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December 08, 2014

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Nice Straw Man argument!!!! Gangs!
So comparisons can't me made!!!

Isn’t it ironic, President Reagan (or the people under him) sold weapons in South America for drugs. He then dumps the drugs here in the US in poor black communities, siphoning millions of dollars out of those communities and into the coffers of the weapons industry.
Then he declares a ‘War On Drugs’ that criminalizes the black community for drug and GANG related crime.

National crime surveys indicate that most racial and ethnic groups consume illegal drugs at approximately similar rates (Katz, 2000). Specifically, Whites account for almost 75% of the nation’s illegal drug users, and Blacks account for about 13%, which is consistent with their representations in the greater U.S. population. Blacks, however, account for about 75% of the nation’s drug prisoners, which reveals the extreme disparity manifest in the national crackdown on the drug problem (Katz, 2000).
The suggestion has been made that the war on drugs may have been more appropriately referenced as a war on Blacks or a war on Black drug use (Tonry, 1995).
Because of the over-representation of African Americans who are processed through the criminal justice system directly resulting from the war on drugs, they have been depicted as the primary source of this country’s drug problem.

http://www.sagepub.com/gabbidonstudy/articles/Welch.pdf page 279 -280

Straw men are those who don't read the whole article. I begin whistling here "If they only had a brain" to paraphrase the Wizard of Oz.

I was once told (by a police officer), "People are always glad when the fire department shows up."
Excellent analysis Emil, thank you.

Ditto.

You're my favorite, Emil.

Thanks for that comment, Suzanne, and the useful link for future reference. Very nice.

Incidentally, I chose to omit hyperlinks here, because there are so many citations that to do so consistently would have cluttered the essay with distracting detours and set an editing challenge which our already busy host didn't need. If anyone wants a reference URL post a comment.

I want to thank Mr. Talton for the generous opportunity afforded me.

Readers may be puzzled by an inconsistency in capitalization of the terms "Black" and "White". In the original text submitted, Black, White, and Latino were consistently capitalized.

My guess is that when Mr. Talton, using a different style standard, edited the text to decapitalize them, he overlooked a few instances, which remain capitalized in isolated instances.

I have no complaint about capitalization changes of such terms, since rules for this have not been standardized and one can find rather exalted style arbiters advocating capitalization and non-capitalization, or even a mixture of both (e.g., Black and white).

Sources which do not capitalize Black and White include the American Medical Association, the Associated Press, the New York Times, Stanford, and Harvard.

Sources which do capitalize them include the American Psychological Association, the Chicago Manual of Style, and the University of Pittsburgh.

I ran through it again and think white and black are consistent. Rogue follows AP style and does not capitalize those.

Many thanks to Emil.


Tom G wrote:

"Nice Straw Man argument!!!! Gangs!
So comparisons can't me made!!!"

It isn't even arguably a straw man argument. A straw man argument is a misrepresentation of your opponent's argument, made deliberately easy to knock down, instead of dealing with the opponent's actual argument. That hasn't been done here.

Incidentally, Tom G, one style feature which all authorities agree upon is that excessive use of exclamation-points is a hallmark of inferior writing. In the present instance, hammering punctuation merely draws attention to the lack of substantive content and the writer's crazed state.

You might want to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh!!! Unless of course your affect results from the abuse of methamphetamines or other mania inducing substances, be they legal or illegal!!!! In which case you would be well advised to moderate or discontinue your consumption of these substances!!!!!

I don't know that the gang reference is a straw man but I question it's relevance!!!!!!!

There's still a tremendous amount of carnage in lower class neighborhoods. That it might be caused by a fairly small number of bad actors doesn't make those neighborhoods any more safe. And it's not like the gang members wear uniforms- it's got to be hard to tell who is and who isn't.

I think it safe to assume that lower class areas have issues with the police. Assume for a moment that what that really means is that lower class blacks have problems with the police.

Emil and a lot of the other media (I think) have acknowledged that as a fact. But the focus is always on, well, what can the police do to change that dynamic?

I ask- what can blacks do to change that dynamic?

How about doing exactly what a police officer tells you to do? How about ackowledging that there is no upside in any other way?

The guy in NYC had been arrested 20 or so times before. He knew the drill. Hands behind your back. Don't resist.

None of these recent cases deserved to die. But I think the deaths could have been avoided by the people "behaving" (or the cops "behaving" ). One of those can be controlled by a civilian. One can't.

I have two teenagers. These cases gave me another excuse to tell them that if they are ever in a confrontation with a police officer, it's yes sir, no sir. Don't resist, don't argue. Let em cuff you and put you in the car. We'll work it out later.

There's just no reason to do it any other way. And even that's not 100% becuase sometimes very bad cops do very bad things.

So. You can wait for some type of police reform which will never come. Or, you can take as much control as you can and be polite and subservient when in a confrontation with a cop. Or you can get mouthy and tough and take your chances.

This does not happen in other countries (death by cop). If Germany, England, South Korea, France, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Canada, Spain, Italy, Greece, etc. etc. etc. can arrest suspects (even those bombed on drugs, alcohol, or delusions) without the carnage of the USA it is us that is obviously doing something that has to change, and it is on the police to do it. I'm in my sane mind so I'm not going to be confrontational with the police, but that is not always the case with others and not obeying/kowtowing to their authority is not a license to be killed.

For example:

http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/central-phoenix/man-dies-after-being-taken-into-custody-in-phoenix

INPHX assumes that submission guarantees safety. There is no guarantee that submission guarantees safety.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maricopa_County_Sheriff%27s_Office_controversies#Inmate_deaths_and_injuries

I find it laughable when small-government conservatives tell people "don't resist and you won't get beat up." Same thing with Obamacare, right? "Just let the government mandate your insurance and you won't get a tax penalty." Or the IRS--"Just pay what they say you owe and you won't get audited."

If only the confederacy had the same logic. Oh wait, they did-when applied to enslaved blacks, however, not American citizens.

