back to top

Donald Trump Tweeted Made-Up Statistics About Race And Murder

The agency listed as the source for the data doesn't exist, and the rate of white victims killed by black offenders diverges wildly from previous years.

Posted on

Donald Trump on Sunday tweeted a highly questionable infographic that appeared to break down killings in the U.S. based on the race of the victim and the killer.

The numbers were attributed to the "Crime Statistics Bureau" in San Francisco and were said to be from 2015.

But it's not clear where the graphic or its information came from. There is no "Crime Statistics Bureau" in San Francisco; the San Francisco Police Department does release statistics, which instead come from its crime analysis unit; and the police department only tracks crimes in San Francisco.

The most widely used source of national crime statistics is the FBI's Uniform Crime Report, which compiles data from local police departments every year. It's an intensive process, and the most recent statistics available are for 2014.

Within its homicide data for 2014, the FBI outlines murders based on race, ethnicity, sex of the victim and by race, ethnicity, and sex of the offender when a murder has a single victim and a single offender.

Out of 5,703 victims, here's what the FBI's statistics say:

Black victim/white offender — 8%

White victim/white offender — 82%

White victim/black offender — 15%

Black victim/black offender — 90%

Year to year, variations arise, but the numbers are starkly different from Trump's claim: that the vast majority of whites killed in the U.S. are killed by blacks. If Trump's statistics are true, it would mean an explosion of black-on-white crime — a 440% increase in only one year.

In reality, based on another FBI statistic, most murder victims are killed by someone they know: an acquaintance, family member, or friend.

Statistics on people killed by police are notoriously hard to find. The FBI currently tracks only justifiable homicides or the killing of a felon by a police officer in the line of duty.

According to the Washington Post, 873 people have been fatally shot by police so far this year. Of them, 47% were white and 26% were black.

Claudia Koerner is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.

Contact Claudia Koerner at claudia.koerner@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.

Promoted