Presenters

Phuong HoFollow

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CCSE - Data Science and Analytics

Faculty Sponsor Name

Susan Mathews Hardy

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The claims of racism have drawn public attention toward police brutality and its impact on minorities. Is this just an opinion or is there any statistical evidence? Recent studies from The Atlantic have investigated the average age and ethnicity of victims from police killings in 2015-2016. As an Asian-American, I am motivated to examine the issue of police killings among races and other demographics to find any bias that is present. Using the dataset of 2,204 victims of police killings (2015-2016) collected by The Guardian, I will examine the following variables for bias: age, cause of death, armed/unarmed, race/ethnicity, and gender. My analyses will consider the following questions. Is the average age of the victims different from The Atlantic’s claim of 35 years old? Is the average age of a person killed by the police different for males versus females? Are younger victims more likely to be killed by a gun? Is the average age of the victims different for any ethnicity? Are minorities (Arab, Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American) more likely than Whites to be unarmed than armed? Do different ethnic groups or genders use the same weapons? Are females more likely to be unarmed than males? Considering race, is the less-lethal weapon of a Taser more likely to be used on one ethnic group than another? Similarly, is the lethal weapon of a gun more likely to be used on one ethnic group versus another? To investigate these questions, nonparametric and parametric hypothesis tests will be used with post hoc comparisons. Graphical displays, stratified boxplots, plots of confidence intervals, and correlation plots, will be used to display the findings. Answers to these questions allow the reader to decide if there is any bias in police killings and whether it’s just an opinion or statistically supported.

Project Type

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Bias in Police Shootings: Is It Just An Opinion?

The claims of racism have drawn public attention toward police brutality and its impact on minorities. Is this just an opinion or is there any statistical evidence? Recent studies from The Atlantic have investigated the average age and ethnicity of victims from police killings in 2015-2016. As an Asian-American, I am motivated to examine the issue of police killings among races and other demographics to find any bias that is present. Using the dataset of 2,204 victims of police killings (2015-2016) collected by The Guardian, I will examine the following variables for bias: age, cause of death, armed/unarmed, race/ethnicity, and gender. My analyses will consider the following questions. Is the average age of the victims different from The Atlantic’s claim of 35 years old? Is the average age of a person killed by the police different for males versus females? Are younger victims more likely to be killed by a gun? Is the average age of the victims different for any ethnicity? Are minorities (Arab, Asian, Black, Hispanic, and Native American) more likely than Whites to be unarmed than armed? Do different ethnic groups or genders use the same weapons? Are females more likely to be unarmed than males? Considering race, is the less-lethal weapon of a Taser more likely to be used on one ethnic group than another? Similarly, is the lethal weapon of a gun more likely to be used on one ethnic group versus another? To investigate these questions, nonparametric and parametric hypothesis tests will be used with post hoc comparisons. Graphical displays, stratified boxplots, plots of confidence intervals, and correlation plots, will be used to display the findings. Answers to these questions allow the reader to decide if there is any bias in police killings and whether it’s just an opinion or statistically supported.