An extensive study just released by Harvard University researchers found no evidence of racial bias in police shootings nationwide.
Speaking to The New York Times, professor and author Roland G. Fryer Jr. said, “It is the most surprising result of my career.” Fryer’s team spent 3,000 hours examining 1,000 shootings in 10 major police departments in Texas, Florida and California.
Although the study did find bias in the use of non-lethal force, it found officers were more likely to fire without having first been attacked when suspects were white. Houston police were roughly 20 percent less likely to shoot black suspects than white ones.
Controlling for different factors and using varying definitions, Fryer consistently found that blacks were either less likely to be shot, or there was no difference between blacks and whites. Fryer has shown courage in tackling controversial subjects in the past, and is the youngest African-American to receive tenure at Harvard.