Choice passages from the DoJ report on the Ferguson Police Department

I have no words to add. The report speaks for itself.

“Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs. This emphasis on revenue has compromised the institutional character of Ferguson’s police department, contributing to a pattern of unconstitutional policing, and has also shaped its municipal court, leading to procedures that raise due process concerns and inflict unnecessary harm on members of the Ferguson community. Further, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices both reflect and exacerbate existing racial bias, including racial stereotypes. Ferguson’s own data establish clear racial disparities that adversely impact African Americans. The evidence shows that discriminatory intent is part of the reason for these disparities. Over time, Ferguson’s police and municipal court practices have sown deep mistrust between parts of the community and the police department, undermining law enforcement legitimacy among African Americans in particular.” (p. 2)

“…in the summer of 2012, a 32-year-old African-American man sat in his car cooling off after playing basketball in a Ferguson public park. An officer pulled up behind the man’s car, blocking him in, and demanded the man’s Social Security number and identification. Without any cause, the officer accused the man of being a pedophile, referring to the presence of children in the park, and ordered the man out of his car for a pat-down, although the officer had no reason to believe the man was armed. The officer also asked to search the man’s car. The man objected, citing his constitutional rights. In response, the officer arrested the man, reportedly at gunpoint, charging him with eight violations of Ferguson’s municipal code. One charge, Making a False Declaration, was for initially providing the short form of his first name (e.g., “Mike” instead of “Michael”), and an address which, although legitimate, was different from the one on his driver’s license. Another charge was for not wearing a seat belt, even though he was seated in a parked car. The officer also charged the man both with having an expired operator’s license, and with having no operator’s license in his possession. The man told us that, because of these charges, he lost his job as a contractor with the federal government that he had held for years.” (p.3)

“Ferguson’s law enforcement practices overwhelmingly impact African Americans. Data collected by the Ferguson Police Department from 2012 to 2014 shows that African Americans account for 85% of vehicle stops, 90% of citations, and 93% of arrests made by FPD officers, despite comprising only 67% of Ferguson’s population. African Americans are more than twice as likely as white drivers to be searched during vehicle stops even after controlling for non-race based variables such as the reason the vehicle stop was initiated, but are found in possession of contraband 26% less often than white drivers, suggesting officers are impermissibly considering race as a factor when determining whether to search. African Americans are more likely to be cited and arrested following a stop regardless of why the stop was initiated and are more likely to receive multiple citations during a single incident.” (p.4)

“Nearly 90% of documented force used by FPD officers was used against African Americans. In every canine bite incident for which racial information is available, the person bitten was African American.” (p.5)

You can find the just-released Department of Justice Report in full here:

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Taking Stock

This is the end of my second cycle. I currently hold offers from Ohio State and Brown. I have received a rejection from UCBerkeley, and presume rejections from Harvard and UChicago. My application to UToronto is still outstanding. In my first cycle, I applied to Harvard, Harvard Divinity (MTS & ThD), Yale, UChicago, Notre Dame, UMinn, BC, and BU, all for history. I was rejected from all PhD programs, but accepted to the MTS at HDS with a 3/4 scholarship and the MAPSS at Chicago with a 1/2 scholarship.

There are two major reasons why I was forced to take an MA, I think. First, I was a problematic undergraduate. It took me 9 years to finish my BA, a process which started in the mechanical engineering program at UMass Amherst, involved failing out of that school twice and then working in a grocery store for 6 years, and finished at Harvard Extension (i.e. Night) School. Taking a PhD student is a risk, and the MA constituted penance for my previous sins. Second, although I very clearly knew that I wanted to study medieval history, focusing on gender and monasticism, I hadn’t moved much beyond that idea. That is, I had energy, but I lacked intellectual maturity. Looking back over my old writing sample and SoP, I was a disorganized but enthusiastic mess. This is made particularly clear in my choice of schools in my first round. Yale, BC, BU, and the HDS ThD had more or less nothing to do with my areas of interest. They had strong programs, but were not strong matches.

I took the MTS offer from HDS. It meant that I didn’t have to leave my wife for 9 months just 2 months after our wedding. This has, of course, vastly strengthened my application. If you spend two years at Harvard doing graduate work and don’t have a radically stronger application at the end, something clearly went very wrong. More than that, though, when it came time to apply again, I didn’t have to just page through programs hoping to find a professor who had somewhat similar interests. I knew who they were already.

