Are Police Really Racists? Pt.1

Are the police in your county racist against Black people?  More specifically, are they killing more blacks than whites? I’ve been practically silent over the last few weeks because I was going over all the material in Fatal Encounters- arguably the most comprehensive list of deaths related to police officers.  At first I was going to scour every year they had available, but as it would turn out, they are not done.  Fatal Encounters believes that the most accurate years for the entire nation in their database is currently 2013-2015. So I restricted the data collection to only these three years.  My question was- where are the most racist counties (or equivelant- you know what?  we’re just going to call them all counties, all the parishes, independent cities, etc- it’s a LOT easier to do so, otherwise you’ll get sick of the repetitiveness, I know I am typing it 😉 lol).  You cannot go with states, because every county has it’s own personality.  Plus, the more accurate you have the population comparisons, the better the math will reflect the information you are given.  Because estimates are just that, I drew from the data which is the closest reflection I believe we can get until 2020 (or whenever the next census is): the 2010 Census.

Fatal Encounters divides the race of each person by White/European, Black/African American, Hispanic, Native American/Native Alaskan, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern and Race Unspecified.  Since we do not have a clue who the unspecified are, this study didn’t include them.  Which is a shame, because in some areas, it could have painted a better picture.  Like D.C. which has a predominantly black population, and the only named race were those of Black/African American descent, with 11 Black listed and 6 unspecified, there is no telling what that would have told us if the 6 were of any other race.  I also got rid of the Middle Eastern numbers because I cannot be sure where they were listed in the census demographic.  Running a check on all of the Black Hispanic common last names, I couldn’t find one that was listed as hispanic/latino, so the latino population is listed as White Hispanic.  All of the black population is listed as Black/African American, and the white population was stripped of all their hispanic population.  This was accomplished using https://www.census.gov/popest/data/counties/asrh/2014/PEPSR5H.html .  Just click on a state, and you can access every county (or equivalent) in that state and you can see how you can change the numbers using the drop down menus.  I didn’t see a purpose in dividing males from females, white is white, black is black, hispanic is hispanic.  There were some crazy summaries I read, both men and women are a bit bonkers when faced with the police.  Well, that’s not completely accurate- only those which ended up getting killed.

Now, what does this mean- a person killed by the police?  Fatal Encounters includes all sorts of stories.  This might be a bit more difficult to explain what I included and what I didn’t.  So let me try to simplify it.  First, this data only included the subject of the pursuit.  There were plenty of accidental deaths that occurred, but this does not reflect the intent of the officer to go after those individuals.  I reiterate, this only includes the subjects/suspects of a crime:

1. Suicide- Not included, UNLESS it happened in the middle of a firefight, or just after firefight.  You would be surprised how many of these stories exist.  If it’s possible that an officer of the law could have hit them, then it’s included in the data collected.
2. Lost Control of the Vehicle- Not included.  UNLESS the loss of control happened because of gunfire.  There was at least one story where the officer shot a car and it ended up on the side of the road in a movie-style scene.  But if someone ran over a spike strip or similar road block and killed themselves, that is not on the officer(s)- that’s on the driver for being an idiot.
3. Medical Emergency- Only if the officer caused it, or might have been the cause of it.  Heart Attack?  That’s something that can’t be helped by the officer.  However, if there was an incident where the officers clearly didn’t try to get medical help (key word here, the officers, not the neglect of the medical personnel, of which I saw at least one story like that), then it was included.  Pepper Spray?  Included.  Taser?  Included.  Unarmed Self-Defense resulting in bludgeon/blunt force trauma?  Included.
4. Killing of Passion?  Not included, as I said before, this deals with suspects- not the wife, friend or family member of an officer.  Well except at least one instance where the officer had to kill his own son because he witnessed him stabbing his wife to death, that was included.
5. Drowning?  There were a number of instances where the suspect jumped into the water to avoid getting arrested.  There was one out of Mississippi that I’ll never forget- a guy with a large number of speeding tickets walked himself (backwards) into a large body of water and drowned himself.  Officers couldn’t pull him out fast enough.  Anyways, none of these cases were included.  But there was one drowning incident we did include- there was an officer that arrested someone on a boat and put the wrong life vest on.  The guy drowned when he fell off the boat as it was going back onto shore. Yeah, I don’t agree with the official ruling on the case, that it was excusable- officer should have been fired and barred from public safety jobs for life.  But that’s just me.  Anyways, that was included.
6. Run-over.  Okay so there were a number of instances where the police or a suspect ran over innocent bystanders in pursuit of another suspect or going out to a call of some sort.  None of these incidents were included.  There were at least two incidents that I considered hard before saying “Sure, we’ll include it.”.  The first was where the police crashed into a fence and without realizing it (until they got out) they had pinned the suspect down to the ground, and he died.  It was the suspect, they were pursuing him, they didn’t mean to run him over, but they by chance did…when I considered it all, seemed to me like they might have pulled their gun on him anyway.  The other was where the secondary officer responding to a traffic stop, again by chance, ended up getting into a collision with the suspect.  Now I can’t remember if that was a vehicle on vehicle incident or a vehicle to pedestrian incident.  In either case, I decided it was enough to include in the story.  Any instances where the officer ended up rear-ending a vehicle with a suspect in it, however, was not included. All those stories basically couldn’t have been avoided by the officer.  High Speed Chase deaths, tend to be the fault of the driver.  As mentioned above, there were a few instances that I did include, though.
So I think you have a good idea of what I used to determine whether or not someone would get included in this data set.  It’s a lot of summaries to work through, but hey now you have an idea on how to conduct your own research, and what the problems are with taking a straight number from Fatal Encounters.  The same is true of Killed by Police. They also include accidental deaths.  My data doesn’t discriminate against a police authority (federal vs. local), and it only used the data inside of Fatal Encounters.  If you go the site you can see why it was chosen over any other data pool.  The guy running it truly cares about accurate information.  I also recommend that if you have a passion for this subject and want to contribute, to donate to them.

