Race-Biased Police Violence

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Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Wed Sep 27, 2017 2:52 pm

Going off topic in another thread, I called WendyDarling out as follows:
Carleas wrote:Wendy, I think your methodology for approaching the question of race-biased police violence is flawed. You point to anecdotes, but those tell you basically nothing about what's going on -- and note this cuts both ways: anecdotes are emotional and rhetorical, and both sides use them as such.

But if you look at the rate at which blacks vs. whites are killed in police custody, targeted by police, get justice for police misconduct, are sentenced to death at trial, etc. etc., there are pretty clear statistical trends that support the narrative that racial bias plays a role. That's different from saying every police killing is solely attributable to racism. It's a more modest claim: across all society, black people face a disproportionate burden from unjust and unwarranted police violence.

I found this rundown of studies on the issue to be surprisingly good, providing a good set of summaries with references from reputable sources, pointing out some weaknesses, and including some studies that found no bias. And I'm sure we can come up with additional flaws and with hypotheses that fit these findings without using racial bias as an explanation. But they should move your priors, and this is a much better place to start than a handful of anecdotes.


She quite rightly suggested we take that discussion elsewhere:
WendyDarling wrote:Start a thread that highlights the article. I have much to make mention of and this is your evidence which I will gladly pick apart in light of a debate.

So here we are. A few additional responses to get things moving:
WendyDarling wrote:Also, what anecdotes are you referring to?

This was what you said that sparked my reply:
WendyDarling wrote:The most recent incident with a football player and the police who tackled him outside of a bar had to do with the player fleeing the scene of a crime once the police entered the bar? Can people up and flee from a police investigation?

But I also see signs of over-reliance on anecdote here:
WendyDarling wrote:People who do as the police require have no problems, people who behave don't get tackled and shot. But that goes for all people to obey the police, but poor and/or uneducated black, whites, and hispanic folks who reach into their pockets or behind their backs when they are told to put their hands up need to face their decision to disobey, unfortunately it costs them their lives. [...] It's simple, follow the laws, follow police directions, no major problems. I'm glad that there are police body cameras, that's exposing more truth than lying words.

This also seems like it will be one of your proposed alternative explanations: race disparities in the rate of police violence result from suspects non-cooperation.

Another is this:
WendyDarling wrote:If blacks commit more crimes and are arrested for those crimes, then there would be disparities between the number of whites and blacks killed in police custody, identified as perpetrators (rather than targeted by police), and are sentenced to death (they commit more homicides than whites) based solely on their rates of criminal behavior. Whoever commits more crime is going to have the highest incidents in all aspects of the criminal justice system.[...]

This one is a strawman. No one is claiming that mere disparities in arrest and conviction rates are sufficient to prove bias (though they are consistent with it). Rather, the studies show disparate treatment in similar circumstances, and a correlation between police treatment and race. The rate at which drivers are pulled over, and incident to a stop are searched, and the rates at which such searches reveal contraband, are strongly indicative of race-bias, and aren't explained by a disparity in the rate of commission of crimes. The disparity in killing of unarmed black vs. white suspects can't be explained by rates of crime commission. The rate at which black murderers are sentenced to death after conviction are higher than the rate at which white murderers are sentenced to death after conviction. Differences in the rate of commission of crimes can't explain that, because this is limited to cases where a defendant has been found guilty of murder. You can control for anything you like, including the nature of the crime, and you still end up with a significant effect of the race (of both the victim and the perpetrator).

To avoid strawmen, perhaps we should go study-by-study? Maybe we can categorize and batch our discussion, to see where we really agree and disagree, and then dive into studies that we disagree about. That will let us identify the actual claims, the responses to those claims, and then some degree of hypothesis testing by reference to the studies. The article is already broken into headings:
  • POLICE KILLINGS OF UNARMED AMERICANS
  • HOW POLICE DETERMINE WHOM TO STOP
  • RACE AND THE USE OF NONLETHAL FORCE
  • WHEN OFF-DUTY OFFICERS ARE KILLED BY POLICE
  • FINDINGS ON THE USE OF HANDCUFFS
  • STUDIES THAT FOUND LITTLE OR NO EVIDENCE OF ANTI-BLACK BIAS
That seems a reasonable way to structure a discussion, but I'm open to alternatives.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:00 pm

The rate at which drivers are pulled over, and incident to a stop are searched, and the rates at which such searches reveal contraband, are strongly indicative of race-bias, and aren't explained by a disparity in the rate of commission of crimes. The disparity in killing of unarmed black vs. white suspects can't be explained by rates of crime commission. The rate at which black murderers are sentenced to death after conviction are higher than the rate at which white murderers are sentenced to death after conviction. Differences in the rate of commission of crimes can't explain that, because this is limited to cases where a defendant has been found guilty of murder. You can control for anything you like, including the nature of the crime, and you still end up with a significant effect of the race (of both the victim and the perpetrator).


Yes, the rate at which black drivers are pulled over in the predominantly black community of Ferguson Missouri would be higher due to a larger black community of drivers on the road.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Sep 27, 2017 3:06 pm

So here we are. A few additional responses to get things moving:
WendyDarling wrote:
Also, what anecdotes are you referring to?

This was what you said that sparked my reply:
WendyDarling wrote:
The most recent incident with a football player and the police who tackled him outside of a bar had to do with the player fleeing the scene of a crime once the police entered the bar? Can people up and flee from a police investigation?

This really happened recently I believe in Vegas where a current football player is screaming police brutality for being chased and tackled after police arrived at the scene of a crime. I think though that the policemen were hispanic though so racial profiling by whites wouldn't be relevant. When did hispanic police officers start racially profiling blacks? This case or since forever?
http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/09/07 ... profiling/
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

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Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Wed Sep 27, 2017 4:47 pm

WendyDarling wrote:This really happened...

Again, an anecdote tells us basically nothing. The claim isn't that every single police action involving a black person is racist, and that is the only claim that an anecdote would refute.

WendyDarling wrote:Yes, the rate at which black drivers are pulled over in the predominantly black community of Ferguson Missouri would be higher due to a larger black community of drivers on the road.

That's again a straw man. The comparison should be between black vs. white stops as compared with black vs. white population.