For my second round I cut the four programs above immediately because I knew they didn’t work. I also decided to only aim at the top tier of programs because I felt (and still feel) that where I get my PhD is much more important than if I get a PhD. I wasn’t willing to settle just to make sure I got in somewhere, and in this job market I think that is fantastically good sense (if I do say so myself). I cut Notre Dame because I’d visited South Bend. Also, they were really slow sending out rejections in my first cycle and I’m pretty petty. UMinn got cut as well, since my interests had shifted away from gender studies (which was their strength) to monastic history more generally. Harvard and Chicago I kept, although neither was a good fit, to be perfectly honest. But I knew and liked the professors at Harvard and their interest in digital projects (which I share), and I was moderately in love with UChicago after my MAPSS campus visit.

To these two, I added Berkeley and Brown as clear matches within my area of interest. Toronto went on the list after one of my LoR writers suggested it, and a professor at OSU convinced me to apply when I met her at a conference.

As I said, my application was stronger just by the fact that I had been at Harvard for 2 years. All my LoR writers knew me well, and each had supervised aspects of my research. Plus, one of them was a Big Name – that doesn’t hurt.

My writing sample was very short, about 2500 words, with as much again in footnotes. However, it was not some long, meandering senior thesis, a document only seen by the author and the grader, as my first had been. Instead, it was a paper I had written for a seminar, presented at a conference, submitted for publication, and received a revise & resubmit with substantial feedback. So, it was short, but really, really solid. Well, it’s at the reviewers again, so I hope it’s really solid. The paper itself was highly technical, a codicological study of a 12 c. manuscript, which showed off my paleographic and Latin skills. I also made sure that my footnotes were (somewhat unnecessarily) filled with German and French sources, to demonstrate that I could read and incorporate scholarship in those languages. Thus, I tried to ensure that my sample was not only a good example of my intellect and writing, but also of my technical skills, demonstrating that I could put what I claimed on paper to practical use.

With my SoP, I made sure that I not only outlined what my interests were and why, as I had done in my first season, but also where I thought these interests might lead and how I thought I might get there. I found a what (monastic communication) and a how (social network theory) which addressed what I felt to be a gap in the scholarship, but left the other details vague because they should be vague. The result was an essay which showed where I’d been, what I am (reinforced by the writing sample), where I wanted to go and how I wanted to get there, and, most importantly, why I thought the program would get me to that goal.

Apparently it worked.

If I were forced back for a third try, what would I do differently? I would be more brutal with my school selections (sorry, Harvard and UChicago). I would continue to revise and hone my writing sample, throwing it at as many critics as would read it. I would acquire new technical skills and ensure that I demonstrated those skills practically in my application materials. I would revisit my writing samples to draw even clearer lines between my academic path and the institution to which I was applying.

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Something topical

A Sermon by Brother Nicolas of Landouzy, OCist, of the Monastery of Foigny, given on the First Sunday of Lent, ca. 1275 AD

Ed. & Trans. Leland R. Grigoli

See, now is the proper time; see, now is the day of salvation (2 Cor. 6:2).

These are the words of the Apostle which we recite in church on the first Sunday of Lent, but they can be easily applied to any day of penitence. He says: See, now is the time. ‘See’ is a demonstrative adverb. We are accustomed to use it to demonstrate innovations, wonders, and worshipful things, and so the word ‘see’ reveals an innovation. Adding ‘now is the time’ reveals a shortness of time. Adding ‘proper’ to the saying reveals its utility to us, and by concluding ‘day of salvation’, he reveals the wholesomeness of virtue. So the words of the Apostle gather together the innovation of grace, the shortness of time, the utility to us, and the day—the wholesomeness of virtue. The innovation calls us forth so that we see, the shortness of time so that we fear, the utility to us so that we do, and the wholesomeness of virtue so that we love.

