3 ways black people are treated unfairly in United States

Violence erupted in American cities following the death of African-American George Floyd after police physically detained and pressed his knee on his neck in Minneapolis.

According to the BBC reality check team, that have looked at some data on crime and justice in the United States, and what it says about African American public policy experiences.

1. African Americans are more likely to be fatally shot

Available figures for incidents in which police shoot and kill people show that African-Americans are far more likely to be shot than the general population.

In fact, in 2019, although African-Americans make up less than 14% of the population (according to official census figures), they were behind more than 23% of the roughly 1,000 fatal police shootings. And this figure has been relatively constant since 2017, while the number of white victims has decreased since then.

2. African Americans are more often arrested for drug abuse

African Americans are arrested for drug abuse at a much higher rate than white Americans, although surveys show that drug use is at a similar level. In 2018, around 750 out of 100,000 African Americans were arrested for drug abuse, compared to about 350 out of 100,000 white Americans.

Previous national drug use surveys show that white people use drugs at similar rates, but African Americans continue to be arrested at a higher rate.

For example, a study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that African Americans were 3.7 times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than whites, even if their rate of marijuana use was comparable.

3. More African Americans are imprisoned

African-Americans are imprisoned at a rate five times higher than that of white Americans and at a rate almost twice higher than that of Hispanic-Americans, according to the latest data.

In 2018, African Americans made up about 13% of the U.S. population, but almost a third of the country’s prison population.

White Americans made up about 30% of the prison population – although they made up more than 60% of the total American population.

This represents more than 1,000 African American prisoners per 100,000 African Americans, compared to approximately 200 white prisoners per 100,000 White Americans. The U.S. prison population is defined as inmates sentenced to more than one year in a federal or state prison.

The incarceration rate of African Americans has decreased over the past decade, but they still make up more of the prison population than any other race.

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