HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » The Washington Post Downp...

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 11:38 AM

The Washington Post Downplays the Number of People Killed by Police in 2015


The Washington Post Downplays the Number of People Killed by Police in 2015

Thursday, 31 December 2015 11:12
By Jim Naureckas, FAIR | News Analysis


Concerned that official records undercount the number of people shot and killed by police in the United States every year, the Washington Post attempted to compile a list of every fatal police shooting in 2015. The paper found nearly a thousand such cases - more than twice as many as the FBI reports in a typical year.

The Post's project - which corroborates a similar tally conducted by the British Guardian - is a journalistic accomplishment, as well as an achievement of the Black Lives Matter movement, which has worked to call attention to police violence in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014.

But it's hard for me to escape the feeling that the Post story - by Kimberly Kindy and Marc Fisher - was framed by the paper to minimize the project's remarkable findings. Take the first paragraph that summarizes details of the results:

In a year-long study, the Washington Post found that the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many US communities - most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men - represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. Meanwhile, the Post found that the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: They were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt.


"The kind of incidents that have ignited protests…represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings": That sure sounds like an attempt to play down the number, doesn't it? Particularly since the write-up never presents the raw number for fatal police shootings of unarmed African-Americans in 2015 - which is 37 - or the more comprehensive number of all unarmed civilians shot and killed: 90. Those numbers can be found on a graphic that accompanied the story in the paper's print edition, and in an interactive feature online–but are nowhere to be found in the Post's own article on its project. ("Just 9 percent of shootings involved an unarmed victim," a sidebar accompanying the graphic began - that word "just" indicating that we should read that as "not so many." ................(more)

http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34246-the-washington-post-downplays-the-number-of-people-killed-by-police-in-2015




9 replies, 2026 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 11:53 AM

1. It sounded to me like reporting of facts.

 

There's no shortage of outrage about the 4%

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #1)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 12:33 PM

4. Well, it's a fact that when Bill Gates walks into a bar, the average income of the people

 

in the room is very, very, very high. But the fact distorts the reality. The way that WaPo gets to its 4% number is a manipulation of reality.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demit (Reply #4)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 12:35 PM

5. Really. I wasn't defending or attacking their data in any way, but I am curious about your claim.

 

What is the real number?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #5)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 12:46 PM

7. I wasn't attacking your post, either.

 

WaPo massaged the data by eliminating the police killings done for a "reason," such as someone running away when they were told to halt. By the way, even if we accept that death is a perfectly okay result for someone not having obeyed a police command, we only have the officer's word for it, that he told the suspect to halt.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Demit (Reply #7)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 12:48 PM

8. Yes, I saw that analysis in another post on this thread. I agree.

 

Killing an unarmed person who is running away but is otherwise no threat is wrong.

Killing a disturbed person for being uncooperative is wrong.

Killing a suicidal person in a wheelchair after the man has shot himself and is no longer armed is wrong.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 11:55 AM

2. "...they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt."

The Post called incidents where unarmed civilians in the above categories as not among the 4% of civilian deaths at police hands that that have ignited protests. That is absolutely false. Not only is that completely wrong, but in two incidences I can think of off hand not only were there major protests, but the police involved in the shootings were actually indicted for murder. The man killed in Chicago who was shot 17 or so times had a knife in his hand. That counts among the statistics of those who were armed when killed, but that killing resulted in a murder indictment against a police officer. Then there was the African American man who was shot in the back multiple times after he tied to flee from a traffic stop. A bystander caught the execution on a cell phone, including an attempt by the police officer to plant evidence at the dead man's side to support his contention that the victim stole his taser. That homicide was heavily protested and the officer involved got indicted for murder.

And omitting all cases where the dead civilian was "suicidal or mentally troubled" from police acts that caused protests is simply laughable, and also blatantly false. Protests following civilian deaths i that category are too numerous to mention. And people protested for a damn good reason. Being mentally troubled should not be a death sentence at the hands of law enforcement, particularly when the person killed was unarmed at the time or in no position to threaten the lives of armed police who responded to the scene.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Tom Rinaldo (Reply #2)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 12:37 PM

6. That's a legit complaint. +1

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 11:59 AM

3. As of 12/20/2015, 1195 people were killed by cop in the USA 2015.

Here is a database of the 1195 killed by cop in the USA in 2015:

http://killedbypolice.net/


A recent article (note the bold for 2014 comparing civilian vs cop deaths):

http://www.wisconsingazette.com/national/police-killed-1186-civilians-during-2015.html

As of Dec. 26, police had killed 1,186 people since the year 2015 began, according to the website killedbypolice.net, which lists all the victims’ names and links to news reports of their deaths.

The Washington Post puts the number of Americans shot dead by police in 2015 at 965, but the Post only included shootings that involved an on-duty police shooting to death a civilian. The Post reported 62 of the deaths occurred in the past 30 days.

The Post did not include people in police custody, fatal shootings by off-duty officers, or police killings that did not involve firearms.

Police killed more than 1,100 civilians in 2014. Twenty-seven police were killed in the line of duty that year.

From wiki:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_police_officers_killed_in_the_line_of_duty

This is a list of American police officers killed in the line of duty. The list includes only individuals whose deaths received significant local, national, or international attention, and is not an inclusive list of all such officers killed. Summaries of the overall casualty figures, by year, are also provided.


List at wiki link.

Out of 69 reported cops killed in line of duty for 2015 as of November 28, 2015, twenty-seven 27 were from gunfire and a majority of the cops killed were by heart attack or accident.

From 2010 to 2014 cops killed in line of duty ranged from 114 to 161 including killed by criminals and those killed by accident or heart attack.

The statistics are way out of line IMHO.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to marmar (Original post)

Thu Dec 31, 2015, 01:10 PM

9. An apples and oranges cheat

They are dancing around. Do you know who is not being included??? Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner. How many other police killings are sliding under the radar because they weren't shot? Tell us instead about what percentage of people who died in police custody they had a reason to kill. Oh-that's right-zero percent.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread