With the fervor of a left-wing ideologue, Hillary Clinton accused America’s police of racism in a speech today to the NAACP, saying that “We need to recognize our privilege,” and end the “systemic racism” that exists in the criminal justice system.
Clinton falsely argued that racism pervades police shootings, saying, “let’s admit it, there is clear evidence that African-Americans are disproportionately killed in police incidents compared to any other group.” Most police shooting victims are white, but it is true that 26% of those shot by police in 2015 were black, compared to 13% of the population. But that higher rate simply reflects the higher crime rate in the black community, and the fact that black suspects are disproportionately likely to pose a risk to police. As the Daily Wire notes, “Blacks are more likely to kill cops than be killed by cops. This is according to FBI data, which also found that 40 percent of cop killers are black.” Moreover, a “police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black than a cop killing an unarmed black person.” This is backed up even by a recent study by a liberal-leaning black Harvard economics professor, Roland G. Fryer. That study, “‘analyzing more than 1,000 officer-involved shootings across the country, reports that there is zero evidence of racial bias in police shootings.”
Indeed, as the Manhattan Institute’s Heather Mac Donald notes in the Wall Street Journal, a “‘deadly force’ lab study at Washington State University by researcher Lois James found that participants were biased in favor of black suspects, over white or Hispanic ones, in simulated threat scenarios. The research, published in 2014 in the Journal of Experimental Criminology, confirmed what Ms. James had found previously in studying active police officers, military personnel and the general public.” Nor are white officers more likely to shoot blacks than black and Hispanic officers are. As Mac Donald notes, “In 2015 a Justice Department analysis of the Philadelphia Police Department found that white police officers were less likely than black or Hispanic officers to shoot unarmed black suspects.” And the risk of violent crime comes disproportionately from blacks. More than half of all murders in America are committed by blacks, who are just 13% of the population. (See FBI, “2014 Uniform Crime Reports: Crime in the United States,” Table 43A, Arrests by Race, 2014.)
Clinton also accused the police of racism in stops and searches, saying that “African-American men are far more likely to be stopped and searched by police.” But as a black lawyer and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, Peter Kirsanow, noted in 2015, the fact that a higher percentage of blacks are stopped by police than whites does not show racial discrimination, since “several studies over the last 20 years (including data adduced before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights) show that black drivers commit various types of traffic offenses – including speeding, driving under suspension, DUI, and running red lights and stop signs – more often than drivers of other races.” While there are individual cases of cops racially-profiling black motorists, most police do not engage in such racial profiling, and the fact that a higher percentage of black motorists are stopped reflects a higher black crime rate, not racial profiling.
Clinton also falsely insinuated that racist school officials were colluding with racist police to put black students in jail, saying that we must “dismantle the school-to-prison pipeline that starts in school and diverts too many African-American kids out of school and into the criminal justice system.” This reflects a misconception, widespread on the Left, that there is institutional racism in school suspensions, which supposedly results in blacks being suspended at a higher rate even though blacks allegedly do not behave worse on average than whites.
In reality, school officials are not racist against black students: There is no such bias against black students in school suspensions, and black students’ higher suspension rates just reflect higher rates of misbehavior among black students, not a mythical “school-to-prison pipeline.”
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