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Following up with what I wrote yesterday about the missing and incorrectly interpreted data we have on Murder in terms of Race and Gender, there is another point I want to discuss about other crimes to provide context.

As we all should know Murder isn't the most prevalent crime in the world.  So if you're going to argue that "Blacks are more criminal.." or "Black commit more Crime" shouldn't you start with what the most common crime is?

Well, what's that?

If you look here on FBI Uniform Crime Report Table 1 you can see that the rate of all crimes since 1993 has fallen to nearly half, going from a rate of 747.1 down to 386.1 in 2012 so our level of concern and paranoia about crime should be similarly decreasing.  Unfortunately it isn't - and also Murder isn't anywhere near the most frequent crime in the U.S, so it makes a very poor example for determining who is "most criminal".

Crime Count
Murders 14,827
Forcible Rape 84,376
Robbery 354,520
Assault 760,739
Property Crime  8,975,438
So when we look at the Property Crime, what's the largest portion of that?
Robbery 354,520
Burglary 2,103,787
Larceny-Theft 6,150,598
The interesting thing is that generally speaking Black guy are far more associated with Burglary or Robbery, but not necessarily Larceny.  Again, there isn't a breakout chart of this by race of the offender [Ed. oh yes there is, see below!] as there is on Murder, but that tends to be the association.  Also Robbery and Burglary are often considered Felonies and are punished more severely than Larceny which is often only a Misdemeanor.

Clearly the people doing the Larceny-Theft are much more prevalent than the Murders, the Robberies or the Burglaries by a measure of well over 3 to 1.

And what Larcenies are these?

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program defines larceny-theft as the unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession or constructive possession of another. Examples are thefts of bicycles, motor vehicle parts and accessories, shoplifting, pocket-picking, or the stealing of any property or article that is not taken by force and violence or by fraud. Attempted larcenies are included. Embezzlement, confidence games, forgery, check fraud, etc., are excluded
Pocket-picking 29,462
Purse-snatching     26,329
Shoplifting     1,144,279
From motor vehicles (except accessories) 1,476,403
Motor vehicle accessories 465,984
Bicycles 223,123
From buildings 743,031
From coin-operated machines 17,189
All others 2,024,798
All Others then would exclude Embezzlement, Forgery, Check Kiting,  but would include ripping off your boss for office supplies.  By far these are far more common crimes than any of the others.  So here's the next question, how often do people get caught and arrested for this stuff?  Police call it a "Clearance" when a suspect is arrested, although whether they are successfully prosecuted is another matter. The FBI Provides a Graph for this.
As you can see the clearance rate for violent crimes are far far higher than they are for property crimes such as Burglary or Larceny - yet Burglaries and Larcenies occur many times more often, which means that since the most common crimes actually lead to the lowest percentage of arrest we really have NO IDEA whose doing what "the Most".

If they're only arresting 22% of the people who perpetrate larceny, that means 78% of them are getting away with it.  78% of 6.1 Million is 4,797,000 Crimes being committed that no one is being arrest for.

And guess what else I discovered when I checked for arrest information?  A breakdown of arrests by race.

Here are the basics by Crime for the Total, White and Black defendants arrested.  I've highlighted when one column is greater than the other. [As with the Murder Race/Victim chart I suspect this is limited to single offenders as the totals here don't match the totals above.]

Crime White Black
TOTAL 9,390,473 6,502,919 2,640,067
Murder and nonnegligent manslaughter 8,506 4,101 4,203    
Forcible rape 13,886 9,027 4,512
Robbery 80,135 34,761 44,002
Aggravated assault 299,943 188,505 102,371
Burglary 219,232 147,156 67,554
Larceny-theft 994,304 677,895     288,025
Motor vehicle theft 52,952 35,251 16,301
Arson 8,827 6,500 2,083
Violent crime2 402,470 236,394 155,088
Property crime2 1,275,315 866,802 373,963
Other assaults 924,839 606,048 294,678
Forgery and counterfeiting 51,759 33,950 16,900
Fraud 117,706 78,331 37,171
Embezzlement 12,371 7,994 4,103
Stolen property; buying, receiving, possessing 75,516 50,144 23,787
[Yet again there's data missing - even though they have American Indians, Asians and Pacific Islanders included this table has no data for Latinos.  None.  They don't commit crime? They don't get arrested? Weird.]


In 2012, 69.3 percent of all individuals arrested were white, 28.1 percent were black, and 2.6 percent were of other races.

