In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Politics, Social commentary on July 16, 2013 at 12:01 am

During White House Press Secretary Jay Carney’s press briefing on July 15, there occured this memorable exchange:

Q    Well, tomorrow, Eric Holder, Kathleen Sebelius and Shaun Donovan will be in Florida addressing the NAACP, and one of the issues is on gun violence.

And according to the NAACP, black males ages 15 to 19 were eight times as likely as white males of the same age, and two and a half times as likely as their Hispanic peers, to be killed in gun-related homicides in 2009. And Kathleen Sebelius, Eric Holder and Shaun Donovan will be addressing those issues.

What does the White House have to say, particularly as you can’t push forward gun legislation?

Jay Carney

MR. CARNEY:  Well, the President has made clear his feelings about the failure of the Senate to act on common-sense [gun control] legislation that would have improved upon our background check system–legislation that has enormous support across the country, in blue states and purple states and red states, and that the Senate should have approved.

The fact of the matter is–and the President has spoken about this–he will continue to work with members of his administration to advance the cause of reducing gun violence, using the powers that the administration has, but will also continue to try to impress upon Congress the need to have Congress act on this important problem and to reflect the will of the American people when it comes to common-sense steps….

* * * * *

Okay, let’s focus on the core of the question itself: “According to the NAACP, black males ages 15 to 19 were eight times as likely as white males of the same age, and two and a half times as likely as their Hispanic peers, to be killed in gun-related homicides in 2009.

The question came up two days after self-appointed “neighborhood watchman” George Zimmerman was acquitted on July 13 of murdering 17-year-old Travon Martin.

Zimmerman’s ethnicity is half-German (on his father’s side) and half-Peruvian (on his mother’s).  Martin was black.

From the tone of the question, you’d think that that blacks were being slaughtered daily by whites.

In fact, the racial group most responsible for the murders of blacks is–other blacks.

In 1971, Robert Daley, a reporter for the New York Times, became a deputy police commissioner for the New York Police Department (NYPD).

In that capacity, he saw the NYPD from the highest levels to the lowest–from the ornate, awe-inspiring office of  Police Commissioner Patrick Murphy to the gritty, sometimes blood-soaked streets of New York.

He spent one year on the job before resigning–later admitting that when he agreed to take the job, he got more than he bargained for.

It proved to be a tumultuous year in the NY’D’s history:  Among those challenges Daley and his fellow NYPD members faced were the murders of several police officers, committed by members of the militant Black Liberation Army.

Two of those murdered officers were Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini.  Jones was black, Piagentini white; both were partners.  Both were shot in the back without a chance to defend themselves.

Writing about these murders in a bestselling 1973 book–Target Blue: An Inside’s View of the N.Y.P.D.–Daley noted:

“Jones and Piagentini were the sixth and seventh policemen murdered so far that year [1971].  There would be three more….

“The identities of approximately 18 men involved in these murders became known to the police.  All were black.

“The city’s politicians refrained from pointing this out, and so did Commissioner Murphy.

“But the fact remained that approximately 65% of the city’s arrested murderers, muggers, armed robbers, proved to be black men; about 15% were of Hispanic origin; and about 20% were white.

“The overall racial breakdown of the city went approximately this way: whites, 63%; blacks, 20%; Hispanics 17%.”

Stated another way: Blacks, who made up 20% of the city’s population, were responsible for 65% of the city’s major crimes.

Or, as Daley himself put it: “So the dangerous precincts, any cop would tell you, were the black precincts.”

That was 40 years ago.

Now, consider the following statistics released by the NYPD for “Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City” in 2012.  Its introduction states:

“This report presents statistics on race/ethnicity compiled from the New York City Police Department’s records management system.”

Then follows this chart:

Misdemeanor Criminal Mischief
Victim, Suspect, Arrestee Race/Ethnicity                                                                  

American Indians:               Victims:  0.7%      Suspects:  0.3%      Arrestees:   0.3%

Asian/Pacific Islanders:    Victims:  8.4%      Suspects:   3.2%     Arrestees:    3.9%

Blacks:                                      Victims: 36.5%      Suspects: 49.6%     Arrestees: 36.5%

Whites:                                      Victims: 28.9%      Suspects: 17.0%      Arrestees: 22.9%

Hispanics:                                Victims:   25.4%     Suspects: 29.8%      Arrestees:  36.4%

Total Victims:      40,985       

Total Suspects:     11,356  

Total Arrests:         7,825

Consider the following statistics released by the NYPD for “Crime and Enforcement Activity in New York City” in 2012.

Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter Victims:

  • Black (60.1%)
  • Hispanic (26.7%)
  • White victims (8.7%)
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders (4.2%)

Murder and Non-Negligent Manslaughter Arrestees:

  • Black (51.4%)
  • Hispanic (36.7%)
  • White (9.2%)
  • Asian/Pacific Islander (2.6%)

Rape Victims:

  • Black (37.9%)
  • Hispanic (36.9%)
  • White victims (19.2%)
  • Asian/Pacific Islanders (5.4%)

Rape Arrestees:

  • Black (48.6%)
  • Hispanic (42.8%)
  • White (5.0%)
  • Asian/Pacific Islander (3.1%)

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