Dear Dr.Crime

Dear Dr. Crime: I see TV reports about police that confuse me. What is going on?
Police Fan
Dear Fan: Dr. Richard Johnson of the Dolan Consulting Group out of Raleigh, NC has recently
released a review of the research about police myths. I will try to summarize his important paper.
Epidemic use of force: Criminals caused 16.3 times more deaths than police. 30.5% more deaths
were caused by falls and 34.2% more deaths were caused by motor vehicles than by police. The profession responsible for the vast number of deaths is the medical profession. Compare the 990 police caused deaths with the 251,454 deaths caused by medical errors!
Deaths by police are on the rise: Center for Disease Control shows a decline from 2012-2014 with
an average decline of 3.3% per year.
Police kill unarmed people: Armed cannot mean only a gun or knife, it includes motor vehicles,
clubs, and hands used by assailants, or 11% of police killed were by unarmed citizens and 9.3 percent
of those killed by police were “unarmed”.
Police target African-American men: Johnson reports “…258 of the 990 individuals killed by the
police in 2015 were African – American , all but 10 of which were male. So that means 25% of
those who died from police use of force in 2015 were African American men and 1% were African
American women. On the other hand, 468 (47.3%) of those killed by police in 2015 were White
(non-Latino) males and 26 (2.6%) were white (non-Latino) females. In other words, almost twice
as many non-Latino Whites died from police use of force as did African-Americans” . Johnson
reports African American men are 14.4 time more likely to die in a traffic accident than from the
police. They are 27.4 times more likely to be murdered than killed by police.
Implicit Bias by Police drives Deadly Force: Citing a review of 46 research studies involving 5,600
subjects, Johnson reported an absence of research findings of racially prejudicial behavior. He
pointed out that the research showed police drew their guns, fired or accidently shot White suspects
more than African American suspects.
Excessive Force is linked to a lack of Diversity of Police Forces: The US Dept. of Justice reported
12.2 % of police are African American, 11.6 % are Hispanic and 3.5% are other non-white, that is
about the % in the population. Many of the major cities have police forces that are a majority nonwhite.
What should we conclude? Johnson pointed out that there are roughly 385,000,000 police citizen
contacts, and 11,205,833 arrests per year. Those actions involve 48,315 officers assaulted and 990
suspects killed. Let’s follow the research and help the kids from early age to be good citizens. Educators: that means Ethics Courses. We should improve and increase our research into causes and
expand our human relations training in our police academies.

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