Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Debunking Racial Disparity Myths of Police Shootings and Race
Ferguson Highlights Distortion of Facts in Policing and Race Issues
By Michael P. Tremoglie

According to the FBI, blacks were 43 percent of the known killers of law enforcement officers during the period from 2004-2013. But blacks were only about 13 percent of the U.S. population in 2013. You will not read this in the New York Times.

The Ferguson incident provides another exploitation opportunity for the racial fearmongers and hatemongers. They, once again, along with their media claques, distort the facts surrounding law enforcement and race. The narrative is that of police officers as racist murderers. One of their favorite casuistries is the use of the statistical racial disparity. But, as we have just seen, such disparities cut both ways.

But the fear- and hatemongers have a well oiled public relations machine. They are able to communicate their message. Activists, as well as the soi-disant guardians of Americans’ civil liberties, ally themselves with pietistic pundits. Together, this coterie use their media myrmidons to wage a disinformation campaign for the political benefit of a certain few on the left. They make specious arguments using the racial statistical disparity canard. For example, they correctly state that blacks are disproportionately imprisoned for murder or that blacks are disproportionately shot by police. But they incorrectly - explicitly or implicitly - ascribe this to racism.

The statistical disparity does not prove racism. Because statistical disparities are found in criminal justice statistics almost uniformly - not to mention professional athletics. These sophists omit all the facts because to state all of the facts would hinder their objective.

But as someone once said - and it was not Harry Reid although he quoted Adams often - facts are stubborn things. What follows is information that will not be found in any other news source. Applying the statistical disparity argument to this data debunks the myths of racism and police shootings.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, From 2003 through 2009, a total of 4,813 deaths were reported to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ (BJS) Arrest-Related Deaths (ARD) program.
Of these, about 6 in 10 deaths (2,931) were classifie as homicide by law enforcement personnel

Homicides by law enforcement personnel accounted for 61 percent of the arrest-related deaths for the period 2003-2009. Homicides by law enforcement accounted for 60.9 percent of whites and for 61.3 percent of blacks killed while being arrested for this period.

It was estimated, by the FBI, that during these same seven years state and local law enforcement officers made nearly 98 million arrests. This means that only 5 thousandths of one percent of arrests involved the killing of the person being arrested. Think about this - one out of every 20,000 arrests result in someone being killed. According to one source, there is a four times greater chance of being electrocuted than being killed while being arrested.

But now look at it from the other side. According to the FBI, for the period from 2004-2013, 43 percent of alleged known killers of police were black -who comprised about 13 percent of the population.

The statistical disparity argument is discredited again, because we see that blacks kill police officers in an amount three times greater than they are among the general population. Obviously, this is not because of racism - unless the racial hate and fearmongerers want to say that blacks who kill police are racist because they are disproportionately represented among killers of police.

The most comprehensive study of homicides by police that I could locate was conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, and published in March 2001. The report titled Policing and Homicide 1976 to 1998, listed the demographic information about citizens killed by police that were determined to be justifiable homicides and about police killed by citizens.

The report stated that black officers committed a statistically disproportionate amount of justifiable homicides by police in 1998. White officers were 87 percent of America’s 641,208 police and accounted for 82 percent of justifiable homicides by police in 1998. Black officers were 11 percent of police forces and accounted for 17 percent of all justifiable homicides.

Black officers also killed black felons more than white officers and vice-versa. The black-officer-kills-black-felon rate was 32 per 100,000 black officers in 1998, which is higher than the white-officer-kills-black-felon rate of 14 per 100,000 white officers. The white-officer-kills-white-felon rate was 28 per 100,000 white officers in 1998, which is higher than the black-officer-kills-white-felon rate of 11 per 100,000 black officers.

The monograph also stated that young black males murdered police officers at a rate almost 6 times that of young white males. Young black males made up about one percent of the U.S. population but 21 percent of felons who murdered a police officer from 1980 to 1998. Young white males were eight percent of the population but 20 percent of the murderers of law enforcement officers for the same time frame.

Most justifiable homicides by police are intraracial. According to FBI national data on justifiable homicides by police from 1976 to 1998. The officer’s race and the felon’s race were the same for about 65 percent of justifiable homicides by police.

Finally, what is probably the most shocking fact is the attitude of the public. According to the University of Chicago's prestigious National Opinion Research Center, General Social Survey, 12.8 percent of Americans, in 2012, who said that they can imagine a situation where they would approve of a police officer striking a citizen - said that a policeman should not strike an adult male citizen who was attacking the policeman with his fists. What is even worse is that this figure has increased about four times what it was nearly forty years ago.

Simply put, about 12 of every 100 Americans, do not think police officers should defend themselves even when the officer is being attacked by someone using their fists. It is quite possible that the majority of these people are journalists.

After reviewing the facts, one can see that there is not a massive racist genocide of black men by police. One can see that the racial disparity argument is distorted for political reasons.

Yes, blacks are statistically overrepresented in shootings by police, but they are also statistically overrepresented as killers of police. Yes, blacks are overrepresented in crime categories - but as both victim and perpetrator.  

What needs to be determined is why.


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