Race, Age, and Police Killings

Robert VerBruggen, Real Clear Policy, October 21, 2014


I downloaded all of the FBI Supplementary Homicide Reports (the data set used by both ProPublica and Vox) from 2007 through 2011, and pulled the ages, races, and ethnicities of those killed by police or identified as homicide offenders. (For offenders I excluded justifiable homicides, accidents, and negligence. Also, in some cases more than one offender is listed, but hunting those secondary offenders down through computer code would have been fairly elaborate, so I left them off.) I focused on those who were identified as white but not also as Hispanic, and those identified as black. The ethnicity data are spotty, so this probably still counts some Hispanics as white.


Here’s how the ages shake out for those killed by police:


Note that these are raw numbers; they are not adjusted for the fact that there are nearly five times more non-Hispanic whites than blacks in the U.S. {snip}

The same thing is true of homicide offenders, though higher sample sizes make the data look more orderly:


Finally, here’s the ratio of those killed by police to homicide offenders by age and race. If anything, the white ratio is higher:


Or, to look at the question differently, the ratio of blacks to non-Hispanic whites is .82:1 for police killings and 1.5:1 for homicides.

Two conclusions here. One, while this certainly doesn’t prove police bias is irrelevant, it does call into question how important it is. And two, when it comes to the interaction between age and violence, there are very different patterns for whites and blacks. This pattern should be taken into account when we look at statistics in specific age ranges–and it might deserve more study in itself.

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  • cherrie greenbaum123

    Anyone who has been paying attention already knows that negroes are extremely quick tempered, violent, and stupid. We don’t need to pour any more money not to mention time into studying something that is very self-evident.

    • Whitetrashgang

      Oh yes we do, trust me on that.

      • Julie – Walker2014

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        • Whitetrashgang

          Julie honey I live in a van, I don’t need a job just some new underwear.

    • jane johnson

      We are being dragged down by low-intelligence invaders

  • Whitetrashgang

    See blacks should man up and say people like Michael Brown did a strong arm robbery and didn’t want to do 10 years in the pen and so came out swinging so to speak. If your going to do these things them why not own up to it?You can always say because of his hatred for the police it drove him to do it. But to deny this stuff is starting to look completely foolish

    • Whitetrashgang

      Also he is not turning his life around, and is a complete menace to the black and white community.He is just a thug who is now dead, nothing more or less.

    • Adolf Verloc

      Hell, it would have been a miracle if he had done any time at all. But with an IQ of about 70, that probably didn’t dawn on him.

  • Canadian Friend

    It is nice to have facts presented logically but how do we make liberals and various anti-white people accept facts and think logically?…Have you ever tried presenting facts to a liberal? How they feel about something is more important to them than the facts….the type of blacks who riot and loot are exactly the same, facts mean nothing to them.

    • Whitetrashgang

      So your from Canada too, perhaps you know real Queen of England Elton John.

    • LHathaway

      One of these days it will OK to care about whites (and for whites to care about themselves). That day may not be too far from when we are all dead but that day is coming.

      • jane johnson

        yeah, it’ll be okay to tell your blue-eyed granddaughter that blacks mean them no harm. That will only happen when no blacks exist.

    • John R

      Liberals will just switch the argument around you all the time. Seriously, liberals-especially the aging Boomers-are like followers of a cult. If you question their liberal beliefs, the reaction is the same as if you questioned someone’s religious beliefs. Of course they lash out: We are challenging the very belief system liberals have cherished and lived their whole lives according to.

      • Bunky

        Boomers vote more consistently conservative than the kids.

        • John R

          Not when you factor age into the equation. I guarantee that, by and large, White 25 year olds today are more racially conservative than White Baby Boomers were at the age of 25. Remember, the Boomers are now in their fifties and sixties. They have seen life. The kids today haven’t, yet. Give them time.

          • Bunky

            What you’re saying is that the older generations were less racist than the younger “progressively indoctrinated” generations.
            Frankly, I find that hard to believe.
            I would change my mind if there was data.
            Nevertheless,there is data that boomers consistently vote more conservatively than the younger generations.

