Police State by Don Krieger

Police State

… in the United States … 1 in every 1000 black men can expect to be killed by police.[1]

That is twenty thousand of the black men alive today.[2]

Though their risk is less by a factor of 2.5, there are six times as many white men; hence forty-eight thousand of them can expect to be killed by police.[3]

Overall, eighty-three thousand men and boys alive today in the US can expect to be killed by police.[4] That is two thirds of the U.S. COVID-19 fatalities to date.[5]

Though the racial disparity persists for women, their expectation of death at the hands of police is five percent that of men – perhaps cops fear women less.


[1] Edwards, Lee, and Esposito. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 116(34), 2019.

[2] 20,774 = 328,239,523 (US pop) x 0.492 (male fraction) x 0.134 (black fraction) x 0.00096 (96 per 100,000),

   https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/US/PST045219

[3] 48,055 = 328,239,523 (US pop) x 0.492 (male fraction) x 0.763 (white fraction) x 0.00039 (39 per 100,000)

[4] 83,976 = 328,239,523 (US pop) x 0.492 (male fraction) x 1.000                           x 0.00052 (52 per 100,000)

[5] 0.65 = 83,976/128,481 https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports (July 4, 2020)

About the contributor

Don Krieger is a biomedical researcher whose focus is the electric activity within the brain. His full-length collection, "Discovery," is forthcoming from Cyberwit. He is a 2020 Creative Nonfiction Fellow. His work has appeared in Neurology, Live Mag!, Seneca Review, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and The Asahi Shimbun, Entropy, and others.

Related Articles

The Empty Space: Our Lady of Sljeme by Lincoln Jaques

Lincoln Jaques recalls his first trip to his wife's homeland.

4 poems — collaboration: Jayant Kashyap and Lisa Stice

Jayant Kashyap lives in live in Purnea, India, and he is the co-founding editor of Bold + Italic, with poems published around the world...

Rich In Shit

New writer, Delia Pring describes the fresh and precious perspectives animals can offer.

More Like This

Writing to Remember Part 1

Childhood holidays often hold a special place in our hearts, perhaps because the world they speak of has disappeared long ago. Margaret Kiernan recalls...

Sunday Lunch with the Lawrences at Kiowa by Michael Paul Hogan

Poet, journalist, fiction writer and literary essayist, Michael Paul Hogan takes us to Kiowa Ranch, New Mexico in 1925 and a question asked of the host that has significance for us all.

Little Mermaids by Susann Cokal

Susann Cokal remembers her grandmother.

What’s Your Name

Aurora M Lewis on the significance of a name.

A Writing Trajectory

For Sandra Arnold, author of 'The Ash, the Well and the Bluebell', the impulse to write began with the sight of horses in the surf.