The Magic Café
Username:
Password:
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » ...and statistics (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Jonathan Townsend
View Profile
Eternal Order
Ossining, NY
27082 Posts

Profile of Jonathan Townsend
Some recent analysis of violence data put one out of three involving police. Refute/rebuke?
http://granta.com/violence-in-blue/
Landmark?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
landmark
View Profile
Inner circle
within a triangle
4807 Posts

Profile of landmark
For statistical analysis, balducci's your man. I'll just throw in that the method used to estimate total police homicides is essentially the same one that Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham used to count the total number of magic tricks extant in 1584. No word on how many homicides due to magic tricks, however.

But in terms of the meaning of the results, I'd say they are meaningless. The data are too ill-defined and can be parsed in a myriad of ways. There is no way to distinguish from this study whether the results mean, "One-third of all stranger homicides are justifiable police homicides," or whether they mean "One-third of all stranger homicides are unjustifiable police homicides," or something in between. Also, to hypothesize that the sought after correlation coefficient for the US is the same as it is for Colombia or Kosovo, seems deeply flawed, unless it can be shown that it falls within a range defined by a set that includes countries that are not involved in a shooting war, nor countries rife with paramilitary and drugs politics.

That said, I think the people in a community being policed generally have a good sense of whether they are gaining or losing overall by the presence of the police. To ignore those voices would be foolish in a democratic society.

My personal feeling, here in NYC, (disclaimer: this is not about any particular police officer, but de facto and de jure POLICE POLICY from the higher ups in NYC. YMMV elsewhere) is that I see police deployed for many foolish tasks, and underutilized for others. I don't think I've ever gained from reporting a robbery to the police, except for my taxes; their presence at peaceful protests are often provocative--and deliberately so; they often have to be coaxed to take a charge in a domestic violence incident; and in labor disputes they inevitably take the side of the business owners. OTOH, I think they generally do a good job of crisis management when there is a real and present danger; they are generally helpful in little day to day interactions; and for the most part NYC cops are fairly humane when it comes to dealing with the homeless.

So, in summary, in my opinion, the article is about as useful as measuring the weight of the color blue. The numbers in this case quantify experience out of existence.
TonyB2009
View Profile
Inner circle
5006 Posts

Profile of TonyB2009
You are reading the article wrong. It is one in ten, not one in three, killed by cops.

The nub of the article is that 1,500 people die at the hands of cops every years. This includes crooks killed in legitimate shootouts where the police officer genuinely thought his life was in danger, as well as accidental killings, and the inexcusable ones such as the execution of Tamir Rice.

The article also alleges that three quarters of homicide victims are killed by people they know. The rest are killed by strangers. And the biggest category of stranger to kill people is cops, at about a third of the stranger killer total.

Without viewing the source material I cannot comment on the veracity of the statistics. I can say that it doesn't happen in the rest of the developed world. If someone is killed by a cop in the UK or Ireland it brings the country to a standstill and is a major scandal. It is not a routine occurrence. Last Thursday alone four people in four different states were killed by cops. I am willing to wager that this single day toll will be more than the total number who will be killed by cops in the UK throughout the whole of this year. I know the USA is six times the population of the UK, but those figures would worry me if I was American.
LobowolfXXX
View Profile
Inner circle
La Famiglia
1191 Posts

Profile of LobowolfXXX
Quote:
On Mar 6, 2016, TonyB2009 wrote:
You are reading the article wrong. It is one in ten, not one in three, killed by cops.

The nub of the article is that 1,500 people die at the hands of cops every years. This includes crooks killed in legitimate shootouts where the police officer genuinely thought his life was in danger, as well as accidental killings, and the inexcusable ones such as the execution of Tamir Rice.

The article also alleges that three quarters of homicide victims are killed by people they know. The rest are killed by strangers. And the biggest category of stranger to kill people is cops, at about a third of the stranger killer total.

Without viewing the source material I cannot comment on the veracity of the statistics. I can say that it doesn't happen in the rest of the developed world. If someone is killed by a cop in the UK or Ireland it brings the country to a standstill and is a major scandal. It is not a routine occurrence. Last Thursday alone four people in four different states were killed by cops. I am willing to wager that this single day toll will be more than the total number who will be killed by cops in the UK throughout the whole of this year. I know the USA is six times the population of the UK, but those figures would worry me if I was American.




So that includes the justifiable homicides, and in the context that a disproportionate number of thr accidents and unjustifiable ones involve people committing crimes, since apart from other criminals, police are probably the people most likely to come into contact with criminals. And given all that, it's about what, one in 210,000 Americans killed by police officers in a year? I appreciate that your mileage varies, but personally, I'm not paricularly worried.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
View Profile
Inner circle
La Famiglia
1191 Posts

Profile of LobowolfXXX
Quote:
On Mar 6, 2016, landmark wrote:
For statistical analysis, balducci's your man. I'll just throw in that the method used to estimate total police homicides is essentially the same one that Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham used to count the total number of magic tricks extant in 1584. No word on how many homicides due to magic tricks, however.

But in terms of the meaning of the results, I'd say they are meaningless. The data are too ill-defined and can be parsed in a myriad of ways. There is no way to distinguish from this study whether the results mean, "One-third of all stranger homicides are justifiable police homicides," or whether they mean "One-third of all stranger homicides are unjustifiable police homicides," or something in between. Also, to hypothesize that the sought after correlation coefficient for the US is the same as it is for Colombia or Kosovo, seems deeply flawed, unless it can be shown that it falls within a range defined by a set that includes countries that are not involved in a shooting war, nor countries rife with paramilitary and drugs politics.

That said, I think the people in a community being policed generally have a good sense of whether they are gaining or losing overall by the presence of the police. To ignore those voices would be foolish in a democratic society.

My personal feeling, here in NYC, (disclaimer: this is not about any particular police officer, but de facto and de jure POLICE POLICY from the higher ups in NYC. YMMV elsewhere) is that I see police deployed for many foolish tasks, and underutilized for others. I don't think I've ever gained from reporting a robbery to the police, except for my taxes; their presence at peaceful protests are often provocative--and deliberately so; they often have to be coaxed to take a charge in a domestic violence incident; and in labor disputes they inevitably take the side of the business owners. OTOH, I think they generally do a good job of crisis management when there is a real and present danger; they are generally helpful in little day to day interactions; and for the most part NYC cops are fairly humane when it comes to dealing with the homeless.

So, in summary, in my opinion, the article is about as useful as measuring the weight of the color blue. The numbers in this case quantify experience out of existence.



I agree with your overall conclusion, and I think that your post is very, very good. I disagree with part of it, though, and I think there's additional relevant information that you left out.

Here's what I disagree with: "That said, I think the people in a community being policed generally have a good sense of whether they are gaining or losing overall by the presence of the police." I don't think that most people have a clue. As many here are fond of saying, "the plural of anecdote is not data." Individuals can easily be blinded by small samples and limited experiences, and have no idea what the big picture is like.

I am strongly reminded of a guy I got into a disagreement with on a sports gambling site. The gist of it was this: We were talking about the baseball Hall of Fame, and specifically, the merits of Steve Garvey vs. Jim Rice. I noted that growing up as a baseball fan in the 70s and 80s, I was under the impression that Rice was a far better offensive player than Garvey, and upon looking at their stats, I was stunned to see that they were quite close, and primary difference between them was that Garvey suffered from playing in a pitcher's park, and Rice benefitted from playing at Fenway Park. The guy I got into with was a Red Sox fan who attended many games at Fenway, and he INSISTED that Rice was hurt by playing at Fenway. Countless times he hit balls that would have been home runs in other parks, etc. etc, Now you would think that the guy who actually saw hundreds of Rice games with his own 2 eyes would have an edge in the discussion. But in fact, he was blinded by his own perception and memory. His point was absolutely ASININE. Jim Rice played almost the same number of games at Fenway as he did elsewhere. His batting average at Fenway was .320; elsewhere, it was .277. At Fenway, he hit 208 home runs; on the road, 174. He scored 681 runs in Boston; he scored 568 in other parks. 802 runs batted in vs. 649. Etc. Yet this guy was absolutely convinced that playing in Boston was dragging down his stats. If you don't have access to and rely on as much data as possible, you get little more than confirmation bias.

Similarly(?!) I've heard a lot of discussions about the movie Straight Outta Compton, and every time the discussion turns to what the band members had to face growing up, the discussion has turned to the hassling that they got from the (mostly white) cops. And yes, as depicted in the movies, there were incidents that should not have happened...they were hassled, humiliated, etc. But not a word about being physically assaulted, threatened, forced at gunpoint to make business dealings under duress, all at the hands of another black man (Suge Knight) from the same neighborhood. What was the real primary obstacle/threat to their success and their very lives that they faced?

What I think you left out of the analysis was the fact that even in the unjustified homicides, the victims are often doing things that are tied into their contact with police and their deaths. That's not at all to suggest that they DESERVE it; but to just look at the numbers in a vacuum and suggest that they're representative of the threat that a random citizen faces is disingenuous. I don't commit strong arm robberies. I don't point realistic looking toy guns at people. And I suspect you don't, either, and that's mathematically relevant, too. All of which is to say that if wrote insurance, I'd be quite happy giving you a "homicide by police officer" policy FAR in excess of a 200,000-1 payout.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
tommy
View Profile
Eternal Order
Devil’s Island
15932 Posts

Profile of tommy
Voltaire said “Those Who Can Make You Believe Absurdities, Can Make You Commit Atrocities”
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » ...and statistics (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2020 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.17 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL