I spent the day in Chicago yesterday, where I lucked into my first ever up close up encounter with a Black Lives Matter march. (Photos nearby.) The throng blocked the intersection at Wacker Avenue and the Chicago River downtown right at the beginning of the evening rush hour. The police did nothing to disperse the crowd; to the contrary, they police enabled the march to proceed. One fellow got up in my face and said that my “silence is violence.” I suggested to him that he didn’t really want to see me when I’m noisy. I’ve got some video, too, but I have to board an airplane in a few minutes and it takes a while to post.
Meanwhile, I’m going to borrow shamelessly from Glenn Reynolds’ refrain, “Why are liberal-run places such hotbeds of racism and sexism?” From the New York Times this morning:
African-Americans in San Francisco are stopped and searched by police officers in disproportionate numbers and are subject to a host of other actions that appear to be discriminatory, according to a report issued on Monday that found the Police Department was in need of significant overhaul. The report also said that the department’s disciplinary system was riddled with shortcomings.
But there’s also this story reported in the Times today:
A new study confirms that black men and women are treated differently in the hands of law enforcement. They are more likely to be touched, handcuffed, pushed to the ground or pepper-sprayed by a police officer, even after accounting for how, where and when they encounter the police.
But when it comes to the most lethal form of force — police shootings — the study finds no racial bias.
And it’s a Harvard study: the best kind!
“It is the most surprising result of my career,” said Roland G. Fryer Jr., the author of the study and a professor of economics at Harvard. The study examined more than 1,000 shootings in 10 major police departments, in Texas, Florida and California.
The result contradicts the image of police shootings that many Americans hold after the killings (some captured on video) of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo.; Tamir Rice in Cleveland; Walter Scott in South Carolina; Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, La.; and Philando Castile in Minnesota.
I love it when Harvard professors are “surprised.” Happens a lot. Here’s the whole NBER paper (PDF link).