The day after a Minnesota cop was charged in the July shooting death of a black man, an in-depth study purported to show race generally does not play a role in police shootings.
Among the findings of the investigation released Thursday by the Crime Prevention Research Center: White police officers are not significantly more likely to shoot black suspects; body cameras have had little effect on decreasing police killings; the more cops at the scene, the less likely it is a suspect will be shot.
The study examined data from 2013 to 2015, a time period which almost perfectly bookends the police killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014, an episode that helped lead to the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and placed increased scrutiny on police shootings. Yet, the research team of John Lott and Carlisle Moody found the percentage of black suspects killed in the 19 months before Brown’s death (24.8 percent) was almost exactly the same as the percentage killed in the 16 months after Brown’s death (25 percent).
“You might have imagined that if people were shooting black suspects for some type of racial animus, you might imagine there would be a change before and after Ferguson,” Lott told FoxNews.com. “And yet [cops] seem to shoot, for black suspects, it’s perfectly flat between the two periods of time.”
Lott and Moody examined 2,699 police killings from more than 1,500 cities during the three-year time span — including 1,333 killings not recorded in the FBI’s official data. To gather the most precise information, the researchers scoured LexisNexis, Google, official police data and online databases.