Skip to main content


DeAngelis, Reed T. (Online ahead of print). Systemic Racism in Police Killings: New Evidence from the Mapping Police Violence Database, 2013–2021. Race and Justice.


This research note provides new evidence consistent with systemic anti-Black racism in police killings across the United States. Data come from the Mapping Police Violence Database (2013–2021). I calculate race-specific odds and probabilities that victims of police killings exhibited mental illness, were armed with a weapon, or attempted to flee the scene at the time of their killing. Multilevel, multivariable logistic regression techniques are applied to further account for the victim's age, gender, year of killing, and geographical clustering. I find that White victims are underrepresented, and Black victims overrepresented in the database. Relative to White victims, Black victims also have 60% lower odds of exhibiting signs of mental illness, 23% lower odds of being armed, and 28% higher odds of fleeing. Hispanic victims exhibit 45% lower odds of being armed relative to their White peers but are otherwise comparable. These patterns persist regardless of the victim's age, gender, year of killing, or geographical location (state, zip code, and neighborhood type). Thus, the threshold for being perceived as dangerous, and thereby falling victim to lethal police force, appears to be higher for White civilians relative to their Black or Hispanic peers. Current findings provide empirical support for political initiatives to curb lethal police force, as such efforts could help to reduce racial disparities in deaths by police nationwide.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

Online ahead of print

Journal Title

Race and Justice


DeAngelis, Reed T.

Article Type

Research Brief

Data Set/Study

Mapping Police Violence Database (MPVD)


United States of America






DeAngelis - 0000-0002-6471-9802