Give me a states' rights argument that is NOT hypocritical, pleeeeeeease

intellectual:

From my post:

There's just no reason to do it any other way. And even that's not 100% because sometimes very bad cops do very bad things.


There's no guaranties. But to me, it's beyond stupid not to acknowledge that your odds are a lot better if you behave.

You?

Jerry wrote:

. I'm in my sane mind so I'm not going to be confrontational with the police, but that is not always the case with others and not obeying/kowtowing to their authority is not a license to be killed.

Yep.

But people are just as dead whether there's a license or not.

Emil. I both appreciate and benefit from all of your mining and refining. The L.A police gave me a very valuable lesson 40 or so years ago: walking down the street in a nice neighborhood, bearded and long- haired. I was neat and clean, though- going to meet my girlfriend's parents for the first time. LAPD cruiser pulled up ahead of me, passenger side officer hops out, he's tense and hostile points his sidearm at me. For the 2nd or3rd time in my life think, "i could die here." After justifying my existence to their satisfaction, i was allowed to move on. Whatever illusions I might have entertained, then or since, about driving while black or shoot-first, evaporated. this walking-while-white episode is harmless. I can only imagine what millions of Americans experience or dread.

INPHX said-"You can wait for some type of police reform which will never come. Or, you can take as much control as you can and be polite and subservient when in a confrontation with a cop."

Our founding fathers just rolled over in their graves. Seriously, I understand self-preservation, but you just argued that since there is no recourse to prevent abuse by state authorities, your children should to minimize the risk through subservience? Is our government not (allegedly) OF, FOR, or BY the people?

No shit "it's beyond stupid to not to acknowledge that your odds are a lot better if you behave," but any American who would sacrifice liberty for safety doesn't deserve the benefits of citizenship. I am horrified and disgusted by your implication that we must accept a police state which disregards both human and civil rights.

I generally appreciate your counterbalance to the typical political positions promulgated on this blog because I learn so much from your points. But to blame "the lower-class black community" for the actions of a hyperactive police state is, at best, intellectually lazy. At worst, it's a justification for the following:

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/handcuffed-black-youth-shot-himself-death-says-coroner-n185016

I would protest and riot with you if the same fate ever befell any of your children. So let's focus on those in power, shall we?

Assassin:


So- what exactly was Michael Brown fighting for when he reached into the cop car and tried to get the cops gun?

Was he against taxation without representation? Resisting a great foreign threat? Stopping that cop from oppressing the masses? Halting a recent Chinese hacking attempt?

His actions did not exactly measure up to that kid in Tiananmen Square, did they? Or the freedom marchers murdered in the south?

That kind of reinforces my point. You want to protest? Knock yourself out. But just what was Michael Brown hoping to accomplish?

We'll never know since he was shot down without a trial. Similar to the Boston massacre, Ya know? Unruly actors antagonize armed state officials? It's not like it was a political protest just some drunk sailors. But those were patriots...

But that is my point: you refuse to focus on the actions of police. I found you your subservient victim and you decided to discuss Mike Brown. I don't know why you did that. I was arguing that subservience is an ineffective method to prevent the abuse of civil rights by state officials. I'm more curious why you are disinterested in discussing the role of law enforcement in the suspicious deaths of so many American citizens than trying to center a discussion on the highly prominent murder of one specific individual. Do you think it is okay that an officer will most like never have to respond to the public when using their weaponry against American citizens?

Thank-you, Emil. I thought you did an excellent job with this column.

And to Rogue, I would like to give gratitude for your fabulous blog. I always appreciate your content, the comments and the opportunity to respond.
Thank You All

Thank you, Suzanne. I always enjoy your comments.

Assassin:

Look, let's just agree to disagree. You equate Michael Brown's goals with those of the Boston Tea Party. I'll stick with him probably wanting to avoid arrest for swiping some cigars.

The reason that I focus away from the police is that I have a strange urge to stay alive or not get the crap beat out of me, especially when I'm fighting for absolutely nothing, and will probably wind up on the wrong end of the tussel that is about to occur. Oh, and a healthy respect for law and order to boot.

I can't control what a good cop put in a bad situation might do, and I sure can't control what a bad cop put in a bad situation might do. But I can control my own actions and my own responses.

I think there's a process that a cop goes through when he uses his weapon against citizens. As I understand it, the laws in place give cops quite a bit of discretion. If you want to change those laws, well, there's a process for that, too.

And are you sugesting that the kid in Louisiana was subservient and then the cops murdered him? The kid where the Coroner decided the shots were self inflicted?

Or is that Coroner just another racist?

Anything is possible, INPHX. That kid could have shot himself. Probable, however, is another issue. Furthermore, I did not equate Mike Brown w/the Boston Tea Party. That happened several years after the Boston Massacre. The Boston Massacre began after an apprentice initiated an argument with British soldiers:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Massacre#Incident

And I present to you the first victims of the War for Independence.

Anyways, I asked you, "Do you think it is okay that an officer will most like never have to respond to the public when using their weaponry against American citizens?" and you said, "let's just agree to disagree." How can I disagree with you when I don't know your position? You never responded to the inquiry. Then you said that, because of your "urge to stay alive or not get the crap beat out of me" you do not focus on the actions of police. You know, your own self-preservation. As if millions of Americans didn't die so that you could even have the right to say something so foolish on the internet.

I don't wanna name call--you could just be a troll--but you still sound like a coward who doesn't deserve the privileges of American citizenship because you have not expressed a willingness to fight for them. So I'm done now.

One last thing, actually-was Mike Brown ever even charged with a crime? I mean, not in the court of public opinion, but by the state. I really don't know. It kinda bums me out that he was killed by the state and we don't even have an official record of the crime he was charged with. I'd like an official justification for why his first, fourth, sixth, and eighth amendment rights were abrogated by the Ferguson PD

cal, a little something for you:

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/C/CB_GUANTANAMO_PRISONER_RELEASE?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

assassin

You asked:

Anyways, I asked you, "Do you think it is okay that an officer will most like never have to respond to the public when using their weaponry against American citizens?"

