Black males 21x more likely to die in police shootings than whites

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

A recent analysis of federal data on fatal police shootings by investigative non-profit ProPublica showed that young black males were 21 times more likely than their white peers to be shot and killed by police. The analysis, conducted over a study of more than 12,000 accounts of police homicides from the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report during 1980–2012, focused in on the 1,1217 fatal shootings occurring between 2010–2012. An analysis of these homicides indicated that black teens between the ages of 15–19 were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million.

Just 1.47 per million white males in the same age range were killed, according to the ProPublica findings.

The analysis also found that 77% of the homicides with circumstances labeled as “undetermined” involved a black victim. The analysis broke down the data into a number of categories, including whether officers feared for their lives, what gun was used in the shooting and the race of the officers involved.

However, ProPublica indicated in an article detailing the findings that they considered the FBI’s data “terribly incomplete,” as many of the nation’s police department don’t file reports on fatal shootings. And large states such as Florida and New York haven’t reported numbers in over seven years.

The data isn’t conclusive, despite the sample size of 12,000 reports, according to University of Missouri-St. Louis professor David Klinger, who said that the vast racial discrepancies found could result from “measurement error.”

Scrutiny on police officers’ use of deadly force has intensified in recent months following numerous incidents around the country involving the recent deaths of unarmed black males. Investigations into the deaths of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died after being put in a chokehold, and Michael Brown, the Ferguson teen shot in August, are currently ongoing.