he said the disparity between black and white teenage boys is so wide, “I doubt the measurement error would account for that.”

ProPublica spent weeks digging into the many rich categories of information the reports hold: the race of the officers involved; the circumstances cited for the use of deadly force; the age of those killed.

Who Gets Killed?

The finding that young black men are 21 times as likely as their white peers to be killed by police is drawn from reports filed for the years 2010 to 2012, the three most recent years for which FBI numbers are available.

The black boys killed can be disturbingly young. There were 41 teens 14 years or younger reported killed by police from 1980 to 2012 ii. 27 of them were black iii; 8were white iv; 4 were Hispanic v and 1 was Asian vi.

That’s not to say officers weren’t killing white people. Indeed, some 44 percent of all those killed by police across the 33 years were white.

White or black, though, those slain by police tended to be roughly the same age. The average age of blacks killed by police was 30. The average age of whites was 35.

Who is killing all those black men and boys?

Mostly white officers. But in hundreds of instances, black officers, too. Black officers account for a little more than 10 percent of all fatal police shootings. Of those they kill, though, 78 percent were black.

White officers, given their great numbers in so many of the country’s police departments, are well represented in all categories of police killings. White officers killed91 percent of the whites who died at the hands of police. And they were responsible for 68 percent of the people of color killed. Those people of color represented 46 percent of all those killed by white officers.

What were the circumstances surrounding all these fatal encounters?

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. 67 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.

Did police always list the circumstances of the killings? No, actually, there were many deadly shooting where the circumstances were listed as “undetermined.” 77 percent of those killed in such instances were black.

Certainly, there were instances where police truly feared for their lives.

Of course, although the data show that police reported that as the cause of their actions in far greater numbers after the 1985 Supreme Court decision that said police could only justify using deadly force if the suspects posed a threat to the officer or others. From 1980 to 1984, “officer under attack” was listed as the cause for 33 percent of the deadly shootings. Twenty years later, looking at data from 2005 to 2009, “officer under attack” was cited in 62 percent xxxvii of police killings.

Does the data include cases where police killed people with something other than a standard service handgun?

Yes, and the Los Angeles Police Department stood out in its use of shotguns. Most police killings involve officers firing handguns xl. But from 1980 to 2012, 714 involved the use of a shotgun xli. The Los Angeles Police Department has a special claim on that category. It accounted for 47 cases xlii in which an officer used a shotgun. The next highest total came from the Dallas Police Department: 14 xliii.

Update (Dec. 23, 2014): ProPublica shared its findings and methodology with Prof. David Klinger before this story appeared. In two interviews with reporters, he noted that the FBI data has serious shortcomings . But he also said the disparity ProPublica had found between black and white victims was so large, it was unlikely to have resulted solely from omissions in the FBI statistics. After the story appeared, Klinger said flaws in the FBI data made it unusable. ProPublica contacted Klinger and asked him to elaborate, but he declined to comment further. We stand by the analysis. A full response to the arguments Klinger and another critic have raised is here.

Notes:

ii https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307015-victims-14under-byraceanddecade-spssoutput.html#document/p1/a179431

iii https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307015-victims-14under-byraceanddecade-spssoutput.html#document/p1/a179432

iv https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307015-victims-14under-byraceanddecade-spssoutput.html#document/p1/a179433

v https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307015-victims-14under-byraceanddecade-spssoutput.html#document/p1/a179434

vi https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307015-victims-14under-byraceanddecade-spssoutput.html#document/p1/a179435

xxxvii https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307298-circumstances-yearcats-spssoutput.html#document/p1/a179463

xl Calculated from the “Weapon Used by Offender” variable. Ranked based on frequency of reported shotgun homicides by police agencies.

xli https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307312-offweapon-bystate-spssoutput.html#document/p3/a179466

xlii https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307313-offweapon-lapd-spssoutput.html#document/p1/a179467

xliii https://www.propublica.org/documents/item/1307316-offweapon-dallas-spssoutput.html#document/p1/a179468

Answering the Critics of the Deadly Force Story

ProPublica Responds to arguments levied against its analysis of justified homicides by police officers.

ProPublica’s analysis of justified homicides by police officers, published October 10th, has been widely read and often cited in the national conversation on the use of force by law enforcement. Most often, press reports and people on social media have highlighted our finding that from 2010 to 2012, African-American teenage men age 15–19 were at 21 times as great a risk of being killed by police officers as white teenage men.

