Reconciling Results on Racial Differences in Police Shootings
Police use of force – particularly lethal force – is one of the most divisive issues of the twenty-first century. To understand the nexus of race, criminal justice, and police brutality, academics and journalists have begun to amass impressive datasets on Officer-Involved-Shootings (OIS). I compare the data and methods of three investigative journalism articles and two publications in the social sciences on a set of five rubrics and conclude that the stark differences between their findings are due to differences in what qualifies for a valid research design and not underlying differences in the datasets.
I would like to thank Tanaya Devi, Hannah Ruebeck, and Damini Sharma for exceptional research assistance. All errors are my own. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.