White deaths by cop are invisible

Here’s something I won’t put on Facebook because I just don’t have the patience to deal with the irrational blowback.

Ma’Khia Bryant prepared to stab unarmed victim

In recent posts I have shown that police kill twice as many whites as Blacks, that the overall number of deaths is tiny when placed among millions of cop/civilian interactions each year, and that the further left your beliefs, the more likely you are to exaggerate the number of Blacks killed. It is rampant bias confirmation and the media is partly to fault. 

Right now, we have a perfect example of this effect.

As we were digesting the Derek Chauvin trial, a white policewoman shot and killed Daunte Wright  as he resisted (a detail often ignored) a warrant for his arrest.

In Columbus, a white policeman rolled up on a confusing scene but saw Black teenager Ma’Khia Bryant, knife in hand, lunge at a Black woman dressed in pink. The officer shot Bryant to save the unarmed woman.

In North Carolina, deputies trying to serve search and felony arrest  warrants shot and killed African-American Andrew Brown Jr. 

Bang. Bang. Bang.

All achieved broad cable news coverage, plus print.

A previous column, using the Washington Post data base of police shootings, proved twice as many whites are shot, 457 last year.

That’s more than one a day and the rate is probably the same this year. It’s almost certain some white people have been killed by police in the past week. 

How many stories have you seen or read about a white person being shot and killed? I have seen none, but — coincidence — hours after I wrote this Saturday afternoon, the AP carried a story logging six deaths of civilians in a 24-hour period. The story did not report race in all cases. One was identified as white, we know the race in several of the cases discussed here, and one man’s surname identified him as Asian. The dead white man with a long rap sheet got the least coverage, three paragraphs.

It’s like dead whites are invisible.

No, this isn’t white fragility on my part, save your tears. It is a simple observation of fact. This is irrespective of the facts in each case. 

The shooting of a Black person immediately results in marches, demonstrations and calls for justice, also irrespective of the facts in the case. 

The reality is white deaths at the hands of police are not regarded as newsworthy as Black deaths.


Woke media executives, with Black Lives Matter dancing in their heads, view a lot of news through the prism of perceived racism. If you want to find it, you probably can.

Why does that matter?

Because it hurts white people? No. Because it hurts Black people. It feeds into the misperception that it is open season on Blacks.

Unfortunately, many African-Americans believe this falsehood. It impacts them in negative ways. It is psychologically damaging, destroying their feelings of self-worth, personhood, and birthing fear that they are not safe in the presence of any police officer. That is simply untrue and the numbers prove it is untrue.

We can’t ask the media to not cover the news.

We can ask the media to provide the context, to report these tragedies for the rarities they are, and to withhold judgment until the facts are known in each case, because each case is different. 

8 thoughts on “White deaths by cop are invisible”

    I realize that you are a journalist, and very good at it. Too bad that you’re not part sooth sayer, fortune teller or any other title given to those that foresee the future.
    As far back as I can remember, and at times that’s not very far ( too many concussions ), racism has been around at various levels of pain and conflict. It wont go away on its own. Just as we nurture our young to be better, so should we push and press to eliminate racism. The woman I mentioned the other, who lives in Houston hit the nail on the head. Take responsibility and accountability for your own actions. If this thought was followed, there would be far less people buying into this anti white, anti black anti everybody propaganda.
    We all know that the dark side intends to divide us even further and conquer all of us. When the American people wake up and say -ENOUGH, then we can go back to making America great again.

  2. Good afternoon Mr. Bykofsky,

    Another excellent piece, thank you.

    The media has gone off the rails. Their notion of racism is directed at one demographic group, period. I have read two separate accounts of the poor Asian man from NYC who is reportedly in a coma as a result of a recent race-based attack. There is video footage of the perpetrator. Without rushing to judgment as new information might be forthcoming, it is pretty clear from the video the race of the perpetrator. Yet, neither news source speculated on the perpetrators race. Instead, they used a certain adjective to describe his complexion seemingly in an attempt to skirt around the issue. I believe the media are conveniently withholding this information to support their narrative that only one demographic group perpetrates racism at the exclusion of all else. Speculation on my part, but I feel if the perpetrator’s race clearly fit the media’s narrative, we would have been reminded of that repeatedly in those articles.

    I am one American who is ready for a change of scenery. Thank you for your continued courage to represent the facts. Have a great rest of this weekend!

  3. I’ve stopped watching the news. When I want a reality check, I look out my back door and see children of all races and nationalities playing together. I look out my front door and see a multicultural world. I shop at a local shopping center that features an Asian supermarket. Asians are not subjected to harresment here. When I bought my house in Tacony 30 plus years ago this was unimaginable. Yes, the times are changing.

  4. Interesting read Stu. “Bias by omission” is real and IMHO more insidious than outright slanted reporting as it removes dialogue and perspective for consideration. I may not agree with everything I read or hear, but the simple fact that I take the time to engage/understand diverse perspectives helps me grow my appreciation of the world I live in.

    Reminds me bit of listening to Andy Reid’s weekly press conferences, he never gave anything outside the party line, which controlled the narrative. At least the sports writers back then prodded at the omissions, filled the gap with conjecture and had people thinking. “Times yours”….

  5. Stu, I agree that US news is heavily biased towards only recounting the narrative they feel comfortable with at a particular moment, and it is much the same here in Canada. These days, that includes only reporting police shootings of non-whites. At the same time, you state “police kill twice as many whites as Blacks” and this confuses me somewhat. Whites represent 60.1 percent of the US population, Blacks represent 12.2 percent. By my calculation, that means if police shootings were race-neutral, shouldn’t almost five times as many Whites be getting shot?

    1. My column reported the racial disparity, which can’t be denied. The ACTUAL numbers of whites and Blacks are given. You are asking a hypothetical.

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