That finding has received criticism, as is often the case when a number draws a spotlight. As with any analysis, our analysis arose from a series of judgments.

It was clear from the outset, for example, that the data from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, which underlies our assessment, is deeply flawed. This has been well-documented by us and others. In fact, we characterized the data as “terribly incomplete” and said its shortcomings were “inarguable.” But the FBI database stands as the most complete national record of deaths at the hands of police.

There were, generally speaking, three arguments contesting our analysis: That we should have included men of all ages, that we should not have excluded Hispanics from our analysis, and that we should have calculated rates for a longer period of time.

Our reporting came in the midst of debate and protest over the shooting death of Michael Brown, who was 18-years old and black, so teenage black men were the natural focus of our analysis. Of particular interest was whether the perception that black young men were at greater risk was supported by the FBI’s data. What happens to older men was not the subject of our story, and including them in the analysis was therefore not germane.

Peter Moskos, an associate professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and former Baltimore police officer, questioned our decision to exclude Hispanics from the white population. Race and ethnicity pose tough choices for any analysis involving demographic data. Our analysis was limited to two populations, and given what we were reporting on, we chose white, non-Hispanic males age 15–19 as our “control” group. Adding white Hispanics to our calculations posed two problems we found insurmountable.

First, it is our strong suspicion that Hispanics are undercounted. The FBI data says fewer than 20 black Hispanics were killed by police officers in 33 years of records, a claim that appears inaccurate on its face. Second, we’ve seen little evidence from our reporting that law enforcement officials treat the large Hispanic populations in say, Los Angeles, in the same manner as white citizens.

Several critics asked why we focused on the three most recent years in the data, rather than a longer time horizon. Moskos argued that three years of data is too small to offer a true picture of homicides by police and that we should have looked at 15 years of FBI statistics. There is a significant problem with this approach, one that is likely to distort the results. The core of our analysis is the rate of officer-involved homicides, which is calculated by comparing the number of shootings with the size of each population.

We focused on the three-year period of 2010 to 2012 because we could rely on an accurate source for the baseline numbers the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Using Census 2000 and Census 2010 data for baselines assumes that the ratio of populations remain static, and that a snapshot of population rates for a subset of time can be assumed to be accurate for an entire period. We know that’s not true.

Finally, we chose the years 2010 to 2012 because they are the closest large slice of time to the present day.

To test the critics’ argument, we calculated risk ratios for as far back as the American Community Survey data goes (2008). From 2006 to 2008, the risk ratio was 9.1 to 1 (with a 95 percent confidence interval 6.19, 13.39); from 2008 to 2010 the risk ratio was 17.93 to 1 (95 percent confidence interval 9.38, 34.30). And whether 9 times as great, 17 times or 21 times, the racial disparity remains vast, and demands deeper investigation.

In the course of reporting and analyzing, three ProPublica reporters separately conferred with David Klinger, a University of Missouri-St. Louis criminology professor, by phone and email. Klinger is a recognized authority on police use of force and a retired police officer, and is frequently interviewed in the press. In our published piece, we attributed to Klinger a note of caution regarding how measurement error might alter our findings, but also quoted him expressing doubt that such error would erase the wide disparity we found. Days after we published, Klinger wrote to one of the reporters to complain that he had asked not to be quoted in the story. None of the reporters who spoke with the professor recall him making such a request in any of the interactions. But in any event, his feelings on the issue are clear, so we’re updating the original post to reflect that.

As a final note, many have pointed to our reporting as proof of police bias. That overstates our case; ProPublica found evidence of a disparity in the risks faced by young black and white men. This does not prove that police officers target any age or racial group – the data is far too limited to point to a cause for the disparity. We hoped that our analysis would spur further inquiry into why this disparity exists, which it has done, and we stand by it.

For more civil rights coverage, read Segregation Now, the resegregation of America’s schools, and Living Apart, how the government beytrayed a landmark civil rights law

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49 Responses for “Deadly Force, In Black and White: Analysis of Killings by Police Shows Outsize Risk for Young Blacks”

  1. Anonymous says:

    obey the lawful commands of the police and these thugs would still be alive, in prison, but alive..

    • NortonSmitty says:

      But just to be sure, we should obey the unlawful ones too? Baaa. Baaaaaa!

    • Anita says:

      What command was the 12 year old child playing with his toy gun in a park given? Was he a “thug”, too?

