How and why do unarmed women get shot and killed by police?

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2020

The Post's first five examples:  How and why do unarmed women get shot and killed by police officers?

We can't exactly tell you. In Tuesday's gruesome front-page report, the Washington Post examined seven such cases. We'll start with two observations:

First, it seems that this rarely happens. According to the Post's Fatal Force site, only 26 unarmed women have been shot and killed by a police officer since the start of 2015. That figure was explicitly cited in Tuesday's front-page report.

That's 26 unarmed women, out of the 247 women who have been shot and killed by police overall. Of the 26 "unarmed" women, 14 were "white" and seven were "black."

That isn't a lot of examples. For that reason, it's fairly silly when the Post, early on, offers a percentage-based summary of these events:

IATA (9/8/20): Of the 247 women fatally shot, 48 were Black and seven of those were unarmed.

[...]

...Black women, who are 13 percent of the female population, account for 20 percent of the women shot and killed and 28 percent of the unarmed deaths.

According to the Post report, black women "account for 28 percent of the unarmed deaths." That was almost technically  accurate! 

In fact, seven out of 26 is 26.92 percent. Rounding that off to 28 is, in the time-honored phrase, "close enough for Washington Post top of the front page work."

In fact, black women account for just under 27 percent of the unarmed deaths. That said, it's fairly silly to use percentages when we're dealing with such small numbers.

Meanwhile, what does it mean to be "unarmed?" For various reasons, this may not be as simple a matter as a person might imagine. Consider just one reason:

In four of the first five examples the Post described, the women who were shot and killed were in fact unarmed. On the other hand, each was with a male companion (three boyfriends, one husband) who was armed, and who engaged in gunfire with police.

In three of the four examples, the women were shot and killed as part of an inherently dangerous "no-knock" raid. In the other case, the woman's boy friend was reportedly being surveilled in the manner described:

IATA: On Sept. 5, 2015, Virginia Beach police officers in two unmarked cars were surveilling 35-year-old Angelo Perry, the father of [India] Kager’s child. Police said Perry was a suspect in two homicides and a home invasion, and they believed he was on his way to kill a member of a rival drug gang.

The officers followed Perry, Kager and their 4-month-old son as they drove into a 7-Eleven parking lot. The police cars pulled up behind Kager’s Cadillac, blocking it in.

An officer threw a flash-bang grenade toward the Cadillac to distract Perry, Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney Colin Stolle later told reporters. Four officers ran toward the car to arrest Perry and he shot at them.

The officers fired 30 rounds in response, killing Perry and Kager. Police said the infant, sitting in the back seat, escaped injury. A nearby surveillance camera recorded the gun battle.

Stolle concluded that the police shooting was justified.

Was the shooting justified? That's a matter of judgment. 

Is that an accurate account of what happened? We can't even tell you that!

That said, in three of the four cases to which we refer, the women who were shot and killed had been romantically involved with men who were being pursued on major criminal charges. One of the women was shot and killed when police were arresting her boyfriend, Andrew Jeff Coffee IV, whose three-generation family history is almost comically criminal. 

In our view, that remarkable history is skillfully sanitized by the Post's report. In such ways, our major press organs are creating a new religion built around the (largely imagined) intersections of "race" and crime and punishment. 

In how many cases do police shootings involve misconduct by police? Are various demographic groups subjected to disparate treatment in police shooting events? If so, to what extent?

It wouldn't be easy to answer such questions in any serious way. At present, there's little sign that our major press organs are actually trying to do so. 

Instead, they're creating pleasingly novelized scripture filled with good guys and bad guys. This is silly, childish behavior. 

According to major anthropologists, it's also very much who we are and who we've always been.

For extra credit only: We recall the old Paul Reiser joke, the one in which Moses is invited to play a round of golf with the three persons of the Holy Trinity. Long story short, the joke ends with an exasperated Moses saying this:

"Did we come here to play some golf? Or are we just f**king around?"

These same questions might be asked of major upper-end journalism.

33 comments:

  1. The question is not how and why unarmed women get shot and killed by police officers. It is why should women ever get shot and killed by police officers?

    Somerby's response to that is probably "We can't exactly tell you." That is his response to every meaningful question.

