Statistical accounts of irregular or regular occurrences, disaggregated by race or other features, can prove quite disturbing.
States happened in 1982." A task force formed by Governor David Patterson and led by former U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter has reviewed the tragic cases of friendly fire (including officers who were killed both on duty and off duty). The report can be found at the task force website here.
The report by the task force found that 26 police officers were killed in the United States over the past 30 years by colleagues who mistook them for criminals. It also found that it was increasingly “officers of color” who died in this manner, including 10 of the 14 killed since 1995.
More specifically, in cases involving a victim who was an off-duty officer, the task force reported that 9 of the 10 officers killed in friendly fire encounters in the United States since 1982 were black or Latino, including Omar J. Edwards, a New York City officer who was fatally shot in Harlem last May by an on-duty colleague, and Officer Christopher Ridley, an off-duty Mount Vernon officer shot and killed by at least three uniformed Westchester County officers in White Plains in January 2008.
The last killing of a white off-duty officer by an on-duty colleague in a mistaken-identity case in the United States happened in 1982.
“In short, there are many issues besides race present in these shootings, and the role that race plays is not simple or straightforward,” according to the report, which was delivered to Mr. Paterson this week.
But in searching for trends, the report said the conclusion of the task force was clear: “Inherent or unconscious racial bias plays a role in ‘shoot/don’t-shoot,’ decisions made by officers of all races and ethnicities.”