With Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., challenging former Vice President Joe Biden as the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, her demonstrably false charge that a white police officer murdered Michael Brown in the iconic Ferguson, Missouri, incident bears more scrutiny.
She will be in the spotlight tonight at 8 p.m. Eastern in Houston as all 10 Democratic qualifiers compete on a single debate stage.
In August, as WND reported, Warren claimed in a tweet that Brown was "murdered by a white police office" five years ago.
But President Obama's Justice Department, confirming a grand jury's decision not to indict, found officer Darren Wilson acted in self-defense.
The attacker was Michael Brown, and there was no evidence that he lifted his hands in surrender, investigators found.
Warren's campaign has not replied to WND's request for the senator's response to the fact that her claim conflicts with the Obama Justice Department's conclusion.
While campaigning in New Hampshire in August she was asked about the tweet, which received the harshest "Four-Pinocchio" rating from the Washington Post.
"What matters is that a man was shot, an unarmed man, in the middle of the street, by police officers and left to die," Warren said. "And I think that's where our focus should be."
She made the false charge about Wilson to back her claim that Americans must "confront systemic racism and police violence head on."
However, WND reported in August a new peer-reviewed study dispels the narrative that America has a systemic problem of racist white cops seeking to kill young black men.
Published in the Proceedings of the National Academy, the study concludes that white officers are no more likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot black civilians.
David J. Johnson a psychologist at the University of Maryland, teamed with Michigan State University psychologists Trevor Tress, Nicole Burkel, Carley Taylor and Joseph Cesario to produce "Officer characteristics and racial disparities in fatal officer-involved shootings."
They found that if there is a determining factor in police shootings, it's the racial group's rate of violence, not the race of the officer.
"The more frequently officers encounter violent suspects from any given racial group, the greater the chance that members of that racial group will be shot by a police officer," noted Heather MacDonald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute who has studied the issue and written about it.
"In fact, if there is a bias in police shootings after crime rates are taken into account, it is against white civilians, the study found," she wrote for National Review.
Democratic candidates peddle false narrative
Warren isn't the only Democratic presidential candidate who is peddling the false narrative about white police officers.
MacDonald pointed out 2020 hopeful Joe Biden's criminal-justice plan promises that black parents will no longer have to fear when their children walk the streets, presuming the threat comes from police officers and not gangs.
South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg has said police shootings of black men won't be solved "until we move policing out from the shadow of systemic racism."
Former congressman Beto O'Rourke claims police shoot blacks "solely based on the color of their skin."
'Impervious to the truth'
Previous studies also have dispelled the Democrats' claims, but MacDonald observed that the "Black Lives Matter narrative has been impervious to the truth."
"Police departments are under enormous political pressure to hire based on race, despite existing efforts to recruit minorities, on the theory that doing so will decrease police shootings of minorities," she wrote. "The Obama administration recommended in 2016 that police departments lower their entry standards to be able to qualify more minorities for recruitment."
Biden's plan would require police hiring to "mirror the racial diversity" of the community as a precondition of federal funding.
However the new PNAS study finds the effort to increase minority representation won't reduce racial disparities in shootings.
That's because the problem isn't white police officers, it's the crime rates in black communities.
MacDonald, the author of "The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe," wrote that the "policing is racist" discourse is poisonous.
"It exacerbates anti-cop tensions in minority communities and makes cops less willing to engage in the proactive policing that can save lives," she said.
In July, for example, viral videos showed New York City police officers acting passively as they were being doused with water.
"The anti-cop narrative deflects attention away from the real criminal-justice problem, which is high rates of black-on-black victimization," MacDonald wrote. "Blacks die of homicide at eight times the rate of non-Hispanic whites, overwhelmingly killed not by cops, not by whites, but by other blacks."
She urged Democratic candidates to "get their facts straight and address that issue."
"Until they do, their talk of racial justice will ring hollow."