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President Trump defaced. Photo: Charles Deluvio

Trump says more whites in US are killed by police

US President Donald Trump has said that white people constitute the majority of deaths resulting from police operations. A reporter from CBS had asked him why African Americans were "still dying at the hands of law enforcement". Trump responded curtly: "So are white people. So are white people. What a terrible question to ask. So are white people. More white people, by the way. More white people."

Published: July 15, 2020, 4:57 pm

    Washington

    US and German media quickly accused Trump of relativizing “deadly police violence against blacks” although the absolute number of whites who were killed in police operations was higher.

    The proportion of African Americans who are shot in police operations is 23 percent even though they are 13 percent of the demography, according to a Washington Post analysis. However, this is also because blacks disproportionately come into conflict with the law.

    In 2018, 53 percent of those arrested for murder were Afro-American according to research conducted by the Manhattan Institute. In addition, the statistics contradict the narrative that mostly unarmed people die during operations, since 57 percent of all those killed had a firearm.

    Of the 375 million annual contacts police officers have with civilians, criminal and suspect behaviour, instead of race, determine how officers will act.

    Research shows that in 2019 police officers killed 1 004 people, most of whom were armed or presented a danger. Of this total, 235 were African-Americans. Notably, there are far fewer black victims than the high black crime rate would suggest, since police shootings are primarily a function of officers facing armed and violent suspects.

    In 2018, blacks committed about 60 percent of robberies, although they represent only 13 percent of the population. The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database. This suggests an anti-white bias.

    There were 7407 black murder victims in 2018. Assuming a similar number for the following year, black victims of police shootings represented 0,1 percent of all African-Americans killed.

    During the interview, Trump also defended the Confederate flag as a symbol representing “freedom of speech”. It is up to each American to decide how he sees the symbol of the former South. Trump told the journalist that people who love the Confederate flag are “not thinking about slavery,” citing NASCAR fans.

    Democrats have been calling for the removal of Confederate symbols like statues of Confederate leaders after the death of George Floyd.

    Meanwhile, Floyd himself – and not a white policeman – may have been responsible for his death. The transcript from the body camera worn by officer J. Alexander Kueng – a black man – shows clear evidence that Floyd was suffering respiratory distress before Kueng or any of the other officers even touched him. Floyd died from a Fentanyl overdose,  but since officers are not trained doctors, they did not respond to his erratic behaviour.

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