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Authors of Study on Race and Police Killings Seek Retraction Because Conservatives Cite It

Authors of Study on Race and Police Killings Seek Retraction Because Conservatives Cite It

“We were careless when describing the inferences that could be made from our data.”

An academic paper from 2019 defies the current progressive narrative about police targeting minorities. The paper has been cited by right leaning scholars, such as Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute.

Now the authors of the paper are seeking to retract it.

We’re now politicizing inconvenient facts and data.

Retraction Watch reports:

Authors of study on race and police killings ask for its retraction, citing “continued misuse” in the media

The authors of a controversial paper on race and police shootings say they are retracting the article, which became a flashpoint in the debate over killings by police, and now amid protests following the murder of George Floyd.

The 2019 article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), titled “Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings,” found “no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers.” It has been cited 14 times, according to Clarivate Analytics’ Web of Science, earning it a “hot paper” designation.

Joseph Cesario, a researcher at Michigan State University, told Retraction Watch that he and David Johnson, of the University of Maryland, College Park and a co-author, have submitted a request for retraction to PNAS. In the request, they write:

We were careless when describing the inferences that could be made from our data. This led to the misuse of our article to support the position that the probability of being shot by police did not differ between Black and White Americans (MacDonald, 2019). To be clear, our work does not speak to this issue and should not be used to support such statements. We accordingly issued a correction to rectify this statement (Johnson & Cesario, 2020).

Here is an example of how Mac Donald cited the study in a column at City Journal in 2019 after hearings related to police killings of African-American men:

False Testimony

The anti-police narrative depends on suppression of facts, and the duplicity of anti-cop forces reached a shameless new low at a congressional hearing last week. Committee members should sanction the false testimony, given under oath, and publicly correct the record.

The House Judiciary Committee, now controlled by Democrats, had called a hearing to address a “series of deaths of unarmed African-American men while in police custody” as well as the “mistrust between police and marginalized communities.” Throughout the four-hour session, a photo array of blacks killed by the police played continuously on video screens around the room, interspersed with statistics allegedly proving that the police harbor lethal racist bias…

The eight remaining witnesses then began their testimony; I was one of the two witnesses called by the Republican minority. I asserted that the narrative that we are experiencing an epidemic of racially biased police shootings of black men was false. A study published this August in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences was just the latest piece of research to undercut that narrative, I said. The study, by faculty at Michigan State University and the University of Maryland at College Park, found that it is the rate of violent crime that determines fatal police shootings. The more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that members of that group will be fatally shot by a police officer. In fact, black civilians are shot less, compared with whites, than their rates of violent crime would predict.

Many of the same people who tell us how much they love and trust science, are willing to dismiss facts that don’t fit their preferred narrative.

Hat tip:

UPDATE: We have heard from Joe Cesario, one of the authors of the study. He says it was not retracted for political reasons:

We were careless when describing the inferences that could be made from our data. This led to the misuse of our article to support the position that the probability of being shot by police did not differ between Black and White Americans (MacDonald, 2019). To be clear, our work does not speak to this issue and should not be used to support such statements. We accordingly issued a correction to rectify this statement (Johnson & Cesario, 2020).

Although our data and statistical approach were valid to estimate the question we actually tested (the race of civilians fatally shot by police), given continued misuse of the article (e.g., MacDonald, 2020) we felt the right decision was to retract the article rather than publish further corrections. We take full responsibility for not being careful enough with the inferences made in our original article, as this directly led to the misunderstanding of our research.

You can read their full statement here.


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Just another two prog twats trying to stay one step ahead of the woke mob.

    notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital in reply to Paul. | July 7, 2020 at 1:13 pm

    What a cracker twit.

      Frightening times. For a person who spews many words, words are starting to fail me.

        Tom Servo in reply to Brave Sir Robbin. | July 7, 2020 at 1:30 pm

        when words fail, a society only has two choices left: surrender, or start shooting.

          thetaqjr in reply to Tom Servo. | July 8, 2020 at 9:13 am

          Whom are you going to have somebody shoot, and by whom? Have you invented a system for identifying targets and shooters?

