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Police shooting data shows higher risk for black and Hispanic Coloradans

pueblo ois Cropped
Officer-involved shooting in Pueblo; November, 2019

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Protestors in Colorado have spent weeks decrying the use-of-force by police, with the central concern that communities of color have been a target.

KRDO found that black and Hispanic Coloradans are at much higher risk of being shot by police than those who are white, according to data over the last decade compiled by the Colorado Department of Public Safety (CDPS).

The January 2020 report issued by CDPS includes information about what led up to the shootings, the race of those involved, and the arrests of people who are shot by law enforcement. The data didn't include reporting from every law enforcement agency in Colorado, however.

KRDO pored through pages of state data and crunched the numbers relating to 480 documented police shootings. The data for those shootings shows that from 2010 to 2019 – based on population figures -- black Coloradans were nearly four times as likely as white Coloradans to be shot at by police. Hispanic Coloradans' risk was almost twice as high as their white counterparts, according to the data.

Those statistics are not shocking to some Colorado Springs advocates who are working with the city council on creating a police oversight board.

“That statistic, you know, it’s alarming because we live in Colorado," Derrick Matthews said. "I know this is going to sound kind of morbid, I’m not surprised.”

Fifty-three percent of Coloradans shot by police were white, but white people make up 67% of the population. KRDO's findings reveal that minority populations make up a disproportionately large number of officer-involved shootings in Colorado.

“I think the reason why we have such disproportionate numbers between the races is purely just racism," Jasmine Marchman said.

The statewide reform of Colorado's new police accountability bill calls for more data collection on the use of force by law enforcement. The 2020 report by CDPS provides a vivid picture of the encounters in the past decade that led to police firing their guns.

More than half of the Colorado law enforcement shootings in the last nine years started with a call for police assistance. Traffic stops were the second most common event that led to police shootings.

Seventy-four percent of officers say they gave a verbal warning before the incident escalated to a shooting.

“Shootings are terrible. No matter what your background is," Pueblo Police Chief Troy Davenport said. "We try to avoid that the best we possibly can. But you know, the only way that occurs, for the most part, is a person has a weapon," Davenport said. "It could be a handgun, it could be the use of a vehicle or something else and they put a police officer or third party in fear of serious bodily injury or death.”

Chief Davenport doesn't dispute the statistics but believes the data is incomplete.

According to CDPS, only 27% of law enforcement agencies submitted the required data to the state. A CDPS spokesperson said there are no penalties for law enforcement agencies that don't report the data, even though there are laws mandating departments to do so.

Authorities charged 87% of citizens who survived police shootings with a crime. State records show the most common charges were murder, attempted murder, conspiracy, and assault. That data shows that 10% of black Coloradans who survived a shooting were not arrested or cited by police. CDPS reports that 8% percent of Hispanic Coloradans and 11% of white Coloradans who survived a law enforcement shootings were not arrested.

Law enforcement agencies report a weapon in 85% of officer-involved shootings. Weapons include firearms, knives and even cars, according to the state data. Fifty-three percent of citizens killed in officer-involved shootings were described as possessing a firearm, according to CDPS. Forty-seven percent of those killed in a police shooting had a non-firearm weapon.

The CDPS report shows that 79% of black people shot by Colorado law enforcement had a gun, compared to 57% of white Coloradans and 56% of Hispanic Coloradans shot by an officer.

Fifteen percent of Coloradans shot at by police in the last decade were unarmed.

At least 26 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in the past decade in Colorado. 

Colorado Springs / Investigations / Local News

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is an investigative reporter for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.

Comments

43 Comments

    1. Exactly!!!
      The numbers show that they are the ones committing the majority of violent crimes!!!!

      What a misleading headline. It is like “Drug addicts at a higher risks of overdosing and dying from using drugs”! Now we need to find out why non drug users are not dying from not doing drugs!!!
      Don’t do the crime and you won’t pay the price.

      1. Imagine being this ignorant. All studies show black and white people use drugs at similar rates, yet black people are incarcerated for drugs at a rate four times higher than white people. The problem is that pigs and prosecutors are not only individually racist, but the system itself is designed to target black people by over-policing their communities and giving harsher sentences to them for the same crime.