Of all juveniles (persons under the age of 18) arrested in 2012, 65.2 percent were white, 32.2 percent were black, and 2.5 percent were of other races.

Of all adults arrested in 2012, 69.7 were white, 27.6 percent were black, and 2.7 percent were of other races.

White individuals were arrested more often for violent crimes than individuals of any other race, accounting for 58.7 percent of those arrests.

The percentages of black adults and white adults arrested for murder were similar, with 49.3 percent being black and 48.3 percent being white.

Black juveniles accounted for 51.5 percent of all juveniles arrested for violent crimes.

White juveniles accounted for 61.6 percent of all juveniles arrested for property crimes.

Of the juveniles arrested for drug abuse violations, 74.0 percent were white.

White juveniles accounted for 55.2 percent of juveniles arrested for aggravated assaults.

Overall, nearly 3 Times as many White People are Arrested for Crimes than Black People.  In nearly every category except Murders and Robbery White People are arrested for crimes more often than Black people by more than a Twice as Often.

As you can see nearly 9 Million cases of the Property Crimes and Larceny-Theft are generating only about 1 Million arrests.  Most of those arrests are of White People, by an amount that far out strips the number of both Murders and Robberies by several orders of magnitude.

If we are to go by the arrest numbers alone, we could say that White people commit more Fraud, commit more Arson, more Assaults, and steal more than Black people do, and even if you make the proportional argument that being at only 1/3rd or so of rate of actual people arrested is too high when they are 1/6th of the population, let's remember that not everyone arrested includes all the people who committed the crime in the first place.  Particularly not when it comes to the most common crime, Larceny, which only has a clearance rate of 22%.

[Ed. To reinterate: being ARRESTED MORE OFTEN doesn't mean that someone is necessarily GUILTY More often. Arrests only show the amount of focus that Police are placing in that particular area, so what we can see is that the Police focus is HIGHER for Murder and for Robbery than it is for Burglary and it is for Larceny, even though Murder and Robbery are much less frequent than the others.  It doesn't mean Black people committed more of these crimes, it only means they get presumed guilty and arrested for them more often.]

It's very possible that Black People are arrested more often simply because they are suspected more often regardless of whether they did the crime or didn't. We can see from the results of the Innocent Project that using DNA evidence 317 people who had been convicted and sent to death row - Couldn't Have Done the Crime, so exactly how positive can we be about everyone else in prison with cases against them that are nowhere near as rigorously vetted as Death Row Cases are?

The Causes of Wrongful Conviction
As the pace of DNA exonerations has grown across the country in recent years, wrongful convictions have revealed disturbing fissures and trends in our criminal justice system. Together, these cases show us how the criminal justice system is broken – and how urgently it needs to be fixed.

We should learn from the system’s failures. In each case where DNA has proven innocence beyond doubt, an overlapping array of causes has emerged – from mistakes to misconduct to factors of race and class.

Countless cases
Those exonerated by DNA testing aren’t the only people who have been wrongfully convicted in recent decades. For every case that involves DNA, there are hundreds that do not.

Only a fraction of criminal cases involve biological evidence that can be subjected to DNA testing, and even when such evidence exists, it is often lost or destroyed after a conviction. Since they don’t have access to a definitive test like DNA, many wrongfully convicted people have a slim chance of ever proving their innocence.

Common Causes
Here you will find further information about seven of the most common causes of wrongful convictions:

Eyewitness Misidentification

Unvalidated or Improper Forensic Science

False Confessions / Admissions

Government Misconduct

Informants or Snitches

Bad Lawyering

The presumption of Black Guilt drives police to stop, question, ticket and arrest black people far more often than they are found actually committing crimes, and the same type of thing affects who gets charged, who gets sentenced harshly [remember "affluenza"] and who ultimately winds up in jail and prison for longer periods.  This is has been shown to be case by many studies.
Criminologists agree the race disparity in arrests cannot be fully explained by differences in criminal behavior. The authors examine social environment factors that may lead to racial differences in police contact in early adolescence, including family, peers, school, and community. Data are from 331 eighth-grade students. Blacks were almost twice as likely as Whites to report a police contact. Blacks reported more property crime but not more violent crime than Whites. Police contacts were increased by having a parent who had been arrested, a sibling involved in criminal activity, higher observed reward for negative behavior, having school disciplinary actions, and knowing adults who engaged in substance abuse or criminal behavior. Race differences in police contacts were partially attributable to more school discipline.
This has been shown even specifically in Ferguson, Mo.
Ferguson police are much more likely to stop, search and arrest African-American drivers than white ones. Last year, blacks, who make up a little less than two-thirds of the driving-age population in the North County city, accounted for 86 percent of all stops. When stopped, they were almost twice as likely to be searched as whites and twice as likely to be arrested, though police were less likely to find contraband on them.

