The authors of a 2019 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that examined “917 fatal police shootings of civilians from 2015 to test whether the race of the officer or the civilian predicted fatal police shootings” was withdrawn by the authors after being cited by noted conservative author and essayist Heather MacDonald.
Psychologists Joseph Cesario of Michigan State and David Johnson of the University of Maryland say they stand behind their work, which concludes there was “no significant evidence of anti-black disparity in the likelihood of being fatally shot by the police.” But they objected to its “misuse.” MacDonald cited the study in congressoinal testimony last September and again in an article for City Journal. But it wasn’t until her June 3 op-ed for the Wall Street Journal that cited the study when there were “complications” on campus and outraged wokesters demanded that the profs be flogged — or something.
Wall Street Journal: My June 3 Journal op-ed quoted the PNAS article’s conclusion verbatim. It set off a firestorm at Michigan State. The university’s Graduate Employees Union pressured the MSU press office to apologize for the “harm it caused” by mentioning my article in a newsletter. The union targeted physicist Steve Hsu, who had approved funding for Mr. Cesario’s research. MSU sacked Mr. Hsu from his administrative position. PNAS editorialized that Messrs. Cesario and Johnson had “poorly framed” their article—the one that got through the journal’s three levels of editorial and peer review.
Mr. Cesario told this page that Mr. Hsu’s dismissal could narrow the “kinds of topics people can talk about, or what kinds of conclusions people can come to.” Now he and Mr. Johnson have themselves jeopardized the possibility of politically neutral scholarship. On Monday they retracted their paper. They say they stand behind its conclusion and statistical approach but complain about its “misuse,” specifically mentioning my op-eds. – READ MORE
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