Police killed Blacks twice as many times as Whites in NC, says report
By Cash Michaels
According to a new Harvard University project, African Americans were twice as likely to be killed by police than whites in North Carolina between 2013 and 2021.
Furthermore, the project, Mapping Police Violence (https://mappingpoliceviolence.org) a product of the Law Enforcement Demographic Survey and the Washington Post’s police shooting database, revealed that in North Carolina, from 2013 until now, there have been 249 deaths involving law enforcement officers, and rarely has anyone been held legally accountable, with officer prosecutions “extremely rare.”
To be clear, there is no official national database of police related deaths, but rather crowdsources and media compilations.
By the numbers, 35% of those deaths were African Americans, while only 22% of North Carolina’s population is Black.
Only four officers were actually charged over that time period (three of the charges involved white victims, only one was Black), and 20% of the 94 reporting police departments and sheriff’s offices had staff of sworn officers who were all-white.
In deaths involving firearms, interestingly, the majority of Black victims were not trying to flee, according to the Washington Post.
The low rate of police prosecutions in North Carolina mirrors what is happening in the rest of the country, according to data compiled by researchers. Only 35 police officers were convicted of unjustified shootings nationally between 2005 and 2019.
When the racial makeup of the police or sheriff’s department does not mirror the community which it is responsible for policing, studies show that use of force incidents go up, and this is especially true in North Carolina when white officers interact with Black citizens from agencies that are virtually all-white.