          I suspect the folks you want to shoot are those who have abandoned or circumvented process. If that suspicion is correct, then you place yourself in an extralegal position, thereby becoming one of the very folks you claim you want somebody else to shoot.

          Barry in reply to Tom Servo. | July 8, 2020 at 10:31 pm

          Oh look, the communist chinaman thetaqjr is back spouting more commie bullshit. Communists are responsible for the murder of 100 million + in the last hundred years, and comrade thetaqjr is one of them.

      They are simply afraid of the cancel culture, that and violent looter, killer culture paying thema visit. There is no greater crime than exposing a narrative built on lies. How dare they.

      The essence of this is cultures are not created equal.

        Exactly. The researchers are trying to work both sides of the street: they don’t want to say their research is wrong but they also fear the American Red Guard. I don’t think this deceptive half-measure will fool anyone.

        The Red Guard will demand a full retraction and a groveling public apology, which to these researchers will be the ultimate humiliation. If the researchers don’t want to lose their jobs (and possibly their lives) they will comply.

Diversity (i.e. color judgments), or a denial of individual dignity, not limited to racism, affirmative discrimination, color blocs, color quotas, and inference, breeds adversity. The Progressive Church needs to deny their Twilight faith, lose their Pro-Choice, selective, opportunistic religion, and dump their liberal (i.e. divergent) ideology. #PrinciplesMatter #BabyLivesMatter

NavyMustang | July 7, 2020 at 1:38 pm

Stupid morons. They should be thrilled that Heather McDonald has worked on the subject they are addressing.

stevewhitemd | July 7, 2020 at 1:43 pm

One should not discount the possibility that Cesario and Johnson have been told, by colleagues or superiors at their institutions, to retract or else.

Not easy being an honest academic these days.

    MajorWood in reply to stevewhitemd. | July 8, 2020 at 1:02 pm

    On Monday I ran into a guy and we started to chat (T-shirts will do that) who is on the medical staff at OHSU. We had a good discussion about the absolute loneliness and isolation as a conservative in an academic setting. How often do you encounter someone on the street, especially in Portland, where you say “BLM is just a front for white Marxists” and the other person responds “absolutely.”

    On a positive note, I am interjecting more comments long the lines of “this whole covid shutdown is looking like a scam” and I am getting positive feedback over half the time. The kool-aid drinkers may not agree but that little seed of doubt has been planted, as I always attach it to some large negative associated with the shutdown, such as “I bet it has caused more suicides among young people than saving thoe really old people who were given another year to live.” You need to sell the message that the shutdown is far more than the inconvenience of wearing a mask (which is already too far for me).

      ultraskeptic in reply to MajorWood. | July 8, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      While the analysis balancing life against cash flow isn’t easy, if it were MY parents being killed by the incessant and unregulated urge for profit (masquerading as “freedom”), I’d be very, very, very upset. The data suggest that this virus is pretty dangerous, though certainly not as bad as the Black Death. And we’re still trying to understand what the after-effects of infection may be, both long-term and/or permanent disability and potential reinfection. Given those realities, prudence is a good idea, as Sweden has clearly demonstrated by mistake.

        Barry in reply to ultraskeptic. | July 8, 2020 at 10:35 pm

        You’re full of horse puckey.

        A skeptic should be skeptical, not a pusher of the government line. I suspect you’re not skeptical at all, just took that name to appear as something you’re not.

        If you are under age 65 and without serious medical issues you have no more to fear than when you get in a car.

          ultraskeptic in reply to Barry. | July 9, 2020 at 7:41 am

          1: My parents are over 65.
          2: The data regarding mortality are compelling so far.
          3. We still don’t know the long-term consequences of having been infected with this virus.
          4. We also are not certain that having the virus establishes immunity for any length of time. Think “common cold”.
          5. Our health care system is the most expensive yet the least effective in the Western world. That means a surge in severe illness may overwhelm facilities, resulting in people with other, curable illnesses dying due to lack of resources.
          6. I AM skeptical. You offer a prime example of why humans are doomed to self-extinguish.