Since you bring up Ferguson, let's start with the DOJ report on police misconduct in Ferguson. To start off, note that while the report found that 90% of stops were on black drivers, less than 70% of the population is black. Your strawman doesn't work because what we're seeing isn't just that more black people are being pulled over, it's that more black people are being pulled over than we would expect given the demographics.

You might suppose that blacks are pulled over more often because they are driving worse. But that doesn't account for the additional finding that, once pulled over, they are more often searched, even controlling for the reason for the stop (i.e. a black driver is more likely to be searched when pulled over for a specific traffic infraction than a white driver pulled over for the same infraction). You might further suppose that the rate of searches is justified by a higher likelihood of having contraband, but in fact searches of white drivers are 26% more likely to turn up contraband.

This is from the summary on page 62 of the report.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:11 pm

That's again a straw man. The comparison should be between black vs. white stops as compared with black vs. white population.

I don't understand what you mean by a strawman. Or an anecdote?

Ferguson's black population as of the 2010 census was 67.4%. By 2015, it would have been even higher...I'll try to find some stats for 2015, but the number of people who were black and pulled over may be closer than you care to think and down below I have another reason why that 90% would be so.
2010 census[edit]
As of the 2010 census,[4] there were 21,203 people, 8,192 households, and 5,500 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,425.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,322.6/km2). There were 9,105 housing units at an average density of 1,470.9 per square mile (567.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 67.4% Black, 29.3% White, 0.5% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.4% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. Hispanic and Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferguson,_Missouri


Areas with higher incident rates are patrolled by police more frequently and by more police cars in a day and day to day to protect those areas from further incidents. I don't know at this point where the higher crime rates in Ferguson are, but if they are in predominantly black areas of the town, then more patrol cars are going to pull over more people in those areas for legitimate reasons either traffic/safety violations or problems with vehicles like missing headlights or expired license plates. How would you ever prove that racial profiling of blacks occurs in black areas? Common sense says that blacks are going to be the people in black areas of town and when in a black area of town where few white, Hispanics, or Asians live, there won't be many or maybe any pulled over for they do not frequent that area. So I say that the discrepancy between the 70% black population and the 90% being pulled over for traffic stops being black has to do with the area of Ferguson the stops were made which were predominantly inhabited by blacks.

What I find interesting about a lot of the data on Ferguson, it doesn't bring up criminal histories, like someone who has not paid several fines, gets zonked more than someone who is a first offender and pays it. Common sense says that repeat offenders receive harsher fines and sentences which was not mentioned evidenced in Ferguson.

Ferguson did have an very white police force back in 2015 that may have been totally white which didn't help the racial accusations any.

Below is a part of the US Dept. of Justice Report on Ferguson's Police Dept., the recommendations

2. Focus Stop, Search, Ticketing and Arrest Practices on Community Protection
FPD must fundamentally change the way it conducts stops and searches, issues citations and
summonses, and makes arrests. FPD officers must be trained and required to abide by the law.
In addition, FPD enforcement efforts should be reoriented so that officers are required to take
enforcement action because it promotes public safety, not simply because they have legal
authority to act. To do this, FPD should:
a. Prohibit the use of ticketing and arrest quotas, whether formal or informal;
b. Require that officers report in writing all stops, searches and arrests, including
pedestrian stops, and that their reports articulate the legal authority for the law
enforcement action and sufficient description of facts to support that authority;
c. Require documented supervisory approval prior to:
1) Issuing any citation/summons that includes more than two charges;
2) Making an arrest on any of the following charges:
i. Failure to Comply/Obey;
ii. Resisting Arrest;
iii. Disorderly Conduct/Disturbing the Peace;

