With all of the tension between the black community and police departments across the country after the murder of George Floyd and most recently, Rayshard Brooks, who was shot by Atlanta police, it’s understandable if some elected officials misspeak and state wrong police shooting statistics.
This appears to be the case with Florida Congressman Al Lawson (D) who while appearing on Fox News’ “The Daily Briefing” with host Dana Perino, stated that because “police officers are turning this thing into the wild wild west,” that over the last couple of years 10,000 African-American men and women have been killed by the police.”
“It’s been over the last couple of years 10,000 African-American men and women have been killed by the police, which is very unacceptable,” said Rep. Lawson
Lawson’s remark caused Perino to question, “10,000?”
Lawson responded by doubling down, saying that “10,000 that have been killed in some form or fashion by the police…”
Perino: What was the time frame?
Lawson: “In the last twenty years .. you all look into it, but I think my numbers are correct.”
In looking at the most recent cop-involved shootings, Lawson, who is a Joe Biden for President surrogate, appears to have his numbers wrong.
According to the Washington Post, over the past 5 years, there has been an average of about 1,000 (total) fatal police-involved shootings across America.
Of those incidents, the overwhelming majority of the shootings have been against people armed with a weapon, with nearly half of those people shot being white.
“Since 2015, 70 percent of the 5,400 people fatally shot by police were armed with a knife or a gun, according to The Post’s database. More than 3,000 of them had guns.
White people, who account for 60 percent of the American population, made up 45 percent of those shot and killed by police. Black people makeup 13 percent of the population but account for 23 percent of those shot and killed by police. Hispanic people, who account for about 18 percent of the population, make up 16 percent of the people killed. For 9 percent of people, The Post was unable to determine their race.” (WaPo)
In doing some simple math, 23 percent of those blacks shot and killed by makeup only 1,242 deaths over five years.
If you keep that 23 percent ratio over 10 years, the number of black deaths are 2,484, and over a span of 20 years, some 5,000 Black Americans were killed by police.
These numbers are a far cry from the 10,000 police killings of African Americans Lawson stated.
The unpopular movement to defund police could be on its last legs.