        MajorWood in reply to ultraskeptic. | July 9, 2020 at 12:32 am

        News flash. Old people are dying. If only it targeted trolls, if only.

healthguyfsu | July 7, 2020 at 1:50 pm

They weren’t careless at all. They knew exactly what they were saying by being objective and factual. Then, they entered the wokeverse post-publication and fell into a deep slumber…

“The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it”

Well, I don’t know what the paper actually says. If it deals in research findings (i.e., facts) the only proper reason to withdraw it would be after it was discovered to have whopping errors. The authors admit to no such errors. So, the only reason to withdraw it is an improper one—because the authors now find the perfectly good information to suddenly be politically unacceptable.

And now for the tricky part. Anyone who would do this is a poor researcher. A good researcher has too much respect for the quality of his own work to discard or hide it. Ergo, the paper is the work of poor researchers, and therefore suspect. In which case, it probably should be withdrawn.

    Dimsdale in reply to tom_swift. | July 7, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Agreed. As a scientist myself, making up false data is the ultimate sin, but now, retracting accurate data, because you don’t like the outcome, is just as bad. When bias enters science, it stops being science. The data is the data, like it or not. If you don’t believe that, you are not a scientist. All their research should now be suspect and subject to impartial review.

      thetaqjr in reply to Dimsdale. | July 8, 2020 at 1:03 pm

      “… making up false data is the ultimate sin.”

      If scientists could make up true data, there would be no need for research, now would there.

      MajorWood in reply to Dimsdale. | July 8, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      The State Epidemiologist in Oregon came really close to saying that his model was correct and that the data is wrong. I wonder if he was a graduate of the Lysenko school of thought.

      Covid is currently 9th in the cause of death in Oregon on an annual basis, and by years end with 8 more months of denominator and way fewer deaths, it will likely end up around #15.

      I guess we need to clamp down further on businesses!

      How long until .gov starts to remove their statistics from the public realm because they don’t support the narrative.

In their own words:

“One of our clearest results is that violent crime rates stronglypredict the race of a person fatally shot. At a high level, reducingrace-specific violent crime should be an effective way to reducefatal shootings of Black and Hispanic adults. Of course, this is nosimple task—crime rates are the result of a large and dynamicset of forces. However, the magnitude of these disparities speaksto the importance of this idea. In counties where minorities com-mitted higher rates of violent crime, a person fatally shot was3.3 times more likely to be Hispanic than White and 3.7 timesmore likely to be Black than White. This suggests that reduc-ing disparities in FOIS will require identifying and changingthe socio-historical factors that lead civilians to commit violentcrime (20).”

    venril in reply to venril. | July 7, 2020 at 2:29 pm

    This conclusion should be obvious. Look at the black on black civilian homicide numbers vs white on white. Nearly the same numbers. for a much smaller population.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to venril. | July 7, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    There is a simple solution, greatly reduce numbers of groups with exceptionally high crime rates, which also correlates to exceptionally low IQ.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to venril. | July 7, 2020 at 5:00 pm

    Blacks have the highest crime rates, Hispanics second highest. Their respective average IQ, 85 and 87.

    I don’t know of any authoritative source for work ethic stats, but my personal experience was that collectively, Hispanics had a far better work ethic than American blacks. That was not the case for 1st generation immigrant blacks who were better motivated. They appreciated the privilege of being in America and the opportunity to prove themselves worthy through work.

      “Their respective average IQ…”

      Prove it.

        ultraskeptic in reply to Barry. | July 9, 2020 at 7:54 am

        There are lies. Damned lies. And statistics.
        I’ve seen these statistics brayed all over the place. Totally unjustified, given how unreliable such purportedly objective tests are. They have some merit within a cultural subset, but cross-culturally, unless they are redesigned to reflect the social and educational experiences of the subject, they don’t accurately reflect cognitive potential.

      ultraskeptic in reply to JusticeDelivered. | July 9, 2020 at 7:51 am

      Perhaps you are unaware, but IQ tests are hardly unbiased. Culture is a large influence in their outcome. Furthermore, several centuries of bigotry and oppression have certainly imposed other unfortunate influences on minorities in our culture. You are what you eat. And what you suffer. And what you are forced to be.
      And “Personal experience”??? I met a family who appeared to cooperate really well together. When I commented on it, they said it was how they were raised, and they were passing it on to their kids. When I asked where they were raised, they told me “Mars”. It took them a long time to immigrate.