          • John R

            Data? Mitt Romney won a larger percentage of the White vote than any Republican since 1988. If America’s demographics had been the same as in 1988, Romney would have won by a landslide. Remember, all the data for the “liberal” millennials, don’t take into account the fact that this younger generation is the most non-White younger generation we have ever had. Young Whites are not as liberal as you think. Trust me-hard economic times and being around “diversity” will bring out the racial realist in anyone.

          • Bunky

            He won the white vote because of the huge population of boomers who consistently vote more conservative than the younger generations. There is ample data to support this.

            You’ve offered only anecdotal opinion that “white” kids, don’t follow all kids and are more conservative today.
            It’s OK, you can have opinions, but they go better with data.

  • JackKrak

    There is no end to the statistical analysis and research that goes into confirming what most people learn for themselves by around the age of 15.

  • Chart 3 shows there’s a slight bias in favor of cops killing whites, especially in the middle age ranges and up. As more blacks and Mexicans are hired as cops due to affirmative action, it’s going to be dangerous to commit the crime of “walking while white.” This is why we need our own white homeland.

    • Bryan Dennis

      I believe your analysis is wrong. You’re suggesting that white police officers are indeed shooting blacks as a result of profiling and that this will decrease with less white officers. More whites are shot by police than blacks in their later years because all the homicidal black’s were killed in their youth and are no longer around… to be killed again… by the police. Dipshit.

      • IstvanIN

        I think he meant more older Whites will be killed by non-Whites cops. I think more young Whites will also be killed by non-White cops because they can get away with it.

    • MBlanc46

      If not our own homeland, at least to take back control of our country.

  • Publius Pompilius Quietus

    This might be the most factual and best piece that I have read on black crime recently. Alas, methinks that its implications may slip over the heads of many of its readers and indeed even many on this site. Withal, the graphics show that black commit the majority of homicides from the teen years onto early middle age, but for most of that the majority of those killed by police are white people. Therefore, there is no epidemic of cops killing unarmed black kids, and it is the opposite if anything. It furthermore destroys the credibility of Afrocentric emotionalism a la Ferguson.

  • dd121

    In further news, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West.

  • The Worlds Scapegoat

    Looks like older white males are more in danger of being killed by police than old black men.

  • slobotnavich

    What a shocker! Blacks, who commit crimes of all types, particularly violent crimes, at many times the rate of whites and Asians, are shot more often by cops than whites and other races. In actual fact, if black crime is backed out crime stats in our country, this nation would be among the most crime-free in the known world. States such as Montana and Wyoming, with almost no blacks, have almost no crime whatever, violent or non-violent, despite near-universal firearms ownership. Any state with a high black population also has high crime rates, especially violent crime rates. This is simple fact, not racist conjecture. Ironically, blacks are also most often victims of violent crime

    • The Worlds Scapegoat

      If you look at the last graph you can see that whites are killed at a higher ratio than blacks for violent crimes. In fact if the FBI kept a record of how many innocent whites were killed by police it would greatly outnumber the ratio of innocent blacks killed by the police.


      • slobotnavich

        In terms of ratio may be correct. However, blacks comprise less than 10% of our population but commit over half of all violent crime. Perhaps cops do shoot a higher proportion of whites, but this doesn’t alter the dismal fact that blacks could realistically be called the foremost criminal class in our nation.

        • ShermanTMcCoy

          Aren’t they around 12-14%?

          In any case, young black males make up, what, 2-3% of our population? If they’d just disappear . . .

          • slobotnavich

            What a lovely fantasy. Reminds me of a cartoon I saw perhaps forty years ago, either in the New Yorker of perhaps Playboy, depicting a couple of Pilgrims standing on wharf watching a coffle of black slaves coming down a gang-plank. One looks at the other and says, “Oh, why not bring in a few. What harm could it do?”

    • winn sutanto

      I used to live and work in New York for 15 years.
      As an Asian-American, I (very) seldom witnessed crimes and violence by whites.
      But I saw overwhelming evidence of crimes and violence by blacks and Hispanics.
      Just go to Puerto Rican day parade.
      The young blacks and Hispanics, boys and girls behave like wild animals.
      It is completely disgraceful and disgusting.

      • Ed

        I caught one brawl among whites on the 1/9 train once. A couple of Staten Island girls got into it. However I caught numerous black/Hispanic fights a couple of which drew blood/ knives drawn etc.