        Of course this whole thing was brought on by Führer Nixon and his pathetic, failed war on drugs. His own staff have admitted the controlled substance act was set up entirely to criminalize more black people and anti-war protesters.

        1. How indoctrinated for you to say. The left and the media are pushing for a race war and you follow what they say hook, line, and sinker. Let’s look at what the dems are pushing. White v. Black, Rich vs. Poor, Pro-Life vs. Pro-Choice, LGBT vs. Church, ect. The left is trying to divide this country so they can get all the perceived “victims” into one voting pool. They know by doing this it is the only way to beat President Trump.

          1. Only people dividing the country are the rich and their political puppets like that moron you call president. 😉

        2. Black people should teach to racist prosecutors a lesson. They should stop taking drugs and ruin the prosecutors fun!

          1. 😂😂😂

            There is no leftist media in this country. Only right wing fascist enablers and useless liberals, who also enable fascists.

    2. I downloaded the report. Over 9 years,

      13 unarmed African Americans were shot
      64 unarmed Hispanics were shot.
      109 whites were shot

      Even given normalizing the numbers to the make up of the communities that had reporting, I would say it is much more dangerous to be an unarmed White than Black. It is probably even worse to be Hispanic. I do think the reporting was horrible and KRDO should present an onscreen correction.

  1. This is the most deceptive reporting I have read in a long time. The population vs police shootings has nothing to do with racism. The population is not all committing crimes. If you want the truth, evaluate who is committing crime ca being shot. How many crimes are committed by blacks vs whites? I would bet you will find that blacks commit far more than 4 times the crime and guess what, they get shot more. Start reporting the truth instead of perpetuating lies and telling half the truth.

  2. That’s right. Keep inciting more “poor me” attitudes Chelsea. You and KRDO are out of control with this crap and make me sick. When you can start showing me that they aren’t mouthing off, resisting arrest, being violent, THEN, and ONLY THEN, will I and many others start giving a sh@t. YOU ARE SO PART OF THE PROBLEM!!!!!!!!!!

    1. No, boot lickers like you are the problem. The first amendment gives everyone in this country the right to tell any pig anything they like, you’re the kind of pathetic loser that would be telling people to just respect the red coats and pay your taxes to King George if you lived in 1776.

        1. Yes it does you dumb little smooth brain. 😉

          Only racist and fascist pigs and their inflated sense of self worth would kill over someone exercising their rights.

  3. This is truly the most ignorant statement I have seen on your site…

    “I think the reason why we have such disproportionate numbers between the races is purely just racism,” Jasmine Marchman said.

    So if someone points a gun at a cop and is shot and killed it is now racism???? How about the police just walk away when one of the snow flakes is taken hostage or a domestic violence turn bad…. Racism, neither KRDO or Jasmine Marchman know what it is.

    1. Ummmm…but aren’t Marchman, KRDO, and Chelsea “EXPERTS?” Who are you to question? You act as if quantification and objective facts are superior and different from the subjective and hidden truth. Deference of objective truth is for the pros…the professional victims. Stay away, you’re way out of your league…

  4. I have a problem with the shooting statistic story. You aren’t reporting all of the statistics. In those shooting cases how many of the victims were following the law? How many were not? If you are obeying the law and doing what the officer asks you to do you won’t have a a problem. I’m not saying that the shootings were justified, but please find all of the facts before you report a story.

    1. KRDO doesn’t have reporters who know how to do research, they are puppets as well… They should look at stats before opening their bigoted mouths like pole licker

  5. Flawed and inaccurate study. You can’t compare to the racial demographics of the State. You have to compare to the racial demographics of the people committing the violent crime, because those are the people having the confrontations with the police in most cases.

    FBI UCR 2018 Table 43: Black Americans are committing 53% of the murders, 54% of the robberies, and are disparate in many other areas as well. When it comes to juvenile crime (Table 43B), the numbers are worse. So, compare your officer involved shooting stats to that and see what ya get.

    1. Ummmm….you’re actually offering logic and objectivity to a very emotional and subjective topic. See….clear thinking is not allowed when IDIOTS are in control.

      Yeah, yeah, yeah…….Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      I’m sure it’ll be approved…

    1. Ding ding ding we have a winner. You know why I never have any contact with the cops I don’t break the law. It really is that simple.

  6. Chelsea, maybe run down to the PPCC campus and talk to one of the Statistics professors.
    Your piece states that only 27% of the agencies submitted data, so your analysis is based on incomplete data. They will also provide insight about correlation and causation. Just because a certain percentage of the general population is white, black, Hispanic, Asian, straight, gay, tall, short, fit or fat does not mean that any action from Police Agencies, Fire Departments, or the Rotary Club has to match those demographics.
    But hey- the headline is great for smearing and entire group of people.

    1. Chelsea failed stats 101 at her local community college…In Alabama. Where they still can’t agree on the sum of 2+2….

  7. What a self defeating article. Start with making it seem that all cops are just out to shoot minorities who are committing crimes. Then has stats that show why they are more prone to be shot.
    So they answer their own question. If certain ethnic groups would not be committing violent/dangerous/deadly crimes then they wouldn’t have the chance of being shot.
    Just like the old saying you can’t get burned if you don’t play with fire.

  8. Those who are able to think critically can see that this is evident right here in CS.
    Today’s front page alone:
    “Colorado Springs man sentenced to federal prison for firearm and drug distribution crimes:”
    “When officers arrived, they found Pacot and a passenger sleeping in the front seats. CSPD says both the truck and trailer were stolen. When the officers woke up the two suspects, they refused to open the door, resisted arrest and attempted to drive away.
    Officers immediately noticed that Pacot had a holstered 9mm handgun on his hip. After a brief struggle, police arrested Pacot.” Yeah. They didn’t shoot him. He was white.

    They didn’t shoot Robert Dear, who killed 3 people, including a cop, and terrorized the entire city for a day. He was white.

    When someone called in to report that Noah Harpham was walking down the street Halloween Day with an automatic weapon, the response was, “It’s an open carry state.” It took him killing three innocent people before the cops showed up and shot that white guy.

    Devon Bailey?

    Yeah.

  9. There is an elephant in the room, which KRDO refuses to address. This stokes the flames of outrage and division. It may be well intended and aimed at racial injustice, but it is out of focus and misleading.

    The Black Community has a number of threats and concerns and injustices to address. Implicit bias against a minority is significant and real and needs further action. Police use of force must be improved and officers held accountable for unlawful force.

    But police encounter statistics implying racial bias cannot be viewed only through the data of total population.

    Black Amerticans comprise about 13.4 % of the population, maybe a little more when you consider the perceived or stated identity of the 2.7% identifying as more than one race.
    https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219

    Black Americans are arrested 53.3 % of the murders in America. (Murder arrests are ver less likely to be able to be racially “skewed: more than a fraction of a percent. Black Americans may be mor likely to be pulled over, but an arrest for murder requires multiple concurrences, especially from a district attorney who has a 120 dat speedy trial clock that will start ticking.)
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/42tabledatadecoverviewpdf/table_42_arrests_by_sex_2012.xls

    Murder arrests are 88.7% male
    https://ucr.fbi.gov/crime-in-the-u.s/2012/crime-in-the-u.s.-2012/tables/42tabledatadecoverviewpdf/table_42_arrests_by_sex_2012.xls

    Therefore, Black Male Americans are about 6.8% of the US population and are arrested for about 47% of the murders.

    Some of the blame could lie in frustration from race based marginalization, but such forces cannot explain the entire problem. There is an elephant in the room, which KRDO refuses to address. This stokes the flames of outrage and division. It may be well intended and aimed at racial injustice, but it is out of focus and misleading.

  10. Pacot did not reach for his firearm. As soon as they had the opportunity to shoot Robert, he dropped his firearm and verbally submitted.
    Noah did not have an “automatic” firearm, and walking down the street with a semi automatic firearm is not a crime. Police were dispatched to reports of armed robbery, Devon chose to disobey commands and run. While running, he chose to reach for his firearm. Why did his cousin not get shot? Because he complied and did not reach for a firearm. A lot more people would survive if they learned to comply and wait for their day in court

    1. I imagine you think blacks had it good in slavery days, too. Lol. Just keep telling yourself whatever keeps you feeling superior. Times are changing, like it or not.