Alright, so here are the findings

The following Counties had no subject-related deaths outside of White people:

Alabama- Calhoun (3), Dale (2), Houston (2), Marshall (2), Baldwin (1), Blount (1), Chilton (1), Choctaw (1), Lauderdale (1), Lawerence (1), Talledega (1), and Washington (1).

Arizona- Mohave (4), La Paz (1), and Yavapai (1).

Arkansas- Saline (2), Craighead (1), Garland (1), Greene (1), Hot Spring (1), Izard (1), Lonoke (1), Pope (1), Randolph (1), Searcy (1), and White (1).

California- Siskiyou (3), Yuba (3), Mendocino (2), Sutter (2), Kings (1), Lake (1), Madira (1), Napa (1), Nevada (1), Placer (1), Plumas (1), and Tuolumne (1).

Colorado- El Paso (5), Fremont (2), Garfield (1), Jefferson (1), Moffat (1), Morgan (1), and Chaffee (1)

Connecticut- Middlesex (1), Tolland (1), and Windham (1)

Delaware- Kent (2),

Florida- Citrus (3), Escambia (3), Sarasota (3), Hernando (2), Collier (1), Gulf (1), Martin (1), Okaloosa (1), Osceola (1), Santa Rosa (1), Seminole (1), and Bay (1)

Georgia- Clinch (2), Forsyth (2), Pickens (2), Polk (2), Barrow (1), Burke (1), Calhoun (1), Chatanooga (1), Cherokee (1), Coffee (1), Columbia (1), Coweta (1), Decatur (1), Effingham (1), Habersham (1), Harris (1), Jeff Davis (1), Laurens (1), Paulding (1), Putnam (1), Rockdale (1), Walker (1), Wayne (1), Whitfield (1), and Worth (1)

Idaho- Canyon (2), Kootenai (2), Ada (1), Adams (1), Bannock (1), Jerome (1), Madison (1), Shoshore (1), and Valley (1)

Illinois- Kane (2), Dekalb (1), Douglas (1), Franklin (1), Logan (1), Madison (1), Massac (1), McLean (1), Scott (1), Tazewell (1), Whiteside (1), Williamson (1), and Winnebago (1)

Indiana- Lake (2), Brown (1), Delaware (1), Hendricks (1), Johnson (1), Morgan (1), Shelby (1), and Vigo (1)
Iowa- Polk (4), Scott (2), Lee (1), Linn (1), Marshall (1), Van Buren (1), Washington (1), and Worth (1)

Kansas – Barton (1), Decatur (1), Franklin (1), Greenwood (1), Harvey (1), Johnson (1), Leavenworth (1), McPherson (1), Saline (1), and Thomas (1)

Kentucky- Perry (2), Rockcastle (1), Shelby (1), Taylor (1), Whitley (1), Bell (1), Boone (1), Carter (1), Cumberland (1), Fayette (1), Fleming (1), Gallatin (1), Grant (1), Grayson (1), Hopkins (1), Jessamine (1), Knox (1), Larue (1), Lawrence (1), and Magoffin (1)

Louisiana- St. Tammany (3), Livingston (2), Quachita (2), Acadia (2), Avoyelles (1), Franklin (1), Natchitoches (1), and St. Mary (1)

Maine- Penobscot (5), Aroostook (1), Cumberland (1), and Oxford (1), Massachusetts- Barnstable (2), Middlesex (2), Norfolk (2),Franklin (1), and Plymouth (1)

Michigan- Ionia (2), Kalamazoo (2), Kent (2), Alger (1), Barry (1), Bay (1), Gladwin (1), Lenawee (1), Livingston (1), Macomb (1), Mason (1), Montcalm (1), and Osceola (1)

Missouri- St. Louis City (9), Greene (4), Buchanan (2), Christian (2), Morgan (1), Cedar (1), Crawford (1), Dekalb (1), Franklin (1), Holt (1), Jefferson (1), Johnson (1), Pettis (1), St. Charles (1), Stone (1), and Barry (1)

Minnesota- St. Louis (2), Beltrami (1), Blue Earth (1), Crow Wing (1), Itasca (1), Kanabec (1), McLeod (1), Nicollet (1), and Stearns (1)

