Thursday, February 8, 2007

The Latest Sharpton Scam?

Al Sharpton is considering suing the NYPD and the City of New York over what he calls “racial profiling.”

In fact, black males in New York do get stopped by police in greater numbers than their proportion in the city.

Last year blacks were the targets of 55% of the police stops in New York, while they represent only 24% of the population, while whites, who are nearly 35% of the population were involved in only 11% of the NYPD stops.

Sounds out-of-whack, doesn’t it?

But, percentage in society isn’t the basis for police stops, even though Sharpton and some others seem to believe it should be.

Police stops are based more on the percentage of crimes each groups commits. Viewed in that regard, blacks, who commit 68.5% of all the murders, rapes, robberies and assaults are stopped LESS than the proportion of the felonies that group commits, while whites who are stopped in 11% of the NYP are stopped double to their proportion of violent crime (5.3%). Those stats prove that the police are 13 times more likely to be searching for a black suspect than a white one, for any given violent crime, based on victim identification, thus it stands to reason that the rate at which police stop blacks far more often than whites, when looking for suspects in violent crimes.

Now that doesn’t sound as much like “racial profiling,” does it?

Higher crime rates determine which people get stopped by police. The NYPD, like all police departments, focuses the bulk of its resources where crime is the highest. That’s a public service. When Bill Bratton led the turn around on crime when Giuliani became Mayor in 1993, reducing New York City’s murder rate from over 2,000 to about a quarter of that, disproportionately benefited black New Yorkers, because the bulk of those saved in cutting that murder rate were indeed black.

As Heather Mac Donald, editor of the City Journal so eloquently put it, “If Sharpton really wanted to get the black stop rate down, he would be working day and night to bring the crime rate down. He would be telling young men to stay in school and to marry the mothers of their children so that boys would not grow up without fathers. He would be demonizing criminals, not the police. Until that happens, his pose as caring about the well-being of the black community should be regarded with skepticism.”

Without question, Heather Mac Donals is right.

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