      • liberal says:

        An autopsy released Friday said Tamir was 5 feet 7 and weighed 195 pounds. If he was a little boy, his mommy and daddy should have been with him at the park. Parents have to start taking responsibility for their kids actions and be more responsible in raising them. Many wouldn’t let them out in the streets with an air pistol altered to look more like a real gun. Air guns are not toys, they can kill or seriously maim too.
        Should the police have waited first to be shot to see if the gun was real?

        • Anita says:

          Not sure whether or not you have children, but normal 12 year olds are out playing in the streets of America without the need for parental scrutiny every day…particularly in communities whose citizens pay for police to patrol their streets. The irony of that thought should make you want to weep.

          The circumstance of a child being tall and chunky should not be an excuse to shoot him to death, any more than a jail sentence should be imposed on the manufacturer of a realistic-looking toy gun. Put the damned blame where it belongs, on bad policing by a trigger-happy cop who fired on a black male and who never ordered him to “drop it!” or even look into the face of a big kid. Furthermore, this officer who shot Tamir Rice had a history of inappropriate behavior and should never have been issued a badge and a gun.

      • Ken Dodge says:

        “The officers ordered him to stop and to show his hands and he went into his waistband and pulled out the weapon,”

    • jpl says:

      It is amazing that people think that this is the days where police can just stop and attack people for no good reason. police in this country are out of control these days something has to be done. I was taught to respect the law and show respect to law enforcement. Even joined law enforcement my self but these days I am ashamed to be associated with the rest of these trigger happy thugs and yes I am still referring to law enforcement

  2. Bill says:

    Statistics are wonderful things one can use them to show whatever one wants others to believe. At what % do blacks age 15-19 commit crimes compared to whites of the same age group? Its not a black vrs white thing but a cultural thing. NOT that all blacks are bad but that so many grow up in a culture that has no good moral foundation like a DAD who is married to their MOM and live at home. The black culture was one of the strongest family values one in our Nation to not long ago. Poverty does cause much of the issues we see BUT its a poverty that could be avoided by Good life choices and many are not making the good choices.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can DAD be at home when he is in prison?

    • Anita says:

      The question you raise is “at what % do blacks age 15-19 commit crimes compared to whites of the same age group?” Perhaps you should ask at what % do white Americans aged 15-19 get ARRESTED, TRIED and SENTENCED for similar crimes committed compared to black American teens. Most white kids are treated sympathetically by a justice system mindful of providing a clean slate for the youngster’s future, and I guarantee you will not find one black youngster sentenced to a minimum security facility for “Affluenza” after being found responsible for causing a death. White kids are not expelled from school for minor infractions at the rate that black kids are and I have yet to see a white five year old carted off in handcuffs for having a tantrum as I did a black child a year, or so, ago.

      My second problem with your post is the expectation that saying “I do” before a minister, makes mommy and daddy exemplary parents and pillars of society. The struggling teenager trying to hold down a job, complete her education AND care for her child certainly doesn’t need the addition of a frustrated spouse taking his low self esteem issues out on her. If you read FlaglerLive regularly, you’d be aware of the amazing number of white domestic abuse cases reported by the police, and since divorce is commonplace to the dismay of the kids, marriage doesn’t strike me as much of a solution to problems of any kind.

      Rather than using the artificial yardstick of black “culture” vs white “culture” you were closer to identifying poverty as the problem. Poor black Americans and poor white Americans have a hell of a lot more in common with each other than they do with the 1% of any color in this country. Do “good life choices” involve: Diminished academic expectations for economically poor students or the inability to afford tutoring to bring a student up to class standards?; Lack of parenting skills, and how to acquire those skills when you don’t even know you lack them? What life choice do you resort to when you can’t get a job, a decent place to live or put food on the table? These are not black issues only but how the results of these problems are handled can be worlds apart between white Americans and black Americans, with or without statistics.

      • Shark says:

        The black race suffers from a complete breakdown of the family unit. Too many baby daddies out there with no role models to look up to except rappers and football players. Then they blame it on the whites for their problems!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Jim O says:

        Please read this comment Anita….

