Are white people more likely to be shot to death by the police than Black people?

Friday, May 6, 2022
By Lisa Freedland

Per capita, Black people are more likely to be shot to death by the police than white people.

Black people are overrepresented in fatal police shooting statistics relative to their population size. Statista, using data from The Washington Post, reported that 3,839 people in the U.S. were shot to death by police between 2017 and 2021 (excluding shootings of unknown race). Black people accounted for more than 27% (1,047) of these deaths while making up 13.4% of the population. In contrast, white people accounted for about 50% (1,917) of deaths while making up 76.3% of the population.

Research published by the medical journal BMJ similarly found that between 2015 and 2020, Black people were more than 2.5 times more likely to be shot to death by the police than white people.

Statista listed 20 police shooting fatalities among white people and 14 among Black people this year as of April 1, 2022.

This fact brief is responsive to conversations such as this one.
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