Opinion: Headline on story about police statistics implies a bias

Opinion: Headline on story about police statistics implies a bias

There was no definite conclusion from data

| Published:

To the editor:

Regarding your July 28 article “When police use force, Black residents involved at three times the general population,” I think it needs to be pointed out that more careful research is needed before we reach any conclusions such as the headline of this article suggests.

The headline seems to imply at first sight that there is a bias already — just by reading the headline.  But as the article goes on to say, the data is limited, incomplete and therefore not able to reach a definite conclusion as yet whether there is racial bias.

It is almost a “click bait” article since the headline catches one’s attention.

An analogy would be if the article had as a headline: “When county police use force, male residents involved at 80% (to pick a number) more than the female population.” This hopefully would not lead the reader to think that there is a bias against males, but that there is more involved (in the data) than meets the eye.

John Tung
North Potomac

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Editor’s note: Bethesda Beat encourages readers to send us their thoughts about local topics we have covered for consideration as a letter to the editor in our Saturday newsletter. Email them to editorial@bethesdamagazine.com. We require a name and hometown for publication. We also require a phone number (not for publication) for us to verify who wrote the letter. Please provide a source for any facts in your letter that were not part of our coverage; if they can’t be verified, they likely will be omitted.

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