        Nomad says:

        December 29, 2014 at 12:24 pm

        Several months ago, I attended a forum on the Ferguson issue. On the panel was a group of black professors, activists, and a congresswoman from Brooklyn. The Q&A at the end was a eye opener form me that left me sickened and sad. I was surprised to hear many young, educated black men pleading for a return to the strong black family only to be shot down by the black congresswomen who flat out said that it was not feasible for blacks, particularly black women to get married because a two income household would deprive them of govt/financial benefits. Having kids are a criteria for receiving such benefits so what she was advocating was single motherhood for black women as a means to milk the system and to hell with the kids who suffer as a result. Maybe it’s time for educated black men to seek out women who value family stability and security over those who value govt welfare and their own shallow and materialistic selfishness. Society needs to put a stop to these folks who treat kids as cash cows for their own material gain. Since money talks for these folks, paying them to become sterilized will work.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      Yea, those statistics are some powerful shit, unless they suport evolution or go against the Right Wing agenda. Just ask Ol’ Law & Order Rudy:http://crooksandliars.com/2014/12/rudy-giuliani-tells-erin-burnett

      I have to admit though that statistically, there are more blacks than whites arrested for crimes like shoplifting, drug dealing, bouncing checks and burglary. And our society demonizes them for it.
      As Thiebalt explained it in The Red Lilly over 100 years ago, “The law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.”

      So it’s OK if our Thin Blue Line protects us all by murdering a few once in a while to keep them in their place. Sieg Hei…. ahem, I mean And So It Goes.

    • Ken Dodge says:

      “Statistics show ever increasing opportunities for statisticians.”

  3. MaryJo says:

    Yes, it is always advisable to use flawed incomplete data to create statistics, come to a conclusion and have the media pick up on it and spread it around. Well alrighty then! Great job! :) Just keep separating us…that’ll work.

  4. attila says:

    Blacks are shot more often then white because they commit 90% of the crimes. Do the math. It’s a shame people consider police as killers when they put their lives on the line to try and protect the good people.

  5. Al_Zeimers says:

    I agree with the flaming liberals. The police need to kill people in proportion to their population percentage not their crime percentage. By killing people this way the minorities will have nothing to complain about. Also most likely under this arrangement we would see the last of Al Sharpton.

  6. liberal says:

    Take all the police out of the predominantly black neighborhoods, like the protesters in Ferguson and Cleveland want for a year. Then let’s wait and see what the statistics look like. With no white officers to kill our young black men, do you think crime will go up or down? Anyone?

  7. Jim R says:

    They should also do an an analysis of rich as opposed to poor victims of police shootings. The job of the police is to protect the rich and business community and to control the poor and working class. If anyone has any doubt that this is true just study the history of the labor movement and the way police are used as strike breakers, also the way the occupy movement was brutalized and suppressed (temporarily I hope) shows how they protected Wall Streets interests. If my memory is correct Jamie Dimon and Chase made a huge donation to the NY police dept as a reward for what they did to the occupy protesters.
    So is it fair to call police hired thugs for the rich? Yes if you happen to be on the receiving end of either of the scenarios referred to.

    • Nancy N says:

      Don’t forget the origin of a “well organized militia” in this country…which was to be able to capture escaped slaves for rich landowners. And the police’s job in early industrial history was to arrest people to fill prisons to provide free labor for prison industries.

  8. Anonymous says:

    how about an article on all the whites murdered by blacks? hmmm!!!!

    • Nancy N says:

      Most whites are in fact murdered by other whites. Most people are murdered by someone they know, making most murders intraracial. The “epidemic” of black on white murder is a myth.

  9. Seminole Pride says:

    Way to many young single black women trying to raise children. I have read where their are more young black men in prison then their are in college. We as a society have to get these young black men off the streets, and put them somewhere that has a positive and effective impact on their life.

  10. Sherry Epley says:

    It’s tragic to see comments from oblivious folks who actually believe that poor people/African Americans
    are disadvantaged and discriminated against because THEY made bad life choices. There seems to be little comprehension that many, many people simply DO NOT have the opportunities that more affluent/caucasian citizens do. Surely most reasonable, compassionate, open minded people realize that we should not stigmatize an entire race or socioeconomic class by painting them with a broad brush and labeling them as lesser beings.

    Here is an example of the CHOICES that millions of US Citizens DO NOT HAVE:

    1. CHOICE of not being hungry/healthy= Pepsi is cheaper than milk! The most nutritious foods are the most expensive. The food banks simply cannot supply fresh fruits and vegetables. Many children arrive at school hungary and receive their ONLY hot meals at school. . . where until recently ketchup was labeled as a required vegetable.