      “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice…” MLK, Jr.

  11. Pacot did not reach for his firearm. As soon as they had the opportunity to shoot Robert, he dropped his firearm and verbally submitted.
    Noah did not have an “automatic” firearm, and walking down the street with a semi automatic firearm is not a crime. Police were dispatched to reports of armed robbery, Devon chose to disobey commands and run. While running, he chose to reach for his firearm. Why did his cousin not get shot? Because he complied and did not reach for a firearm. A lot more people would survive if they learned to comply and wait for their day in court.

  12. I agree this article is false and very misleading. I also agree with others that the media is intentionally dividing this country. Unfortunately may people believe “if its on TV or the internet then it must be true” mentality. I agree with others here that if you are not involved in crime then you have nothing to worry about. I live in a multi-racial family and we have never had a bad police encounter, only very positive ones. There is such a concept of SHARED RESPONSIBILITY!!! I will add that if blacks feel the cops are targeting them, why do they never seem to address the black-on-black murders and other crime in Chicago? How many of the black “victims” are from fatherless homes? Even black clergymen have addressed this problem. Respect authority (teachers, cops, elderly, etc regardless of ethnicity) and your life will improve.

  13. Hmmm…I actually read that entire report. I actually understand statistics…kinda been my profession for 40n years. Just guessing…”KRDO pored through pages of state data and crunched the numbers relating to 480 documented police shootings…”

    Betcha the entire staff of KRDO couldn’t come up with a single Standard Derivation with respect to these data.

    What are the names and qualifications of the assessors of these vast data? Seriously, has Chelsea Brentzel or Heather Skold ever seen a Bell Curve? And who the hell is this Marchman person?

    Do y’all just make-up stats, stories, credentials, and experts as you go along Chelsea? Is that how they taught you journalism at (likely, the most illiterate) major university in the country.

    Heh…you can fool a few. Don’t try pulling the wool over a native Coloradoan’s eyes though.

  14. How about looking at the totality of each individual event instead of just including selective portions that you chop up to “prove” racism. KRDO really needs to surrender their anti-police race card and show the ENTIRE set of facts on these incidents.
    I’m not surprised that the listed racist organization is not surprised at what KRDO shows here. The truth would actually be much more shocking to her but she refuses to acknowledge ALL of the facts. For example, which portion of the population is responsible for the majority of VIOLENT crime? THAT is the issue.
    What about the RAMPANT black-on- black crime that actually plagues America that is all but ignored by the liberal media?
    What about Polis scolding and reprimanding businesses and people for gathering in groups of more than ten and threatening more stringent rules, yet completely turns the other way on dozens and hundreds of rioters and “protesters.”
    Why? What are you avoiding? Why the selective outrage? What are you afraid of? SERIOUSLY!

  15. I just gotta add that the comment by Jasemine Marchman just tops it all…

    “I think the reason why we have such disproportionate numbers between the races is purely just racism,” Jasmine Marchman said.” They shoulda axked her “why does it get dark at night?”

    “JM:”Because the sun closes it’s eyes, silly!!!”

    Oh GAWD, where has this intellectual talent been hiding itself???? Thank goodness we’re WOKE now!!!

  16. I downloaded the report. Over 9 years,
    13 unarmed African Americans were shot
    64 unarmed Hispanics were shot.
    109 unarmed whites were shot

    Secondly, the claims made by the KRDO reported were against the entire population of Colorado, but the fact was the populations of the reporting agencies had a much higher percentage of minority communities.

    Even without normalizing the numbers to the make up of the communities that had reporting, I would say it is much more dangerous to be an unarmed White than Black. It is probably even worse to be Hispanic. I do think the reporting was horrible and KRDO should present an onscreen correction. The focus on the reporting should be the facts and the fact is the problem is not police violence but the lack of community safety which we need address with community programs.

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