People gladly see innovations, and what greater innovation is there than to fast and to be weakened so that we are made strong, to be made ill so that we might be healed? Particularly when Paul says: When you receive food, you are fortified (Act. 9:19), and in Kings: Eat and drink; a longer road awaits you (3 Kings 19:7). But in these days we are called to fast, by which the body is weakened and made ill. It is thus a wonder to see a frail body made strong in war, and strengthened in sickness. But strength is twofold: interior and exterior, spiritual and bodily. Thus, although fasting weakens the exterior strength and the body, it strengthens and solidifies the spiritual interior, whence the Apostle says: When I am more ill, then am I more strong and powerful (cf. 2 Cor 12:10). And Gregory says, “Unless a person becomes weak by his or her own will, he or she will not draw near to Him who is above.”[1] And also: “When we are weakened in our bodies, then we attain God.”[2] And Bernard says: “A strong spirit lives in a weak body.”[3] This is the innovation which we read about in Judges: The Lord will wage new wars and overthrow the gates of His enemies (Jg. 5:8)—overthrow the doorway of demons, whence it says in the Gospel: This type of demon cannot be expelled except through prayer and fasting (Mt. 17:20 ; Mk. 9:28). And so Paul says, “See something new.” Second, ‘see’ is used to demonstrate miracles. What greater miracle is there than to purchase glory from indignity, wealth from poverty, anguish from health, and life from death? And so Augustine says, “The merchant of heaven came to receive indignities, to give honors, to swallow grief, to give salvation, to undergo death, to give life.”[4] Third, we enthusiastically see worshipful things. What greater worshipful thing is there than the time of Lent and penitence by which Hell is shut up, Paradise is opened, war is declared on vices, the Enemy conquered? And so ‘see’ is well said. See something deserving innovation, admiration, veneration.

This is followed by: Now is the time, which is to say the shortness of time because the time is now, it is upon us, and what must be done should be done promptly, whence it says in the Apocalypse: Time is brief (Apoc. 1:3). First, time is short because of its flow, whence it says in Ecclesiastes: A generation passes away, and a generation arrives (Eccla. 1:4). And the Poet says, “The years pass in the manner of flowing water.”[5] We all die, and we disperse like water over the earth, etc. (2 Kings 14:14). Second, time is also short because of the shortness of life, whence it says in Job: The days of humans are short (Job 14:5). And in Ecclesiasticus: The number of the days of a person’s life is a full hundred years (Eccli. 18:8). Gregory says, “Everything which happens is brief.”[6] The Psalm says: My days descend like a shadow (Ps. 101:12). Job says: My days pass more swiftly than one who is cut down by a woven dart (Job 7:6). Because of this, Ecclesiasticus says: Do not hesitate to turn to the Lord (Eccli. 5:8). And Ecclesiastes says: Whatever you can do by your hand, do immediately (Eccla. 9:10). And the Poet says:

“A person who puts off the time for living righteously is like the farmer who hoped that the river would flow away, but it flowed on, forever winding.”[7]

Third, time is also short because of the vanity of material things. As Ecclesiastes says: Vanity of vanities, and all is vanity (Eccla. 1:2). The Psalm says: Sons of men, why do you delight in vanity (Ps. 4:3). And Wisdom says: How is pride useful to us, etc.? All things pass like a shadow (Wis. 5:8 -9). And the Psalm says: They sleep their sleep and will discover nothing (Ps. 75:6). And in Luke, speaking about the rich man, it says: Oh my soul, you have many good things, etc. And hearing him He said, “Fool, do you know these things which you have bought will claim your soul this night; whose then will they be, those things you have bought (Lk. 12:19 -20)?” Fourth, time is short because of celestial power. I pass over this briefly—All power has a short life (Eccla. 10:11).

This is followed by: proper, where our utility is noted. For it is the proper time for healing because of the abundance of medicine, the skill of the doctor, and the abundance of humors. The abundance of medicine is the plenitude of grace through Christ, whence it says in John: We all receive from His abundance (Jn. 1:16). And also: Full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14). And in Ecclesiasticus: The medicine of all is in the haste of the cloud (Eccli. 43:24), i.e. of the humanity of Christ, and so it says, “Gazing from far off I see the coming power of God and a cloud covering the whole land.”[8] Second, it is the proper time because of the skill of the doctor. The skilled doctor is Christ because He needs neither syrup, nor drug, nor bandage, for He restores everything with only His word. As the Psalm says: He sent His word and it healed them, and He saved them from their ruin (Ps. 106:20). And in Wisdom: Neither herb, nor syrup or drink, nor poultice—a bandage—cured them, but your word (Wis. 16:12). Accordingly, blessed Agatha says: “I never showed a worldly doctor my body, but I have Lord Jesus Christ, who restores everything with His word alone.”[9] Third, it is the proper time because of the appearance of humors—of vices. As Bernard says: “Crooked humors, evil morals.”[10] Those humors were bloody from the time of the Law and were not reduced by a mixture of honey and vinegar. For the Law does not have honey, the honey of divine sweetness and the roots of faith from which the mixture of honey and vinegar is concocted, from which crooked humors—evil morals—are extracted and flow away from the face of the Lord, whence it says: Just as wax flows before a fire, so sinners perish before the face of God (Ps. 67:3). Peter flowed away from that face into tears, whence it says: The Lord looked at Peter and he wept with love (Lk. 22:62). And similarly Mary Magdalene watered Jesus’ feet with her tears (cf. Lk. 7:38).

