In Brief

Donald Trump ‘twists stats’ with police brutality against whites claim

President accused of leaning into ‘racist rhetoric’ to play down violence against black Americans

Donald Trump has stoked simmering racial tensions by claiming that US police kill “more white people” than black people. 

The president made the controversial claim after describing the death of George Floyd during an arrest in Minneapolis in May as “terrible”. Asked why black Americans are “still dying at the hands of law enforcement in this country”, Trump told CBS News: “And so are white people.”

“What a terrible question to ask,” he continued. “So are white people. More white people, by the way. More white people.”

Official data paints a less clear picture, however. A federal study into deaths at the hands of US police between 2009 and 2012 found that while a majority of victims were white, a disproportionate number were black, with a fatality rate 2.8 times higher.

Separate research by US academics who analysed data on deaths between 2012 and 2018 found that black men were around 3.5 times more likely to be killed by law enforcement than white men. And an academic study published last year concluded that one in 1,000 black men in the US “can expect to be killed by police” - a rate about 2.5 times higher than that for their white peers.

Trump’s apparent dismissal of such data has sparked widespread condemnation. 

CNN says the president “repeated racist talking points in downplaying police violence against Black Americans”. The Guardian compares Trump’s defensive retort to his “fine people on both sides” comment after white nationalist marchers and counter-protesters clashed in the Virginia city of Charlottesville in 2017.

The row follows weeks of international protests in the wake of Floyd’s death, with growing calls for police reform in the US

In June, Trump signed an executive order paving the way for the creation of a federal database of police officers with a history of using excessive force. 

Yet even while signing the order into law, Trump launched what CNN describes as a “full-throated defence of police”, suggesting that a “very tiny” number of officers were behind the killings of unarmed black Americans. 

Recommended

UK refusing to give EU ambassadors full diplomatic status
Dominic Raab removes his protective face mask.
Getting to grips with . . .

UK refusing to give EU ambassadors full diplomatic status

‘How can America recover from its Trump-induced trauma?’
President Joe Biden fist bumps newly sworn-in Vice President Kamala Harris
Instant Opinion

‘How can America recover from its Trump-induced trauma?’

Downing Street plots Biden charm offensive
Joe Biden delivers his inauguration speech
Behind the scenes

Downing Street plots Biden charm offensive

Churchill bust ‘not on display’ in Biden’s Oval Office
Joe Biden in the Oval Office
In Brief

Churchill bust ‘not on display’ in Biden’s Oval Office

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 Jan 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 21 Jan 2021

Tried and tasted: restaurant meal kits to eat at home
Santo Remedio
On the menu

Tried and tasted: restaurant meal kits to eat at home

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 23 Jan 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 23 Jan 2021

Free 6 issue trial then continue to