Race Baiting and Ferguson

Richard A. Epstein, Hoover Institution, March 16, 2015

The most recent news from Ferguson concerns what Eric Holder has rightly called the “ambush shooting” of two police officers outside the city’s police department. This incident occurred in the wake of two detailed reports released by the Department of Justice. The first report deals in depth with the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The report recommended that the case against him be closed. The second DOJ report contained a scathing indictment of the sad state of affairs within the entire criminal justice system of Ferguson. The combined effect of these two reports is likely to make matters worse in Ferguson by combining the back-handed exoneration of Darren Wilson with the unstinting condemnation of the City of Ferguson.

Let’s start with the DOJ report that exonerated Wilson. The federal prosecutors ran an exhaustive review of all the physical, forensic, and testimonial evidence in the case. It is necessary to state its final conclusion in full: “Darren Wilson’s actions do not constitute prosecutable violations under the applicable federal criminal civil rights statute, 18 U.S.C. § 242, which prohibits uses of deadly force that are ‘objectively unreasonable,’ as defined by the United States Supreme Court. The evidence, when viewed as a whole, does not support the conclusion that Wilson’s uses of deadly force were “objectively unreasonable” under the Supreme Court’s definition. Accordingly, under the governing federal law and relevant standards set forth in the USAM [United States Attorneys’ Manual], it is not appropriate to present this matter to a federal grand jury for indictment, and it should therefore be closed without prosecution.”

The legal conclusion is surely correct, but the tone of the report’s findings are slanted against Wilson. It is not just the case that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution. It is that, beyond a reasonable doubt, the evidence supports that Wilson’s conduct was fully justified. {snip}

What the DOJ now has to do is to acknowledge that the killing of Michael Brown was a justifiable homicide. It must abandon its contrived legalisms and defend Wilson, by condemning unequivocally the entire misguided campaign against him, which resulted in threats against his life and forced his resignation from the police force. Eric Holder owes Wilson an apology for the unnecessary anguish that Wilson has suffered. As the Attorney General for all Americans, he must tell the protestors once and for all that their campaign has been thoroughly misguided from start to finish, and that their continued protests should stop in the interests of civic peace and racial harmony. {snip}

The situation is made worse with the publication of the second DOJ report which offers a top-to-bottom condemnation of Ferguson’s criminal justice system. This report was clearly prompted by the belief that Wilson’s killing of Michael Brown was the result of structural problems in Ferguson. But why pick on Ferguson after Wilson was exonerated? It would be one thing to argue that the illegal killing of Michael Brown stemmed from a corrupt and racist culture inside that department. But once it is established that Wilson was fully justified in acting as he did, it is impossible to explain how the culture and norms of the police could have contributed to any illegal act. {snip}

{snip} The Ferguson report gets off on the wrong foot by leading with the claim that “Ferguson’s law enforcement practices are shaped by the City’s focus on revenue rather than by public safety needs.” That basic orientation, the report continues, leads the police to concentrate on collecting revenue from traffic offenses in order to fill any hole in the Ferguson budget left by a shortfall in sales tax collection. It then further chides the city for sending out arrest warrants for individual ticket holders to meet court dates and to pay for their offenses.

At this point, the key question is whether Ferguson is alone in its practices, or if there are other cities that do the same thing. Given the financial pressures on all cities, Ferguson does not stand alone. If it acts in violation of the public trust, then so do all other cities. Why then pick out Ferguson for special condemnation? It is well known that various form of asset forfeiture are common across the United States. {snip}

{snip} Any balanced report on the situation in Ferguson should ask whether the city is worse off than other state and local governments. Yet nothing suggests that it is, let alone that some culture of revenue collection leads to the improper use of deadly force.

{snip}

The evidence is no better when the DOJ resorts to statistical evidence to show that the police force has behaved in an improper way because “African Americans experience disparate impact in nearly every aspect of Ferguson’s law enforcement system. Despite making up 67% of the population, African Americans accounted for 85% of FPD’s traffic stops, 90% of FPD’s citations, and 93% of FPD’s arrests from 2012 to 2014.”

The point here represents a gross abuse of statistical evidence for two reasons. First, the disparity in arrests for various offenses ignores one question that matters: did African Americans commit these various offenses at a higher rate than the rest of the population? If they did, then the evidence is perfectly consistent with even-handed enforcement. Second, the report gives no information about the arrest rates in other communities. As John Lott has noted, “The Bureau of Justice Statistics’ 2011 Police-Public Contact Survey indicates that, nationwide, blacks were 31 percent more likely than whites to be pulled over for a traffic stop.” If so, then the Ferguson numbers are consistent with national norms, and thus do not show any distinctive form of racial bias.

Finally, the DOJ report points to the presence of some emails from police officials that “stereotype” African Americans. But here, again, it is important to note that isolated emails from various officials, however reprehensible in and of themselves, do not indicate any pervasive forms of misbehavior that suffices to indict an entire police force. {snip}

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  • Doesn’t matter. Just as Al Capone had to be nailed on tariff evasion when the Feds couldn’t nail him for the murders he pulled, Eric the Mulatto whacked Ferguson for being Averageville USA when it officially announced that it had no grounds to crucify Darren Wilson.