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  2. "On the other hand, each was with a male companion (three boyfriends, one husband) who was armed, and who engaged in gunfire with police."

    Whoa, who woulda thunk?

    Thank you, dear Bob, once again for documenting the atrocities of your liberal-goebbelsian media.

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  3. "That said, it's fairly silly to use percentages when we're dealing with such small numbers."

    You have to convert to %s or you cannot compared the % of unarmed black women shot to their % of the population, to see if they are under or over represented within this sample.

    Also, it is very silly to round people up to the nearest integer like that. People don't come in fractions of a human being. So, 26.92% cannot happen in nature anyway.

    Somerby gets all literal when he wants to, but doesn't care when it suits his purposes to ignore such things.

    Then Somerby quibbles that the women were actually armed because they were with armed boyfriends or husbands, never mind that police are trained to differentiate between targets. Otherwise they would regularly shoot bystanders in such gun battles, and in essence, that is what they are doing in these cases. You can argue that they shouldn't have been with these guys, but that would ignore that these shootings mostly happened during no-knock raids, when they had no reason to expect a shooting would occur.

    In one of the cases, the police nearly shot a baby in the back seat! What are the statistics for black babies being shot, compared to white babies? Somerby doesn't ask and presumably doesn't care.

    It is not silly nor novelized scripture to ask why unarmed women are being shot by cops, and why babies are being endangered by police shootouts. This isn't routine policing and it doesn't serve the public good, no matter what police suspect the victims of having done.

    And then Somerby makes a joke. Much as Trump would do under the same circumstances. He thinks the press is just fucking around when it writes these stories. But if Somerby cannot answer any relevant questions about shootings, how can he blame the press for making an attempt to do so? Someone needs to ask or this kind of thing will just go on and on, until a baby does get shot, or another bystander, perhaps you or someone you care about.

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  4. I hope deadrat is OK and hasn't caught the virus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. He's one of the few who post here who has critical thinking skills.

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    2. I disagree with the "critical thinking skills" notion, I would agree with google/copy/paste skills; otherwise, mostly full of beans.

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  5. “the (largely imagined) intersections of "race" and crime and punishment.“

    No one need look any further now to know that Somerby sees no racial factor in the criminal justice system, based, no doubt, on his extensive research and the strength of his “hunch” factor if not through any personal experience.

    He is wrong, of course.

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  6. Another brilliant post by Bob Somerby. Logical to the core. Thank you, sir!

    ReplyDelete
  7. No one dares to ask why do African Americans have a lot of interactions with the police?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Geneticists are working on that, according to Republicans.

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    2. I doubt they initiate most of those interactions.

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    3. The vast majority of interactions between the police and the public are traffic stops.

      Blacks are over-represented in police interactions involving unjustified harassment, arrests, and force - not just deadly force, the police send over 50k people to the hospital every year.

      The police are effective at intimidating and harassing poor people and blacks, and at protecting the property of the wealthy.

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    4. Ghettos aren't the property of the wealthy. Police are all too happy to stop policing in these neighborhoods and they have been given a justification by white leftists.
      The result is thousands more dead blacks, but white leftists and Democrats think that's worth it because they get to virtue signal.
      Works out for everyone. Well, white people.

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    5. You are mixed up @7:07 -- those thousands of dead black people are dying of covid, not criminal violence.

      Delete
    6. 7:07,
      Re: virtue-signaling.
      It's not just white-leftists. The number of cops shot in this country by the Left, Right, and Center is woefully inadequate considering all their civil rights violations.

      Delete
  8. Democrat agenda 2020

    Riots
    Looting
    Arson
    Support for terrorists of ANTIFA and BLM
    Rapist candidate
    Hate (for white people)
    Communism
    Child Porn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Republican/Putin agenda 2020

      Crappy trolling.

      Delete
  9. TDH asks

    Do you believe "races" exist?

    The scare quotes give away TDH's feeling on the matter, and if by the word race, he means a biologically significant classification, then he's right in that racial classification fails to inform us about the genetic variation of our species. But let's turn to an expert, W. E. B. Du Bois:

    The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line, the question as to how far differences of race-which show themselves chiefly in the color of the skin and the texture of the hair-will hereafter be made the basis of denying to over half the world the right of sharing to utmost ability the opportunities and privileges of modern civilization.

