Data gets in the way of legislation

Interesting data:

A recent study by Temple University researchers found that wearing body cameras was actually associated with a 3.64% increase in fatal shootings of civilians by police officers.  Perhaps even more surprising is that no increase in fatalities was noticed in police interactions with Whites/Asians but police were found to be 3.68% more likely to kill Blacks/Hispanics while wearing body cameras.  The study suggests that police officers are actually more likely to pull the trigger if they have video evidence to support their use of force.

As Tyler Durden says in his post, “Don’t you just hate it when data gets in the way of legislation?”

8 thoughts on “Data gets in the way of legislation

  1. You need to do a deep dive into the data to get the real takeaway.

    Remember the stat that white people are more likely to be killed by cops than blacks? This is that 3%. When the cops are wearing body cams, they are no longer hesitant to defend themselves from armed blacks.

    The body cameras have made everyone equally safe — including the cops.

    They also seem to end the other part of the data — that cops were more likely to use less-than-lethal force, i.e. beating the shit out of them, on blacks before body cams. Once they are wearing body cams, use of force overall goes way down, but when they are actual threats, the cops can actually shoot them knowing that the video will back them up when all the witnesses lie.

  2. Is 3.64% statistically significant? How many extra shootings is this? Might other factors be causing this result?
    Whenever a result is stated to the hundredth of a percent, I’m immediately skeptical.

    • The last digit is almost certainly just a meaningless one. As for statistically significant: you can’t answer that just knowing the 3.6%, you also have to know the sample size. And then you have to do some arithmetic I don’t know…

  3. Unfortunately, this begs another question:. will BLM activists care about, or even notice, video evidence that exonerated police officers?

    To quote a novel I read long ago, they apparently don’t want truth, and they don’t want justice. They want vengeance.

    • Yep, but to be fair, the Cops behave differently, and also the miscreants behave differently. When it’s your word against the video, you’re on your better behavior. More so I think than in a merely armed society, peace be unto RAH’s name and memory.

  4. Were I a reviewer of this article, it never would have been published. It is junk science.

    Once again, the metric used regarding violent use of firearms is death from being shot, which is influenced by dozens of factors other than the violence visited upon the person who died. Looking only at deaths from officers’ gunshots, the data is muddied by all sorts of things, like EMT response time, competence of local trauma surgeon teams, number of shots fired, or even health of the person shot. Living or dying after being shot has a lot to do with many things that matter almost as much as being shot in the first place.

    A better metric to use in measuring officer shootings is how often an officer fires his weapon, at whom, because every time that happens the officer’s INTENT is to stop the person being shot at from doing what they were doing. Miss, hit and wound, or hit and kill, the measure of officer/shooter intentions remains the same when all officer shootings are measured.

    This data is interesting but meaningless. Show me ALL officer shootings data with and without officer body cameras, and then we can talk about the effect of body cameras on officer shooting behavior.

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