Study: White Cops Are More Likely to Use Force Than Black Cops—Especially Against Black Suspects

Are white cops more likely to use force than black cops? A recent study suggests they are. Using data from 911 calls in which police officers are randomly chosen to respond, Mark Hoekstra and CarlyWill Sloan produce the following chart:

As you can see, white cops are always more likely to use force than black cops. But here’s what’s even more interesting: as the black percentage of a neighborhood goes up, white officers increase their use of force far more than black officers. The blacker the neighborhood, the bigger the difference in use of force.

The difference is even more dramatic when it comes to guns. In white and mixed-race neighborhoods, white and black cops use their guns at about equal rates. But as neighborhoods become blacker, the use of guns by white officers skyrockets while the use of guns by black officers increases only slightly.

This is only one study in a single city of modest size. Still, the study design is solid and the sample size of 911 calls is large. If you’ve been skeptical of claims that white cops treat black suspects worse than white suspects, you should be less skeptical now.

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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