Retracting an article for factual data. Obviously didn’t use BLM-Grammerly nor the Newspeak dictionary.

Another reason whackademics cannot be trusted.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Virginia42. | July 7, 2020 at 4:48 pm

    Academics are not created equal, some are more equal than others. The same is true of jocks, and everything thing else.

The authors of the study are saying that they came to a false conclusion, in the study. Okay. So, all they need to do is to explain how their conclusion was faulty? If they can not do that, then the conclusion has to stand, as they had to provide evidence to support the existing conclusion.

Sorry , cats out of the bag

Can’t be undone…

If the research was flawed, then just say so and retract it. But what they are saying is, “Our research is correct but people we hate are using it, so erase it.” I get the feeling they would deny 2+2=4 if the Wokestapo ordered them to.

Even for “intellectuals” this behavior is weird and pointless.

A scientist can retract their work at any time if they are no longer confident of it. I have not read the paper, but I’ve read their retraction of it. It seems to me that their point is valid.

You can’t have it both ways. Conservatives – and I am one – are quick to point out hypocrisies when they see them, and to condemn unsupported conclusions when they are made.

But the scientists are saying that the conclusions being drawn outside of the paper, are not the ones they made in the course of their research – and that their methodology was not designed to discover the facts supporting those outside conclusions. It seems to me that that is reflective of science as it should be conducted. A study or experiment is designed to prove or disprove very specific things.

In other words, this was not fake science. So……what kind of science do conservatives wish to support? Sometimes the proper way is not the easy way.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Aggie. | July 7, 2020 at 4:37 pm

    I do not think that there is anything wrong with their science, just that it put them in the crosshairs of the cancel culture.

    It is pretty easy to look at FBI and DOJ stats and see that black arrests-prosecution-incarceration is proportional. They have a very high rate of criminal activity, hence police give then attention at that rate. What they are looking for is a free pass to commit crime.

    Personally, I am really tired of their crap. I expect them to strive to be better people, and when they do so these issues will go away.

    gonzotx in reply to Aggie. | July 7, 2020 at 4:55 pm


    Ridiculous conclusion on your part

    “But the scientists are saying that the conclusions being drawn outside of the paper, are not the ones they made in the course of their research – and that their methodology was not designed to discover the facts supporting those outside conclusions.”

    Then why withdraw the paper completely? There is only one scientifically valid reason for withdrawing a scientific paper, and that is if there are flaws that undermines the paper’s conclusions. That is NOT what the researchers are saying in this case.

    If others have made erroneous use of the researchers’ paper, then why not point that out? Research papers are used (and misused) all the time without the drastic step of completely withdrawing the original paper. Seems like serious overkill.

    There is a legend (probably false) that the philosopher Hippasus discovered the existence of irrational numbers, a discovery that so shocked and upset the Pythagoreans (an ancient school of mathematical thought) that he was murdered by drowning him at sea. This “withdraw our paper cuz we don’t like how it is being used” episode reminds me of the Hippasus legend.

      I find it strange that the Pythagoreans didn’t believe in irrational numbers. An isosceles right triangle with the two equal sides having length one has a hypotenuse, according to the Pythagorean Theorem, with sqrt 2 length, which is of course irrational.

        coyote in reply to randian. | July 8, 2020 at 9:09 am

        They did. In fact, they proved that some numbers were not “commensurable” [sic] with others: commensurable here meant rational. Grab a copy of Julian Havil’s book, The Irrationals, for more about it than you ever wanted to know. As an aside, the book is actually pretty witty, but the going is heavy.

    Aggie in reply to Aggie. | July 7, 2020 at 5:06 pm

    Right. So, did any of your actually read the request for retraction that the authors wrote in their own words?