The part of my reply to that question was:

I think there's a process that a cop goes through when he uses his weapon against citizens. As I understand it, the laws in place give cops quite a bit of discretion. If you want to change those laws, well, there's a process for that, too.

You ask: Was Michael Brown ever charged with a crime?

You can't be serious. What (sane) prosecutor would charge a dead kid with a crime in that situation? What's the point? Incite more riots?

But look. You said you were done and maybe I should be, too. You stick with defending Michael Brown's actions as some type of hero against oppression and pretend that he had some type of noble goal in mind when he reached for a cop's gun.

And the next time you get pulled over for a traffic stop, why don't you emulate his memory and his staunch civil disobedience and reach for the cop's gun?

Cause that sure will be a tribute to the millions of American's who died defending our freedoms.

No one knows for sure if M. Brown went for D. White's gun. M. Brown's friend has been charged with no crime or misdemeanor (and that is really surprising or telling).

You equate Michael Brown's goals with those of the Boston Tea Party. I'll stick with him probably wanting to avoid arrest for swiping some cigars.

Avoiding arrest by sauntering down the middle of the street with a fistful of the wee cigars he just stole? And then refusing to get his ass out of the road when told to by a nasty-mouthed cop with a sub-100 IQ?

No. No. No.

Something snapped in "Saint" Michael Brown's dim-witted little brain. He was off the edge, almost like "flying to high on airplane glue".

It is a sad thing that liberals felt compelled to defend and beatify Brown. It's the same awkward position they find themselves in defending Muslims. I mean really? A religion that stuffs woman in black bags with eye slits? Seriously?

All that is about as sad as the knee-jerks on the right who beatify the cop that shot Brown. I mean really? Seriously? Defend a D-minus, potty-mouthed, semi-moron, that somehow got entrusted with a gun and a badge? I don't know if I would trust that blue-eyed zero with a pail and a mop...

Dummies to the left of me,
Dolts to the right ;)

I understand INPHX's point about the tactical sense of "obey first, clarify/complain later" when it comes to confrontations with the police. That said, not every case is so clear-cut.

For example, there are instances where someone is videorecording an arrest or police confrontation, whether they are the principal actor or merely an observer. It is perfectly legal to videotape government agents (including policemen) interacting in public with citizens.

Beyond the legality, it is sometimes in the best interests of the individual being confronted by the police, or in the broader interests of society, for such interactions to be recorded.

I recently saw an instance of this: a Black woman was merely an observer and was using her cellphone to record the arrest of a Black man across the street. The officer was apparently uncomfortable with having his actions documented and subject to objective evaluation (rather than through conflicting personal statements where the police version of events is usually given credence).

He demanded that she stop recording, then escalated the event into an arrest of the woman with the cellphone, using her attempts to keep her camera as an excuse to charge her with assault.

It's clear that the police must in such cases contrive to provoke an arrest since there is no legal justification for confiscating a camera or forcibly stopping recording merely because video is being recorded.

As is typical, the arrest was used to pressure the individual recording the video: usually subjects are willing to back down after being booked and jailed, since the idea of escaping the charges is always present, and the police make it tacitly clear that demonstration of a cooperative attitude is a prerequisite for what they pretend to be generous special consideration and patience.

The woman actually deleted the video but her nephew (or other young, technologically savvy relative) was able to recover it.

If INPHX's generally sound tactical advice about cooperation with the police were adopted universally, they would take more liberties and the result would be more abuses.

Obviously, distinguishing between circumstances which require standing on principles and those which do not, is important in deciding when to obey police commands.

As another commenter points out, there are also instances where the police are gratuitously abusive and provocative. In addition, many Blacks carry with them the additional "psychological baggage" of their race's second-class citizenship in the United States, or else knowledge or experience of unequal treatment at the hands of the police; or both.

While a recalcitrant response to provocative police behavior is understandable, the quality of police behavior is not necessarily relevant in assessing whether to cooperate or not; and I agree with INPHX that it's often far more sensible to respond with detached cooperation for the moment, and pursue complaints and remedies later, when dealing with armed individuals who are legally empowered to arrest you or use force against you under circumstances subject to their personal discretion.

It's also a good idea to remember that police who don't know who they are dealing with are trained to treat many seemingly innocent situations as potentially dangerous. One may also walk or drive into situations where crimes have already been committed and nerves are on edge, even though on the surface the environment appears normal. You may be mistaken for a criminal suspect or accomplice.

So, a deliberate cultivation of habits and attitudes designed to allay suspicion and ratchet-down tensions is sensible. Calmly following police instructions, even if the reasoning or justification behind them is not immediately clear, is usually a good idea. But not always.

P.S. In the comment above, I probably should have written "(historical) second-class citizenship"; but then the discussion we're having is a reminder that prejudice, including official and systemic prejudice, has by no means altogether passed into history.

You know what, this pissing contest about "second class citizens" and "racism" is really kind of boring.

I remember being younger and sitting in bars with drunks boasting about punching cops- and quite a few of them were missing teeth as a result. Remember those mostly nonlethal flashlights and batons we banned?

They were useful, because drunks and people can be combative as hell for no perceived reason. The kid in Ferguson is a result of the reliance on guns for backup, and single cops in cars. With two cops, he might have just had a busted head, and gone to jail, but without, the kid felt free to take him on- with lethal consequences. I remember seeing small riots between cops and frat boys, and they used their flashlights and batons pretty indiscriminately- they were going to win and go home that night.

As for the friend not being charged- I would note that he didn't get involved in the fight with the cop, and was horrified that his buddy started in on the cop.

The whole big deal about the color of the cops, well when I lived in Philly, the black cops were dissed just as hard by the homeboys as the white ones- if not more.

