Dallas police officers do not disproportionately use force against minorities, contrary to common public perceptions, a new study has found.

When circumstances such as drug or alcohol use and the officer’s tenure are taken into account, differences in use of force between races fade away, according to peer-reviewed findings published in the American Journal of Public Health this week.

Researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas, University of Texas School of Public Health and the University of South Florida analyzed 5,630 use of-force-reports filed by Dallas police officers in 2014 and 2015 to see whether the data support a common assumption that white officers target minorities.

“We now know that the differences that a lot of people think exist because of these horrific events that we see on TV, video footage, that’s not the norm,” Alex Piquero, a University of Texas at Dallas criminology professor who was on the research team, told the Dallas Morning News.

Dallas police responded to about 1.2 million calls in 2014 and 2015. The majority of those calls didn’t result in use of force.

 

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