iv. Obstruction of Government Operations; Why are these hot ticket items? Could it be a trend in black communities to not comply, to resist arrest, and to perpetrate disorderly conduct? I say it is, but it came to a head in Ferguson with the Michael Brown case. BTW, the officer was not charged for any criminal behavior and the whole Justice Dept. Report on the Ferguson Police Dept. was to appease the angry liberals who were screaming racial bias without legitimate proof.
3) Arresting or ticketing an individual who sought police aid, or who is
cooperating with police in an investigation;
4) Arresting on a municipal warrant or wanted;
d. Revise Failure to Comply municipal code provision to bring within constitutional
limits, and provide sufficient guidance so that all stops, citations, and arrests based on
the provision comply with the Constitution;
e. Train officers on proper use of Failure to Comply charge, including elements of the
offense and appropriateness of the charge for interference with police activity that
threatens public safety;
f. Require that applicable legal standards are met before officers conduct pat-downs or
vehicle searches. Prohibit searches based on consent for the foreseeable future;
g. Develop system of correctable violation, or “fix-it” tickets, and require officers to
issue fix-it tickets wherever possible and absent contrary supervisory instruction;
h. Develop and implement policy and training regarding appropriate police response to
activities protected by the First Amendment, including the right to observe, record,
and protest police action;
i. Provide initial and regularly recurring training on Fourth Amendment constraints on
police action, as well as responsibility within FPD to constrain action beyond what
Fourth Amendment requires in interest of public safety and community trust;
j. Discontinue use of “wanteds” or “stop orders” and prohibit officers from conducting
stops, searches, or arrests on the basis of “wanteds” or “stop orders” issued by other
agencies.
3. Increase Tracking, Review, and Analysis of FPD Stop, Search, Ticketing and Arrest
Practices
At the first level of supervision and as an agency, FPD must review more stringently officers’
stop, search, ticketing, and arrest practices to ensure that officers are complying with the
92
Constitution and department policy, and to evaluate the impact of officer activity on police
legitimacy and community trust. FPD should:
a. Develop and implement a plan for broader collection of stop, search, ticketing, and
arrest data that includes pedestrian stops, enhances vehicle stop data collection, and
requires collection of data on all stop and post-stop activity, as well as location and
demographic information;
b. Require supervisors to review all officer activity and review all officer reports before
the supervisor leaves shift;
c. Develop and implement system for regular review of stop, search, ticketing, and
arrest data at supervisory and agency level to detect problematic trends and ensure
consistency with public safety and community policing goals;
d. Analyze race and other disparities shown in stop, search, ticketing, and arrest
practices to determine whether disparities can be reduced consistent with public
safety goals.
4. Change Force Use, Reporting, Review, and Response to Encourage De-Escalation and
the Use of the Minimal Force Necessary in a Situation
FPD should reorient officers’ approach to using force by ensuring that they are trained and
skilled in using tools and tactics to de-escalate situations, and incentivized to avoid using force
wherever possible. FPD also should implement a system of force review that ensures that
improper force is detected and responded to effectively, and that policy, training, tactics, and
officer safety concerns are identified. FPD should:
a. Train and require officers to use de-escalation techniques wherever possible both to
avoid a situation escalating to where force becomes necessary, and to avoid
unnecessary force even where it would be legally justified. Training should include
tactics for slowing down a situation to increase available options;
b. Require onsite supervisory approval before deploying any canine, absent documented
exigent circumstances; require and train canine officers to take into account the nature
and severity of the alleged crime when deciding whether to deploy a canine to bite;
require and train canine officers to avoid sending a canine to apprehend by biting a
concealed suspect when the objective facts do not suggest the suspect is armed and a
lower level of force reasonably can be expected to secure the suspect;
c. Place more stringent limits on use of ECWs, including limitations on multiple ECW
cycles and detailed justification for using more than one cycle;
d. Retrain officers in use of ECWs to ensure they view and use ECWs as a tool of
necessity, not convenience. Training should be consistent with principles set out in
the 2011 ECW Guidelines;
e. Develop and implement use-of-force reporting that requires the officer using force to
complete a narrative, separate from the offense report, describing the force used with
particularity, and describing with specificity the circumstances that required the level
of force used, including the reason for the initial stop or other enforcement action.
Some levels of force should require all officers observing the use of force to complete
a separate force narrative;
f. Develop and implement supervisory review of force that requires the supervisor to
conduct a complete review of each use of force, including gathering and considering
93
evidence necessary to understand the circumstances of the force incident and
determine its consistency with law and policy, including statements from individuals
against whom force is used and civilian witnesses;
g. Prohibit supervisors from reviewing or investigating a use of force in which they
participated or directed;
h. Ensure that complete use-of-force reporting and review/investigation files—including
all offense reports, witness statements, and medical, audio/video, and other
evidence—are kept together in a centralized location;
i. Develop and implement a system for higher-level, inter-disciplinary review of some
types of force, such as lethal force, canine deployment, ECWs, and force resulting in
any injury;
j. Improve collection, review, and response to use-of-force data, including information
regarding ECW and canine use;
k. Implement system of zero tolerance for use of force as punishment or retaliation
rather than as necessary, proportionate response to counter a threat;
l. Discipline officers who fail to report force and supervisors who fail to conduct
adequate force investigations;
m. Identify race and other disparities in officer use of force and develop strategies to
eliminate avoidable disparities;
n. Staff jail with at least two correctional officers at all times to ensure safety and
minimize need for use of force in dealing with intoxicated or combative prisoners.
Train correctional officers in de-escalation techniques with specific instruction and
training on minimizing force when dealing with intoxicated and combative prisoners,
as well as with passive resistance and noncompliance.
5. Implement Policies and Training to Improve Interactions with Vulnerable People
Providing officers with the tools and training to better respond to persons in physical or mental
health crisis, and to those with intellectual disabilities, will help avoid unnecessary injuries,
increase community trust, and make officers safer. FPD should:
a. Develop and implement policy and training for identifying and responding to
individuals with known or suspected mental health conditions, including those
observably in mental health crisis, and those with intellectual or other disabilities;
b. Provide enhanced crisis intervention training to a subset of officers to allow for ready
availability of trained officers on the scenes of critical incidents involving individuals
with mentally illness;
c. Require that, wherever possible, at least one officer with enhanced crisis intervention
training respond to any situation concerning individuals in mental health crisis or with
intellectual disability, when force might be used;
d. Provide training to officers regarding how to identify and respond to more commonly
occurring medical emergencies that may at first appear to reflect a failure to comply
with lawful orders. Such medical emergencies may include, for example, seizures
and diabetic emergencies.

Mostly the report seems like a fluff piece which ramps up the paperwork factor for the department and slows police from doing their jobs efficiently. I do like the part of the report to provide more training to the officers to recognize people with medical conditions such as mental illness, autism, etc.

The officers in that department should have been reviewed and passing a review assigned positions in other town's police departments. New officers should have been hired to proportionately reflect the racial populations, essentially starting from scratch, implementing the recommendations.

Carleas, do you believe that the cops routinely as policy pull people over for NO reason? Or that they follow a black driver around while they run a plate check on the vehicle trying to find some reason to pull the car over?

Also, do you believe that hispanics are racially profiled by white police officers? If so, why? If not, why?

Yikes, this is my longest post ever. Let me know what doesn't jive.
Last edited by WendyDarling on Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby AutSider » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:14 pm

My position is that blacks should be killed on sight by whites and that whites should reward other whites who do this with resources and regard them as heroes.

To see a black and not try to kill them would mean betrayal of one's own people and would be regarded as a crime in a decent legal system.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:46 pm

The disparity in killing of unarmed black vs. white suspects can't be explained by rates of crime commission.

I don't understand what you mean by this? Where did you get this sourced? Do you mean that the suspects were complying and were shot anyway?

I read the above like this...If the white person raises their hands when told to do so and the black person doesn't and reaches into his pocket instead, who is going to get shot dead?

You might suppose that blacks are pulled over more often because they are driving worse. But that doesn't account for the additional finding that, once pulled over, they are more often searched, even controlling for the reason for the stop (i.e. a black driver is more likely to be searched when pulled over for a specific traffic infraction than a white driver pulled over for the same infraction). You might further suppose that the rate of searches is justified by a higher likelihood of having contraband, but in fact searches of white drivers are 26% more likely to turn up contraband.

No, what I already explained that they are pulled over in the parts of town where they live which happens to have higher incidences of crime and more patrolling. More cars patrolling equals more spotting of driving infractions. If the same number of patrols frequented white or Hispanic areas due to public safety needs and few patrolled black areas, those figures for whites and Hispanics would rise too. Also, it would be interesting to know how search procedures are done, like after the officer runs the plates and the license or how that goes down. Is there a criteria beyond race that the officer uses, like compliance, like criminal history, the vehicle's history which makes them more apt to do a search? My friend who is an older white man has been searched a few times and he hates cops, if that hate is blatantly obvious to the officer, he may punish the driver with a search for being disrespectful, rather than being black. If black people are less cooperative and more disrespectful in general, then it's common sense that their behavior may be punished depending on the officer. I'd like to see how black officers handle their brothers during traffic stops and if they punish behaviors they do not like with time-consuming intrusions as well.
I AM OFFICIALLY IN HELL!

