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After the Verdict: American Racism

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Former police officer Chauvin was found guilty of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd. What once seemed impossible, the conviction of a white officer for the murder of a black American, has become a reality. While this marks an important historic change, it has only happened once. And it only happened in the face of overwhelming evidence and against the background of ongoing protest against police violence against citizens. After the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020 there have been 966 reported killings by police. Of these, 181 were black people—thus making them 18.7% of those killed.  Among these is Daunte Wright, who was shot by police not far from where Chauvin was on trial. 37% of the deaths were those of white Americans. The fact that most people killed by the police are white is often presented by the right as evidence against racism, but they either neglect to mention or downplay the fact that black Americans are about 13% of the total population while whites are 76.3%. 11.7% of those killed were identified as Hispanic, 1% as Native American and 1% as Asian or Pacific Islander. In 359 cases the race of the victim has not been identified. Identification of the race of these people would, of course, impact the above numbers. There is, of course, the argument built around the claim that since blacks commit more crimes, they are more likely to be killed by the police. Even if that is assumed, black Americans are three times more likely to be killed by the police despite being 1.3 times more likely to be unarmed. In some cities, the disproportion is far greater than the average. For example, in Chicago black Americans are killed at 22 times the rate at which white Americans killed.  Looking at the numbers, even assuming that black Americans “commit more crimes”, a black American is still more likely to be killed in an encounter with the police than a white American and more likely to be unarmed when killed. If one looks at the recordings of. . .

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News source: A Philosopher's Blog

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