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Death statistics reveal real story

News-Gazette letter writers have contended that the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor are evidence of “systemic racism.”

So what is it called when police kill unarmed Whites? Like Floyd, police killed Tony Timpa by kneeling on his neck and back until he suffocated. Like Taylor, police killed Rhogena Nichols, Dennis Tuttle and Duncan Lemps in botched “no-knock” raids.

Kelly Thomas was beaten to death while handcuffed. Daniel Shaver, Andrew Thomas, Christian Redwine and countless other unarmed Whites were killed on tape with little media coverage.

This has generated a “misperception” of “systemic racism,” according to columnist John McWhorter.

Black cops killed unarmed White people Justine Damond, Ariel Roman and 6-year-old Jeremy Mardis. Were these “racist” killings?

Roughly 95 percent of people killed by police are male. Is that indicative of “systemic sexism”?

Studies from Washington State, Michigan State and Harvard have all concluded that police are actually less likely to kill Black people compared to White people. There’s no doubt racism exists in policing.

Heather MacDonald uses government statistics to argue that racial disparities in police shootings stem from the disproportionate amount of police interactions with Black people because a disproportionate amount of violent crimes are committed by Black people.

And their victims? Overwhelmingly, they are other Black people.

While police did kill 235 Black people in 2019 (Washington Post data), last year, nearly 6,500 Black people were killed by other Black people.

CDC data reveals Black people kill each other at 13 times the rate of White people. What is the leading cause of death for Black males aged 1-44? Homicide.

We all can do better.

KARL JOYCE

Urbana

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