Pronounced as those statistics may seem, they don’t necessarily make Ferguson an outlier.

What we don't see here in any of the data is a greater propensity for Black Criminality Across the Board.  It's not across the board, where's there's a disparity it's limited to specific areas and doesn't spread to every type of case.

Yes, even if we were able to add a control to eliminate the police disparity and bias that has been repeatedly proven, proportionally Blacks would probably still be far too represented in cases of Murder and Robbery, but there may be reasons for that.   Many of the Robberies are economically induced.  People steal because they Want Stuff they don't have.  People who have stuff, and are earning a decent wage at a decent job don't usually need to commit Robberies - those people can commit Larceny by stealing from their employer while they're on the job.

Also a lot of Murders in the Black community are retaliatory, especially when Gangs and the Drug Trade are involved. They're Pay-Back for someone else being Murdered.  People are getting Street Justice, because they don't think the POLICE are going to catch the person who did the first crime [rightly or wrongly the perception is that many murders of Black people are far more likely to go unsolved without an arrest or prosecution even when other Black people are the perpetrators], so as a result they take the law in their own hands.  Do it yourself, Law and Disorder.  And then the other guys strike back.  And then they counter-strike to that, and so on and so on.  It's literally - IMO - an "Eye for an Eye, making everyone Blind".  It's like the NRA's "Gun Self Protection Wet Dream" gone all wrong and wonky in the midst of drug cartels and emotional mass destruction.  In the Ghetto just about everybody has a gun.  And they aren't afraid to use them, even when they know everyone else probably has a gun too.  That's what drive-bys are about, getting a strategic advantage over other people you already assume are armed too, because they probably are. Look at the murder rate among the Mexican Drug Cartels, this isn't a uniquely Black or even an American problem, it's largely about protecting your "turf" in an underground economic system.

Yeah, it's an issue.  Yeah, they're out of "proportion" in these two areas.  But it's interesting how people that harp on this proportion stuff, don't ever want to recognize that they're also dramatically out of proportion on access to jobs, access to healthcare, access to housing, and access to decent education.  Their out of proportion in their access to HOPE, and without Hope nothing good can flourish.  These things are not unconnected. If you go further down the table Black people are actually below their proportion - just 12-13% of those arrested - when it comes to DUI and liquor laws but I'm not really expecting that they get any "credit" for that stuff.  Blacks overperform in plenty of areas and that's used against them all the time.

But again, the total number of Murders we're talking about are fairly small compared to every other crime that's happening on the list. Same thing with the Robberies.  Take an unemployment rate somewhere in the 20-30% for young black men, add some resentment, persecution, lousy schools, hopelessness, desperation and puree for 50 years and a shit load of pointless Murder and Robbery is just a couple of the crappy results you're gonna get. Shiny Happy Talk about "Opportunity" and "Pulling up your Pants" aren't very convincing in that environment.

Yes, Murder is a far more serious crime, but is Robbery really that different from Burglary or Larceny?  We're literally comparing Millions of Crimes, with Thousands, and Hundreds. Why doesn't that proportional difference count?

Either way we can see that Larceny - one of the most common crimes - isn't where you see Black people jumping out way ahead of White people. Not even.

In raw simple numbers Black people with 2.6 Million Arrests really can't possibly commit More Crime than White People at 6.5 Million Arrests. That's just not logical. Maybe if Black people were only at 1.7 Million Arrests, or 1.4 Million some people who seem eternally bothered by this would feel better - but it still feels like a big smoke screen to take our attention away from the OTHER 4.7 Million Criminals that are getting away without an arrest and without a conviction for their crimes, year after year after year.  Now I think it's safe to assume that some of those missing arrests are for repeat offenders, even if they don't get caught the first, second, third or tenth time - they might get them on the eleventh so there just might not be a one-to-one relationship between one single crime each being performed by one single criminal.

But then that means we really have no fracking idea how many of who is actually doing  what now what do we?  All we know is who is far more likely to pay the price for it in our jails and losing their lives on our streets.

Although I can't prove it, somehow I just don't think most of those missing guys and gals doing the most crimes and not getting caught - are Black.  I just don't.  Black guys, generally speaking, are automatically suspected of everything and practically can't get away with anything.


12:39 PM PT: HT to A2nite.