This is followed by: See, now is the day of salvation, where we note the virtue—the wholesomeness—of penitence. Clearly, virtuous penitence is healthy. Penitence first purges us, having been cleaned and pressed, from sin (Eccli. 2:13), as Ecclesiasticus says. God remits sin because of hardship, as Ezekiel, David, 2 Kings, and the King of Niniva in Jonah make clear. Second, penitence is because it strengthens us to virtue, whence it says in Ecclesiasticus: The furnace proves the vessels of the potter, and the trial of hardship proves humans righteous (Eccli. 27:6). And in Deuteronomy: I humbled you and I strengthened you (cf. Deut. 8:16). And also in Romans: Hardship creates endurance (Rom. 5:3). Third, penitence gladdens the soul. As it says in James: Consider every joy, my brothers, when you fall into diverse temptations (Jas. 1:2). “So that you are not deemed unworthy, if evil flourishes in the world, you must suffer because a Christian should not be exalted in worldly things, but should rather be humbled.”[11] No evil person lives in heaven; none of you live in the world. But you ought to rejoice because of that good which you seek, regardless of what happens on the road. Fourth, penitence is associated with Christ, whence it says: I am in tribulation with Him (Ps. 90:15). And it says in Daniel: And an angel of the Lord descended with Azaria and his companions into the furnace (Dan. 3:49). Fifth, penitence is crowned with immortal life, whence it says in Jacob: Blessed is the person who endures temptation, for when one is tested, he or she will receive the crown of life (Jac. 1:12), which He deigns to give to us, our Lord Jesus Christ, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns as God forever and ever. Amen.

[1] Gregory the Great, Homiliae in evangelia 32.2 (Étaix 1999, p. 279 ln. 57-58); [2] Peter Damian, Sermones 28 (Lucchesi 1983, p. 165 ln. 71-72); [3] Bernard of Clairvaux, Epistulae 254.8 (Leclercq and Rochais 1977 v. 8, p. 259 ln. 20-21); [4] Augustine of Hippo, Ennarrationes in psalmos (Dekkers and Fraipoint 1956 v. 1, p. 192 ln. 16-17; [5] Ovid, Ars amatoria 3.61 (de Verger 2002, p. 228); [6] Gregory the Great, Moralia in Job 13.27 (Adriaen 1979 v. 2, p. 686 ln. 2-3); [7] Horace, Epistolae 1.2.41-42 (Ferry 2001, p. 14); [8] Responsory Aspiciens a longe; [9] Vita sanctae Agathae BHL 133; [10] Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermones super cantica canticorum 36.4 (Leclercq and Rochais 1977 v. 2, p. 6 ln. 16); [11] Marginal gloss on Jas. 1:2 . Froehlich et al. 1992 v. 4 p. 513.

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The incompatibility of the Modern and the Tragic

Minor Spoilers Ahead

The Imitation Game, starring Bandycoot Fumblepants, was released in late November to no small amount of critical acclaim. I thought it was pretty good, as well.

There have been some complaints that the movie wasn’t historically accurate, that it went for the cheap stereotype of Alan Turing as the slightly-autistic antisocial genius. Of course it did. This is Hollywood. What did you expect?

Just as Tom Stoppard posited about the audience’s conditioned understanding of death through its depiction on stage:

“Player: You see, [a stage death] is the kind [of death] they do believe in—it’s what’s expected!”

(Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, video)

So do we need our geniuses to be slightly autistic and antisocial—how else would we know that they’re really geniuses?

My objection to The Imitation Game does not concern its depiction of its subject, but rather its conclusion: we find Turing, a war hero, convicted of homosexuality under one of the more barbaric legal statutes enforced by a modern state and reduced to a shadow of his former self by an enforced regime of chemical castration. Turing’s friend Joan Clark (Keira Knightly) visits him and, distressed at his mental and physical state, comforts him. Finally, Turing smiles weakly, we are given a sense of hope and comfort, and the movie ends.

In a brief text blurb, we are informed that Turing committed suicide shortly thereafter.

Player: In our experience, most things end in death.”