    2. CHOICE of Equal Education= PUBLIC schools tax dollars diverted to “Charter” Schools AKA Private/Religious schools. Even if a disadvantaged child were accepted into one, what if the parent doesn’t have a car or can’t afford the uniforms or fees?

    3. CHOICE of NOT HAVING CHILDREN ONE CANNOT AFFORD= Birth control is frowned upon by religion. Many women can’t afford it. WELFARE rewards having children by increasing the amounts paid to those qualifying.

    4. CHOICE of NEIGHBORHOOD= Many simply cannot afford, and have NO opportunities to live in the community they would prefer. Yes, (although illegal) there is still race discrimination in the buying and selling of houses. In some communities, that means some people have NO ACCESS to “good” public school districts.

    5. CHOICE of JOB= Often times skin color automatically eliminates a candidate from a position. . . even though such discrimination is illegal.

    I could go on and on about the LACK of CHOICES for more and more of our citizens as the divide between the RICH and everyone else widens. But, the combination of frustration and anger from a larger and larger group of disadvantaged people and the “armed to the teeth” mentality in our country is really frightening and a huge problem for the police.

    The disparity between the 1% and the rest of our citizens is at the core of these issues. Regardless of flawed statistics, true justice is blind and can only be had by those than can afford it. Never doubt, many of the wealthy see everyone else as the lower classes and unworthy of existing equally in what they perceive as their world. (sarcastically she said) After all. . . everyone needs servants, don’t they?

    • Outsider says:

      1. I call BS on this one. I personally saw a family in a local convenience store with a young child drinking a sugary bottle of soda, the adults had two big gulps of Pepsi, and bags of chips which cost $13. It was put on an EBT card. That same store had gallons of milk for $4, and other more healthy items that were passed over. That was a CHOICE. I have friends who work in the local grocery stores and Wal-Mart, where at times nearly 100% of the people use food stamps. The items they buy, chips, cakes, soda and other garbage infuriates me, but again, that is a CHOICE.
      2. Imagine School has school buses to pick up kids. They have a uniform exchange where people can donate uniforms their kids have outgrown. There are lots of kids there who are not well off, but they are there.
      3. I just love the way people cherry pick religious doctrine to make their points. While it is true some religions frown on ARTIFICIAL birth control, they also prohibit sex before marriage. If people actually followed the latter, they wouldn’t need the former. So it goes to follow if you’re going to have sex before marriage, you better break two rules and have birth control. If your CHOICE is to break the no sex before marriage rule, you are just as free to break the birth control one.
      4. It’s the left that continues to insist on funding failing public schools in the neighborhoods you speak of. It is also only the left that opposes vouchers that would allow these kids to go elsewhere. Obama ended a very successful charter school program in D.C. as soon as he was elected, if I remember correctly.
      5. “Often times?” How do you know that? Is it really the skin color or is it a lack of qualification or some other legitimately disqualifying cause?
      I believe liberal policies and poor choices are the reasons why people end up in, or can’t escape poverty. Welfare is the biggest reason people remain poor. It encourages bad behaviors by eliminating consequences of it. By making it possible to survive without having a job does nothing to promote a desire to work. Paying for children one could not otherwise afford does nothing to discourage having more, and the biggest cause of poverty is having children before there is a family capable of providing for them.

      • Nancy N says:

        Blaming welfare and people’s poor choices as the reasons that they are poor is a great set of self-justification for not extending a helping hand to them or supporting politicians who will spend tax dollars on programs to support the poor. Demonize the poor and programs to support them and then you are guilt-free about keeping your money in your own pocket!

        1. So apparently you think that people on welfare have some sort of social responsibility to make more healthy eating choices than the rest of us make on a daily basis? Does it infuriate you when the lady ahead of you in line at the grocery store checks out with an unhealthy cart full of food and then pays in cash? I bet not. #doublestandard

        2. Our local charter school has adapted to the low income environment here in town by providing programs that serve low income kids. Without those programs the school could not attract enough students to survive most likely, since 2/3 of the district’s kids are on free/reduced lunch. In other areas, where that number is much lower, charter schools do not have to resort to these sorts of programs – and in fact the defacto exclusion of “at risk” low income minority kids by the demands placed on the family of the charter school program is seen as a feature at many charter schools by parents.

        3. First off, not everyone in this country is religious, so they don’t adhere to “rules” about who can have sex. Also, a marriage certificate is not some kind of magic wand that makes you suddenly able to afford having children, and married couples are not immune from having problems affording and getting access to birth control.

