The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner have prompted a huge “black lives matter” movement. There have now been hundreds of demonstrations, protests, and “die-ins” all over the country to promote the idea that white policemen kill innocent blacks with impunity. Protestors have blocked traffic and been deliberately disruptive. As one spokesman explained, “Since the ‘normal routine’ of America has always included murder of black and Latino people by law enforcement, this week, that ‘normal routine’ must be disrupted.”
The black magazine Essence has devoted its entire February issue to “black lives matter.” There has been be a Black Life Matters conference at the University of Arizona from January 15 through 17, with sessions on “Global Blackness,” “Criminalizing Black Lives,” and “Black Sexualities.” The movement has even spawned a bizarre offshoot in which blacks “invade white spaces” by walking into restaurants serving brunch and yelling the names of blacks who have been killed by the police. Brunch is apparently a form of white privilege.
As anyone who looked into the facts knows, grand juries refused to indict the officers in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner because the police behaved lawfully and professionally, but facts make no difference to the protestors. But just how many blacks do the police kill every year? Is there any statistical evidence that black lives don’t matter to them?
According to the FBI, between 2008 and 2012, police killed an average of slightly over 400 Americans every year, of which 24 percent were black. Not every police force reports its killings to the FBI, and independent analysts think the actual number is 800 to even 1,000, but there is no reason to think that the racial percentages are different from those reported by the FBI.
Since blacks are only 13 percent of the population, if they account for 24 percent of the people killed by police, it means they are slightly more than twice as likely as non-blacks to die at the hands of the police (see below for how this is calculated). Is this proof of bias that justifies the “black lives matter” movement?
Let’s look at violence that goes the other way. According to the FBI, during the 10 years from 2004 to 2013, a total of 565 Americans “feloniously killed” police officers. Forty-three percent of the killers were black. Last year, the year Michael Brown and Eric Garner were hailed as martyrs, was typical. A survey by co-author Jeff Lipkes found that, in 2014, blacks killed 40 percent of the 47 cops who were murdered on the job. Given their percentage of the population, this means blacks were five times more likely than non-blacks to kill a policeman.
Black violence against cops is perfectly in line with black violence as a whole. For the last year for which arrest records by race are available–2012–blacks accounted for 49.4 percent of arrests for murder, 32.5 percent for rape, 54.9 percent for robbery, and 30.8 percent for burglary. Blacks were therefore more likely than non-blacks to be arrested for all these crimes: from a high of eight times more likely for robbery to a low of three times more likely for burglary.
Liberals try to explain these disproportions by claiming that the police are biased; presumably liberals think police arrest innocent blacks and let guilty whites go. However, a massive annual Department of Justice survey of crime victims finds that the racial breakdown of arrests almost perfectly matches the racial breakdown of reported perpetrators. Victims report that over half the people who mugged them are black–and over half the people arrested for muggings are black. Arrest figures reflect differences in crime rates, not police bias.
Given such high rates black violence, the data suggest that police are shooting far fewer blacks than one would expect. If blacks are five times more likely than other Americans to kill police officers and are approximately four or five times more likely to commit violent crime in general, it would not be surprising if police were four or five times more likely to kill blacks than people of other races–but blacks are only twice as likely to be killed by police. There is nothing remotely resembling the mass murder of blacks that the “black lives matter” movement takes for granted. When Prof. Judith Butler of U.C. Berkeley says blacks are “targeted and hunted” by police as part of a “race war” she is talking dangerous nonsense.
Far from “targeting and hunting blacks,” every police officer knows that a violent encounter with a black could blow up into a scandal that ends his career. Many officers are therefore especially hesitant to shoot a black, and after they have shot someone whose race was not clear, they are relieved to learn he was white and not black.
Given the strikingly violent behavior of blacks, there is every reason for police to be cautious around them. Cops are not appreciated in the ‘hood, and an officer can never be sure that a routine traffic stop will be routine if the driver is a black man.
This 2013 article includes a video of a black man who was driving over the limit with three children in the car. When a white officer stopped him for speeding he got out of the car and opened fire.
Here are some typical cases from 2014 of white officers killed in the line of duty by blacks.
Rochester Police Office Daryl Pierson was shot and killed by a suspect who was fleeing on foot after a traffic stop. The 32-year-old officer left behind a wife and two small children.
Allen Bares, an off-duty Louisiana officer, was mowing his lawn when he saw two young blacks drive a stolen Lexus into a ditch. He walked up to the men and identified himself as a police officer. They fatally shot him, stole his truck, and drove away.
Alexander Thalmann of New Bern, North Carolina, approached a man who was behaving suspiciously. The man ran away, pulled out a handgun, and killed Thalmann, who was 22 years old and had been on the force for only seven months.
Indianapolis police officer Perry Renn was killed when he responded to a 911 call about a man firing a rifle. The killer’s family blamed Renn for his own death, saying that he wouldn’t have been shot if he had just stayed in his car.
Rookie officer Melvin Santiago of Jersey City also died answering a 911 call, when a black who had stabbed a Walgreen’s security guard and stolen his gun shot Santiago as he was getting out of his patrol car.
In Gary, Indiana, Jeffrey Westerfield responded to a domestic violence call and was still in his patrol car with the engine running when a black man walked up to the car and killed him. It was the officer’s 47th birthday, and he left behind four daughters.
Office Jair Cabrera was ambushed by a member of the Phoenix East Side Bloods when he was lured into making a 3:00 a.m. traffic stop.
Another officer may have been the victim of the knockout game. Robert White, a 45-year-old El Paso County constable, was working as a security guard at a Halloween event when he was sucker-punched by a 19-year-old black. He was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Justin Winebrenner, of the Akron Police Department, was in a bar when an unruly patron got into an argument with the bouncer. Winebrenner was fatally shot when he tried to help get the man out of the bar. The black patron shot four others but did not kill them.
In Tarpon Springs, Florida, Charlie Kondek was shot and killed when he answered a call about a black man blasting music from his car and pounding on doors. Kondek left behind six children.
You have never heard any of these names. Unlike the black criminals Eric Garner and Michael Brown, who have become world famous, they were simply white police officers doing their jobs. There is no movement to protest their deaths.
Can it be a surprise that police officers all around the country are furious at government officials, from the president on down, who clearly care more about blacks who died because they committed crimes than about officers who were murdered trying to stop crimes?
This situation cannot last. If it does, responsible whites will leave the profession, and we will be left with white thugs and affirmative-action hires. America will long for the days of officers like Darren Wilson and Daniel Pantaleo.
*Blacks are thirteen percent of the population, but account for 24 percent of all killings by police. Everyone else accounts for 76 percent. To get the relative rate at which blacks are killed by police, divide 24 by 13, to get 1.846. To get the relative rate at which non-blacks are killed by the police, divide (100 – 24) by (100 – 13), or 76 by 87 to get 0.874. The multiple of the black vs. non-black rate is 1.846/0.874 = 2.1.