    • propagandaoftruth

      This whole circus has awoken more Whites than many realize. Time for some kind of “thing of ours”.

  • D.B. Cooper

    I just thought I should share the hate I get on other sites. This one is from today, Yahoo’s “Swastikas painted in Jewish fraternity in Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University” article.

    • propagandaoftruth

      Well at least you sound like the nazi regime, DB!

      And, since you understand what is really happening (cascading White kristallnacht), “You are the problem.”

      Well, at least your bigotry is on display again. Keep up the good work, soldier.

      Death to intelligence, long live Death!

      This was your best post in a while. Well done. Vive le bad!

    • phillyguy

      Look at the replies ,they sound just like the people living in Salem Massachusetts in the 1600’s, branding you a witch just by debunking their anti White rhetoric.

      • LHathaway

        Apparently, debunking one or two specific hoaxes is proof you are worse than those who would commit the original crime. Denying Whites are evil is a crime now, as is not ethusiasticaly enough supporting the idea that Whites are evil. In their comments they unwittingly prove your post correct.

        Apparently, the more society behaves in an evil manner toward Whites the more they must proclaim that Whites are evil in order to justify their hatred.

    • LHathaway

      Thanks for sharing.

    • De Doc

      i read that article and it smacked of manufactured hate crime. It’s big business now be in a persecuted minority.

      • LHathaway

        The point of all the theater is to arouse hated of Whites. The fact that it never really happened doesn’t slow them down. It could have happened and so it is a teachable moment.

    • TruthBeTold

      Well they did demand the execution of Jesus and they do drink the blood of boys during circumcision.

      • Cid Campeador

        I never condone the anti- Jewish thing about killing Jesus. If one believes that he was the son of GOD sent to redeem us with his sacrifice, the Jews were only a tool in the Divine Plan. If Jesus had been accidentally run over by a Roman soldier DWI in his chariot, there would have been no Christianity or perhaps Jesus would have tried a “do over”.
        The Nazis genocide of the Jews had nothing to do with God.
        The Way this world has become seems to show the futility of his suffering and death.

        I saw a bumper sticker some year ago that read “Jesus is coming back and He’s pissed off”. I hope that he doesn’t wait too much longer.

    • David Ashton

      Bigotry is in the eye of the bigoted beholder. Refusal to consider evidence. Reaction, never refutation. Abuse, never answer. Defamation, never debate. You are suspected of claiming that “Jews drink the blood of christian children” and then accused of not being intelligent, unlike your accuser. All typical liberal trash, when not deliberate character assassination as recommended by Lenin.

  • LIBERTYSINCURSION

    From what I gather reading the above ( AR Snipped ) article is that Mr. Epstein of the Hoover Institution. Is approaching this as if Eric Holder didn’t plan for this to to have such a negative impact on race relations. That was the goal all along. There is a ton of racism and racial hatred in this Ferguson drama. However, it’s not coming from the Ferguson police, nor the city’s officials. It’s coming from Eric Holder, Barry Hussein Soetorro, Al Sharpton and all the other bigoted black racist and brow beaten, guilt ridden self hating White leftist.

    • Cid Campeador

      When are those pathetic bastards going to awaken? Do bad things have to happen to those whom they love? Do they ever contemplate themselves in the shoes of the Christians and Newsoms?

      • LIBERTYSINCURSION

        “When are those pathetic bastards going to awaken?” – I don’t know friend, but I sure hope it’s sooner than later.

  • TruthBeTold

    What the DOJ now has to do is to acknowledge that the killing of Michael Brown was a justifiable homicide. It must abandon its contrived legalisms and defend Wilson

    That’s the last thing Holder and the DoJ will or wants to do hence the two reports.

    One that sort of exonerates Wilson and one that blames ‘racism’ to keep the ‘racism narrative’ alive.

  • Hilis Hatki

    Eric Holder said that white people have no civil rights… So why the hell should I continue to be civil.

  • Light from the East

    I doubt that these race bating techniques are taught in our college and university system. The liberals use them again and again. A person is easily brainwashed if he/she does not know the whole picture.

  • Cops need to get their side of the story out. That black criminality is rampant in every single place in the world which has black people. In many places (including my city) virtually all of the crimes committed are by blacks. But, alas, cops can’t speak the truth any more than the rest of us can. They would be crucified. This one just barely escaped it, but others weren’t so lucky.

    • WR_the_realist

      I suspect it’s impossible to be a cop in any but the whitest of districts in America without becoming a race realist. If few people who post here identify as cops, its because they know the dire consequences of ever being outed as a race realist. Not only will they be demonized and forced out of their jobs, but worse, any violent criminal they helped convict will have his conviction overturned.

      • Very good points. As we’ve learned, nothing is secret online when the authorities want something to hang you with.

    • David Ashton

      Look at POST-apartheid South Africa.

      But also look at England (as it used to be known) where young Afro-Caribbeans cannot accuse us of slavery or segregation.