New York Magazine: 10 years of police shooting blacks. A deeply disturbing story. Snitz's reaction.
New York Magazine has produced an admittedly spectacular narrative chronicling the first decade of the Black Lives Matter movement (see link below to read). In doing so they also provide the intimate details of 37 specific unjustified homicides** committed against blacks by the police.
The overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence paints a terrible picture of policing in this country. It's a persuasive story that blacks are being systematically targeted and often killed by racist cops.
That said, I decided to look at their story as Sherlock Holmes might. What's missing, unsaid, or what suppositions are aren't entirely as they appear. Let's dive in:
The story vividly portrays 37 police murders of blacks. Were there a similar amount of police murders against whites? The tale of the tape*:
12% of white & hispanic homicides are committed by the police. For blacks the number considerably less, only 4%.
On the other hand, Blacks are only 13% of the general population but represent 26% of police shooting victims.
Perhaps that's because nationally blacks commit 57% of murders, 62% of armed robberies and 45% of assaults. In short, police astutely go where the crime is. More criminal activity means a greater risk to officers during an arrest?
BTW: Each year approximately 10 million Americans are arrested. Not a typo. Ergo a lot of opportunities for something to go very wrong. Surprisingly, in 2019 only 9 unarmed blacks were shot by the police. With that many arrests, might you expect more errant behavior? BTW 19 unarmed whites were killed. That's right, Blacks committed the majority of crime and were still far less likely to be killed by an officer. Additionally, black and hispanic officers are statistically more likely to shoot a black suspect.
In 2020 there were approx 18,000 US homicides of which 10,000 were black. Ergo, unarmed police homicides were a small figure by comparison. 90% black homicides were committed by other blacks. Ergo, gang activity is killing blacks, not the police.
Isn't it racist for cops to spend more time in black neighborhoods? No. NYC in the 1990s started the nationally successful practice of data driven policing. By deploying resources in crime ridden areas, NYC's homicide rate fell by almost 66% in slightly over a decade. Of course that's being reversed as I write this. Major city homicide rates have ballooned over 40% on average in 2 short years after several decades of success. NYC increased 47% in 2020 alone.* Washington Post/FBI data base. https://www.disastercenter.com/crime/nycrime.htm
The current war on cops has had devastating impact on black citizens who now suffer far greater rates of crime. Ergo, if a major goal of the BLM movement is to move the dial and reduce crime in black communities, it's failed.
How about cops? The vast majority of police are hard working effective folks trying to protect the public. They seem to be thrown under the bus by just about everybody:
Their own police unions and city governments protect bad cops. Not removing the small percentage of bad apples harms the rest of the barrel. Admittedly, cops most often elect their union officials (not helpful).
Police are promoted based on the number of tickets they issue and arrests. Ergo instead of creating incentives to reduce crime (ergo reward for lowering crime rates) they are instead promoted to hastle the public. Who's dumb idea is that? 15 of our largest 16 cities are run by Democrats. Baltimore America's homicide rate capital has a black mayor, district attorney, city council. Ergo, blacks are well represented in big city government. That hasn't helped. Personally I don't care what party's in charge. So long as there is a thorough house-cleaning and some folks with half a brain are installed.
PTSD: Nationally police are quitting in droves. Large city cops routinely describe their jobs as a war zone. The get spit on by the public, by elected officials who use them as scapegoats, even our president. Think being a cop is easy? How about you volunteering for a tour of duty.
Snitz's take on this: I'm all for providing cops better training, including deescalation work and more transparency to remove bad apples. But until cops feel supported by the administrations who hire them and by the public things aren't likely to improve.
** It's fair to assume that the bulk of NY Magazines listed homicides are in fact unjustified. Several critical ones aren't. For example, here's how they describe the Micheal Brown shooting (Ferguson, Missouri).
"Michael Brown, 18, and his friend are walking down Canfield Drive in Ferguson, Missouri, when they are approached by Officer Darren Wilson in his patrol car, who orders them off the street. After a brief struggle through the SUV’s open window, Brown flees with Wilson in pursuit. When Brown turns back toward Wilson, the officer shoots him six times. His body is left on the street for over four hours".
Here's what black eye witnesses at the scene testified to and what Obama's Justice Dept concluded: Brown attacked Officer Wilson, attempted to grab and take position of his firearm. Wilson acted in self defense.
Apparently, New York Magazine might want to fact check?
Link to full New York Magazine article: