Rule of Law

About Those Unarmed Black Men Killed by Cops...

Contrary to media implication, "unarmed" doesn't mean incapable of killing a cop.

Douglas Andrews · Jul. 28, 2020

There’s some debate about how many unarmed black men were shot by cops last year. Some sources list eight, some nine, others 13, and still others 14.

These are distinctions without a difference, however — especially when one considers the tens of millions of encounters that our law enforcement officials have with good people and bad during the course of a year. But let’s go with 14 to prevent the busybodies at USA Today from having another hissy fit.

Fourteen deaths, of course, is 14 too many. But this number is just two-tenths of 1% of the nation’s 7,300 black homicide victims in 2019, whereas more than 90% of those victims were killed by other blacks. Clearly, if all black lives truly mattered to the Marxist shakedown artists at Black Lives Matter, they’d be paying a lot more attention to the plank in their own eye.

But back to those unfortunate 14. Matt Walsh at The Daily Wire did the additional work of looking up the circumstances of each of these deaths, and he found the cops’ track record to be even more clear-cut, more compelling in terms of its judiciousness.

“According to the DOJ,” writes Walsh, “police make about 10 million arrests each year. As a rough average, 7 million of the arrested suspects are white and 3 million are black. Out of that number, last year, 25 unarmed white people were killed by police, compared to 14 unarmed black people, according to the Washington Post database of police shootings. That means about .0004 percent of all blacks arrested were killed while unarmed. The percentage for whites is comparable. In total, 1,000 people were shot and killed by police in 2019, the vast majority of whom were armed.” In any case, those 1,000 shootings amount to just 0.01% or one-ten-thousandth of all arrests made.

“We know that number [14 unarmed shootings] is already quite low,” Walsh continues. “But a closer inspection of the actual cases shows that it’s even lower than we think. Indeed, it appears that the whole category of ‘unarmed’ shootings is severely misleading. I looked up all 14 cases included in the Post’s 2019 database. A few are straightforwardly unjustified.”

Walsh goes on to list those unjustified cases: one horrible hair-trigger decision, another accidental discharge during search and confiscation, another during a scuffle, one when a suspect reached for his waistband, one when a cop fired shots into a fleeing car, and another during an attempted arrest.

As Walsh notes, “These six shootings range from outrageous to questionable. But these are still only six out of the approximately 3 million black suspects arrested in 2019. Half of the officers have been charged with crimes, so it’s not as though cops are given legal license to kill on a whim. Only one of these cases is murder. Two might be manslaughter.”

As for the other eight, one was killed when he tried to run over the responding officers with his car. Another was shot when he choked a cop and used his taser on him. Two others were shot by cops defending themselves from vehicles being used as weapons, three others were shot after violently assaulting an officer, and the last of these eight was killed when he emerged from his home after having threatened to “blast” the cops and “kill every last one of them.”

Thanks to these additional details from Walsh — and no thanks to the legions of willfully incurious journalists and editors out there — we now know without a doubt that our nation’s cops are remarkably and overwhelmingly judicious in their use of deadly force. And this despite the fact that, as Heather Mac Donald notes, “A police officer is 18½ times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.”

Next time you pass by a cop, consider thanking him for what he does.

Click here to show comments

Facts over Fear
Stay current with America’s News Digest.