| Crime |

More Proof That Police Kill Young Black Men Far More Than Anyone Else

Keep Dallas Observer Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Dallas and help keep the future of Dallas Observer free.

In the past few months, Dallas activists have been working to raise awareness about the number of black men police have killed over the years. The Huey P. Newton Gun Club has taken to the streets armed with rifles, and Dallas Communities Organizing for Change has analyzed data on police shootings over a 10-year period. The latter released a report on their findings: Black men, while making up a smaller percentage of the Dallas population than their white counterparts, die at the hands of police officers much more frequently.

Which you already knew. But now there's even more evidence, in the form of a ProPublica analysis of deadly police shootings from around the country that backs up the local group's findings.

ProPublica, a non-profit website with an investigative bent full of former New York Times and Wall Street Journal reporters, analyzed more than 1,200 deadly shootings between 2010 and 2012 from a federal database. It discovered that, nationally, black men, and in particular young black men, were 21 times more likely to be shot by police officers than their white counterparts.

According to ProPublica, black males aged 15 to 19 were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, and white males in the same age range were killed at 1.47 per million.

See also: - Community Organization Says Dallas Police Miss Target When Tallying Shootings - Group of Black Lawyers and Judges Seeks Dallas Police Data to Root Out Brutality

Members of the local groups see a pattern when they see the numbers in their own report. "Upon analysis the data provides a clear picture of overwhelming bias in the application of deadly force against blacks and Hispanics," part of the report reads, "and makes a striking argument that Dallas Police use race as a determining factor in using force against an individual."

While making the point that blacks are far more likely to be shot by police, ProPublica notes that white men die at the hands of police as well. Based on data between 1980 and 2012, ProPublica reports that 44 percent of those killed by police were white.

So far, this year in Dallas has been somewhat of an anomaly. Three of the nine men -- Jason Harrison, Rodney Hodge and Steven Douglas -- killed by officers this year were black. It's worth noting that the three black Dallas men killed this year were all about 30 years old, and the six other white and Hispanic men were about that age as well.

ProPublica also notes that the Dallas Police Department is second in the nation with 14 killings with a shotgun, not a standard handgun, between 1980 and 2012. The Los Angeles PD leads with 47 of the 714 such incidents. Send your story tips to the author, Sky Chadde.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.