Mississippi- Lincoln (2), Rankin (2), Copiah (1), George (1), Marion (1), Scott (1), Stone (1), Tishomingo (1), Tunica (1), and Union (1)

Maryland- Fredrick (3)

Montana- Yellowstone (7), Beaverhead (1), Cascade (1), Mineral (1), Missoula (1), Powell (1), and Ravalli (1)

Nebraska- Lancaster (3), Cheyenne (1), Colfax (1), Deuel (1), Polk (1), and Sarpy (1)

New Hamshire- Hillsborough (1) and Strafford (1)

New Jersey- Ocean (2), Sussex (1), Warren (1), and Monmouth (1)

New Mexico- Lincoln (1), Sierra (1), and Torrance (1)

New York- Albany (1), Cayuga (1), Essex (1), Franklin (1), Fulton (1), Herkimer (1), Onondaga (1), Orleans (1), Oswego (1), Rockland (1), Saratoga (1), and Ulster (1)

Nevada- Carson  (1), Churchill (1), Douglas (1), Elko (1), and Lyon (1)

North Carolina- Wake (5), Catawba (3), Alleghany (1), Ashe (1), Bladen (1), Brunswich (1), Burke (1), Carteret (1), Haywood (1), Macon (1), Pender (1), and Wilson (1)

North Dakota- Grand Forks (1), and Stark (1)

Oklahoma- Payne (3), Choctaw (2), Mayes (2), Adair (1),  Beckham (1), Bryan (1), Canadian (1), Cherokee (1), Creek (1), Garfield (1), Grady (1), Logan (1), Nowata (1), Okfuskee (1), Pawnee (1), and Pottawatomie (1)

Ohio- Pike (3), Knox (2), Mercer (2), Stark (2), Brown (1), Butler (1), Coshocton (1), Geauga (1), Hancock (1), Mahoning (1), Muskingum (1), Portage (1), Warren (1), and Wood (1)

Oregon- Marion (5), Clockamas (3), Douglas (2), Jackson (2), Josephine (2), Klamath (2), Lane (2), Columbia (1), Deschutes (1), Lincoln (1), and Umatilla (1)

Pennsylvania- Monroe (2), Westmoreland (2), Berks (1), Bucks (1), Butler (1), Fayette (1), Northhampton (1), Somerset (1), Venango (1), and Wayne (1)

South Carolina- Aiken (3), Berkeley (2), Horry (2), Lancaster (2), Chesterfield (1), Georgetown (1), Kershaw (1), Oconee (1), York (1), South Dakota- Lawrence (1), and Minnehaha (1)

Tennessee- Blount (2), Bradley (2), Tipton (2), Cumberland (1), Dickson (1), Grainger (1), Hamblen (1), Jefferson (1), Lewis (1), Marion (1), McMinn (1), Rhea (1), Roane (1), Sequatchie (1), Sevier (1), and Sumner (1)

Texas- Parker (5), Leon (2), Orange (2), Angelina (1), Aransas (1), Armstrong (1), Bell (1), Bosque (1), Cass (1), Collin (1), Coryell (1), Fanin (1), Grayson (1), Guadalupe (1), Hamilton (1), Hays (1), Hood (1), Howard (1), Jim Hogg (1), Lamar (1), Montague (1), Nacognoches (1), Nolan (1), Polk (1), Randall (1), Taylor (1), Victoria (1), Waller (1), and Wise (1)

Utah- Davis (3), Touele (2), Box Elder (1), Cache (1), Duchesne (1), Iron (1), Uintah (1), and Washington (1)

Vermont- Chittenden (2)

Virginia- Amherst (1), Augusta (1), Bedford City (1), Fairfax (1), Fredrick (1), Giles (1), Grayson (1), Henrico (1), Hopewell City (1), King George (1), Lynchburgh City (1), Montgomery (1), Nelson (1), Powhatan (1), Pulaski (1), Rockingham (1), Suffolk City (1), and Washington (1)

Washington- Spokane (10), Cowlitz (3), Lewis (2), Douglas (1), Grant (1), Grays Harbor (1), Kitsap (1), Stevens (1), and Benton (1)

West Virginia- Monongalia (2), Brooke (1),
Clay (1), Greenbrier (1), Harrison (1), Lewis (1), Logan (1), Mineral (1), Mingo (1), and Ohio (1)

Wisconsin- Dunn (2), Kenosha (2), Winnebago (2), Clark (1), Douglas (1), Fond du Lac (1), Monroe (1), Portage (1), and Racine (1)

Wyoming- Natrona (2), Albany (1), Campbell (1), Converse (1), Fremont (1), Laramie (1), and Uinta (1)

Obviously the above counties have no qualms with shooting white people, in a three year period that’s all they shot.  Yes, black people live in these areas, if the police in these counties were more likely to have a fatal encounter with black people, then these counties would have seen at least one black person killed.  Since they didn’t, you can rest assured that if you live in one of these counties, your police force(s) are not murderous racists (*rolls eyes* the majority aren’t, honestly, but we can say with certainty that none of these guys are- we’ll get into that at the end of this little series though).

What about other counties? We’ll talk about that tomorrow.  For today, this is enough for you to chew on.

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