    (This is from Du Bois' closing address at the first Pan African Convention, London, 1900.)

    In terms of how people are treated in this society, "races" certainly exist, and they exist as a problem for the society. Du Bois says the problem.

    If TDH doesn't believe that, then he should try to get a mortgage in a red-lined neighborhood or rent an apartment in a Fred Trump-owned building.

    TDH's complaint about the failure to report on police killing white people seems odd for someone who also complains when journalists don't normalize statistics for population size. Why can't there be two problems? -- a militarized police in general too willing to use deadly force to confront often-armed citizens and a disproportionate use of that force against black citizens.

    I have spent more time than I care to admit defending TDH from from ignoramuses like @10:48A in the previous blog entry, who's still telling us how TDH feels. Hey, Clownhorn! Jesus, even if he existed, didn't have "empathy for everyone." Read Matthew 10:34.

    But the persistence of Anonymous Ignoramuses doesn't bother me. Neither does the continuing presence of Mao (our Village Troll) or David in Cal (our Village Idiot) or our Cecelia (still desperately trying to convince us of her humanity). I never expected these people to change, but I did expect TDH to have something valuable to say.

    So I'm outta here before TDH complains about the reporting on the Tuskegee Experiment because no one mentions all those white people who also got syphilis.

    So long, and thanks for everything.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That’s a shame. He’s quite the dysfunctional SOB, but l learned some things from him.

    ReplyDelete
  11. This ought to scare you:

    "Pirro asked Trump what he would do if he’s re-elected and “riots” occur. “We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that,” he responded. “We have the right to do that. We have the power to do that, if we want.”

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    Replies
    1. The scariest part is that Trump and his supporters can't seem to tell the difference between rioters and protesters who are just exercising their 1st Amendment rights to free speech.

      Delete
    2. Why assume that they can’t tell the difference? When they tear gassed a crowd and used the military so Trump could stage his photo op with bible in hand, there is no reason to assume they were confused.

      Delete
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  13. From the Woodward interviews (via Maddowblog):

    "Do you have any sense that that privilege has isolated and put you in a cave to a certain extent, as it put me and I think lots of white privileged people in a cave and that we have to work our way out of it to understand the anger and the pain, particularly, Black people feel in this country?" Woodward asked.

    Trump replied, "No. You really drank the Kool-Aid, didn't you? Just listen to you. Wow. No, I don't feel that at all."

    Woodward described the president's tone as "mocking and incredulous."

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    The article added, "As Woodward pressed Trump to understand the plight of Black Americans after generations of discrimination, inequality and other atrocities, the president kept answering by pointing to economic numbers such as the pre-pandemic unemployment rate for Blacks and claiming, as he often has publicly, that he has done more for Blacks than any president except perhaps Abraham Lincoln."

    Evidently, the nonsense Trump peddles about his record in public is identical to the nonsense he peddles about his record in private.

    In a separate chat, Trump whined that he's "not feeling any love" from Black voters. Perhaps that's because he's "mocking and incredulous" when asked about trying to understand the pain Black people feel in this country?

    If the Republican wants to better understand these circumstances, he might start with this week's New York Times analysis, which noted that Trump has increasingly positioned himself as "the defender of White America," making grievance-based appeals "a centerpiece of his re-election campaign."

    The NYT added today, "Mr. Trump has hired very few Black officials to positions of authority in the White House and for his re-election effort. And his campaign has stoked racial divisions to an extent not seen since George Wallace's run in 1968. He has tried to block or hamper efforts to expand ballot access. He has said Black people were 'too stupid' to vote for him, according to his estranged former attorney, Michael Cohen."

    And to think, the Republican whose rise to political prominence was based on a racist conspiracy theory is unsatisfied with the lack of "love" he feels from Black voters."

    ReplyDelete
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  15. blogger has been saying the same thing for ever - incompetence of mainstream media. he'll defend the occasional white male murderer - astounding the he hasn't jumped in with both feet into the Rittenhouse affair. but he obviously needs institutionalization.

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