George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis has revived the Obama-era narrative 

that law enforcement is endemically racist. Barack Obama tweeted that

 for millions of black Americans, being treated differently

 by the criminal justice system on account of race is “tragically, painfully,

 maddeningly ‘normal.’ ” Mr. Obama called on the police and the 

public to create a “new normal,” in which bigotry no longer “infects 

our institutions and our hearts.”

Biden released a video the same day in which he asserted 

that all African-Americans fear for their safety from “bad police”

 and black children must be instructed to tolerate police abuse just 

so they can “make it home.” That echoed a claim Mr. Obama made 

after the ambush murder of five Dallas officers in July 2016. During their 

memorial service, the president said African-American parents 

were right to fear that their children may be killed by police officers

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Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz denounced the “stain . . . of fundamental,

 institutional racism” on law enforcement during a Friday press

 conference. He claimed blacks were right to dismiss promises of

 police reform as empty verbiage.

This charge of systemic police bias was wrong during the Obama years

 and remains so today. However sickening the video of Floyd’s arrest,

 it isn’t representative of the 375 million annual contacts that police officers

 have with civilians. A solid body of evidence finds no structural bias

 in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution

 or sentencing. Crime and suspect behavior, not race, determine

 most police actions

In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were

 armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a

 quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a ratio that has 

remained stable since 2015. That share of black victims is less 

than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings 

are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects.

 In 2018, the latest year for which such data have been published,

 African-Americans made up 53% of known homicide offenders in the U.S. and commit about 60% of robberies, though they are 13% of the population.

The police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites 

in 2019, according to a Washington Post database, down from 38 

and 32, respectively, in 2015. The Post defines “unarmed”

 broadly to include such cases as a suspect in Newark, N.J., 

who had a loaded handgun in his car during a police chase. 

In 2018 there were 7,407 black homicide victims. Assuming a 

comparable number of victims last year, those nine unarmed 

black victims of police shootings represent 0.1% of all African-Americans 

killed in 2019. By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times more 

likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.

On Memorial Day weekend in Chicago alone, 10 African-Americans 

were killed in drive-by shootings. Such routine violence has

 continued—a 72-year-old Chicago man shot in the face on May 29 

by a gunman who fired about a dozen shots into a residence; 

two 19-year-old women on the South Side shot to death as 

they sat in a parked car a few hours earlier; a 16-year-old boy

 fatally stabbed with his own knife that same day. This past weekend

, 80 Chicagoans were shot in drive-by shootings, 21 fatally,

 the victims overwhelmingly black. Police shootings are not the

 reason that blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate 

of whites and Hispanics combined; criminal violence is.

The latest in a series of studies undercutting the claim of systemic police bias was published in August 2019 in the Proceedings of the 

National Academy of Sciences. The researchers found that the 

more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given 

racial group, the greater the chance that a member of that group will 

be fatally shot by a police officer. There is “no significant evidence 

of antiblack disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by police,” they concluded.

A 2015 Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers

 to shoot unarmed black suspects. Research by Harvard economist Roland G. Fryer Jr. also found no evidence of racial discrimination in shootings.

 Any evidence to the contrary fails to take into account crime

 rates and civilian behavior before and during interactions with police.

The false narrative of systemic police bias resulted in targeted killings of 

officers during the Obama presidency. The pattern may be repeating itself. 

Officers are being assaulted and shot at while they try to arrest gun

 suspects or respond to the growing riots. Police precincts and courthouses 

have been destroyed with impunity, which will encourage 

more civilization-destroying violence. If the Ferguson effect of officers

 backing off law enforcement in minority neighborhoods is reborn

 as the Minneapolis effect, the thousands of law-abiding

 African-Americans who depend on the police for basic safety will once again be the victims.

The Minneapolis officers who arrested George Floyd must be 

held accountable for their excessive use of force and callous 

indifference to his distress. Police training needs to double down 

on de-escalation tactics. But Floyd’s death should not undermine

 the legitimacy of American law enforcement, without which we 

will continue on a path toward chaos.