Another black man has died at the hands of the police. Alton Sterling, pinned to the ground by officers and unable to move, was shot at least four times at point-blank range.
There is cell phone video of the incident, and it is disturbing. The officers were wearing body cameras at the time, but both of them conveniently “fell off” during the struggle.
The Justice Department is opening an investigation.
But here is the undeniable fact behind this latest killing of a black man by cops: Black people are much more likely to be killed by police than their white peers.
An analysis of available FBI data by Vox’s Dara Lind shows that US police kill black people at disproportionate rates: They accounted for 31 percent of police shooting victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the US population. Although the data is incomplete, since it’s based on voluntary reports from police agencies around the country, it highlights the vast disparities in how police use force.
Black teens were 21 times as likely as white teens to be shot and killed by police between 2010 and 2012, according to a ProPublica analysis of the FBI data. ProPublica reported: “One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica’s analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring — 185, more than one per week.”