How informed are Americans about Race and Policing? Research report referenced on Sunrise Socorro 2/24/21


Below is a summary of the research report by the Skeptic Research Center that was referenced on Sunrise Socorro host Steve Edmondson on Wednesday February 24. Click the link below the summary to see the complete report.

Summary of Findings

  1. The available data on police shootings of unarmed Black men is
    incomplete; however, existing data indicate that somewhere
    between 13-27 unarmed black men were killed by police in
  2. Adjusted for the number of law enforcement agencies that
    have yet to provide data, this number may be higher, perhaps
    between 60-100.
    • Yet, over half (53.5%) of those reporting “very liberal”
    political views estimated that 1,000 or more unarmed Black
    men were killed, a likely error of at least an order of
    magnitude (see Figure 1).
  3. The available data suggest that 24.9% of people killed by police
    in 2019 were Black. However, across the political spectrum,
    survey participants overestimated this number.
    • Those who reported being “liberal” or “very liberal” were
    particularly inaccurate, estimating the proportion to be 56%
    and 60%, respectively (see Figure 2).
    Take-home Messages
  4. Our overall findings indicate that people are uninformed
    regarding the available data on fatal police shootings in the US.
  5. Specifically, we found that the more people reported being
    “liberal” or “very liberal” on social and fiscal matters, the
    greater the discrepancy between the available data and their
  6. What might explain peoples’ misestimations of these statistics?
    Is it liberals’ relatively greater concern with racism? Differential
    media consumption? Perhaps you have an idea or explanation
    you’d like to share? Have an interpretation of this you want to
    share? Email it to