A data scientist with Thomson Reuters says he was fired after challenging Black Lives Matter assertions about unarmed black individuals being disproportionately targeted by police officers.
According to the U.K. Daily Mail, Zac Kriegman worked at the news outlet for six years before his firing last summer.
In a piece published on the Substack newsletter of former New York Times reporter Bari Weiss, Kriegman said he was let go from his $350,000-a-year position because he challenged liberal dogma on the Black Lives Matter movement.
Washington Post data, which is the most comprehensive on fatal police shootings in the media, found that 3,024 white people and 1,596 black people were shot and killed by police since 2015.
Since black people only make up 13 percent of the U.S. population, the general holding is that they’re disproportionately targeted by law enforcement.
However, in his piece, Kriegman argued we needed to look further into the numbers to see if black people were being unfairly targeted by law enforcement.
Instead, he wrote in his piece, we need to look at which groups attack police officers more.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have reliable data on the racial makeup of dangerous suspects, but we do have a good proxy: The number of people in each group who murder police officers,” he wrote.
“According to calculations (published by Patrick Frey, Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County) based on FBI data, black Americans account for 37 percent of those who murder police officers, and 34 percent of the unarmed suspects killed by police. Meanwhile, whites make up 42.7 percent of cop killers and 42 percent of the unarmed suspects shot by police—meaning whites are killed by police at a 7 percent higher rate than blacks.”
That FBI data, which found 303 white individuals attacked police officers between 2010 and 2019 — versus 199 black individuals — lined up with The Washington Post’s data set.
He also said the misapprehension had led to anti-police sentiment — particularly from Black Lives Matter — which triggered upticks in crime.
“I have avidly followed the research on the movement and its impacts, which has led me, inexorably, to the conclusion that the claim at the heart of the movement, that police more readily shoot black people, is false and likely responsible for thousands of black people being murdered in the most disadvantaged communities in the country,” he wrote.
When he shared his findings with his colleagues, however, they weren’t overjoyed.
“I was publicly derided as a ‘troll,’ ‘confused,’ ‘laughable,’ and ‘not worth engaging with or even attempting to have an intelligent conversation’ with,” he wrote.
His research, initially published on an intra-company social media network, was taken down for being “antagonistic” and “provocative.”
He said he contacted HR after his colleagues began attacking him en masse. He was told discussing it through Thomson Reuters’ internal channels would lead to his firing. When he emailed a colleague who compared his research to defending the KKK and company leadership regarding the attack, he was terminated.
Kriegman, who is white, has filed a complaint with the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination last July.
He alleges he was “fired in retaliation for complaining about a racially hostile work environment.”
The news service says it doesn’t discuss employee issues.
“Reuters, the news division of Thomson Reuters, reports on topics related to race and equality and the BLM organization in a fair, unbiased and independent manner, consistent with the Thomson Reuters Trust Principles,” it told the Daily Mail.