I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

Cutting folks for sport is a reality for the poor in spirit. I myself only cut the poor in spirit on Tues., Thurs., and every other Sat.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Wed Sep 27, 2017 8:24 pm

WendyDarling wrote:I don't understand what you mean by a strawman.

By strawman I mean an argument that no one is making that's easier to refute than the arguments that are actually being made. I think the term comes from fighting a war: you don't gain any ground by setting up straw dummies in your enemies' clothes and knocking them down, you win by actually fighting your enemy. Similarly, you don't make a good case for your position by refuting a bunch of arguments that no one's making against it.
WendyDarling wrote:Or an anecdote?

As I am using this term, I mean stories about individual cases. Across the US, 10 million people were arrested in 2015. No one of those stories is going to tell you very much about arrest as a whole. Even several dozen stories won't. People use stories because our brains are wired to respond to concrete examples, we imbue the characters with emotions and we make intuitive moral judgments about them. But when we're talking about all arrests, all police actions, all suspects, anecdotes are more of a distraction. Whatever the overall narrative, there will be anecdotes that defy it, where unusual people or events produce unusual outcomes. Again, there might be dozens of such cases, but they don't tell us very much about the whole story.

WendyDarling wrote:Areas with higher incident rates are patrolled by police more frequently and by more police cars in a day and day to day to protect those areas from further incidents. I don't know at this point where the higher crime rates in Ferguson are, but if they are in predominantly black areas of the town, then more patrol cars are going to pull over more people in those areas for legitimate reasons either traffic/safety violations or problems with vehicles like missing headlights or expired license plates. How would you ever prove that racial profiling of blacks occurs in black areas?

This seems circular. I will grant that if the police target the black areas of town, they will tend to stop, search, and arrest more black people. But why are they targeting the black areas of towns? Even if the answer is that those areas have higher crime, if that "higher crime" is measured by the number of arrests, it's going to be skewed by the fact that the police are targeting the black areas of town. So the argument is, more arrests of black people because the police target their neighborhoods, and the police target their neighborhoods because the arrest rates there are higher.

This also doesn't answer why searches incident to stops, or the use of violence in the case of arrest, or the rate at which unarmed suspects are killed are higher for blacks. Since these measures look at rates (e.g. searches per stop of a black person versus searches per stop of a white person), they wouldn't be thrown off by police focusing most of their efforts on black areas.

WendyDarling wrote:Carleas, do you believe that the cops routinely as policy pull people over for NO reason? Or that they follow a black driver around while they run a plate check on the vehicle trying to find some reason to pull the car over?

I don't think it's generally a matter of policy, but of practice (though I'm fairly certain there are places in the US where racism is policy). While I think there is some conscious racism, I think a lot of it is unconscious. I think cops often follow their guts, and don't notice when part of what's triggering their gut instincts is racial bias. I think the two studies cited in the article as finding little or no evidence of anti-black bias actually show that police mean well, and are overwhelmed in the heat of the moment: in a situation where they aren't facing a potential threat to themselves or anyone else, they have internalized that they need to think a little longer to see if it's bias that's motivating their actions, so they react less quickly. When their life is on the line, that reflection is dropped in favor of speed, and biases shine through.

WendyDarling wrote:Also, do you believe that hispanics are racially profiled by white police officers? If so, why? If not, why?

I do think Hispanic people are racially profiled, yes. I'm sure white officers are among those guilty of it, but I'm not sure if they are particularly guilty. The DOJ report notes that "a racially diverse police force does not guarantee community trust or lawful policing.[...] African Americans are equally likely to fire their weapons, arrest people, and have complaints made about their behavior, and sometimes harbor prejudice against African American civilians themselves." While, like you, the report recommends taking steps to improve diversity on the police force, it does not claim that as a silver bullet.

As for evidence that Hispanic people are victims of racial profiling, we can look at the Chicago Police Accountability Task Force report which found, like in Ferguson, that black and Hispanic people were significantly more likely to be stopped and searched, but less likely to have contraband. Note especially the rate of "investigatory" stops of black people on page 9.

WendyDarling wrote:I read the above like this...If the white person raises their hands when told to do so and the black person doesn't and reaches into his pocket instead, who is going to get shot dead?

You have no reason to read it that way, I'm not sure why you would.

Look, can we at least agree that if we want to find out about racial disparities in policing, what we want to do is compare like to like: white people with hands in the air to black people with hands in the air; black people with hands in their pockets to white people with hands in their pockets. I don't think there has been a study that specifically looks at where a suspects hands were at the time of the shooting, but if you have one please provide. Otherwise, let's go with the data we do have and not make unfounded assumptions about what it shows.
EDIT: I suppose we have to make assumptions, and better that they be stated; I retract that last sentence. So we have a study that says black people are more often killed when unarmed, and two competing hypotheses:
1) that the disparity is because black people are more likely to keep their hands in their pockets when unarmed and confronted by police; and
2) that police are more likely to pull the trigger when they're looking at a black person.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:30 pm

This seems circular. I will grant that if the policy target the black areas of town, they will tend to stop, search, and arrest more black people. But why are they targeting the black areas of towns? Even if the answer is that those areas have higher crime, if that "higher crime" is measured by the number of arrests, it's going to be skewed by the fact that the police are targeting the black areas of town. So the argument is, more arrests of black people because the police target their neighborhoods, and the police target their neighborhoods because the arrest rates there are higher.

Police patrol troubled areas more because the areas have high volumes of 911 calls first and foremost, what comes out of those calls may be arrests. Isn't that called doing what a police officer is paid to do?

