A study by ProPublica cites federal data to reinforce that black teenagers are far more likely to be fatally shot by police than white teenagers.
Using the most recent information from the FBI's Supplementary Homicide Report, the analysis found that blacks teens are a startling 21 times more likely to be killed by police than their white counterparts:
The 1,217 deadly police shootings from 2010 to 2012 captured in the federal data show that blacks, age 15 to 19, were killed at a rate of 31.17 per million, while just 1.47 per million white males in that age range died at the hands of police.
One way of appreciating that stark disparity, ProPublica's analysis shows, is to calculate how many more whites over those three years would have had to have been killed for them to have been at equal risk. The number is jarring – 185, more than one per week.
ProPublica's risk analysis on young males killed by police certainly seems to support what has been an article of faith in the African American community for decades: Blacks are being killed at disturbing rates when set against the rest of the American population.
While noting that the data is incomplete due to departments self-reporting these shootings, it does hammer home the extreme risk that blacks—particularly young blacks—face when dealing with police.