When folks join the thin blue line, they join and belong to the one gang that can always call in more firepower, and they know it-and the prosecutors are in that same gang, as are the judges, etc.

The biggest problem with considering fighting the folks keeping local law and order is the fact they can ruin your day or take your life, their call if you give them that power.

As was pointed out, the Boston Massacccre did happen, and it was as a result of political actions leading to a military occupation.

A little different than local law enforcement.

I would also point out that the new government promptly put down Shay's Rebellion.

Law enforcement has become an extractive industry mining mostly poor people of color for fines and court fees. Ferguson is such a place.

Officer Wilson and Senator see Black Demons.
https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/06/legacy-of-whites-killing-black-demons/

Best part of this blog,
Jerry McKenzie and Koreyel.
WKG this answer all your questions?
cal from ground zero

Sorry for no second post this week. Traveling.

@Cal: I really had no questions to begin with. I was going to sit this one out. All of this is ideological. I prefer to stick to things a little more concrete.

But rather than lob in my ideological biases,
I’m going to comment on Emil’s main article. First let me say I can’t comment on “push-back from conservative pundits”, because I don’t listen or read them. If Emil says there’s push back – then there must be

1. Emil’s point #1: Most crime is white-on-white or black-on-black. No argument from me.

2. Emil’s point #2: “"Blacks have a much higher per-capita incidence of homicide than whites." Blacks are about six times more likely to be the victim of homicides than whites in the U.S., and about 7.5 times more likely to be the perpetrators of homicides.” I’d quibble slightly about the numbers, but they sound reasonable to me.

3. Controlling for gangs is certainly relevant to question. I’d be more comfortable with “the criminal underclass” but that may just be semantics. I think we could all agree that a small class of individuals is responsible for a large percentage of ALL crimes.

4. Given the numbers, one would have to conclude that the black criminal underclass is larger (per capital) and the white criminal underclass (three times larger?).

5. Emil’s point #3 (stop and frisk). Using Emil’s numbers
a. Number of stops in 13 years: 5,000,000
b. Number of black stops in 13 years: 2,750,000
c. Number of black stop and frisks in 13 years: 1,595,000
d. Approximate number of blacks in NYC: 2,000,000
e. Average occurrence of black stop and frisk: 1 per 13 years.
f. My view: stop and frisk is NOT a wide-spread practice.
g. Control for gangs/underclass – who I would think are targeted for this is probably much high – like 10 time higher at least.
h. Ergo: average black has never been stopped and frisked.
i. Rate of weapons found rate: 3%.
j. Total stop and frisk: (.58 * 5,000,000) = 2,900,000
k. Total weapon charges: 87,000.
l. Let’s say 50% of these are let off with a slap on the wrist
m. Total of busts via a gun charge: 43,500
n. My view: if you can 43,500 thugs off the street via stop and frisk – that’s good. Good chance we’re talking 43,500 walking crime waves.

6. Emil’s point #4: Under/Over policing. My understanding of NYC tactics is to chart all crime geographically. Staffing is vectored into areas showing unusual crime levels. So there could be both high and low levels of police presence depending on the situation.

Okay, wkg

a. Number of stops in 13 years: 5,000,000
b. Number of white stops in 13 years: 500,000
c. Number of white stop and frisks in 13 years: 290,000
d. Approximate number of whites (non hispanic) in NYC: 2,667,000
e. Average occurrence of white stop and frisk: 1 per 117 years.
f. My view: My math may be off but it appears that stop and frisk is NOT a wide-spread practice. For white Americans.
g. Control for gangs/underclass – who I would think are targeted for this is probably much high – like 10 time higher at least.
g.1. Let's assume that gangs/underclass is only those in poverty. I got these numbers from the 2010 ACS data for NYC.
g.2. Number of blacks in underclass: 450,000
g.3. Number of whites in underclass: 300,000
g.4. Average Occurrence of black stop and frisk (underclass only):Once every four years.
g.5. Average Occurrence of white stop and frisk (underclass only): Once every 12 years.

h. Ergo: That's three times less likely to be stop and frisked accounting for underclass crime propensity.

i. Rate of weapons found rate: 3%.
j. Total stop and frisk: (.58 * 5,000,000) = 2,900,000
k. Total weapon charges: 87,000.
l. Let’s say 50% of these are let off with a slap on the wrist
m. Total of busts via a gun charge: 43,500
n. My view: if you can 43,500 thugs off the street via stop and frisk – that’s good. Good chance we’re talking 43,500 walking crime waves.
o. Number of the 43,500 which are black: 23,925
p. Number of the 43,500 which are white: 4,350.
q. Percentage of black underclass going to prison via stop and frisk: 5.3%
r. Percentage of white criminals going to prison via stop and frisk: 1.45%

So, using your own logic, it is clear that stop and frisk has discriminatory outcomes. Same target audience (underclass) yet blacks are almost four times as likely as whites to be imprisoned by stop and frisk. Why is it so essential to prevent black "crimes waves?" Either there is something socially wrong with poor blacks--that they have an extraordinary propensity for committing crimes and must be contained at all costs--or this system is racist. Racist as fuck. Which do you think it is?

What part of racist don't you understand
Black Demons and white is right
Red Savages and white is right
Yellow hordes and white is right
Brown invaders and white is right

Again:
https://consortiumnews.com/2014/12/06/legacy-of-whites-killing-black-demons/
and
http://www.upworthy.com/what-having-white-privilege-looks-like-in-one-cartoon?c=upw1
and
Carnival of Fury
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Charles_Riots
http://www.amazon.com/Carnival-Fury-Robert-Charles-Orleans/dp/0807133345

Concern Troll wrote:

"You know what, this pissing contest about "second class citizens" and "racism" is really kind of boring."

On the contrary: it goes directly to the heart of the matter and the reason for a nationwide protest movement. How can the problem be addressed unless it is first acknowledged?