        4. Voucher programs are unconstitutional because they divert state funds to usually religious schools. The ends (getting kids a good education) does not justify the means (shredding the constitution).

        5. Research shows that white convicted felons have better job prospects than a similarly qualified black candidate with no criminal record. You can try to whitewash the problem by demonizing the victims and blaming them for your own comfort, but it’s indisputable that there is rampant discrimination in hiring in this country.

    • I/M/O says:

      The 400 richest people in the world announced today. In 2014 these 400 people combined increase in wealth was 92 billion dollars.

      The estimated combined wealth of these 400 people is 4..1 Trillion Dollars.

      Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp., was up $9.1 billion during the year. The 59-year-old remains the world’s richest person with a $87.6 billion fortune.

      Warren Buffett, the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., added $13.7 billion to his net worth to become the world’s second-richest person

      Goodness it is great to be smart.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-12-29/world-s-400-wealthiest-add-92-billion-in-2014-as-alibaba-surges.html

  11. val says:

    so sick of this black and white

  12. Anonymous says:

    How bout our police departments do better back round checks , psychological testing , find out from their facebook accounts, family and friends if they have racist traits, if they are control freaks , seems like a lot of bullies make it on our police forces…. and as for the arrest between the Rich and Poor , Congress is nothing but a bunch of racist thieves that are fleecing our country , taking three and four bribes a day openly , they don`t even hide it anymore …..Boehner was passing out cartons of cigarettes and checks from tobacco lobbyist right on the house floor , how bout generic drug prices going through the roof ,our politicians are supposed to set limits on them , but now they are trying to sabotage Obama care in any way shape or form they can , so letting generic drug companies run amok is fine and dandy , them people should all be rounded up and locked in jail for the rest of their filthy racists lives , if Romney had implemented the ACA , the same one he helped implement in Mass… he`d be seen as a Hero, but since a Black President did it , its evil and must be destroyed , forget the police for now ……lets start at the top clean all the scum out of our Government, and work our way down to the judges then the police , lets clean up our country up once and for all.

  13. ogrethetop says:

    125 police officers who have died while on duty in 2014.

  14. w.ryan says:

    I’m pleased that Flaglerlive is furnishing these numbers! Thanks! It is unfortunate that the rhetoric is still being thrown around about cops protecting the people. On one is saying that the police is bad or doing a poor job. What is being said is that some police jump to deadly force without enough provocation to justify the use of deadly force and when this happens they are not held accountable and the need to curb and punish this recklessness behavior to serve the people more justifiable is needed.

  15. JIM R. says:

    854 truckers were killed on the job in 2014

  16. Sherry Epley says:

    Dear “Outsider”,

    1. Unhealthy, addictive, sugary soda from machines are “refillable”. . . therefore it is impossible to compare the price to milk. Liter bottles of soda are often on sale for less than a dollar. Ounce for ounce typically soda is cheaper than milk unless you compare 2 gallon sizes of milk to non-refillable, not on sale soda. Most nutritionist and economist agree that the most healthy foods are the most expensive. Buy anything organic lately?

    2. Nationwide, the poor have less choice in where their children attend school. School bus routes simply cannot accommodate taking every child from every neighborhood to the school of their choice.

    3. Ahhh hummm. . . When more affluent kids completely stop having sex before marriage, you will have made a point. Annnnd pigs really will fly!

    4. Pleeease. . . “vouchers” for charter and religious schools benefit more affluent white kids much more than the poor. This from the Washington Post:

    There is a strong link between school choice programs and an increase in student segregation by race, ethnicity, and income.

    Studies in a number of different states and school districts in the United States show that charter schools often lead to increased school segregation, a finding that is consistent with research in a number of other countries, including Australia. In many cases — not all — school choice programs exacerbate current school segregation and, in more heterogeneous settings, lead to the stratification of students who were previously in integrated environments.

    5. I personally KNOW that white people are chosen over people of color because I was in the “placement industry” for over 20 years and my clients often made it clear that people of color would not be acceptable candidates. Although they would some times even ask for resumes and even interviews for people of color so that they could claim that they were not biased.

  17. Lin says:

    49,851 law enforcement officers were victims of assault in 2013 according to FBI statistics

    • Nancy N says:

      That statistic is highly suspect since often trumped-up “battery on a LEO” charges are used to settle a score or hold a suspect that can’t be held on other grounds, or to inflate a charge’s seriousness (and thus sentence).

