Larry Elder: The TRUTH About Cops Killing Blacks
Where to start with actor Jesse Williams’ widely praised rant on police brutality and white racism delivered at this year’s Black Entertainment Television awards show?
To his enthusiastic audience, Williams reeled off lie after lie, all in the name of black “resistance” over the “oppressor” – meaning anyone he believes benefits from “this invention called whiteness.” Time magazine called his discourse “powerful.”
Where are fact-checkers when the fact-devoid desperately need fact-checking? After all, Williams practically begged to be fact-checked when he said, “What we’ve been doing is looking at the data, and we know that police somehow manage to de-escalate, disarm and not kill white people every day.”
The “police … manage to … not kill white people every day”?
Let’s start with 2014, the last year for which there are official records. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the police killed 261 whites and 131 blacks. The CDC also found that from 1999 to 2013, the police killed almost twice the number of whites compared to blacks, 3,160 and 1,724, respectively.
Activists promptly note that whites account for nearly 65 percent of the population and that, therefore, one would expect whites to comprise most of those killed by cops. And we are told that blacks, while 13 percent of the population, represent a much greater percentage of those killed by cops. Institutional, systemic, structural racism!
Here’s what those promoting the “police disproportionately kill black people” narrative consistently omit. Whites, despite being almost 65 percent of the population, disproportionately commit less of the nation’s violent crime – 10 percent. Blacks, at 13 percent of the population, disproportionately commit more violent crime. As to murders, black commit nearly half. Yet whites are 50 percent of cop killings.
Criminology professor Peter Moskos looked at the numbers of those killed by officers from May 2013 to April 2015 and found that 49 percent were white, while 30 percent were black. “Adjusted for the homicide rate,” says Moskos, “whites are 1.7 times more likely than blacks to die at the hands of police.” So if anything, whites have more to complain about than Mr. Williams.