Those familiar with my work know that on occasion I cite the FBI annual crime statistics for murder in a given year in order to underscore some point being made. Well, I’ve decided to analyze those stats on a regular basis, doing an annual breakdown of the most recent year’s released stats. The most recent at this writing are from 2019, which were released late in 2020. There was a total of 13,927 reported murder victims and 16, 245 reported murder offenders, indicating that a number of the murders involved more than one offender. Of the 16,245 offenders, the race of 4,752 was listed as “unknown,” probably because the cases were unsolved with the description of the offenders not forthcoming. Of the 11,493 remaining offenders identifiable by race, 6,425—56 percent—were black. Although the totals of victims and offenders are broken down into basic racial categories, the numbers don’t tell us how many of each group were murdered by their own offenders or by offenders from another group. The source for that information is a subgroup of the total reported number, the murders in that subgroup involving a single victim and a single offender.
The single victim / single offender table for 2019 is based on 6,578 pairs of victims and offenders. Black offenders accounted for 3,218 of those murders or 49 percent. Since blacks make up only 13 percent of the population and should therefore account for only 13 percent of those murders, a whopping 36 percent of those murders—well over a third—shouldn’t be happening. Of those 3,218 murders, 2,574—80 percent—involved black victims. Now 80 percent of 13 percent is 10.4 percent and 80 percent of 36 percent is 28.8 percent. These percentages generated from the single victim / single offender data can be applied to the total victims to get a ballpark figure on the number of black victims. To make the math a little easier, 13,927 will be rounded down to 13,900, and the results of the multiplication by the percentages will be rounded down to the nearest 10. Thus 10.4 percent of 13,900 would be about 1,440, the number of black-on-black murders out of the total number if blacks committed 13 percent of that total. And 28.8 percent of 13,900 would be about 4,000, the excess of black-on-black murders over and above the expected number of 1,440.
Let that sink in: A group that should be committing about 1,440 in-group murders commits 1,440 in-group murders and then goes on a roll and commits about 4,000 more in-group murders on top of that for good measure—and then screams that black lives matter! How about setting an example by not committing those excess 4,000 in-group murders? After all, if black people themselves don’t behave as if their black lives matter, how can they expect anyone else to believe that their black lives matter?
Having dealt with black-on-black murders, let’s now turn to black-on-white murders and white-on-black murders. The single victim / single offender table shows that 566 white victims were murdered by black offenders and that 246 black victims were murdered by white offenders, a ratio of 2.3 to 1. What should that ratio be if all groups committed a percentage of murders equal to the percentage they make up of the population?
According to the Statista population estimates for 2019 rounded to the nearest percentage point, whites—including white Hispanics, who are also counted as white in the FBI figures—made up 76 percent of the population, and blacks were confirmed as making up 13 percent. For present purposes, the remaining groups may be combined into a single “other” category and rounded up to 11 percent so the three categories add up to 100 percent. So whites would commit 76 percent of murders, blacks would commit 13 percent, and the others would commit 11 percent.
Now only a small minority of murders committed by any group are out-of-group murders, and we’ll assume for our purposes that this small percentage of out-of-group murders is the same for each of the three groups, say some x percent. That being the case, the number of out-of-group murders committed by each group out of the total number of out-of-group murders will match their population percentages: No matter what value we assign to x, 76 percent of the total number of out-of-group murders will be committed by whites, 13 percent by blacks, and 11 percent by others.
The hypothetical assumptions so far have been an identical murder rate across the board for the three groups and an identical percentage of out-of-group murders across the board for each of the three groups. The third and last assumption is that for each group the out-of-group murders will be proportionately distributed between the two out groups. The 76 percent of out-of-group murders committed by whites will be committed against non-whites, who make up 24 percent of the population. Blacks make up 13/24 of non-whites, and 13/24 of 76 percent is about 41 percent. The 13 percent of out-of-group murders committed by blacks will be committed against non-blacks who make up 87 percent of the population. Whites make up 76/87 of non-blacks, and 76/87 of 13 percent is about 11 percent. So the hypothetical ratio of whites murdered by blacks to blacks murdered by whites should be 11 to 41 or 1 to 3.7. The actual ratio, however, is 2.3 to 1. In order to convert the 1 to 3.7 ratio to a 2.3 to 1 ratio, we have to multiply the 1 in the 1 to 3.7 ratio by 8.5 to get a ratio of 8.5 to 3.7 which reduces to 2.3 to 1. The step of having to multiply by 8.5 means that white people are being murdered at 8.5 times the rate they should be by black people.
In addition to being victims of murder offenders, black people are also allegedly being mowed down in droves by the police. The Washington Post maintains a database of fatal police shootings that can be filtered for categories such as race and whether the person was armed. The figures for 2019 totaled 999 shootings; of those, 252 victims were black; and of those, a grand total of 12 were unarmed, that category being the one where we would most likely expect to find unjustified shootings. One indubitably unjustified shooting of the lot involved Atatiana Jefferson, shot through a window within her own home by a jumpy cop who mistook her for an intruder and panicked; he was appropriately charged. (Although Jefferson came up in the “unarmed” category, some reports stated that she got out a handgun when she heard people prowling around outside her house.) There was one other instance where the officer was charged, and four instances whose details were somewhat sketchy. But there were six instances where the shootings appeared to be justified under the circumstances; even unarmed people can be dangerous enough to be justifiably shot. So that brings the grand total of unjustified or questionable shootings to six.
Having discussed black people killed by police, it may be instructive to look at police killed by black people. The FBI statistics include a section called Law Enforcement Officers Feloniously Killed. In 2019, the total number of offenders was 49, and 15 of those were black, which comes out to 31 percent. The 2019 table also gives a total for the decade ending in 2019. That total was 537 of which 199 were black, which comes out to 37 percent. So in the long haul, black cop killers are over-represented by nearly a factor of three.
To sum up, what we have here is a situation where the offenders from a small minority group are overrunning the entire country with a most serious crime—and with all kinds of other serious crimes as well. An inevitable result of this avalanche of crime is that the country’s law enforcement resources are stretched thin, making it necessary to have to hire way more law enforcement officers than would ordinarily be required. This means the country has to dip deeper into the applicant pool to get the required bodies, often having to skimp on training and to turn a blind eye to those things that might otherwise keep an applicant from being hired. As a result, we end up getting officers like the one who shot Atatiana Jefferson—without anyone seeing the connection between black criminality and the sad end that befell Ms Jefferson.
A final thought: BLM protesters have sported placards that read “No Justice, No Peace!” Well, what if it were in my power to guarantee that justice? What if I could wave some kind of magic wand that right now would have the desired effect of ensuring that any future police shootings would be completely justified and that any future deaths in custody would be the result of something other than malice, neglect, or carelessness? Would our country see any letup in black criminality and become more peaceful as a result? Absolutely not. Murder offenders from a little group making up only 13 percent of the population would go right on committing half the country’s murders, murdering white people at more than eight times the expected rate, and killing cops at nearly triple the expected rate.