      Aggie in reply to Aggie. | July 7, 2020 at 5:08 pm

      “Although our data and statistical approach were valid to estimate the question we actually tested (the race of civilians fatally shot by police), given continued misuse of the article (e.g., MacDonald, 2020)we felt the right decision was to retract the article rather than publish further corrections. We take full responsibility for not being careful enough with the inferences made in our original article, as this directly led to the misunderstanding of our research.”

        Thanks for that. Here’s what I saw:
        “While the data and statistical approach we took to answer these questions was appropriate, the mistake we made was drawing inferences about the broader population of civilians who interact with police rather than restricting our conclusions to the population of civilians who were fatally shot by the police. We are thankful to Knox and Mummolo (2020) for highlighting this error”

        Other scientists pointed out faulty logic and the authors saw similar faults being repeated in the public’s interpretation or their work. They withdrew the paper and took full responsibility. This is science and peer review acting as it should do, in my opinion. And it has nothing to do with cancel culture or cultural Marxism – again, my opinion..

          gonzotx in reply to Aggie. | July 7, 2020 at 6:11 pm

          Actually no, this is not peer review, that’s a laugh, this is the pressure from the left to cancel them pure and simple

          This is like an out-of-body experience: weird and surreal. In all of my years in academia I have never seen a paper withdrawn in part because SOMEONE ELSE had supposedly reached the wrong conclusions. That excuse is Looney Tunes, not science.

          Even weirder is the researchers continuing to claim their data and analysis are correct on a paper they are withdrawing. The original conclusion was perfectly reasonable and justified by the data and analysis, so what happened? And if they still feel their conclusions are wrong why not just state that and not bring in others like MacDonald?

          And at what point does Occam’s Razor get a say in this bizarre matter?

          I grew up and based my teaching career believing that science is a discipline, and that anyone could acquire the knowledge for themselves if they were willing to put in the work. What is happening here is that these researchers (and scientific publications) believe science is a sacred priesthood open only to the anointed few, and anyone outside this priesthood is a blasphemer, and not to be believed. I reject that. Let the researchers explain WHY MacDonald is wrong and not just burn the heretical documents.

          DaveGinOly in reply to Aggie. | July 7, 2020 at 6:52 pm

          From the retraction request: “This led to the misuse of our article to support the position that the probability of being shot by police did not differ between Black and White Americans (MacDonald, 2019). To be clear, our work does not speak to this issue and should not be used to support such statements.”

          They admit that the article doesn’t address “the probability of being shot by police did not between differ between Black and White Americans,” but this is not the same as saying the conclusion that there is a difference is erroneous, or that their data doesn’t support the conclusion. They just don’t like the way their data is being used by people who have looked at the paper and drawn conclusions from it concerning issues they did not even address.

          They are embarrassed by the conclusions that their data has led too. They didn’t say the data is wrong, or that the conclusions being based on the data are wrong.

        What does a research paper take – a few months of work? Write a proposal, get a grant, conduct research, draft the paper, etc. etc. All for academic and/or professional advancement. And yet you all would have us believe that this effort, for professional advancement in their field, is going to be thrown away because a journalist quoted it? Their months of effort and body of work flushed like a bad turd, while the journalist (the excellent Heather MacDonald) moves on to the next story tomorrow? In other words, they would cut off their nose to spite their face. Nope. I cannot see a researcher negating months of effort because a journalist that you assume they don’t agree with, quoted them in an article somewhere. I can see a scientist retracting it if they thought it was wrong though. Which is what they did, if you actually read their retraction, instead of the article. Their conclusions overreached their research.

        I wonder if you are seeing what you really need to see in order to confirm your own bias – or maybe you all are advocating for a different reason. Hmm. Well – Good luck, thanks for the discussion, and don’t forget to vote!

