Top factor in soaring rate of black male homicides is neither whites nor police

by WorldTribune Staff, October 30, 2017

Since the Black Lives Matter movement was founded, the number of black homicide victims has increased by nearly 900 per year. The number of blacks killed by police has declined.

Figures from the 2016 FBI Uniform Crime Report released on Sept. 25 showed a 20 percent increase in the overall homicide rate in the past two years.

“The majority of victims of that homicide surge have been black,” Manhattan Institute fellow Heather Mac Donald told The Washington Times’ Valerie Richardson. “They were killed overwhelmingly by black criminals, not by the police and not by whites.”

The number of blacks killed by police dropped from 259 in 2015 to 233 in 2016, with 2017 so far coming in below both years with 175 deaths as of Oct. 12, according to The Washington Post’s Fatal Force database.

The FBI report noted that violent crime increased in 2016 by 3.4 percent nationwide, the largest single-year increase in 25 years, which “reaffirms that the worrying violent crime increase that began in 2015 after many years of decline was not an isolated incident.”

The number of homicides rose by 7.9 percent “for a total increase of more than 20 percent in the nationwide homicide rate since 2014.”

Mac Donald blames the “Ferguson effect” for the rising violent crime rate. After the 2014 shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Mac Donald said police are taking a hands-off approach, concerned their careers will be derailed if they offend the Black Lives Matter movement.

Peter Moskos, associate professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City, calls it “the Freddie Gray effect,” after he tracked the same rise in violent crime in Baltimore after the April 2015 rioting over the death of Gray while he was in police custody.

“Police were instructed – both by city leaders and then in the odd DOJ report city leaders asked for – to be less proactive since such policing will disproportionately affect minorities,” Moskos said. “Few seem to care that minorities are disproportionately affected by the rise in murder.”

The FBI’s crime report also “jibes with what our members are telling us,” said Bill Johnson, executive director of the National Association of Police Organizations, which represents 241,000 police officers. “Violence in general is up in the sense that whether it leads to reported crime or arrests. Just the situation in our communities and our streets is worse than it was three years ago, certainly before the agitation from Black Lives Matter.”

Mac Donald noted a 53 percent increase in 2016 in the shooting deaths of police, while The Washington Post database found that only 16 of the 233 black men killed by police in 2016 were unarmed.

“A police officer is 18 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer,” Mac Donald said. “Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop killers over the past decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population.”

The worst part is that those suffering from the higher crime rate are those who can least afford it, Johnson said.

“It’s the communities themselves – people who are being victimized, people who are being murdered, families who are losing loved ones, kids who are afraid to go to schools, business people who won’t open up a business because the neighborhood is too rough – that’s who’s suffering.”

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