How's about instead of targeting the black neighborhoods in a racially biased way that the police are instead doing their jobs in preserving the peace in areas with high volumes of 911 calls? Could they be following procedure doing their jobs by showing up more frequently in troubled areas where police assistance if often required? Had that possibility even crossed your mind? I don't think so. :evil:

[An aside brought on by your use of the word "targeting" referenced as harmful intention, rather than targeting to help the areas with the most 911 activity: Do you want to prove that only white police officers break the law to racially profile blacks? Or is this conversation to grow to include Hispanics? Does it have to do with white guilt? Are you prone to silently acknowledging racial differences? I only ask these questions because of my belief that you want to think ill of other white people and that goes back to anti-white brainwashing which while you may deny it, you exhibit a strong desire to prove that white people are guilty of racial prejudices.]

This also doesn't answer why searches incident to stops, or the use of violence in the case of arrest, or the rate at which unarmed suspects are killed are higher for blacks. Since these measures look at rates (e.g. searches per stop of a black person versus searches per stop of a white person), they wouldn't be thrown off by police focusing most of their efforts on black areas.

"For every action, there is a reaction." Your behavior during a routine traffic stop or any stop will impact a police officers decisions. For instance, if you sit in your car without getting your drivers license out and ready to give the police officer when he requests it, you are already playing with fire making him request it and him having to remain unalarmed with whatever actions you make next to retrieve it. Most folks wear their license or have it in a purse, if you then quickly reach over under a seat or into a glove box, you may have a weapon drawn and/or fired on you. You are exhibiting abnormal behaviors by 1. not having your license ready for the officer 2. not keeping your license in a usual place 3. having your hand disappear into an area where weapons are frequently concealed. Add disrespect and/or willful disobedience to the mix and bang, bang, your dead. You were an unarmed dummy and the officer did not feel like waiting to see the barrel of a gun.

During traffic stops, people who do not have their license in their hand when the cop approaches the car should be ticketed. That requirement would cut down on a lot of driver stupidity and also signal to the cop that there may be more going on than a simple traffic violation, drunk driving, under the influence of some substance, suspended license, forgot license, etc.

A person of interests behaviors are paramount to how you are treated by an officer. Willful disobedience, even disrespect, can greatly dictate steps that end up in a physical altercation real quick. Fleeing, resisting arrest, failure to give an accurate name and address, not following the polices orders which are always simple. You do not have the freedom to behave any old way when you are dealing with the police and this is common sense stuff.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 28, 2017 3:52 pm

You're offering a few hypotheses to explain the observation that more blacks are arrested then we would expect based on demographics:
1) 911 calls are more frequent in majority black areas
2) Police patrol areas where the most 911 calls are made
3) The rate at which blacks vs. whites are arrested is what we should expect given the demographics of the areas the police patrol most often.

Do you have anything other than speculation to support these? If they are just speculation, then I would argue that we have better reason to think that it is racial bias that's driving the observed disparities than that these three hypotheses are true (i.e., the hypothesis that race-bias is the cause of disparities in racial treatment by police is better supported by observation). It's not impossible that your hypotheses are true, but given other observed correlations between police conduct and suspect race, the simpler explanation is that the same racial biases drive disparities in stops, searches, arrests, and sentencing, than that each of these similar race-correlated disparities is actually driven by a diverse set of additional hypotheses that just happen to result in what look like race correlation.

But your hypotheses seem testable, are you aware of any studies that test them?
EDIT: Here is a study that seems to support hypothesis #1, showing a higher rate of 911 calls from "predominantly black" neighborhoods. I'd like to see the actual correlation between black population and 911 call volume, but this is better than nothing.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:01 pm

How would I find out where the most 911 calls come from?

1) 911 calls are more frequent in majority black areas
Which would be a majority of Ferguson in 2015, but I wonder if it's as high as 3/4 of the entire city.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:03 pm

Google?

I added a link to a study to my last post before I saw your most recent post, but I'll add it here too. See the map on page 865. Link updated, map is in the "Results" section.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:06 pm

Carleas wrote:Google?

I added a link to a study to my last post before I saw your most recent post, but I'll add it here too. See the map on page 865.


That link is not safe, I'm unable to use it.

My hypothesis are simple common sense.

the simpler explanation is that the same racial biases drive disparities in stops, searches, arrests, and sentencing, than that each of these similar race-correlated disparities is actually driven by a diverse set of additional hypotheses that just happen to result in what look like race correlation.

Actually, it's all common sense stuff and yes, I believe that what happens is a faulty overall result that looks like a race correlation.
Stops...more police in black areas doing their jobs equals more stops
searches...cooperate and you won't be searched
arrests...witnesses/surveillance often identify suspect, failure to cooperate with police and you will be arrested
sentencing...are they repeat offenders yes or no?
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:12 pm

It gives that error because it's an https link and the https is misconfigured. You can still go to it using the advanced options, but I'll see if I can find a version that doesn't throw the error. I updated the link.

#3 is not common sense. #1 and #2 could be true, and police could still over-target black areas because of racial bias. And again, the evidence of racial bias at every other level of criminal justice interaction supports that conclusion.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:18 pm

Carleas wrote:It gives that error because it's an https link and the https is misconfigured. You can still go to it using the advanced options, but I'll see if I can find a version that doesn't throw the error. I updated the link.

#3 is not common sense. #1 and #2 could be true, and police could still over-target black areas because of racial bias. And again, the evidence of racial bias at every other level of criminal justice interaction supports that conclusion.

How is #3 not common sense?

It supports that conclusion because the people set the parameters up to be slanted...no common sense or an agenda to cause racial disharmony. If it has all been faultily set-up and interpreted like you want to, then sure white cops hate blacks and want to throw them all in jail.

I have to down load the PDF to read it? Is it worth it to find out the 911 call volume of that area in relation to non-black areas?
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:28 pm

WendyDarling wrote:Actually, it's all common sense stuff and yes, I believe that what happens is a faulty overall result that looks like a race correlation.
Stops...more police in black areas doing their jobs equals more stops
searches...cooperate and you won't be searched
arrests...witnesses/surveillance often identify suspect, failure to cooperate with police and you will be arrested
sentencing...are they repeat offenders yes or no?

Right, this is the collection of diverse hypotheses I was talking about. Just going off of no evidence at all, your position is already less likely than mine because it requires more independent hypotheses than mine.

