Friday, July 8, 2016

Police Shootings 2015-2016

I don't have the time or the drive to make this "pretty". It shouldn't be "pretty", it isn't. I wanted to get FACTS out to people because it ultimately isn't about 1 or 2 individuals getting killed out there, it's about the systemic racism of police forces in America. I pulled this data from the Washington Post's great viz about this which you can find here.

I'll post the viz's below and you can play around with the morbid data yourselves but I'd like to point out a few things that came to light for me:
  • UNARMED Black people in America are 2x more likely to be killed by a police officer than a White person (UNARMED Hispanic Americans are 1.5x more likelythan White Americans to be killed)
    • If you are UNARMED, Black, and show signs of mental illness you are4.6x more likely to be killed by a police officer than an UNARMED, White, and showing signs of mental illness
  • UNARMED Black Americans are 3.39x more likely to be killed than White's in a state of "Not Fleeing" and not "Attacking" (Hispanics are 2.18x more likely)
  • The approximate US Population is as follows from the 2010 US Census:
    • White American 223,553,265 72.4 %
    • Black American 38,929,319 12.6 %
    • Asian American 14,674,252 4.8 %
    • American Indian or Alaska Native 2,932,248 0.9 %
    • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander 540,013 0.2 %
    • Some other race 19,107,368 6.2 %
    • Two or more races 9,009,073 2.9 %

That is to say there are literally more than 5x as many "White" people as "Black" people in America so regardless of the stories of individual numbers. Are you going to tell me why the numbers of UNARMED people getting killed in America is almost equal between these two racial groups? No really, I'll wait.

All of this said, I believe that police officers risk their lives for us every single day. The large majority of those people are heroes in every sense of the word, but I feel that the systemic racism in America causes an "other" reaction when dealing with someone not of your own race and unfortunately in quick life-or-death moments those systemic feelings can cause people to make tragically wrong decisions. Are there racist cops out there? Certainly. Should we treat all cops like racists? Of course not. If you'd like to hear a great video that I feel encapsulates my feelings check out Trevor Noah's take on the whole thing:

Now let's get on to the Viz, like I said it isn't pretty or super-cleaned-up, it's just the facts. These percentages represent how many UNARMED people of that particular group were killed vs ARMED members of that group. When I say UNARMED I excluded ALL weapons, they had no guns, no knives, no shovels, nothing in their hands. I urge you to mess with the filters to find your own truths in this data.

This last one is just a map so you can see city-by-city and state-by-state:

As always if you have any questions about this dataviz or any other please feel free to hit me up on twitter @wjking0. Try to stay safe out there everyone and if you know someone who is struggling with all that's happened now, just offer them a shoulder to cry on and a hug. *hugs to you all*