Fact Check: 2015 'USA Crime Statistics' Do NOT Show Correct Numbers For Killings By Race, Or For Police Killings Of Both Blacks And Whites

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: 2015 'USA Crime Statistics' Do NOT Show Correct Numbers For Killings By Race, Or For Police Killings Of Both Blacks And Whites Bad Numbers

Do "USA crime statistics" for 2015 show the correct percentages for Blacks and Whites killing each other, and for police killings of both races? No, that's not true. A meme that claims to show the percentage of killings of Black and White people by race, and victims of police killings by race, has completely wrong numbers, according to the FBI database and an independent database.

The claim appeared as a post (archived here) where it was published on Facebook on April 30, 2021. It opened:

The BLM narrative does not hold up to scrutiny.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue May 25 21:20:09 2021 UTC)

The meme has a picture of a Black youth at the top and below the statistics it reads, "Where is the discrimination?"

USA CRIME STATISTICS 2015
Blacks killed by whites 2%
Blacks killed by police 1%
Whites killed by police 3%
Whites killed by whites 16%
Whites killed by blacks 81%
Blacks killed by blacks 97%

image (19).png

The meme cites "Crime Statistics Bureau - San Francisco." There does not appear to be such a bureau but the San Francisco Police Department does tally local crime statistics annually, starting in 2015, but it does not break down killings based on race or whether killings were police shootings.

Using the Federal Bureau of Investigation 2015 Crime in the United States database, four of the six percentages shown in the meme are false. The database contains statistics for "Murder- Race, Ethnicity, and Sex of Victim by Race, Ethnicity, and Sex of Offender, 2015 [Single victim/single offender]"

Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 5.49.36 PM.png

Blacks killed by Whites 2% is not true. According to the FBI numbers, out of the 2,664 Black people killed in 2015, 229 were killed by White people, which is 8.6%.

Whites killed by Blacks 81% is not true. According to the FBI numbers, out of the 3,167 Whites killed, 500 were killed by a Black person, which is 15.79%

Whites killed by Whites 16% is not true. According to the FBI, of the 3,167 Whites killed in 2015, 2,574 were killed by Whites which is 81.28%.

Blacks killed by Blacks 97% is not true. According to the FBI, of the 2,664 Blacks killed in 2015, 2,380 were killed by Blacks, which is 89.34%.

The Washington Post maintains a database of people killed by the police in the United States. According to their statistics the two numbers cited for police killings are also false.

Blacks killed by police 1% is not true, according to the Washington Post database. Of the 994 people killed by police in 2015, 258 were Black, which is 26% of police killings at a time when census data shows about 13% of the population was Black.

Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 4.25.59 PM.png

Whites killed by police 3% is not true, according to the Washington Post database. Of the 994 people killed by police in 2015, 498 were white, which is 50% of police killings at a time when about 74% of the population was White.

Screen Shot 2021-05-25 at 4.28.47 PM.png

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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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