Because of the proprietary nature of some of the datasets I’ve been working with, I’m limited in my avenues of analysis, which means I have a fairly limited number of things to talk about here. This being the case, this is going to be my last post on the subject for a while.
However, before I leave off, I want to give out some of the data I’ve been working with, in case anyone wants to tinker
Here is a spreadsheet of police shootings by county with additional demographic information – information I’m going to be talking about today.
Here is a spreadsheet with each known shooting geolocated.
Both these sheets are valid for information known as of the date of this post, and neither will be updated.
So, let’s talk about police killings by county. First, let’s look at some maps, then some numbers. Here’s the number of police killings by county for the Midwest. As we might expect, Chicago leads the pack.
Same deal, US East coast. The cities are hotspots, though neither NYC or DC is too bad, and Philly has 10 fewer incidents than Cleveland, which clearly does not in fact rock. There are 34 shootings in Maine, which is like a third of the population.
The Northwest is a bit of a mess, particularly pleasant, weird old Portland, Oregon. Someone want to explain that to me?
The Southeast is surprisingly quiet, although this probably has something to do with the fact that the counties are smaller so the totals are divided up a bit. Still, we’re talking different police departments and different departmental cultures, so the size isn’t that important.
Finally, what you’ve all been waiting on, the Southwest. All I have to say on this is damn, son.
OK. Yes. Part of the reason this map looks so scary is that the counties in the SW are friggen huge. Still, Clark County – containing Las Vegas – has 153 shootings. The county with the next largest number of police shootings – Alameda, California – has 44. That’s messed up.
The top-10 worst counties in the US for police shootings by raw numbers are:
However, if we look at this same data in terms of police shootings per square mile, we get this top-10 list:
|District of Columbia||District of Columbia||0.06|
If we look at police shootings per head of population, we get a top-10 list of counties with one incident and populations under 10,000 – not really useful. Instead, let’s look at police shootings per head of population in counties with more than five incidents:
While these lists are not identical, we can see a bunch of usual suspects. Alameda, CA, Cuyahoga, OH, and Multnomah, OR occur on all three lists. Bernalillo, NM, Clark, NV, and Washoe, NV, occur on lists 1 and 3, and Philladelphia, PA, occurs on lists 1 and 2.
I guess it all depends on your definition of “worst.”
Still, if you’re planning a trip to Vegas, bring some body armor.