What’s especially surprising about this Harvard study is that it was commissioned by a black man – a Harvard professor – who was fed up with all the police shootings on black people.
At least that’s what he thought. But instead of trying to stir up strife and division, he wanted to study the issue himself. What he found surprised him, telling the New York Times, “It is the most surprising result of my career.”
The study was commissioned by Harvard economics professor Roland G. Fryer, Jr. – who happens to be black – after seeing officer-involved shootings of other black men, notably Freddie Gray and Michael Brown. As he told the Times: “You know, protesting is not my thing. But data is my thing.”
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His study surveyed 1,332 police shootings involving ten large police departments in the top three states by population – California, Texas, and Florida. The study spanned shootings from the years 2000 to 2015. Fryer and his student researchers spent over 3,000 hours compiling data from police reports.
Not only did the study conclude that there wasn’t any evidence of racial bias in officer-involved shootings, but police – who had not been attacked – were actually more likely to shoot white suspects.
In addition, it was found that there was an equal number of armed white people as there were armed black people who were shot by police. This flies in the face of those in the Black Lives Matter movement who claim that police are always shooting at unarmed blacks without provocation.
This isn’t the first time this issue has been studied. The Washington Post found that there were almost twice as many whites shot and killed by police in 2015 (494) than blacks (258).