What’s Behind Stop & Frisks? High Black Crime

Heather Mac Donald, New York Daily News, Feb. 7, 2007

Here we go again: another specious controversy about race and the New York Police Department. Rev. Al Sharpton has announced his intention to sue the NYPD for allegedly “racially profiling” black New Yorkers, based on recently released data on police stop and frisks. In fact, the data show that, proportional to their crime rates, the police are understopping blacks and overstopping whites. But even if the numbers didn’t so completely undermine Sharpton’s claim, the real scandal of his anti-police demagoguery would remain his refusal to acknowledge the most pressing problem facing the black community: sky-high crime rates.

[According] to victims and witnesses, blacks committed 68.5% of all murders, rapes, robberies and assaults in New York last year, though they are only 24% of the city’s population. Whites, who make up 34.5% of New Yorkers, committed 5.3% of those crimes. In other words, violent crimes are nearly 13 times more likely to be committed by blacks than by whites—all according to victim identifications.

{snip} Last year, 55% of police stops were of blacks—a number far below the 68.5% proportion of black violent crime in the city—while 11% of stops were of whites, double their 5.3% contribution to violent crime.

{snip}

Black men do face a higher chance of getting stopped in New York than white men. The blame for that does not rest on the police, however. It rests on the criminal element within the black community that is terrorizing the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding minority New Yorkers.

If Sharpton really wanted to get the black stop rate down, he would be working day and night to bring the crime rate down. He would be telling young men to stay in school and to marry the mothers of their children, so that boys do not grow up without fathers. He would be demonizing criminals, not the police. Until that happens, his pose of caring about the well-being of the black community should be regarded with skepticism.

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