Study: White Cops Are More Likely to Use Force Than Black Cops—Especially Against Black Suspects

Are white cops more likely to use force than black cops? A recent study suggests they are. Using data from 911 calls in which police officers are randomly chosen to respond, Mark Hoekstra and CarlyWill Sloan produce the following chart:

As you can see, white cops are always more likely to use force than black cops. But here’s what’s even more interesting: as the black percentage of a neighborhood goes up, white officers increase their use of force far more than black officers. The blacker the neighborhood, the bigger the difference in use of force.

The difference is even more dramatic when it comes to guns. In white and mixed-race neighborhoods, white and black cops use their guns at about equal rates. But as neighborhoods become blacker, the use of guns by white officers skyrockets while the use of guns by black officers increases only slightly.

This is only one study in a single city of modest size. Still, the study design is solid and the sample size of 911 calls is large. If you’ve been skeptical of claims that white cops treat black suspects worse than white suspects, you should be less skeptical now.

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Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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