Originally posted to Vyan on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 10:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Good points, Vyan (8+ / 0-)

    The slippery statistic is to focus on crime rates instead of actual numbers of crimes and the fact that crime rate statistics depend on ascertaining who committed the crime.  More intense policing in "high-crime" areas is likely to result in those areas becoming even more high crime rate areas.  Failure to police in "low crime" areas is likely to result in those areas having more unsolved crimes and thus undetermined identiy of suspects.

    The intensity of property crimes also depends on the ability to fence the property for cash.  Some fences are more identifiable than others.  And white accessories to black-committed drug and property crimes are rarely ever arrested.

    Finally, J. Edgar Hoover established the protocols for crime statistics in such a way as to make the police look good.  It was PR instead of data that could actually improve operations.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 10:57:56 AM PDT

  •  Basically (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Utahrd, BelgianBastard

    blacks commit more violent crimes (per capita), but whites commit more crimes like larceny and embezzlement. And while there is little excuse for larceny, here are some excellent reasons people commit robbery and murder and reasons why the media tends to make a bigger deal out of violent crime than it deserves.

    When you start out trying to show that one race is better than the other at something (including crime), you're going to get trapped by the obvious fact that neither whites nor blacks should feel especially proud of their respective crime statistics. It's all pretty bad here in the US, there are way too many victims of crime.

  •  Banksters are responsible for more outright theft (11+ / 0-)

    than any of the groups listed, but I don't see any of them going to jail for it.

    Inside of me are two dogs. One is mean and evil. The other is gentle and good. The two dogs fight all the time. Which dog wins? The one I feed the most.

    by bakeneko on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:21:15 PM PDT

    •  Yes, this doesn't go into the costs to society. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bakeneko, Onomastic

      If we consider the costs of all the white collar crime, the numbers would be overwhelming. Then, federal regulators settle out of court for pennies on the hundreds of dollars because too big to fail, too big to jail, and another police officer shoots and kills ashoplifter.

      Oh well, let's donate some some money to the officer, because. ? ?

      If Money is Speech, Speech isn't Free! I wonder what it is about that that Antonin Scalia cannot understand?

      by NM Ray on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 07:42:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  With friends like these..... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    historys mysteries, slowbutsure

    Los Angeles and New York have had Republican mayors recently.  Miami, too?

    So you can see why police in these place practice ethnic profiling.

    What's up with Detroit, Oakland, Chicago, Boston, etc where no Republicans have been elected since the 19th century?  Why do police supervised by and hired by Democrats violate the civil rights of blacks?

    "states like VT and ID are not 'real america'" -icemilkcoffee

    by Utahrd on Sat Aug 23, 2014 at 12:34:50 PM PDT

  •  If you want to be credible, be honest! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    When someone says, "I know the truth, but I can't prove it", they admit to being a questionable source of accurate information.
    No matter how passionately you oppose racial injustice, how committed you are to "righting" two hundred years of shameful "wrongs", your noble intentions won't taken seriously if you ignore a tragic, but obvious reality.
    The most recent and reliable Justice Department crime statistics ( 2012 ) report 12765 solved homicide cases - 4582 committed by white people and 5531 by black offenders. 84% of the white victims were killed by a white person, 93% of the black victims were killed by someone of their own race. If you don't consider what percentage of the American population each group represents, these statistics seem to suggest non-whites are only marginally more likely to commit murder than whites. Actually, that just isn't true. The real truth about African-American "crime rates" lies in the thousands of books, articles and "research" studies that prove how desperate and demoralized human beings become when they're victimized by both poverty and hatred.

    •  I addressed this in my last post (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      thosefigures are incomplete.  The 93% and 84% figures aren't based on the full 12,765 set of Murders, they only include the Murders which involve a Single Offender and a Single Victim.

      As a result the Murders committed by Charles Manson wouldn't be included in those figures.  The Murders committed by Tim McVeigh wouldn't be included.  The Murders committed by The Zodiac Killer, the Boston Strangler, the people who killed James Byrd wouldn't be included because there were two of them, the Soldier convicted from Fort Bragg convicted of Killer a couple simply because they were Black, wouldn't not be included in that chart because there were multiple victims and multiple offenders.

      When you look beyond Murder & Robbery numbers in terms of arrests, the numbers quickly and dramatically change and show a very different picture, especially when Property Crime is far more common than Violent Crime.

