The White Racist Cops of Chicago

An article by Nirej Sekhon in the American Criminal Law Review entitled Blue on Black: An Empirical Assessment of Police Shootings looks at 270 officer-involved-shooting incidents that occurred in Chicago between 2006 and 2014. His data comes from Chicago’s Independent Police Review Authority (“IPRA”) summary reports of intentional officer-involved shootings. The article has interesting graphs.

Some of the graphs fit the popular narrative:

Some don’t:

The author points out that:

The IPRA Reports and other data tend to suggest that a police department’s demographic profile will tend to roughly predict on-duty officer shooters’ demographic profile.

In fact, the figures seem to suggest both black and white officers are slightly less likely to be shooters than their share of the department would suggest.  On the other hand, Hispanic officers tend to be over-represented among shooters in the IPRA reports.

Here’s more information:

As one would expect from the Fyfe and Geller-Karales studies, Blacks are overrepresented among off-duty shooters. The overrepresentation is dramatic: Black officers accounted for nearly 70% of the off-duty shootings in the IPRA Reports. Most of these shootings followed crimes or attempted crimes on or near off-duty officers’ properties…. Black officers were significantly underrepresented among uniformed on-duty shooters and somewhat overrepresented among plainclothes shooters. Plainclothes shooters represented nearly 40% of all on-duty shootings in the IPRA Reports

The author speculates a great deal about what drives the results (at times more credibly than at other times), but in the end, unfortunately, the IPRA Reports need more information to conclusively explain what is going on.


Update…9/2/2017 @ 5:38 AM PST

It occurs to me, based on past experience, that some readers may be unable to grasp sarcasm so…

  1. The title = popular wisdom
  2. The data in the post is not compatible with popular wisdom