          Cleetus in reply to Aggie. | July 8, 2020 at 10:18 am

          In my experience a research paper takes considerably more time than a few months and a grant is far more significant that what you imply. Perhaps you are stating your position poorly, but your argument as stated makes it appear that you are not that familiar with scientific research.
          First things first. Grants are extraordinarily difficult to obtain. In my field of Chemistry, only around 15-18% of those grants deemed meritable were ever funded. Being that obtaining funding was and remains critical to one keeping their job as a professor/researcher (unless tenured), one does not treat a grant frivolously. This low funding rate lead to horrific levels of competition which fostered corruption.
          Second, the three most important criteria for obtaining, maintaining, and advancing in one’s research position in science is publications, publications, and publications. If one does not publish (peer reviewed and articles in journals such as PNAS are the only ones that count), then one cannot obtain grants and one cannot obtain tenure or even an extension on one’s position without obtaining funding. For this reason, publications are sacred and are never, ever withdrawn unless there is an overwhelming event of seismic importance that cannot be ignored.
          Third. to withdraw a publication, one must show how misconduct either criminal or bordering on criminal was discovered. Withdrawing a paper from publication is the nuclear option that will have a catastrophic on one’s career unless one is protected. In other words, one simply does not withdraw a publication unless one is forced into it. Period.
          Fourth, it is not uncommon to publish a paper only to have others read into it or discover something else not before seen or realized. This is called research and it is why skepticism is such a critical aspect of research. For someone to claim that others were using their paper to support a position they disagree with or a position the paper argued against is not sufficient for the paper to be withdrawn. It is, however, a reason to mount a public debate on what the article stated, the reasons why, how others were misunderstanding it, etc.
          Fifth, to withdraw a paper from publication, such as the case here, is unheard of. It is akin to proclaiming that, because others disagree with my conclusions based on my data, I am taking my toys and going home even if it ends up destroying my career. This simply does not happen. More likely, these researchers were told by someone far more powerful to withdraw the publication because of the problems it was causing and that the researchers would be protected from future backlash for this decision. They may have even been rewarded for making it.
          Lastly, science has become unbelievably political since the 80’s and 90’s. Global warming showed how science could be tapped to facilitate the transfer of power and wealth for those properly positioned. (Note: awarding or denying grants based on politics is a form of wealth/power transfer and it happens.) If one does not play the game, then punishment will follow. I know for I was someone who tried to play ethically and eventually had to leave because of the corruption and politics (and by all measures I was very good at my job).

      The researchers said (1) their research is valid and (2) they were withdrawing the paper because they don’t like how it is being used. Period.

      I have been in higher education for many years, and their scientific reasons for withdrawing the paper make zero sense. You NEVER withdraw a paper if you feel you are right and have the facts to back it up.

      coyote in reply to Aggie. | July 8, 2020 at 9:14 am

      And their further attempt at spin control was:

      “ Correction
      Correction for “Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings,” by David J. Johnson, Trevor Tress, Nicole Burkel, Carley Taylor, and Joseph Cesario, which was first published July 22, 2019; 10.1073/pnas.1903856116 (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116, 15877–15882).
      The authors wish to note the following: “Recently, we pub- lished a report showing that, among civilians fatally shot, officer race did not predict civilian race and there was no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities (1). Specifically, we esti- mated the probability that a civilian was Black, Hispanic, or White given that a person was fatally shot and some covariates. The dataset contains only information about individuals fatally shot by police, and the race of the individual is predicted by a set of variables. Thus, we compute Pr(racejshot, X) where X is a set of variables including officer race.
      “Although we were clear about the quantity we estimated and provide justification for calculating Pr(racejshot, X) in our report (see also 2, 3), we want to correct a sentence in our significance statement that has been quoted by others stating ‘White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers.’ This sentence refers to estimating Pr(shotjrace, X). As we estimated Pr(racejshot, X), this sentence should read: ‘As the proportion of White officers in a fatal officer-involved shooting increased, a person fatally shot was not more likely to be of a racial minority.’ This is consistent with our framing of the results in the abstract and main text.
      “We appreciate the feedback that led us to clarify this sen- tence (4). To be clear, this issue does not invalidate the findings with regards to Pr(racejshot, X) discussed in the report.”
      1. D. J. Johnson, T. Tress, N. Burkel, C. Taylor, J. Cesario, Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 116, 15877–15882 (2019).
      2. D. J. Johnson, J. Cesario, Reply to Knox and Mummolo and Schimmack and Carlsson: Controlling for crime and population rates. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 117, 1264– 1265 (2020).
      3. D. J. Johnson, J. Cesario, Reply to Knox and Mummolo: Critique of Johnson et al. (2019). (16 August 2019).
      4. D. Knox, J. Mummolo, Making inferences about racial disparities in police violence. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 117, 1261–1262 (2020).
      Published under the PNAS license. First published April 13, 2020.”