But we also don't have to go off of zero evidence. How strongly are you willing to commit to the position that all studies finding sentencing disparities failed to control for whether or not the defendant was a repeat offender? That's the easiest thing in the world to control for, studies have been done that do control for it, and they still find a 10% disparity in sentence length:
On average black males receive sentences that are approximately 10% longer than comparable white males with those at the top of the sentencing distribution facing even larger disparities. Much of that disparity appears to be driven by decisions at the initial charging stage, especially by prosecutors’ filing of “mandatory minimum” charges, which, ceteris paribus, they do twice as often against black defendants. Our estimates of disparities in prosecutorial decisions are likely conservative, because they do not encompass gaps introduced by prearrest prosecutorial involvement in the case, nor do they account for possible disparities in law enforcement.


WendyDarling wrote:I have to down load the PDF to read it?

No, keep scrolling down.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:38 pm

Image
This is part of what I'm looking for but an overall one for 2015 and I need to see a map of the demographics, but I'm even finding it difficult to find a reliable source for what the black population was in 2015, rather than go by the 2010 census in light that the increase of blacks in Ferguson kept rising dramatically up until 2010, goes to reason that it kept rising until 2015.

What I find interesting in studies done on resisting arrest, blacks are more frequently arrested for it than whites. How do we find out the reasons why? Bodycams are going to capture these interactions but their use is recent and there may not be any studies yet that witness why.
NYPD officers appear to be far more likely to file resisting arrest charges against black suspects than white suspects — with dramatic differences in some parts of the city, according to a WNYC Data News analysis of court records. http://www.wnyc.org/story/resisting-arrest-black-white/

The preset prejudice by an officer or is it the misbehavior of the suspect that leads to the arrest? Common sense, police don't arrest for NO reason, so what were their reasons to arrest the black folks? This is what is not being discussed honestly, the cultural/racial differences, the training for those differences.

Did you ever watch the show Cops?
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby James S Saint » Thu Sep 28, 2017 4:41 pm

New York Post wrote:The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 on Monday, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.

Nearly 900 additional blacks were killed in 2016 compared with 2015, bringing the black homicide victim total to 7,881. Those 7,881 “black bodies,” in the parlance of Ta-Nehisi Coates, are 1,305 more than the number of white victims (which in this case includes most Hispanics) for the same period, though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population.

The increase in black homicides last year comes on top of a previous 900-victim increase between 2014 and 2015.

Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks.

In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The paper categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as “unarmed.” That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest.

And yes, it is "common sense" that if all police are patrolling Chicago (for example), then most arrests are going to be in Chicago, especially sense police follow the 911 calls.

And the extremely high relative violence rate of blacks vs whites has nothing at all to do with police bias other than to help inspire it.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:47 pm

James S Saint wrote:
New York Post wrote:The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 on Monday, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.

Nearly 900 additional blacks were killed in 2016 compared with 2015, bringing the black homicide victim total to 7,881. Those 7,881 “black bodies,” in the parlance of Ta-Nehisi Coates, are 1,305 more than the number of white victims (which in this case includes most Hispanics) for the same period, though blacks are only 13 percent of the nation’s population.

The increase in black homicides last year comes on top of a previous 900-victim increase between 2014 and 2015.

Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks.

In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The paper categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as “unarmed.” That classification masks assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest.

And yes, it is "common sense" that if all police are patrolling Chicago (for example), then most arrests are going to be in Chicago, especially sense police follow the 911 calls.

And the extremely high relative violence rate of blacks vs whites has nothing at all to do with police bias other than to help inspire it.


Yes, "unarmed" does mask assaults against officers and violent resistance to arrest, but also a lot of failure to complies.

I asked Carleas, if a white person complies and does as they are told and a black does not, then the black person is going to get roughed up by police or even shot depending on what the police believe them to be doing as they refuse to comply.

Where are those studies? I guess that there is no liberal outcry for that truth, just the perverted way they want to represent reality that white police officers are bad prejudiced men.
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I live my philosophy, it's personal to me and people who engage where I live establish an unspoken dynamic, a relationship of sorts, with me and my philosophy.

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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby James S Saint » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:54 pm

High-profile cases of police violence—disproportionately experienced by black men—may present a serious threat to public safety if they lower citizen crime reporting. Using an interrupted time series design, this study analyzes how one of Milwaukee’s most publicized cases of police violence against an unarmed black man, the beating of Frank Jude, affected police-related 911 calls. Controlling for crime, prior call patterns, and several neighborhood characteristics, we find that residents of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods, especially residents of black neighborhoods, were far less likely to report crime after Jude’s beating was broadcast. The effect lasted for over a year and resulted in a total net loss of approximately 22,200 calls for service. Other local and national cases of police violence against unarmed black men also had a significant impact on citizen crime reporting in Milwaukee. Police misconduct can powerfully suppress one of the most basic forms of civic engagement: calling 911 for matters of personal and public safety.

In other words, "Give Black violent men free reign, else people might stop calling 911." :-?
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From THIS age of sleep, Homo-sapien shall never awake.

The Wise gather together to help one another in EVERY aspect of living.

You are always more insecure than you think, just not by what you think.
The only absolute certainty is formed by the absolute lack of alternatives.
It is not merely "do what works", but "to accomplish what purpose in what time frame at what cost".
As long as the authority is secretive, the population will be subjugated.

Amid the lack of certainty, put faith in the wiser to believe.
Devil's Motto: Make it look good, safe, innocent, and wise.. until it is too late to choose otherwise.

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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Sep 28, 2017 7:58 pm

Carleas wrote:
WendyDarling wrote:Actually, it's all common sense stuff and yes, I believe that what happens is a faulty overall result that looks like a race correlation.
Stops...more police in black areas doing their jobs equals more stops
searches...cooperate and you won't be searched
arrests...witnesses/surveillance often identify suspect, failure to cooperate with police and you will be arrested
sentencing...are they repeat offenders yes or no?

Right, this is the collection of diverse hypotheses I was talking about. Just going off of no evidence at all, your position is already less likely than mine because it requires more independent hypotheses than mine.

But we also don't have to go off of zero evidence. How strongly are you willing to commit to the position that all studies finding sentencing disparities failed to control for whether or not the defendant was a repeat offender? That's the easiest thing in the world to control for, studies have been done that do control for it, and they still find a 10% disparity in sentence length:
On average black males receive sentences that are approximately 10% longer than comparable white males with those at the top of the sentencing distribution facing even larger disparities. Much of that disparity appears to be driven by decisions at the initial charging stage, especially by prosecutors’ filing of “mandatory minimum” charges, which, ceteris paribus, they do twice as often against black defendants. Our estimates of disparities in prosecutorial decisions are likely conservative, because they do not encompass gaps introduced by prearrest prosecutorial involvement in the case, nor do they account for possible disparities in law enforcement.