Here is a recent case of separate and unequal treatment of two protesters, acting together, both seminary students, one White and one Black, documented by the New York Times:

The Black protester was arrested. The police whispered into the ear of the White protester that he could go. He had to hang around and beg to be arrested.

The Black protester had a number of personal items confiscated as potential weapons; the White protester was allowed to keep identical items.

The police made a telephone call on behalf of the White protester; the Black protester asked three times for the same privilege but the request was denied three times.

The officer in overseeing a group of jailed protesters lectured them, saying that they should be protesting "Black on Black violence" not the police.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/nyregion/unequal-treatment-of-2-protesters-in-eric-garner-case-one-white-and-one-black.html?_r=0

To whom it may concern, I have postured again:

God Is Dead... Again

In response to wkg's remarks:

I said "gangs" rather than "criminals" because gangs are organized criminal groups whereas criminals per se are not.

The point is that gangs competing for turf (because control of turf provides opportunity for drug sales and other organized crime activities) commit a disproportional number of homicides.

It happens that two of these gangs are race based (Bloods and Crips); they have a violent rivalry and a national (indeed, international) presence; and they commit the lion's share of gang-related homicides.

So, to the extent that Black per capita homicide rates (both victim and perpetrator) are much higher than those of Whites, the disparity in gang violence must be accounted for. Failure to do so is like discussing Italian-American per capita homicide rates during the Prohibition era without accounting for gang warfare between competing Mafia groups.

The conclusion that Blacks are racially or socially more predisposed toward homicidal violence is based on erroneous reasoning and failure to control for variables that do not reflect Black society in general but rather a small but well-organized and highly violent segment of it.

I'll deal with wkg's numerical reasoning errors in a separate comment.

In response to wkg's numerical reasoning:

He admits that 55 percent of the two million New Yorkers stopped are Black, even though Blacks account for only 20 percent of the population. Yet, he concludes that Blacks are three times less likely to be stopped. How does he manage this?

He assumes without basis that most of the Blacks stopped were gang members stopped repeatedly. Magic!

In fact, if this were the case, which it manifestly was not, one would have expected gun and other contraband seizures to have been much higher. Don't forget that Blacks were substantially less likely than Whites to be found carrying either guns or other contraband such as drugs.

Similarly, he acknowledges that 2,750,000 Blacks were stopped; also that Black residents make up about 20 percent, or about 1,700,000 of New York City's total population of 8.4 million.

Despite the fact that the number of Blacks stopped was 160 percent of the Black population, he concludes that the average Black has never been stopped and frisked! (The same erroneous premise is at fault.)

It is precisely because the program was broadly discriminatory that it has raised so much objection. Don't forget: In six of the 10 precincts with the lowest black and Latino populations (such as the 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village), blacks and Latinos accounted for more than 70 percent of stops. Black gangs in Greenwich Village? C'mon, wkg.

Regarding our traveling host: it's my good fortune to be able to respond to the latest round of comments (which seem still to be active) while the thread is still "live".

If a recent Arizona Republic article is correct, Mr. Talton visited the Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale yesterday for signings, along with a number of other prominent (but less distinguished, IMHO) mystery writers.

Good luck in your book tour, Mr. Talton!

Incidentally, I managed to catch most (missed the beginning) of Al Sharpton's speech at the D.C. march, courtesy of MSNBC coverage, just prior to the introduction on stage of the families of recent victims.

Sharpton's speech was rousing and on point. Really, quite fine. I sometimes find his delivery to be on the bombastic side, but here it was vital and impressive.

A correction. In a comment above, I wrote:

"...Similarly, he acknowledges that 2,750,000 Blacks were stopped; also that Black residents make up about 20 percent, or about 1,700,000 of New York City's total population of 8.4 million...Despite the fact that the number of Blacks stopped was 160 percent of the Black population, he concludes that the average Black has never been stopped and frisked! (The same erroneous premise is at fault.):

The actual percentage of Black New York residents (as I note in the main body of blog text) is actually 25 percent, not 20 percent. So that should read about 2,100,000 Black residents of NYC. So the total number of stops of Black residents was 1.3 times the number of Black residents, not 1.6. The point remains the same.


Another correction: the figures on gang warfare deaths in Los Angeles County came from much earlier, not "2013". Sorry. Again, the overall point remains the same.

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19930127&slug=1682254

Some links cited in the blog text, for those who want them:


The CDC report on gang-related homicides:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6103a2.htm

That 70 percent of New Orleans murders in 2012 were gang-related:

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/01/2013_new_orleans_murder_rate_d.html

Up to 80 percent of Chicago's murders and shootings are gang-related, according to police:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/violence-gangs-scar-chicago-community-2012-0

That "gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions and up to 90 percent in several others":

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment

Frequency of weapons and other contraband found, by race, in NYC stop and frisk:

http://rt.com/usa/stop-frisk-whites-drugs-weapons-667/

Other stop and frisk info including links to full data sets and extensive additional analyses:

http://www.nyclu.org/news/new-nyclu-reports-reveal-historic-failure-and-bias-of-bloomberg-administrations-signature-publ

Black and White attitudes toward the police (polling data):

http://www.gallup.com/poll/175088/gallup-review-black-white-attitudes-toward-police.aspx

Looks like a comment giving links has been filtered out.

@Assassin: I was guessing at population, etc. Went to Wiki and got the following:
NYC demographics:
White 33% 2,500,000
W/Hisp 29% 2,400,000
Black 25% 2,100,000
Asian 13% 1,100,000
Total 100% 8,400,000

I used the term “criminal underclass”. In retrospect I should have used something like the “criminal class”, or something like that. For simplicity’s sake I sort society into four economic classes: Upper, Middle, Working, and Underclass. I think we all realize that this is a very gross sorting. For example there are striking differences in behavior between Upper-Middle, Middle, and Lower Middle.

Here is the vital point: economic underclass DOES NOT equal Criminal Class. The vast majority of poor people are not chronic criminals.

