African-Americans fatally shot by police were twice as likely as whites to be unarmed according to a new report on racial bias in policing.
The report, A Bird’s Eye View of Civilians Killed by Police in 2015, published Wednesday by the American Society of Criminology, analyzed 2015 fatal police shooting data compiled by the Washington Post. Looking at 990 fatal shootings, it was found blacks were more than twice as likely to be unarmed than whites. Other minorities, including Latinos, who were fatally shot were less likely to pose a threat than whites.
Justin Nix, an author of the study and Criminal Justice Professor at the University of Louisville said the Washington Post data confirms implicit bias in policing. “Earlier research shows people are biased to minorities,” Nix said. “This gives a better understanding of fatal police shootings in a real setting and not just in experimental studies.” Until recently, the government has not collected much on fatal police shootings.