Seriously. If I were a black man in New York, I would walk everywhere with my hands over my head – and it still might not do me any good.
Today, a grand jury acquitted a NYPD officer of choking a black man to death during an arrest. The use of the choke hold is forbidden by the NYPD. The entire event was video taped. The medical examiner ruled the death a homicide.
Since I last posted about the statistics of death by cop in August, the Fatal Encounters project has added a bunch more events – about 5,500 nationwide police killings from 2000 to present. These numbers seem in line (or a bit low) with those published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics which give the total as 2,900 for the period from 2003 to 2009. So, with the NYPD’s glory on full display, let’s look at their fair city. (NB: the following maps show areas outside NYC. Incidents in those areas were not committed by the NYPD, but for technical reasons cannot currently be filtered out.)
It turns out the NYPD is pretty good at killing poor people, but there are areas of poverty with low to no killings.
It’s even better at killing poor black people.*
Now, I’m not fantastic with statistics, but that’s some convincing correlation going on there.
But wait, you say – aren’t all black people criminals? Perhaps these are just also the high-crime areas.
Same shooting data, this time with crime. Note all those areas with the same crime rates but few to no shootings? Note that the center of the major black neighborhoods have LOWER crime-rates than their surroundings?
“Correlation doesn’t imply causation but it does waggle its eyebrows suggestively and gesture furtively while mouthing look over there” – Randall Munroe
*Technically, since there is very little data available on the race of those killed by police, the NYPD is very good at shooting people in predominantly black neighborhoods.