The Truth About Police Violence and Race: Debunking the lies that justify rage and riots

The Truth About Police Violence and Race: Debunking the lies that justify rage and riots. By John Perazzo.

Why is America always just one George Floyd away from anarchy?

After all, outside of Paradise there will never exist a place where there won’t occasionally be George Floyds — white, black, and every other color — who lose their lives needlessly and unjustifiably. It’s called the human condition, and it’s been around for a very long time. …

What we have witnessed in the wake of Mr. Floyd’s death is a rage directed not against a particular bad actor, but against what is perceived as an intransigent, generalized, all-pervasive evil. The angry mobs ravaging Minneapolis and other cities would have us believe that they are merely effecting a last-resort response to the fact that police abuse of blacks is an ongoing, all-too-common phenomenon throughout the United States.

Over the course of many years, mountains of empirical evidence regarding this subject have been accumulated.

Some of the most comprehensive information we have comes from a 2001 Bureau of Justice Statistics report examining incidents where police in the United States used deadly force to kill criminal suspects between 1976 and 1998. During that 23-year span, 42% of all suspects killed by police were black — a figure that comported precisely with the percentage of violent crimes committed by African Americans during that same period. This is enormously significant because we would expect that in police forces not plagued by systemic racism, officers would shoot suspects of various racial or ethnic backgrounds at rates closely resembling their respective involvement in the types of serious crimes most likely to elicit the use of force by police. And indeed, that is exactly what the evidence shows. …

A 2011 Bureau of Justice Statistics study which covered the period from 2003 to 2009 sheds further light on the issue of police use of force against people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds. Of all suspects who are known to have been killed by police during that 7-year time frame, 41.7% were white, 31.7% were black, and 20.3% were Hispanic. It is also worth noting that during the 2003-2009 period—when blacks were 31.7% of all suspects killed by an officer—blacks accounted for about 38.5% of all arrests for violent crimes, which are the types of crimes most likely to trigger potentially deadly confrontations with police. These numbers do not in any way suggest a lack of restraint by police in their dealings with black suspects. On the contrary, they strongly suggest exactly the opposite. …

In any given year, a mere 0.6 percent of black men report that physical force of any kind – including mild actions like pushing and grabbing – is used against them by the police. The corresponding figure for white men is approximately 0.2 percent. Though both figures are infinitesimally small, critics of the police are quick to complain that the figure for blacks is three times higher than the figure for whites. But as National Review points out, that disparity is fully accounted for by the fact that “black men commit violent crimes at much higher rates than white men,” as evidenced by data from the annual National Crime Victimization Survey. …

Each and every year, without exception, whites who are shot and killed by police officers in the U.S. far outnumber blacks and Hispanics who meet that same fate. In 2017, for instance, 457 whites, 223 blacks, and 179 Hispanics were killed by police officers in the line of duty. In 2018, the corresponding figures were 399 whites, 209 blacks, and 148 Hispanics. And in 2019, the totals were 370 whites, 235 blacks, and 158 Hispanics. There is not a hint of racism anywhere in these figures.

When we compare black rates of violent crime, with the rate at which blacks are shot and killed by police officers, we find that blacks are represented among those shooting victims at rates significantly lower than we would normally expect. For example, in 2017, blacks were just 23.6% of all people shot dead by police, even though they were arrested for 37.5% of all violent crimes. The following year, blacks were 26.3% of those fatally shot by police, even as they were arrested for fully 37.4% of violent crimes. …

According to Heather Mac Donald: “The per capita rate of officers being feloniously killed is 45 times higher than the rate at which unarmed black males are killed by cops. And an officer’s chance of getting killed by a black assailant is 18.5 times higher than the chance of an unarmed black getting killed by a cop.”

Etc. ad nauseam.

But of course, that’s not really what the riots are about, is it?

hat-tip Stephen Neil