Alan Turing’s life was a textbook tragedy in the Classical mode. His success and confidence in the first three acts, his tragic undoing by his natural flaw in the fourth, and his death at his own hands as the finale of the fifth. A pattern as old as Greece.

The Imitation Game is not a tragedy. The fifth act ends with that glimmer of hope, and the proper finale is moved off stage. The point of greatest impact, the ultimate condemnation of the social and legal horror that drove Alan Turing to the conclusion that cyanide was his cure, is weakened, blunted, lost.

I don’t think this failure, this narrative cowardice, is really the fault of The Imitation Game‘s scriptwriter, director, or actors. How many truly Tragic movies can you name? No, that one where the Rugged Male Protagonist heroically sacrificed himself for his family/country/dog doesn’t count.

We are, I think, no longer comfortable with Tragedy, or, more generally, with death. For those of us in the West, we have no contact with death, no familiarity. Tolkien felt this disconnect over half a century ago:

“But the fear of death grew ever darker upon them, and they delayed it by all means that they could; and they began to build great houses for their dead, while their wise men laboured unceasingly to discover if they might the secret of recalling life, or at the least of the prolonging of Men’s days. Yet they achieved only the art of preserving incorrupt the dead flesh of Men, and they filled all the land with silent tombs in which the thought of death was enshrined in the darkness. But those that lived turned the more eagerly to pleasure and revelry, desiring ever more goods and more riches…”

-J.R.R. Tolkien, The Akallabeth

This is the Modern relationship to death. We spend billions (trillions!) of dollars and an incomprehensible amount of time to avoid it. We have certainly achieved the art of preserving incorrupt the dead flesh of Men. The tombs—preserved bodies encased in concrete—fill our land. And we do not wish to look at them.

“He has a water-clock in his dining room, and a dressed-up trumpeter, so that he knows how much of his life he has lost.”

-Petronius, Satyricon

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Places not to visit if you are black: NYC

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.


Cross-hairs mark police killings. Blue gradients denote areas above the US median income; tan gradients denote areas below.

It’s even better at killing poor black people.*


Darker blue areas represent a higher % black population; cross-hairs represent police killings.

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.

Well, no.


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.

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Fiat iustitia, ruant coeli

“Let justice be done, though the heavens may fall.”

I am tired.

I am tired of talking. I am tired of arguing. I am tired of ignorance, stupidity, and straightforward cruelty.

I am tired of pointing out that we are letting officers get away with murder. I am tired of pointing out that only white people are allowed to use guns. I am tired of telling people that they’re focusing on the symptoms and not the disease.

I have, truth be told, lost all hope. I have lost all hope that the situation will improve, that the bigotry, racism, and marginalization will cease. Not just in my lifetime, but ever.

I have thus far survived on something akin to righteous anger, but even that is lukewarm. I am white, straight, male, upper middle class, Ivy-educated. I cannot begin to fathom the anger, the fear, the hopelessness of those who experience oppression within this land of the supposedly free. My anger manifests in blog posts; we have ensured that they have no way to manifest theirs.

So, although I am tired, I will talk. Although I am without hope, I will keep that lukewarm, righteous anger alive and attempt to inspire it in others. In my little corner, I will tell those who defend this broken world that they do not speak for me. I will not let the issue rest. I will not be silent.

Are you with me?

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Police Killings by the Numbers (Part 4): the Final Tally

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:

Clark Nevada 153
Alameda California 44
Bernalillo New Mexico 42
Multnomah Oregon 39
Cuyahoga Ohio 35
Washoe Nevada 32
Riverside California 32
Philadelphia Pennsylvania 25
Maricopa Arizona 24
Los Angeles California 22

However, if we look at this same data in terms of police shootings per square mile, we get this top-10 list:

Kings New York 0.19
Philadelphia Pennsylvania 0.18
Multnomah Oregon 0.08
Cuyahoga Ohio 0.08
Baltimore City Maryland 0.07
Alexandria Virginia 0.07
District of Columbia District of Columbia 0.06
San Francisco California 0.06
Alameda California 0.06
Suffolk Massachusetts 0.05

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:

Clark Nevada 0.00008
Washoe Nevada 0.00007
Bernalillo New Mexico 0.00006
Multnomah Oregon 0.00005
Kootenai Idaho 0.00004
Ada Idaho 0.00004
Cumberland Maine 0.00003
Solano California 0.00003
Alameda California 0.00003
Cuyahoga Ohio 0.00003

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.

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