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Where More Americans Die at the Hands of Police

August 29, 2014 Comments off

Where More Americans Die at the Hands of Police
Source: The Atlantic (Richard Florida)

The death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer has reintroduced police-related killings as a topic of major national debate. Brown is just the latest in a long line of young, unarmed black men killed by law enforcement agents.

It’s been widely reported that roughly 400 Americans die at the hands of police per year. And yet, that figure is likely a significant underestimate, as Reuben Fischer-Baum details at FiveThirtyEight.

We ask a slightly different question: Where are Americans more likely to die at the hands of police or while under arrest?

With the help of my colleagues Charlotta Mellander and Nick Lombardo of the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI), we mapped data from two sources: “arrest related deaths” from the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, and from the FBI’s annual Supplementary Homicide Report (SHR) on “felons killed by police.” We also got input from three leading American criminologists: Alfred Blumstein and Daniel Nagin, my former colleagues at Carnegie Mellon, and John Roman of the Urban Institute.

It’s important to reiterate that both data sources suffer from serious deficiencies, not the least of which is under-reporting. Roman worries about “reporting bias,” particularly the possibility that “more responsible agencies”—those least likely to use force in the first place—”are more likely to report, and less responsible agencies are less likely to report.” But he also adds that what looks like missing data may not be. “It might be that few policing agencies have an officer-involved shooting and the agencies that don’t simply don’t report any data,” he writes in an email.

But, taken together and in light of their limits, the maps are broadly suggestive of the geography of U.S. police killings as well as the states where arrests are likely to result in more deaths. As Roman puts it: “It is important to shine a light on the subject. Because there is such limited data, our ability to define the scope of the problem greatly limits our ability to form an appropriate response.”

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The U.S. Cities With the Most Leftover to Spend … After Paying for Housing

December 24, 2011 Comments off

The U.S. Cities With the Most Leftover to Spend … After Paying for Housing
Source: The Atlantic

With just a few exceptions, the places at the top of this list have among the most expensive housing in the country. But average wages and salaries are substantially higher, enabling them to more than compensate.

Topping the list is the San Jose metro area, where the average resident has nearly $4,000 a month ($3,901)—or $46,812 per year—left over after paying for housing. Durham, North Carolina (with $3,513 per month), is next followed by greater Washington, D.C. ($3,431), and greater San Francisco ($3,342). Pricey metros such as New York, Boston, Seattle, Philadelphia, and Denver also number among the top 25.

College towns like Boulder, Corvallis, Ann Arbor, Champaign-Urbana, and Ithaca also do quite well, although it’s worth noting that one college town, State College, Pa., is near the very bottom of the list.

Then, there are some surprises. People in greater Detroit, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Syracuse, Buffalo, and Rochester have a substantial amount of money left over after their housing is paid for; more than their counterparts in San Diego or Raleigh.

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