      •  I'm on your side! (0+ / 0-)

        Until I re-read my comments, I didn't realize how "snarky" and self-righteous they seemed.  I applaud your effort to explore some possible implications of computer-generated crime statistics - which are definitely too simplistic and often misleading.
        Still, we liberals always run the risk of being called "naive" or "delusional" if we make a claim that one "google" search can factually disprove.  I learned that lesson from arguing with right-wing relatives!

  •  A few notes on figures (0+ / 0-)

    In general, when Latino is not broken out in government statistics, they have been lumped with "White" hence the common "White, not Latino" category in racial classification where Latino is available.

    Secondly, one generally adjusts crime statistics for the percentage of population by race.  Then, you'd further adjust for socioeconomic background, because poor people commit disproportionately more crimes than the rich, and blacks tend to be poorer than the general population, making black crime statistics look worse in general without the adjustment.

    Thirdly, while you might be able to discount numbers from crimes with poor clearance (Burglary, minor property crimes) etc, there's little reason to believe that Murder at 60%, somehow has an unrepresentative sample arrested.  The US justice system has an extremely high conviction rate, and arrests correlate with convictions quite well.

    (I'd have to go dig up my links from old internet flame wars, I didn't exactly expect this to be some running diary theme on DailyKos.)

    •  Usually they break things out (0+ / 0-)

      into White/Hispanic and Non-White/Hispanic so you have a clearer picture because not all Hispanics are White, nor are they Black.  They can be either.  This report doesn't do that so I'm not sure what to make of the omission.

      The problem with adjusting the rates by population by race is that it's essentially creating a QUOTA for each group by their race.  I agree that it's commonly done, but the question is are they exceeding or not meeting their "quota" because of inherent police bias - which has been repeatedly documented - or a greater propensity for crime in that area, or not?

      Thirdly, I don't discount the Murder differential specifically because it has a higher clearance rate, and therefore a much higher sample size, and one would hope greater accuracy rate. But unfortunately as I mention when addressing the Innocence Project, there are far higher than acceptable level of FAILURE in regards to Murder cases that end in sending people to Death Row.  I've done the math on this in the past but not lately.  It's not out of the reasonable scope to consider there might be an even greater variance in accuracy with Murder cases that don't end in sending the offender to Death Row or leave DNA where things can be verified.  And again that  accuracy failure could be even worse for lesser crimes such as Burglary where we are not being anywhere near as careful as we are for Death Penalty or DNA cases.

      The problem is, We. Don't. Know.  We're guessing and assuming all through this process and those guesses and assumption are directly affecting police policy down a road that repeatedly paints innocent people as being more dangerous and guilty than they might be, and their paying for it with their lives.

  •  Super important. Unfortunately too nuanced... (0+ / 0-)

    for my troglodyte Fox 'News' watching dad and millions of other nominally well intentioned white people to wrap their heads around.

    Particularly when the nightly news perpetually shows video of African Americans in handcuffs being paraded past the cameras, while white collar criminals are very rarely indicted.

  •  Blacks are stupid. Whites are cowards. (0+ / 0-)

    According to the FBI database, blacks mostly kill each other.  Whites on the other hand, mostly kill the women that they're supposed to be protecting.
    To put it another way white women are far more likely to be killed by the man they live with than by a black man.   But their fears are mostly (mis)directed at black men.

  •  Speaking of facts.... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm NOT condoning or justifying Darren Wilson's conduct. But, some Justice Department statistics may at least partially explain why cops so often over-react to what they perceive as "self defensive" situations.
    During 2012, there were 52,901 reported assaults on federal, state and local law enforcement officers, 14,678 of which resulted in injuries requiring medical treatment  or in-patient hospitalization.  
    13.2 % of  the injured officers were attacked with "personal weapons" ( e.g. hands, feet or fists ), 13.2% with knives or other cutting instruments. 9.8 % were struck or shot with firearms, 13.9% were assaulted with  other dangerous weapons - clubs, bottles, bats, etc.
    In 64% of these incidents, the injured officer was assigned to a one-person  patrol vehicle, whereas, only 16% were accompanied by a partner.  To me, this indicates a lone policeman or policewoman is particularly vulnerable to a physical act of aggression - a fact that surely intensifies their anxiety about any confrontation with an angry civilian, even one who is legally considered "unarmed".  
    Trying to generate some level of mutual trust between black communities and the cops entrusted to "protect and serve" them will be impossible - until every police department abandons  "unofficial" procedures like racial profiling and "presumptive" arrests. If any officer repeatedly demonstrates the inability or unwillingness to treat all members of the public fairly and equally, they need to fired. Perid. Not lectured. Not suspended.  Not put on temporary "probation". Fired.



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