        Folks would just scurry to other side of the car.

        • winn sutanto

          That is true. But, we must admit that a brawl like these two white girls or two white boys for that matter is very few and very far in between.
          The fight among blacks and Hispanics are very very very very often. And extremely violent

      • newscomments70

        What is funny, on fictional police series on TV always portray the whites as violent criminals and intelligent blacks/hispanics as the detectives. The shows are usually set in NY or LA.

        • slobotnavich

          Any TV or Hollywood production showing blacks and Hispanics correctly represented numerically among the violent criminals in the screenplay would be universally panned as viciously racist. Note that all the super-smart cops on TV are generally the boogies, who are always shaking their heads in exasperation at the stupidity of their white colleagues.

          • newscomments70

            I once read a military article written by an acquaintence of mine. He is a vietnam veteran and a Hollywood liberal. He wrote about his experiences in the military while stationed in Vietnam in the 60s. In the tacky Hollywood movies about the Vietnam war, the blacks are always the most competent and the heroic. They always save their bumbling, weak white comrades. The white NCO is always imcompetent and weak; the strong , smart black man saves the day. The whites were the racist ones who attacked and intimidated poor, hard-working black soldiers. He stated that this was a complete myth. It was the other way around. Black NCO’s became career military to avoid poverty. Many were functioning illiterate. Most prayed that they had a competent white NCO and were not placed in a deathtrap of incompetence. Black soldiers would often intimidated and attack white soldiers. The reverse happened much less. Serving in the military made a Hollywood liberal race realist. Very interesting.He tried to publish his writings in book format, but he was rejected…I wonder why.

            Just one thing, please don’t use any racial slurs. The moderators will delete your comments, otherwise. Thanks.

          • slobotnavich

            Interesting. I’m also a Vietnam vet, two tours, the first as a rifle-platoon leader and company XO with the 1st ID, the second with the MAVC-SOG project of the 5th Special Forces Gp. The first tour (’65-66) was early in the war – my platoon was maybe 70% white, perhaps 25% black, with one Mexican. At that time there was no racial strife whatever, though I’d have to admit that most disciplinary problems occurred with blacks. The second tour with SOG had few blacks, since there weren’t many in SF units, though the ones we had were OK. I understand that as the war dragged on and support for it dwindled at home, the performance of regular line units deteriorated and we had incidents such as Lt. Calley’s infamous murder orgy. Incidentally, why that verminous maggot wasn’t hanged, drawn and quartered, burned at the stake and his stinking remnants fed to ravening junkyard dogs remains a mystery to me. There have been a few decent flicks about Vietnam, perhaps the best being Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket about a Marine rifle company. There was also a good one about the Ia Drang valley battles of the 1st Cav – can’t remember the title. Hell, I forgot what my point was…….truly, old age is a shipwreck.

          • After watching the movie “Hamburger Hill” with one of my older friends who had served in Vietnam, I asked him whether the racial strife was really like that. He said it was worse.

          • slobotnavich

            I did see that movie some years back but really can’t remember it in detail, though I believe it was about a battalion of the 101st Airborne. Though I was medically discharged in Aug. ’68, I heard from friends and news reports that racial incidents and strife became quite common later on.

          • newscomments70

            All I have is second hand information. It’s interesting to hear your account. Thanks for posting

  • John R

    Blacks physically mature earlier than Whites; have lower IQ’s than Whites; and probably are more aggressive than Whites, having higher testosterone levels in young adulthood. All this adds up to more likely criminal behavior, particularly violent offenses.

  • Ringo Lennon

    Compare these two men. They are as different as night and day. Pardon the pun. Would you want your daughter with the j on the left?

    • Adolf Verloc

      Unfortunately, if memory serves, Montgomery Clift would probably have been more interested in you than your daughter 🙂

      • Ringo Lennon

        Yeah! He was the only actor more screwed up than Marilyn Monroe, according to Monroe.

        • Who Me?

          Montgomery Clift would probably have been more interested in you than your daughter
          And STILL more acceptable for our daughters than the thing in the top picture.

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      I see a human on the bottom, but what’s that thing above? My daughter will only be allowed to date within her species.

