Do Police Kill Blacks At The Same Rate as Lynching?

So, I encountered the following badge on Facebook:

That is a shocking claim, isn't it? I decided to try and see if it was true.

The source for the claim seems to be this article in the UK Guardian. Here's the fuller version of the claim:
Not terribly long ago in a country that many people misremember, if they knew it at all, a black person was killed in public every four days for often the most mundane of infractions, or rather accusation of infractions – for taking a hog, making boastful remarks, for stealing 75 cents. For the most banal of missteps, the penalty could be an hours-long spectacle of torture and lynching. No trial, no jury, no judge, no appeal. Now, well into a new century, as a family in Ferguson, Missouri, buries yet another American teenager killed at the hands of authorities, the rate of police killings of black Americans is nearly the same as the rate of lynchings in the early decades of the 20th century.

About twice a week, or every three or four days, an African American has been killed by a white police officer in the seven years ending in 2012, according to studies of the latest data compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. That number is incomplete and likely an undercount, as only a fraction of local police jurisdictions even report such deaths – and those reported are the ones deemed somehow “justifiable”. That means that despite the attention given the deaths of teenagers Trayvon Martin (killed by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman) and Jordan Davis (killed by a white man for playing his music too loud), their cases would not have been included in that already grim statistic – not only because they were not killed by police but because the state of Florida, for example, is not included in the limited data compiled by the FBI.
So the "rate" that she's talking about is "once every three or four days."

However, there's an ambiguity at work. The American black population in 1900 was 8.8 million; today, it is over 38 million. Thus, the "rate" in the statistical sense is only 0.231 the rate of lynchings in 1900 (assuming that 1900 is a good proxy for her claim about when lynchings were once-every-four-days, and that all her numbers are right).

So is the claim true? Yes, and at the same time also no.


Eric Blair said...

That article is miserable, wretched, racist sophistry.

Because what they neglect to mention is how many black Americans are killed each day by other black Americans, some times even black policemen, as in the case of that black guy in Ga that got tasered to DEATH by two other black policemen.

In other words, if no white police officer or even white person killed another black person, the murder rate of blacks in the USA would still be about the same.

Eric Blair said...

And apparently that's ok.

Grim said...

That's true, but I'm not sure it isn't beside the point.

So the claim as structured is that white society needs to restrain blacks using physical violence at a certain level. In the old days, this was done with lynchings; but now, in a period of alleged progress, we see blacks killed 'at the same rate' by whites... just by police instead of lynch mobs.

That claim isn't right, though, because 'at the same rate' proves to be less than a quarter of the rate in the mathematical sense. Still, there's a lot of killing going on.

So it's not really a question about the (far more massive) black-on-black violence problem. It's a question about whether the overarching society really needs to expend this level of violence in order to contain the black population. Possible answers are "no" and "yes." If the answer is "yes," we might then ask why.

Eric Blair said...

Oh, that's easy. It's a witches' brew of failed drug policies, failed social programs, the bigotry of low expectations, and a toxic popular culture that has been spawned by the above.

Don't see an easy way of unwinding that, though.

Texan99 said...

I wonder what the comparison between eras would be if you counted only the black men who were brandishing weapons or otherwise putting police in immediate fear for their lives?

Grim said...

Do you mean the ones who weren't? The statistic is from a database that counts only homicides police self-reported as justified. Depending on how steep the slope is for justification, probably most or all of these would be cases like that.

Ymar Sakar said...

They claim white patriotic America is guilty for the KKK and Democrat policies. Now they claim white patriotic America is guilty for the Democrat police unions.

Republicans are the original sin, so the only ones really guilty are those.

If a Democrat can hurt a Republican, the Democrat sins wash away. If the Democrat can wipe out humanity, the pollution sin wipes away. It's a convenient dogma.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

1. It's more likely that lynchings were underreported than police killings now, so the percentage would be even less. 2. Lynchings were extra-legal. It is not reported how many blacks got shot by white policemen in the old days. 3. The article stresses how little some poor bastard had to do to get lynched years ago, but is curiously silent on what the current victims were doing when they got shot. The examples used suggest that appearances, rather than reality, are what is used.

Ymar Sakar said...

The Democrats were normally not tasked with using the police to get rid of blacks, since they didn't control much of the police except for the city fiefs.

The KKK were discarded in favor of Black Panthers, Nation of Islam, and blacks wiping out blacks.

It's far easier that way, for the Left's vision of a New Humanity. One in which the right breeding produces the right slave mentality, to come to fruition. A combination of genetic cleansing via abortion and ritualized extermination of the weak in the black vs black kill rates, will produce both environmental and genetic purity for the Left's operations.

Britain has conducted breeding and enslavement procedures for various immigrants and their own welfare crippled cattle citizens as well.