The killing of George Loyd was a sad and senseless act, committed by an individual who was either severely untrained / educated, mentally unstable, a volatile racist, intentional killer or all of the above. He, and anyone else guilty of a similar action, deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
But did “race” definitively play a part?
As of this moment, we really don’t know – zero evidence has been given for any of the above. To think otherwise is to make some big assumptions.
Maybe the officer will turn out to be a card-carrying member of the KKK. Or maybe he simply failed to comprehend the degree to which he was asphyxiating the person he was arresting. Or maybe something else motivated his actions. One way or the other it seems doubtful he would have intentionally killed Floyd given that he was being watched / filmed.
While the jury that will make the final ruling is still out, the jury of public opinion is clearly in. He was “just another racist cop intent on killing another innocent black man.”
But is that narrative supported by real facts and numbers?
Actually, the opposite is true.
Some basic FACTS:
U.S. Census Data
U.S. population: 308,758,105
Percent of Population White: 76.5%
Percent of Population Black: 13.4%
FBI Crime Statistics
Murder / Nonnegligent Manslaughter by Whites: 4192
Murder / Nonnegligent Manslaughter by Blacks: 4935
While representing 13% of the population young black males are responsible for over 52% of all murders in the U.S.
The offending rate for African Americans is actually 8 times higher than Whites.
Most homicides were intra-racial, with 84% of White victims killed by Whites, and 93% of African American victims were killed by African Americans.
Citizens Killed by Police Officers
In 2019 police officers fatally shot 1,004 people, most of whom were armed or otherwise dangerous. African-Americans were about a quarter of those killed by cops last year (235), a revealing inverted ratio (based on encounters) that has remained consistent over the last five years. The share of black victims is FAR less than what the black crime rate would predict, since police shootings are a function of how often officers encounter armed and violent suspects.
In addition to committing 52% of known homicides, Blacks also committed nearly 60% of all robberies, though they are only 13% of the population.
Here’s a statistic that seems to be missing from almost all media coverage: Police fatally shot 9 unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019. This, even though they encounter and have to apprehend a significantly higher number of Blacks who have perpetrated a violent crime.
In 2018 there were 7407 black homicide victims in the United States 94% (6962) of which were killed by other Blacks. Accordingly, those nine “unarmed” black victims of police shootings represent less than 0.1% of all African-Americans killed in 2019.
By contrast, a police officer is 18½ times MORE likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.
An impartial observer from another planet might logically ask, “So when do the protests for all the police officers being killed at the hands of Blacks begin?” (Including the FOUR killed in the recent protests – that resulted in riots.)
However grievous and sickening Floyd’s death is, it isn’t at all representative of the 375 MILLION annual contacts that police officers have with civilians. The solid body of evidence referenced above finds little to no systematic bias in the criminal-justice system with regard to arrests, prosecution and sentencing. In fact, the actual data suggests the OPPOSITE – that both Black and White police officers go to extraordinary lengths to avoid it.
The reality is that crime and suspect behavior – not race – determine almost all police actions and to pretend otherwise only encourages resentful attitudes and actions among both Blacks and Whites that separate individuals further and further.
Americans need to honestly accept the facts and stop regurgitating a false narrative promulgated by a reckless and political / profit driven media that feeds individual preconceptions to the point that a large part of the American public now openly sympathize and support a protested “reality” (systematic racism) that is simply not true.
* Data for this article compiled from The U.S. Census Bureau, FBI Crime Statistics, Wikipedia, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal.