BLM: US Police killing as human sacrifice- statistical support

police killing USA

It is interesting to speculate if empirical evidence supports the human sacrifice explanation of US police killing of Black males. It is quite challenging to design tests for a real-world situation, but under certain conditions, one can review the expectations of one theory compared to another.

Conventional theories of police brutality would, it is suggested, predict that with the protests and outcries against police brutality in the US, the number of deaths and attacks on Black males during the year 2020 should at least temporarily decline compared to 2019. Given the international profile of the issue and the constant protests, many would take for granted that the number of Black and minority male deaths by police would decline in absolute numbers.

On the other hand, the theory that US police brutality is due to a practice of human sacrifice would suggest that the economic downturn and the Covid pandemic would increase the rate of killings. This approach would assume two forces are at stake: a vector pushing to decrease the amount of police killing matched and overwhelmed by the vector of human sacrifice, which is stoked by the increasing need for sacrificial victims due to social and economic crises. 

According to recently released statistics, the number of minority deaths due to police shooting in 2020 increased relative to 2019 despite all the protests. In 2019 for Black, Latino and undisclosed, there were 519 deaths, whereas in 2020, there were 579. That is an increase of 11% despite mass protests and global media coverage. (People Shot to Death by US Police by Race, 2021) 

While there has been media coverage that the numbers so far in 2021 are not decreasing (Tate et al., 2021), the significance that they increased in 2020 compared to 2019 is overlooked or missed. (What the Data Say about Police Brutality and Racial Bias — and Which Reforms Might Work, 2021). Had there not been the worldwide protests the number of deaths to Black and minority males could have exploded.

REFERENCES:

People shot to death by US police by race. (2021, August 3). Statista.Com. https://www.statista.com/statistics/585152/people-shot-to-death-by-us-police-by-race/

Tate, J., Jenkins, J., & Rich, S. (2021, July 28). 961 people have been shot and killed by police in the past year. Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/investigations/police-shootings-database/

What the data say about police brutality and racial bias—And which reforms might work. (2021, August 3). Nature.Com. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-01846-z