Truth is sometimes uncomfortable to those involved what they believe to be a righteous cause. In such instances they tend to ignore it. In 1890s France there were patriots vigorously defending the honor of the French Army against those who insisted that army leaders had unfairly accused a young Jewish officer of treason while covering up for the real culprit. It was eventually proved that the army’s defenders were wrong, but to them the facts were relatively unimportant. The army’s reputation was of greater concern to these people than the truth — or the life of this young man.
Black leaders in America today are following the same path. Racial justice is a noble cause, but those fighting for justice for blacks in America are often guilty of ignoring or distorting the truth. They make ridiculous claims about police being a mortal danger to innocent young blacks. Indeed, radical propogandists would make you believe that the police kill hundreds or thousands of unarmed blacks every year. Inflamed by this false misinformation, agitators urge us to defund or demobilize the police.
What is the truth? What are the facts about blacks and police?
There are around 650,000 uniformed police officers in the United States. Approximately 16% of police are Latinos and 12% are black, roughly proportionate to their numbers in the general population. As with any group of this size, some police officers are truly outstanding individuals, most others are trustworthy and competent, but there are a few who may have entered police work for the wrong reasons and should not be wearing a uniform.
There are hundreds of thousands of interactions between police and civilians every year. The following are statistics from a typical year (2015).
- Blacks constituted about 13% of the American population, but they committed more than half of all murders. They were also involved in other crimes at much higher rates than whites.
- In this typical year, 6,000+ blacks were murdered. the vast majority (more than 92%) being killed by other blacks. A black was eight times more likely to be murdered than a white.
- The police killed 957 civilians. All but a small number of those killed by police were armed and dangerous. 493 of the victims were white, 258 were black. Considering the relative rates of criminal activity, these numbers are not disproportionate.
- No more than fifteen of the blacks killed by police were found to be unarmed. Usually these deaths were the result of a mistake or accident, sometimes due to police incompetence. Malicious intent on the part of an officer was exceedingly rare.
- Black and Latino officers killed blacks at a higher rate than their fellow white officers.
These statistics prove that the campaign against police is based on lies. Most blacks in our inner cities depend on police for at least a modicum of protection. Remove the police and the number of murders would skyrocket, and city streets would be subjected to absolute mayhem.
Black leaders, I urge you to acknowledge the truth. Yes, some police departments need cleansing; but, on the whole, the police are your friends.