WendyDarling wrote:I have to down load the PDF to read it?

No, keep scrolling down.


In regards to the study you linked, taken from first paragraph of the report
On average, blacks receive almost 10% longer sentences than comparable whites arrested for the same crimes.

So is the report talking about first time offenders of any crimes in both cases: black and white? Not made clear!

In 1st paragraph on page 2.
we construct several new charge severity measures based on comprehensive
legal coding of the statutes and sentencing guidelines governing every federal crime charged
in the study period.
What does this mean?

Page 2, paragraph 2.
The sample is limited to males
because racial disparity patterns differ by gender, and those affecting black males are of particular
policy importance. Black men in the U.S. are incarcerated at a rate over six times that of
white men and over ten times that of black women, and men make up over 80% of federal defendants
in the sample period.1

So racial disparity does not occur against black females enough to make their case. Why would it only be against black males and not against black females equally if race is indeed the factor for such disparity?

Due to a headache, I'll let you get back to me on my questions and comments so far about this study before I keep going.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:24 pm

WendyDarling wrote:What I find interesting in studies done on resisting arrest, blacks are more frequently arrested for it than whites. How do we find out the reasons why?

I think there are a few ways to design studies to try to address this, depending on what data is available and what we're willing to treat as proxies for what:
  • If we have access to a lot of body camera footage, we could try score incidents to determine if suspect behavior really does account for the difference. If we want to be super rigorous about it, we could replace people with wire-frames or otherwise mask race prior to scoring. Either way, this would be hard and incredibly time consuming. It also depends on the quality of body cam data, which right now doesn't seem that great; officers often have discretion to turn off their body cameras, and footage seems to go missing when convenient (but here I may be overrelying on anecdote).
  • We could look at how often resisting arrest charges are filed when a body camera is present vs. when one is not. We could also look at racial disparities in cases where a body camera is present vs. when one is not. We could look at trends in arrest statistics in areas as they roll out body cameras and that shapes officer behavior. We could look at how often cases are dismissed when a body camera is present, and any racial disparity there.
  • We could compare resisting arrest statistics between wealthy and poor areas, and (if data is available), between wealthy and poor defendants. There, wealth or income would act as a proxy for self-control, and we could see what if any difference that makes on race disparities.
  • We could control for intoxication, since intoxication is likely to be a good proxy for lack of self-control. If it's an issue of behavior and cooperation, we should expect racial disparities to be reduced when comparing intoxicated black suspects to intoxicated white suspects, since we'd expect those populations to be both pretty uncooperative.

But I think a better question is what to do since we don't have any of these studies in front of us. I'm saying, let's turn to the studies we do have, and try to make sure our hypotheses are consistent.

WendyDarling wrote:I asked Carleas, if a white person complies and does as they are told and a black does not, then the black person is going to get roughed up by police or even shot depending on what the police believe them to be doing as they refuse to comply.

Where are those studies?

What question are you looking to answer here? If a black person murders someone and a white person doesn't, you can bet there will be some disparate police treatment, since murder is illegal and not-murder isn't. That doesn't tell us anything about race. Again, we need to compare like to like.

WendyDarling wrote:taken from first paragraph of the report[...]So is the report talking about first time offenders of any crimes in both cases: black and white? Not made clear!

The "first paragraph" is the abstract, you need to look at that part of the report. From page 17:
even after accounting for observed differences in criminal history and behavior, black defendants are receiving sentences that are nearly 10 percent [9.6%] higher than white defendants. [emphasis added]


WendyDarling wrote:So racial disparity does not occur against black females enough to make their case.

I don't agree that that's how the report should be interpreted. The report is trying to compare like to like, and it recognizes that the criminal justice system as experienced by women is different from the criminal justice system as experienced by men. That's clear just from the proportion of incarcerated people who are men (more than 80%, according to this report), but it is probably also reflected in the types of crimes, the lengths of sentences, and the factors that are considered. There may not be enough data on women to compare like to like for black women and white women. And in any case, looking at how race affects men is looking at how race affects the substantial majority of prisoners.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:38 pm

Again, we need to compare like to like.

I gave a scenario that is alike, the police gave the same order to two people to raise their hands, one did as directed, the other did not which would escalate the policeman's further reactions immediately. The type of crime does not matter, the defendants behavior does.

Page 17
Thus, even after accounting for observed differences in
criminal history and behavior, black defendants are receiving sentences that are nearly 10 percent
higher than white defendants.

Where are the specifics in criminal history discussed? What does behavior mean?

I don't agree that that's how the report should be interpreted. The report is trying to compare like to like, and it recognizes that the criminal justice system as experienced by women is different from the criminal justice system as experienced by men. That's clear just from the proportion of incarcerated people who are men (more than 80%, according to this report), but it is probably also reflected in the types of crimes, the lengths of sentences, and the factors that are considered. There may not be enough data on women to compare like to like for black women and white women. And in any case, looking at how race affects men is looking at how race affects the substantial majority of prisoners.

What's different...the officers (NO!), the prosecutors (NO!), the judges (NO!)?
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby Carleas » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:56 pm

WendyDarling wrote:I gave a scenario that is alike, the police gave the same order to two people to raise their hands, one did as directed, the other did not which would escalate the policeman's further reactions immediately.

Right, so you are comparing different reactions to different behaviors. If we want to see what the effect of race is, we want to see what the reactions are to the same behavior. If you are right that race plays no part, then when two people of different races behave the same, they are treated the same. Comparing like to like means controlling for other things that could explain differential treatment (e.g. differences in behavior).

WendyDarling wrote:Where are the specifics in criminal history discussed? What does behavior mean?

Page 9 and 10, also the data appendix starting on page 38 (page 40 in the pdf, the data appendix pages aren't numbered). They discuss the calculation of charge severity beginning on page 45. So they accounted for both the number of previous charges and the severity of those charges.

The define behavior as "arrest offense, multiple-defendant case structure, and criminal history". They are other variables they controlled for, attempting to isolate race.

WendyDarling wrote:What's different...the officers (NO!), the prosecutors (NO!), the judges (NO!)?

The sex of the defendant.
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Re: Race-Biased Police Violence

Postby WendyDarling » Fri Sep 29, 2017 12:30 am

WendyDarling wrote:
What's different...the officers (NO!), the prosecutors (NO!), the judges (NO!)?

The sex of the defendant.

If race is the consistent issue, it would be evident in a majority of cases for both genders where race differences are found, but like I mentioned, they had no case to unfold regarding racial disparities in treatments of women, which must be included to seal a case of racism. Racism against only men makes no sense and defies what racism means. Racism does not differentiate between male and female, being a racist is against all people of color, no matter sex, attire, age, etc.

Bottom of page 14
whites are disproportionately concentrated in the least severe charges, while blacks are disproportionately found at higher charge severities.

When they make claims like this I don't understand why they are making the assumption that the same crimes were being committed when the charges are actually lumped into only two categories: misdemeanors and felonies. The type of felony would definitely weight a prosecutors actions and also a judges actions, but I cannot find where they have these specific stats, comparing a specific crime done by a white to the same crime done by a black. In other words, they are pulling facts and figures from all over the place and making these regressions (which I don't understand) to try to come up with even sample sizes. If white people are not committing as much criminal activity or as severe criminal activity, why is that being fabricated to equal the sample sizes between blacks and whites? And how can a fabrication speak to real content and context? For example, they are not tracking 100 specific cases from start to finish for a homicide charge for a black man against 100 specific cases from start to finish for a homicide charge for a white man where both men share the same backgrounds, ages, education, economic status, county/state, etc. The clincher is the criminal history and when that is not specific it invalidates the entire study. Why aren't they using first time offenders with similar backgrounds who have clean records and dispensing with all the other bullshit? Why?

Page 44
The core coding challenge was that the AOUSC charge fields are not always very
specific—they might, for instance, refer to a particular statutory provision that contains two
distinct subparagraphs with different sentencing schemes. We researched the most common
ways in which these statutes are charged in order to be able to make realistic assumptions in the
face of such ambiguities. In general, for instance, we assumed the defendant had no prior
convictions of the exact same crime, thus avoiding special penalties that a few statutes apply to
recidivists and focusing on the severity of the particular offense in question.12

Assumptions vs ambiguities...seriously?

If none of the arrest offenses was homicide-related and no listed charge fell under a homicide statute, we
assumed the defendant did not kill anyone (an aggravating factor in a large number of statutes in
which death is a rare result, from violations of maritime rules to health care fraud). Similarly, we
assumed that defendants in non-assaultive property or regulatory offense cases did not physically
injure anyone.

I thought this study was based on definitive statistics and case specifics, the information required to formulate a comprehensive study not based on assumptions...educated guesses which could be wrong in many cases.
This is what I was having problems with...guesswork. Why would you conduct a study that doesn't have all the blanks filled in by factual data? Why base aspects of a study on assumptions, doesn't that defeat the purpose and results of the study?

I'll keep reading this study thing, but it's admitted that it is sketchy several times over.

We chose to construct our own measure of the statutory maximum rather than use the
existing AOUSC “severity” field, which is ostensibly based on the statutory maximum. The
AOUSC coding appears to automatically be based on the very highest maximum contained
anywhere in the statute cited, even when that maximum is only triggered by an exceptional
circumstance that rarely applies. For instance, charges under 18 U.S.C. § 1347 (health care
fraud) are coded by AOUSC as having a statutory maximum of life, even though that maximum
only applies when the fraud leads to a death; the standard statutory maximum is ten years. Our
approach uses, in our view, considerably more realistic assumptions.

I don't understand why they keep making assumptions concerning what I consider the most important aspect of all the cases...the criminal history.

Our charging metric is by design blind to the defendant’s
actual criminal history—it reflects charge severity alone. Therefore, we used the same grid
column for this translation in every case. We used the column corresponding to the highest
criminal history category because it best preserves the distinctions between offense levels at the
lower end of the scale and reduces the number of predicted zeros. Within the applicable
sentence-range cell, we used the low end of the range.

What does this mean?

After following the coding methods above, the statutory minimum for the combined
charges in 87% of the cases in our sample was zero. We constructed a binary variable for
whether any nonzero statutory minimum was given, and this was the basis for our main analyses
of the role of mandatory minimums. This avoided the need to resolve certain ambiguities in the
AOUSC charge coding, because some statutes provide differing lengths of mandatory minimum
depending on the facts of the case.14

14 For the purpose of robustness checks, alternate versions of all of the charging measures were calculated that
excluded any components of the total charge severity coming from drug crimes (affecting the 8.8% of the sample
that involved both drug and other charges). To calculate these, the severity measures associated with the drug
charges were set to zero before the combined charge severity was calculated.

What is the binary variable?

People of races other than black and
white (as defined below) were also excluded.


Race is drawn from the USMS data, and is coded as white, black, Asian, Native,
and Other/Unknown. The last three groups together constituted about 4% of the cases otherwise
satisfying the sample requirements, and were dropped from the sample. The USMS does not include a separate category for Hispanic; rather, Hispanics are included within other racial
groups. The USSC does record Hispanic ethnicity, but is only available for those sentenced for a
guideline offense, therefore this field was used only in robustness checks.

Hispanics were counted where? They didn't have their own category, except for in one aspect of the study, which I'm having trouble finding again????Seriously, Hispanics are floating in the white, black, Asian, Indian, and other categories? How is this even possible, let alone actual?

Criminal history data are only available in the USSC data and are
accordingly only available for those sentenced for guideline offenses. The variable used was the
defendant's criminal history category, which ranges from 1 to 6 and forms the basis of the
Guidelines sentencing grid. In 0.2% of the sentencing sample, this field was originally missing
but could be calculated based on another Sentencing Commission field called "criminal history
points," according to the rules laid out in the Guidelines.

Not specific, not in-depth, and not linked through all the aspects of the study. How much extremely pertinent information is missing? What was this sample size for blacks and for whites?

Earlier in the study they brought up the record of criminal history being available through the AOUSC coding as either a misdemeanor or a felony but not any specifics, but not here. What gives?
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