Photo Credit: Accuracy in Media 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?
Black Crime & Incarceration
Critics also argue that blacks’ 40 percent share among U.S. prison populations is direct evidence of institutional racism (see table). In a color-blind society, they charge, incarcerated black populations would reflect their 13 percent share of the general population.
However, if black crime rates were the guide, it would seem that blacks are, if anything, underrepresented in prison populations. The table below presents FBI data on homicide offenders. Blacks exceed all other groups in murders committed in 2013. In prior years it was actually worse.
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