Now, again using Emil’s numbers (and knowing Emil, I’m not one to quibble with them – he really digs into these things) and these are for murders only (and assuming that all crime is white-on-white or black-on-black) the black:white ratio of victims = 6:1 and perpetrators = 7.5:1. I simplifying assumption is that all crime 5:1 black:white and that the vast majority is committed by the “criminal class”.

My first shot at trying to estimate the size of the criminal class:
White criminal class = 1% of all whites and black criminal class = 5% of all blacks. This works out to:

White criminal class = 2,800,000 * .01 = 28,000
Black criminal class = 2,100,000 * .05 = 105,000
Subtotal (ignores others) = 133,000

My gut says that number is too large. Number should be something lower like 0.5% and 2.5% or

White criminal class = 2,800,000 * .005 = 14,000
Black criminal class = 2,100,000 * .025 = 52,000
Subtotal (ignores others) = 66,000

Three more points and I’ll let it go for the time being: stop-and-frisk is viewed (by the police and me at least) is a tool is curbing crime. If crime in general is 6:1 in black/white neighborhoods (and NYC may be the most segregated in city in the country) and stops are performed at a 5.5:1 ratio- this is not evidence of police racism. This is evidence of the police working to reduce crime. What would be racism is to say “well that’s nothing but blacks robbing and killing other blacks – no big problem.”

Then there is the weapons found per stop: white = 1:49 and black 1:93. So even though there are fewer stops, there are almost twice as many gun busts.

I sincerely believe that the cops do not randomly pick people to stop-and-frisk. I think they work of the principle that “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it’s probably a duck”. If a kid walks around dressing and acting like a gangster, the cops are going to think he is a gangster. Is that profiling? Yes. Is it wrong?

@Emil re: ” He admits that 55 percent of the two million New Yorkers stopped are Black, even though Blacks account for only 20 percent of the population. Yet, he concludes that Blacks are three times less likely to be stopped. How does he manage this?” I can’t see anything where I implied a “three times less likely to be stopped” conclusion at all. I used your 55% percent number without question.

Re: “He assumes without basis that most of the Blacks stopped were gang members stopped repeatedly. Magic!” I was using the same argument you were: controlling for gangs (aka criminal class). I don’t criticize you for “controlling”. I think it is perfectly legitimate. I don’t think cops are randomly harassing black citizens. I think they have an idea who the “bad guys” are and harass them all the time.

Re: “he concludes that the average Black has never been stopped and frisked!” I’ll stick with it. Even if the stop-and-friskes were totally random (and I don’t think they are) being stopped once every 15 years can hardly be called systematic harassment.

Re: “It is precisely because the program was broadly discriminatory that it has raised so much objection. Don't forget: In six of the 10 precincts with the lowest black and Latino populations (such as the 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village), blacks and Latinos accounted for more than 70 percent of stops. Black gangs in Greenwich Village? C'mon, wkg.” Let me answer with an anecdote. A guy I used to work with had a brother who was a patrol cop for the B’ham PD (he’s a big time detective now). They’d occasionally come across a car full of white people driving around a black neighborhood aimlessly. They’d pull them over and tell them quite forcefully “We know what you’re doing down here (looking to buy crack). Get your ass out of here or we’ll find something to bust your ass for.”
I’m sorry that being white in a black neighborhood or black in a white neighborhood is suspicious – but it is. That’s what successful copping is all about.

@Cal: as our resident cop – can you shed some light on all of this?

WKG, back on the blog before this I warned you about Ivory towers. That was, "Regarding you previous note on Black violence and cops and your anticipation of a column. Let me suggest to you that all the Ivory tower think tanks in the world don’t have a clue about “on the ground human nature and on the ground policing”. Just the nature of your inquiry and anticipation gives rise to my opinion that you already have a skewed outlook on the subject.
I give you a start, about 40 years ago law enforcement started hiring “no life experience cowards.”

I have no comment on all the stats being tossed around here. Primarily because I never took a statistics class and have never found quoting statistics to anyone solved crime.
Above I posted some readings on racial prejudice and law enforcement that tell a story not using statistics.
Also I liked how Koreyel and McKenzie summarized it.

As a pessimistic old man I see things getting worse. Given Obama, McConnell, most the republican party and a number of democrats (not Elizabeth Warren) pushing global trade agendas and enriching corporations, I see it getting worse. More state enforced control of petty criminals (wait until the food fights start and water is sold by the ounce).
I have endorsed Uruguay a number of times but now that country is under assault bey the pols listed above for trying to care for people.
http://truth-out.org/news/item/27932-uruguay-takes-on-london-bankers-marlboro-mad-men-and-the-

I wish I could help you out here but I just dont have the intellectual capabilities to crunch numbers and have it make any sense or solve any problems. I'll leave that to the great intellects that post here.
I will suggest it might help to leave the tower and walk among the people.
Franz

Petro, am I too assume your god (a Camus new god) is now Truth? Is it not absurd to believe (in a leap of faith) that there is such a thing as Truth?

Read more closely, cal:

...In our grief we, too, hold out hope for a sort of mass revelation, a burst of creative self-introspection that will once and for all replace the infirmity of false Gods with the firmament of Truth. The prelude to our madness...

Petro that's what I read that led to the above?
Have I gone MAD.

Alfred

The problem with wkg isn't his numbers but his reasoning. It's very simple:

Any argument you apply in interpreting stops of Blacks can be applied to stops of Whites, whether the stops are random or not. So all of those factors should even out in large statistical samples. They don't. The prima facie conclusion is that systematic racial profiling has taken place.

The data allowing determinations of multiple stops is not publicly available, so we can't say how many individuals were stopped more than once, or how often.

However, the reason for the stop is given. In 2008, for example, nearly half of the stops had the reason "furtive movements" given (246,186 out of 540,320). "Fits relevant description" was way down the list.