      Note that the paper was submitted in March 2019, published in June, and this appeared 3 months ago. It is hypocrisy at its very finest.

    Mac45 in reply to Aggie. | July 7, 2020 at 9:26 pm

    The question is not whether someone else can look at the, supposedly, accurate evidence provided and come to a conclusion other than that of the people who did the study. The question is is the evidence accurate and does it support the alternative conclusion? If som then it is up to the people who presented the study and its conclusion to show where the evidence does mot support the alternative conclusion.

    healthguyfsu in reply to Aggie. | July 8, 2020 at 2:26 am

    You are completely incorrect about it being “one or the other”.

    Your post makes several assumptions. One is that the dissenting opinion is unbiased and did not approach this paper based on the cited outcomes. Another is that peer review (in this case, post-pub peer review by the dissenter[s]) isn’t rife with flaws.

    Anyone who has been in science and published or sought funding knows that there are crooked lines for who to scrutinize and who to let slide on certain things. Peer review and the scientific process are as political as anything else in society. That is the truth for the hard sciences that are more objective. This social science correlation garbage allows even more leeway. In fact, using such weak methods allows anyone to draw inferences from the raw data, and the author does not have ownership of those raw data.

    MajorWood in reply to Aggie. | July 8, 2020 at 1:29 pm

    Sometimes the data tells a story that the scientists didn’t see the first time.

    Real Scientist

    Barry in reply to Aggie. | July 8, 2020 at 10:39 pm

    “and I am one”

    No your not. Your a marxist pushing the marxist propaganda.

The paper can be downloaded free here:

The posting, with comments and corrections is here:

The “Significance” paragraph in the article is this:
“There is widespread concern about racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings and that these disparities reflect discrimination by White officers. Existing databases of fatal shootings lack information about officers, and past analytic approaches have made it difficult to assess the contributions of factors like crime. We create a comprehensive database of officers involved in fatal shootings during 2015 and predict victim race from civilian, officer, and county characteristics. We find no evidence of anti-Black or anti-Hispanic disparities across shootings, and White officers are not more likely to shoot minority civilians than non-White officers. Instead, race-specific crime strongly predicts civilian race. This suggests that increasing diversity among officers by itself is unlikely to reduce racial disparity in police shootings.”

JackinSilverSpring | July 7, 2020 at 4:39 pm

Maoist/Leninist ideology at work. Eliminate or memory hole anything contradicting the current narrative.

Fictitious Newsflash, from the estate of Sir Alexander Fleming, discoverer in 1928 of penicillin’s unexpected bactericidal activity:

7 July 2020

“We, the duly designated representatives of the aforementioned estate, having today notified The Royal Society of our agreement with the Chinese Communist Party to disallow licensing of US pharmaceutical firms to independently and autonomously manufacture penicillin in the US, wish to find our forebear’s unanticipated, surprising discovery of said mold’s killing action against certain strains of bacteria invalid, unproven, and now seriously called into question by an Interim Final Rule of the International Union of Microbiology (a wholly owned subsidiary and organization sponsored by the same CCP), dated 6 July 2020.

“Any further investigations into penicillin’s alleged bactericidal action and related findings notwithstanding, the IUM’s Final Rule alone, expected soon, will determine the final status of the matter; however, in no cases historically have the findings of the Interim Final and Final Rule notices ever differed substantively.”

This concludes The Fleming Estate’s Public Address on the Recognized Status of Penicillin.

(Editor’s Addendum
The IUM’s Interim Final Rule of 6 July 2020 goes on to state:

Re Serendipity,* the claimed but wrongly observed essence of the 1927 Fleming discovery, and likewise wrongly viewed as the great corrector or hidden hand of mistaken assumptions, which are the logical bases for presumed, further mistaken empirical results, has rightly and judiciously been declared null and void.