      • George Costanza

        lol… dis guy

      • Ringo Lennon

        You’re raising them right. Why would any white woman want to mix their DNA with this ugly black? My father hated race mixing. I learned good.

  • Preparation H-Bomb

    I spent my first year of teaching in the public elementary schools in a black ghetto school, and the level of violence there was so high that I seriously questioned whether I wanted to choose teaching as a “permanent” career. I chose to substitute teach in another district my second year, and while it was primarily in Mexican or Central American barrios, it was night and day better in terms of violence from the black school. I did go ahead and get the credential and master’s, and taught in one of the barrio schools until I had to quit due to poor health. Point being, IT STARTS EARLY. As in – kindergarten!!! Yes there were some very sweet little black kids. But there were also large numbers of such kids who were extremely violent; that was their answer to every situation that came up. It’s obviously no different when they grow up.

    • Ed

      Many teachers quit during their first week at these schools. It’s well known that both black & white teachers leave when schools become more black.

      Of course the media blames racism but those in the loop know better.

      • Ringo Lennon

        Nothing wrong with racism. You must look out for your own kind. Otherwise you’ll get swallowed up. Don’t forget the media is controlled by the tribesmen.

    • winn sutanto

      My friend is a teacher in new York area. The kindergarten in the Bronx where blacks and Hispanics are majority, is one of the most violent kindergarten in the world.
      That is not ought to be for ANY kindergarten.
      Kindergarten is supposedly the most benign and most fun of all school system.
      For heaven’s sake. The children are only 6 or 7 year old.
      If blacks and Hispanics already show the tendency THAT violent on such young age,
      how could they become productive, healthy member of American society.
      Violent kindergarten is utterly ABNORMAL.

  • MooTieFighter

    Sorry to be a simpleton, but “No sh&*”.

  • Douglas Quaid

    Right now I am sitting through a diversity seminar, I came on AMREN just to blow off some steam. The lunacy is staggering. The minorities in the seminar with me are emboldened, getting vocal, and the whites are scolded.

    • Be a real jerk so long as it won’t get you fired. Tell them all that Michael Christopher Scott said to embrace your inner orc.

  • I am always polite and cooperative during interactions with police. The way I see it, any day I don’t get shot is a pretty good one. Is that some of the hideous “white privilege” we read about, middle-aged weariness or just some common sense?

  • slobotnavich

    We need a “study” to establish that blacks are more violent and criminally-inclined than whites (or any other race for that matter)? Anybody’s who’s ever associated with blacks on a prolonged basis (as I have) knows this from simple observation and experience. Anybody who’s ever examined simple crime stats also knows this. And anybody who’s ever had close association with blacks also knows that they’re, on average, substantially less intelligent than any other major race, on the order of twenty IQ points as compared with whites, and even more when compared with Northeast Asians. Ask any big city cop. Ask anybody who’s ever served in the armed forces with blacks. Ask anybody’s who’s ever worked with blacks on a regular basis. We’ve now spent untold trillions in the last fifty years trying to undo biological reality and deny what everybody deep-down knows, including the corrupt arch-buffoon Lyndon Johnson who engineered the myth that black failure was purely a result of white discrimination in buying the votes of tens of millions of black voters. This concludes today’s rant.

    • Chasmania

      I might add to the ‘dumb and violent’ aspect of blacks the tag of lazy as well as predisposed to lying about any and every thing to stay out of trouble or to avoid doing something they don’t want to. This observation isn’t all encompassing, but it’s been my experience that it’s true the vast majority of the time.

      • slobotnavich

        I can’t remember who first uttered the uncomfortable truth, “All stereotypes are basically true.”

      • mikekingjr

        Do not forget ‘stupid’.

  • Luca

    Blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime and gravity makes apples fall from trees. Next question.

    • mikekingjr

      I thought racism made apples fall from trees.

  • rommel10

    wow! I would have never guessed?

  • Curious

    Am I reading that right? Almost no blacks killed by police after a fairly young age?

    Does that youthful fire die down pretty quick, or something?

  • Martel

    This graph corresponds with a recent research project which concluded that officers are actually more reluctant to shoot negroes compared to Europeans-Americans.