    • w.ryan says:

      When your job is law enforcement it is this stat is inline with the results. This is no surprise and it should be compared to the amount of arrests as well as to the injuries and deaths to those arrested.

  18. common sense says:

    Tell me again how these cops are using deadly force when they should not. Break it down how if someone presents an edged weapon or blunt object or merely a cop that is taking a beating that will likely render him/her unconscious how this person should not defend themselves with deadly force? Explain, please. Having been both military and Law Enforcement I fully understand the differences in use of force be it deadly force or simply gaining compliance. So many here that sound off have no clue, not an inkling of an idea of what it is to go toe to toe with someone that wants you dead and has no regard for life. Anybody???
    And not to belittle truckers or any other profession that is dangerous and work related deaths but it truly is different when someone be it cop or military dies in the line of duty.

  19. Jim R says:

    Anytime a police officer abuses someone he arrests, the charge of assaulting a police officer and resisting arrest are automatically added to whatever the person is being arrested for. That would mean those statistics are wildly inflated.

  20. nomad says:

    Several months ago, I attended a forum on the Ferguson issue. On the panel was a group of black professors, activists, and a congresswoman from Brooklyn. The Q&A at the end was a eye opener form me that left me sickened and sad. I was surprised to hear many young, educated black men pleading for a return to the strong black family only to be shot down by the black congresswomen who flat out said that it was not feasible for blacks, particularly black women to get married because a two income household would deprive them of govt/financial benefits. Having kids are a criteria for receiving such benefits so what she was advocating was single motherhood for black women as a means to milk the system and to hell with the kids who suffer as a result. Maybe it’s time for educated black men to seek out women who value family stability and security over those who value govt welfare and their own shallow and materialistic selfishness. Society needs to put a stop to these folks who treat kids as cash cows for their own material gain. Since money talks for these folks, paying them to become sterilized will work.

    • I/M/O says:

      Nomad…18% of all food stamp assistance is spent in a WalMart. The United States Budget just passed was for 4.1 trillion dollars. Now think about why we have lobbyists infesting K Street in D.C. Those who know how to navigate the “Public Trough” have made it a “Fine Art.”

      The think about this. Remember that “Shovel Ready Job Stimulus Bill” that had to be passed to create jobs? If one only uses the Minimum Wage where a person earns $15,300 a year 1 trillion dollars should have created 64.8 million entry level jobs for a year.

  21. Lin says:

    One of the questions asked potential jurors is if they give more weight to the word of law enforcement officers. I guess we are supposed to be extremely impartial and give equal to both sides

    But here on this forum it’s law enforcement is guilty until proven innocent, the grand juries are wrong, cops need retraining, etc., they aren’t being killed and assaulted?

    Are we giving more credibility to the felons now?

  22. I/M/O says:

    My theory as to what politicians are up too.

    They want those pesky Grand Juries that investigate them for receiving bribes and other graft and corruption cases that result in their indictments thus ruining their “Political Careers” abolished. So they are using this so called fictitious “Crisis of Mass Police Shootings” to accomplish that.

    Stats for New York City police Department for this year ? 40 Officers out of 35,000 fired their weapons at a suspect. Crime rates are down.

  23. SW says:

    white or black they are dead for a reason desperate criminals– not all but most

  24. Lancer says:

    Sherry…

    Riddle me this, please?

    Since LBJ’s “Great Society Program” declared “war on Poverty” we now have over 100 entitlement programs and, as a country, have spent Trillions…

    Why hasn’t the poverty rate gone down in 4 decades?

    These programs are NOT working. In fact, we have seen an increase in the amount of people using them, the amount spent, etc. The social problems that leftists like to tout are being perpetuated by the programs they continuously defend.

    The only thing worse than poverty, are leftists who keep people in poverty and dependent on programs to garner a vote.

    What did Johnson truly think of his Great Society programs?

    “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years.” —Lyndon B. Johnson to two governors on Air Force One

    “These Negroes, they’re getting pretty uppity these days and that’s a problem for us since they’ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we’ve got to do something about this, we’ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”—LBJ

    • Nancy N says:

      If you check historical sources instead of right wing blogs, you’ll find the authenticity of those quotes is highly questionable. But they make great sound bites for the GOP looking to discredit the man who signed landmark Civil Rights and poverty legislation, so they get passed around without a lot of scrutiny by certain types of people.

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