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We are constantly hearing about the “large” number of blacks being killed by police. It is hard to put the numbers in perspective just by watching or reading the media. I will try.

According to the FBI, about 10,000,000 arrests are made per year.  

The liberal Washington Post has been compiling statistics on persons killed by police since 2015. The Post reports that on average about 1,000 people per year are killed by police. The number has remained roughly constant over the last 5 years. Though more whites than blacks are killed, taking into account their percent of the population, more blacks are killed. More blacks percentage-wise are also arrested. By far the largest number of either race killed are armed, young males. These events happen all over the country.

The Post says that of the 6,241 killed, since they began gathering statistics, 402 were unarmed and it is unknown if another 169 were armed. The Post does not report on whether the police knew the victim was unarmed.

It is hard to put numbers like these in perspective. For example, people are far more likely to die in a traffic accident than to be killed by police. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 36,096 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2019, 36 times as many as were killed by police.

You are much more likely to die in a workplace accident than to be killed by police. There were 5,333 fatal workplace accidents in 2019 according to the U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That is 5 times as many people as were killed by police.

The point is that, contrary to the claims of those on the far left, there is no evidence that police are out to kill blacks or other minorities. In fact, many police officers are blacks and other minorities. We know that as in any occupation, there are “bad apples” but the vast majority of police and other law enforcement officers, are out to do their jobs to the best of their abilities.

Overtime

The legislature is now in overtime. We do not get paid for any time beyond 110 days in the first session after an election or 100 days the next year. As always, the thing that determines when we adjourn is agreeing on a budget. The leadership in the Senate and House, along with the Governor, are working to come to an agreement on how much we will spend over the next fiscal year. I will always remember that in my first year in the legislature it took until June 30 to adjourn. In that year, the Republicans controlled the House for the first time in several years, and the Democrats controlled the Senate. I do not expect that it will take us that long this year.

We may have to come back later in the year however, to pass reapportionment bills, redrawing the lines for our congressional districts and our legislative districts. We cannot do that until we receive population numbers by county, and by precinct, from the census bureau.

Author: Julian Garrett