Given the vague, catch-all nature of the major categories used as reasons (excuses) for conducting stops, the sheer number of stops, and the fact that the stops are mostly conducted by ordinary street police and not detectives or gang task-forces, it's clear that your theory of stops based on the targeting of known criminals is baseless.

You also keep trying to have your cake and eat it too: arguing that the large number of stops is explained by multiple stops of a small group of individuals, yet claiming that individuals are only stopped once every decade or more.

Beyond the actual frequency with which any particular individual is stopped is a bigger issue. Even in totalitarian countries like Nazi Germany the average person had no interaction or only infrequent interaction with the Gestapo. That doesn't mean that society was free, even for the average "aryan" German, much less for others.

The point of this illustration is not to compare the NYPD to the Gestapo (that would be absurd), but merely to point out that by playing number games it is possible to reach specious conclusions.

Some links cited in the blog text, for those who want them:

Black and White per capita homicide rates with links to Department of Justice sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/11/25/giulianis-claim-that-93-percent-of-blacks-are-killed-by-other-blacks/

The CDC report on gang-related homicides:

http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6103a2.htm

That 70 percent of New Orleans murders in 2012 were gang-related:

http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2014/01/2013_new_orleans_murder_rate_d.html

Up to 80 percent of Chicago's murders and shootings are gang-related, according to police:

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/violence-gangs-scar-chicago-community-2012-0

That "gangs are responsible for an average of 48 percent of violent crime in most jurisdictions and up to 90 percent in several others":

http://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/2011-national-gang-threat-assessment

Frequency of weapons and other contraband found, by race, in NYC stop and frisk:

http://rt.com/usa/stop-frisk-whites-drugs-weapons-667/

Other stop and frisk info including links to full data sets and extensive additional analyses:

http://www.nyclu.org/news/new-nyclu-reports-reveal-historic-failure-and-bias-of-bloomberg-administrations-signature-publ

Black and White attitudes toward the police (polling data):

http://www.gallup.com/poll/175088/gallup-review-black-white-attitudes-toward-police.aspx

And let me bear out the point Emil just made using the math of wkg.
Total of busts via a gun charge: 43,500
Number of the 43,500 which are black: 23,925
Number of the 43,500 which are white: 4,350.
White criminal class = 2,800,000 * .005 = 14,000
Black criminal class = 2,100,000 * .025 = 52,000
Percentage of white crooks caught via stop and frisk: %31
Percentage of black crooks caught via stop and frisk: %46

It seems that stop and frisk disproportionately targets black criminals. This is even after accounting for per capita criminality. What do you think accounts for that difference? Are whites UNDERPOLICED? Or are blacks OVERPOLICED?

Why is it more likely for black criminals to be caught using stop and frisk than white criminals even though whites are more likely to be caught carrying weapons?

Why is the white community not begging for additional stop and frisk measures to reduce the preponderance of crime in the community? Especially since it has been seen as a far more effective strategy when targeting white New Yorkers.

I suppose you could say, "well, the thugs get caught, so that's fine." But dude, it literally turns people into suspects for just... being? I mean, what does a perp look like? Do they wear a uniform to distinguish them from the rest of the community?

This policy destroys the relationship between police and the community by turning the community into a suspect. On what basis can you justify the support of that?

As I said to INPHX, I appreciate your perspective and learn a lot from it. But there has to be some intellectual accountability for what is said lest we devolve into sophistry.

Also, my unsolicited two cents: If America will continue to thrive, we MUST improve the material conditions of minorities. We need to deal with these issues of inequality now or the country will fall apart in thirty years when racial minorities are a majority of the under 30 crowd and rich white people keep ignoring their pleas for social justice.

PS--Concern Troll the Boston Massacre was a result of the British Parliament passing unpopular legislation (pertaining to taxation) and sending troops to enforce the implementation of those laws. I understand how that's different than a local police force, but it's not like they were an occupying army. They WERE the army--and they had police powers.

“We hold these (statistics) to be self-evident”
The posts here seem to have established that on the planet earth profiling and racism exists.
It exist right here in the good ole USA and by god it exists among law enforcement.
No surprises here, particularly when we live in a country where an insane ex vice president rants on national TV about doing more torture.
In 1991 I was part of a squad that profiled people to determine if they were leaving the country with more than $10,000 dollars. I do not recall any stops made that did not fit the profile. Of those temporarily detained and relived of their money only one ask for it back. Number wise I recall more white folks than other colors.

From 1968 until 1991 I certainly witnessed racial prejudice. And officers of all colors were practitioners. On two occasions I ask a Hispanic officer and a Black officer for an explanation of their extreme prejudice against people of their own race. Both answered that bad Black and Hispanic folks were an embarrassment to their own people.
Leadership and education on both sides of the street is the only solution to these issues.

I agree with #theintellectualassassin, that “Also, my unsolicited two cents: If America will continue to thrive, we MUST improve the material conditions of minorities. We need to deal with these issues of inequality now or the country will fall apart in thirty years when racial minorities are a majority of the under 30 crowd and rich white people keep ignoring their pleas for social justice.”

Speaking of gangs, few folks have little knowledge of how much of the world is ran by gangs, from Putin on down. Of course if news outlets put the info on mainstream news it would scare the general public to death.

http://www.businessinsider.com/13-american-gangs-keeping-the-fbi-up-at-night-2012-8

http://www.businessinsider.com/13-american-gangs-keeping-the-fbi-up-at-night-2012-8#wheels-of-soul-members-are-judged-by-their-brutality-13

A cop that should be fired for ignorance and brutality.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/14/texas-cop-stun-gun-76-year-old_n_6324804.html

What i found interesting was the public radio blaring from the police car. In 75 as the Union president I sided with the Police Chief in not installing AM/FM radios in police cars. Later the police Union was able to get city managers to over ride our decision. And in my day you drove your police car with the drivers window down, winter and summer as to be able to hear the sounds of the beat, Now cops have the windows up and while listening to their favorite tunes and Rush Limbaugh.

Please note that in my 20 plus years as a cop I served two official tours in Internal Affairs. Now the new fancy title is the Professional Standards Bureau.

Wrote theintellectualassassin:

"It seems that stop and frisk disproportionately targets black criminals. This is even after accounting for per capita criminality."

Good point: but let's remember that singling out Black INDIVIDUALS for police scrutiny merely because they belong to a RACE with disproportionally high per capita crime rates is the very definition of racial profiling; and racial profiling is illegal as well as unconstitutional (though case law has set such a high technical bar for proving it against the police in court that it might as well be legal).

Proponents of "stop and frisk" (and similar programs and policies throughout the nation) need to be honest in admitting racial profiling: the discussion can then be shifted to questions like whether it's justified, whether the police should engage in patently illegal behavior if they can get away with it, and whether racial profiling should be made legal.

I suspect that the support for such policies would melt away except at the fringes, once the discussion was put on an honest footing.

Racial profiling, as well as being a bad idea for the reasons mentioned by theintellectualassassin, is a bad idea from a technical law enforcement perspective, for the simple reason that by focusing police resources on non-criminal behavior for racial reasons, those resources are not being used to detect, prevent, stop, investigate, or reduce criminal behavior.

I get so tired of seeing apologists for the New York City Police Department appear on television, excoriating the mayor and other critics for "demonizing" them. In their rhetoric, criticism equals demonization.

If these apologists adopted a zero tolerance policy toward police abuse of power, instead of a zero tolerance policy toward criticism, the NYPD wouldn't be experiencing the problems they do, including the recent assassination deaths of two NYPD policemen.

While there is no excuse for the sort of "profiling" which marks someone for death merely because they wear a police uniform, it's also clear that, had they not made a habit of abusing the minority community with defiant impunity (and had not been allowed to do so), there would be no protests and no violence against the police on grounds of police abuse.

It isn't just the civilians. Here's what Black cops have to say. Excerpts from a Reuters piece:

Reuters interviewed 25 African American male officers on the NYPD, 15 of whom are retired and 10 of whom are still serving. All but one said that, when off duty and out of uniform, they had been victims of racial profiling, which refers to using race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed a crime.

The officers said this included being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.

The black officers interviewed said they had been racially profiled by white officers exclusively, and about one third said they made some form of complaint to a supervisor.

All but one said their supervisors either dismissed the complaints or retaliated against them by denying them overtime, choice assignments, or promotions. The remaining officers who made no complaints said they refrained from doing so either because they feared retribution or because they saw racial profiling as part of the system.

There’s evidence that aggressive policing in the NYPD is intensifying, according to data from the New York City Comptroller.

Police misconduct claims - including lawsuits against police for using the kind of excessive force that killed Garner - have risen 214 percent since 2000, while the amount the city paid out has risen 75 percent in the same period, to $64.4 million in fiscal year 2012, the last year for which data is available.

People who have taken part in the marches against Garner's death - and that of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown - say they are protesting against the indignity of being stopped by police for little or no reason as much as for the deaths themselves.

“There’s no real outlet to report the abuse,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain who said he was stigmatized and retaliated against throughout his 22-year career for speaking out against racial profiling and police brutality.

Officers make complaints to the NYPD’s investigative arm, the Internal Affairs Bureau, only to later have their identities leaked, said Adams.

http://news.yahoo.com/off-duty-black-cops-york-feel-threat-fellow-170110366.html

A postscript:

I get so tired of seeing apologists for the New York City Police Department appear on television, excoriating the mayor and other critics for "demonizing" them. In their rhetoric, criticism equals demonization.

If these apologists adopted a zero tolerance policy toward police abuse of power, instead of a zero tolerance policy toward criticism, the NYPD wouldn't be experiencing the problems they do, including the recent assassination deaths of two NYPD policemen.

While there is no excuse for the sort of "profiling" which marks someone for death merely because they wear a police uniform, it's also clear that, had they not made a habit of abusing the minority community with defiant impunity (and had not been allowed to do so), there would be no protests and no violence against the police on grounds of police abuse.

It isn't just the civilians. Here's what Black cops have to say. Excerpts from a Reuters piece:

Reuters interviewed 25 African American male officers on the NYPD, 15 of whom are retired and 10 of whom are still serving. All but one said that, when off duty and out of uniform, they had been victims of racial profiling, which refers to using race or ethnicity as grounds for suspecting someone of having committed a crime.

The officers said this included being pulled over for no reason, having their heads slammed against their cars, getting guns brandished in their faces, being thrown into prison vans and experiencing stop and frisks while shopping. The majority of the officers said they had been pulled over multiple times while driving. Five had had guns pulled on them.

The black officers interviewed said they had been racially profiled by white officers exclusively, and about one third said they made some form of complaint to a supervisor.

All but one said their supervisors either dismissed the complaints or retaliated against them by denying them overtime, choice assignments, or promotions. The remaining officers who made no complaints said they refrained from doing so either because they feared retribution or because they saw racial profiling as part of the system.

There’s evidence that aggressive policing in the NYPD is intensifying, according to data from the New York City Comptroller.

Police misconduct claims - including lawsuits against police for using the kind of excessive force that killed Garner - have risen 214 percent since 2000, while the amount the city paid out has risen 75 percent in the same period, to $64.4 million in fiscal year 2012, the last year for which data is available.

People who have taken part in the marches against Garner's death - and that of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown - say they are protesting against the indignity of being stopped by police for little or no reason as much as for the deaths themselves.

“There’s no real outlet to report the abuse,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a former NYPD captain who said he was stigmatized and retaliated against throughout his 22-year career for speaking out against racial profiling and police brutality.

Officers make complaints to the NYPD’s investigative arm, the Internal Affairs Bureau, only to later have their identities leaked, said Adams.

http://news.yahoo.com/off-duty-black-cops-york-feel-threat-fellow-170110366.html

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