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Lethal police force against blacks linked to community racial bias: study

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By Agence France-Presse

US police are more likely to disproportionately shoot and kill black people in neighborhoods where white people harbor racial bias, a study published Thursday suggests.

(AFP / MANILA BULLETIN )

(AFP / MANILA BULLETIN )

The research, published in the international journal “Social Psychological and Personality Science,” found that implicit racial bias associating certain groups with aggression predicted gun use by police.

The Canadian and German researchers developed a predictive model of lethal police force using crowd-sourced statistics and lethal force databases, which they integrated with regional demographics and racial bias measures collected from 2.2 million US residents.

After analyzing 875 deaths linked to police force in 2015 between January 1 and September 30, they found that 22.76 percent of the victims were black — though that group represents only 11.76 percent of the US population as a whole.

According to lead author Eric Hehman, the results indicate “that this is not specifically a problem of police officers, but reveals that there is something about the broader communities and contexts in which these officers make speeded, life and death decisions that is associated with killing more African-Americans.”

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