The term and concept, having thus naturally expired in the opinion of the International Academy of Scientific Research (also a wholly owned subsidiary of the CCP), is thereby stricken from all scientific research and discovery activity.

The only research that, in the official opinion of the IASR, is determined to be in the affirmative service of a universally promoting ideology favorable to geopolitically harmony will be deemed valid, authoritative, and, until further internationally publicized notice by the IASR, settled science.)

Thank you for your interest in the latest developments of note in the globally human activity of science.

* Prior to the IUM’s present, procedural edict, Fleming’s serendipitous discovery had been a landmark-achievement in the history of science in that not all great finds for the benefit of humankind are intended, foreseen, and predictable; indeed, as in the discovery of penicillin’s case, unanticipated entirely. The formerly accepted, now internationally forbidden (British) narrative provides detail:

“Starting in the late 19th century there had been many accounts by scientists and physicians on the antibacterial properties of the different types of moulds including the mould penicillium but they were unable to discern what process was causing the effect.

“The effects of penicillium mould were first observed by Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming in 1928. Fleming recounted that the date of his discovery of penicillin was on the morning of Friday 28 September 1928.

“The traditional version of this story describes the discovery as a serendipitous accident: in his laboratory in the basement of St Mary’s Hospital in London (now part of Imperial College), Fleming noticed a Petri dish containing Staphylococci that had been left open was contaminated by blue-green mould from an open window, which formed a visible growth. There was an area of inhibited bacterial growth around the mould. Fleming concluded that the mould released a substance that repressed the growth and caused lysing of the bacteria.”

So if they are withdrawing their paper does that mean they are also foregoing the publication? Meaning that, academics must publish, but here the authors have withdrawn their work. So therefore the paper is null for academic purposes.

Will the authors now also accept the consequences of not meeting a publication requirement or expectation? I feel certain that many other academics in their field submitted papers for review and publication. If publication was an explicit or implied requirement of the authors employment track are they willing to pay the price? I doubt it.

Google the article title and download the pdf from the PNAS site. We don’t want papers like this to go poof when they discover that they are contrary to the narrative. As my old buddy used to tell me, “getting something off the internet is like trying to get pee out of a swimming pool.” So more copies on more PCs means more pee for them to remove.

As a scientist, when I read a paper, I do the results first, then the intro, and finally, having come to my own conclusions, I then see how they compare with the authors conclusions. As I was warned, never fall into thinking like an anatomist, where “I’ll see it when I believe it.”

This led to the misuse of our article to support the position that the probability of being shot by police did not differ between Black and White Americans (MacDonald, 2019).

Neither MacDonald nor anyone else has claimed the article supports such an obviously false position. Everyone acknowledges that black Americans are far more likely than white Americans to be shot by police. The position that MacDonald and others correctly use the article to support is that the probability of being shot by police does not significantly differ between black and white criminals. That black Americans are more likely than white ones to be shot by police is entirely a result of black Americans being more likely than white ones to be criminals.

celsius1939 | July 8, 2020 at 7:33 am

I, too, as a former science researcher, have never heard of withdrawing a paper because others interpret the data differently. This is obviously due to bias which is never allowed in science.

In their withdrawal statement Johnson and Cesario blame the narrow scope of their research on the police (emphasis added):

Without more data on police-civilian encounters, it is difficult to estimate racial bias in police use of force. This lack of data is why we collected information about all officers who fatally shot civilians in 2015, an undertaking that took more than 1800 hours over three years. The lack of detailed, publicly-available information on police-civilian encounters [where force is used and where force is not used] is unacceptable and necessary for a more complete understanding of where bias exists in police-civilian interactions.

So, cops who may encounter scores of people everyday are supposed to track every encounter, and take a census of everyone involved in each encounter?

Don’t singe your eyebrows on the “flash” when you stuff this important academic study down the Memory Hole, sweetheart.

Several of the commenters here issue “comments” that are longer than the article commented upon.

If those folks have so much worth saying, perhaps the editors could give them tips on how to start their own blog.

Several of the commenters here issue “comments” that are longer than the article commented upon.

If those folks have so much worth saying, perhaps the editors could give them tips on how to start their own blog.