Analytics at Wharton


A widely touted study found no evidence of racism in police shootings. It’s full of errors.

The Washinton Post | July 15, 2020
By Dean Knox and Jonathan Mummolo

A deeply flawed study of police shootings, published in an influential journal, has been retracted by its authors. This is a positive step for the crucial debate on police violence, because pundits continue to use this baseless article to dismiss concerns over racial bias in policing.

Despite the social unrest following George Floyd’s killing — and despite polls finding that most Americans believe the incident reflects a broader societal problem — unscientific denialism about the possibility of police racism remains prevalent among some partisans, up to and including the president. Indeed, on Tuesday, President Trump echoed a prominent misleading argument — that “more white people” are killed by police than black people, a statement offered as a rebuttal of discriminatory police violence but one that is true only because there are so many more white than black people in the United States.