James Simpson, Accuracy in Media, February 9, 2015
The media have relentlessly fanned the flames of racial hatred, while engaging in a systematic pattern of misinformation and blatant suppression of facts surrounding the perpetrators and victims of crime. As a result, so-called “criminal justice reform” is now being proposed to release more criminals from jails, supposedly to make amends for the unjust “mass incarceration” of black men.
The figures come quickly but are never subjected to the necessary scrutiny. Last fall, for example, the George Soros-funded ProPublica published a claim that black youths are killed by the police at a rate 21 times higher than white youths. Mass media parroted that claim, but the data are incomplete and biased. They represent just 1.2 percent of police departments nationwide, and most reports come from urban areas, where the population is disproportionately black.
More reliable data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) suggest that in 2012, 123 blacks were killed by police using firearms while 326 whites, including 227 non-Hispanic whites, were killed. These data, however are also not entirely reliable, but represent a larger data set than the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR).
CNN’s Marc Lamont Hill, a racial agitator fired by Fox News for defending cop-killers, spread another misleading statistic about police shootings, claiming that “Every 28 hours, an unarmed black person is killed by police.” This too was trumpeted in the media. It became a twitter hashtag, “#every28hours,” and another mantra like “hands up, don’t shoot.” But it is demonstrably false. There were 313 blacks killed by police, security guards and other “vigilantes” in 2012. Dividing 313 into the number of hours in a year (8,760) yields 28. However, 177 of these “unarmed black persons” were actually armed with firearms. That leaves 136. Others may have been technically “unarmed” but were threatening the officer’s life, for example with their car–or as in Michael Brown’s case, attempting to take the officer’s gun. Many more were not the result of shootings, but accidents, e.g., during vehicular chases. Finally, some of the shooters were not police. When the hyperbole is removed, the facts present a much more reasonable explanation. Barring a small number of tragic mishaps, police shootings are usually justified.
Let’s look at the other side now. In 2013 alone, 49,851 officers were assaulted with firearms, knives and other weapons. Over the past 10 years, on average, 150 police officers have been killed in the line of duty every year. Fifty-seven of these were shot, stabbed, strangled or beaten. Of the 509 officers feloniously killed in the past 10 years, 46 percent of the perpetrators were black, despite their representing only 13 percent of the population. Do we call this a black war against the police?
Finally, black-on-white crime is substantially greater than the reverse. The table below shows murders by race of offender and victim in 2013. Note that overall, blacks kill as often as whites, although blacks represent only 13 percent of the population. Note also that black-on-white murder is more than double the rate of white-on-black murder (409 to 189). Similar results were found for 2012, 2011, 2010 and prior years.
If these rates were to hold, and the roles were reversed–i.e., if blacks represented 64 percent of the population while whites comprised only 13 percent–black-on-white murder would have exceeded 2,000 killings in 2013, while white-on-black murder would have resulted in only 39 deaths. The table also shows that for all races, most murders were committed by members of the same race. This is because criminal violence usually occurs within one’s own community. Finally, in the other categories of violent crime–rape, robbery and aggravated assault–blacks consistently committed about 40 percent of the total in 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010.
So the disproportionate arrests, incarcerations and shootings of blacks should come as no surprise. Their 40 percent representation among the prison population fairly reflects the proportion of crimes committed by blacks in the U.S. This is not evidence of institutional racism, but rather a social pathology evident within the black community. They have been committing crimes at the highest rate by far of any racial/ethnic group for decades.