Research: White suspects get shot quicker than black suspects

A fascinating article in Reason. You may not want to accept the findings at face value, but it does suggest a counter-narrative that is worth further study.

The money quote in the article is this:

Participants in an innovative Washington State University study of deadly force were more likely to feel threatened in scenarios involving black people. But when it came time to shoot, participants were biased in favor of black suspects, taking longer to pull the trigger against them than against armed white or Hispanic suspects…

What is at work here? Reverse racism? Or is it the trigger puller giving the black perp the benefit of the doubt? Again, hard to tell, but a phenomenon that is worth understanding.

 

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Author: David Wolf

An adviser to corporations and organizations on strategy, communications, and public affairs, David Wolf has been working and living in Beijing since 1995, and now divides his time between China and California. He also serves as a policy and industry analyst focused on innovative and creative industries, a futurist, and an amateur historian.

2 thoughts on “Research: White suspects get shot quicker than black suspects”

  1. More than likely, the police officer knows that the potential firestorm from shooting a white or hispanic suspect will be considerably less. Shooting a black suspect may end one problem, but often just causes a bigger one. There are no white Al Sharptons or Jessie Jacksons, thank goodness.

  2. Your use of the word “perp” is interesting. Perp is short for “perpetrator of a crime”. The absolute most that any person a police officer interacts with can be is, of course, a “suspect”.

    There’s a whole political outlook right there, I’d suggest.

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