When a white police officer fatally shoots a black man, angry acquaintances often assume the tragedy was triggered by a racist cop.
New research reports that, while some officers may by driven by personal prejudice, the bias that can serve as a catalyst for killings is more institutional than individual.
“White officers do not kill black suspects at a higher rate compared with nonwhite officers,” concludes a research team led by Charles Menifield, dean of the School of Public Affairs and Administration at Rutgers University–Newark. “The killing of black suspects is a police problem, not a white police problem.”
Menifield and his colleagues constructed a database of all confirmed incidents in which deadly force was used by police in the United States during 2014 and 2015. It includes detailed information on both the officer and victim…..