When thousands of rioters burn down private businesses and even violently attack a woman in a wheelchair in response to an abhorrent act committed by one police officer, it is clear that the George Floyd riots are not about justice, as shown by the viral footage of the Minneapolis riots and the attacks on L.A. police officers yesterday. But what exposes this so-called movement as nothing but a dangerous anarchist mob, more than when and how they act, is when they fail to protest and actually remain silent when even more black lives are at stake.
The act of the officer who placed his knee on George Floyd’s neck for several minutes after he was completely neutralized and couldn’t move is obviously indefensible. As with every criminal act that leads to murder, he should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
But why is it we never heard on the news about the endless trend of cop ambushes and executions at the hands of violent criminals in recent months? Why do we never hear about the cases where cops engage in near-suicidal restraint to go the extra mile to defuse a situation? That is the balance of coverage and perspective we rarely see.
The reason we never see this balance is because the media doesn’t have an agenda for justice or prudent policing, but to spark a racial war. This is why we never saw rioting or media outrage after a Somali immigrant police officer in Minneapolis fatally shot Justine Damond, an Australian woman, in cold blood in 2017 after she approached his patrol car to report a suspected rape behind her house. The only reason the cop was tried and sentenced to 12.5 years for manslaughter was that this was an international incident and the Australian government raised an outcry over it.
This illuminates a broader point about the focus of outrage on senseless murders in general. Why is the outrage related to policing and crime only in one direction and only when the race of the people affected is oriented a certain way?
Consider the following: According to the Washington Post’s database on police shootings, 17 unarmed African-Americans were killed by police in 2018. Let’s just assume the unlikely assumption that all 17 were unjustified in the mold of the choking death of George Floyd. That accounts for just 0.002% of the 7,407 black homicide victims that year, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, the overwhelming majority of whom were killed by black criminals, not white criminals or police. In cases where the races of both the victim and offender were known, a staggering 88.9% of black homicide victims were murdered by black criminals.
This is a reoccurring epidemic every year and is made worse by the broad and indiscriminate war on cops and public safety. Even the fear of dying from coronavirus didn’t stop the murder and mayhem in America’s inner cities. If black lives actually mattered, as all lives do, where is the outrage?
This is why isolated incidents cannot be manipulated for the purpose of pushing a broad policy narrative. The notion that somehow black people are broadly mistreated by the justice system in a disproportionate way is simply not true, as shown by the crime rates. Despite composing 12% of the population, they compose 55% of the homicide offenders and 53% of the homicide victims. Black males, in particular, accounted for 45% of homicides, even though they make up just 7% of the population.
In 2018, African-Americans accounted for 54% of those arrested for robbery, 34% of those arrested for aggravated assault, and 43% of weapons violations. In total, they composed 37.4% of all violent crime arrests. Yet despite the complaint about black imprisonment, only 33% of state and federal inmates in 2017 were black. And their numbers are dropping quicker than any other group.
Despite this, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the black imprisonment rate has been down 28% from 2008-2018, while the white imprisonment rate dropped by just 13%. The jail incarceration rate for black criminals dropped 30% – to the lowest level since 1990 – while the white incarceration rate actually increased 12% over the past decade.
Thus, the underlying problem of violence among black youth in inner cities has nothing to do with the police. We could abolish the police tomorrow, and it certainly would not save all those lives lost. Again, the most common victims of such breakdowns in law and order are African-Americans.
The sad reality is criminal interactions are disproportionately high among black citizens because of the aforementioned statistics. Therefore, the majority of justified police shootings as well as unjustified shootings will unfortunately be disproportionate among the black inner-city population. When it comes to individual incidents, it’s all about the facts on the ground and pursuing color-blind justice. But if we are going to push broad public policy narratives because of these incidents, then we must also address the broader picture of this culture of violence. And that has nothing to do with the police.
Was it the police who caused 23-year-old Leroy Davonte Davis-Miles to brutally murder a 75-year-old man in a knockout attack last November at a Minneapolis metro stop? Was there rioting in the aftermath?
Let’s face it: What’s going on in Minneapolis has nothing to do with George Floyd’s murder. It’s merely a pretext to accelerate the criminal activity that has already been increasing. Crime has been increasing dramatically in the Twin Cities area, with robberies up 53% last year, attacks on public transportation growing out of control, and St. Paul experiencing a record year of homicides.
Which leads me to the political reaction to the riots by local officials in Minnesota. The fact that one police officer is allegedly a murderer doesn’t mean they need to cower in fear and allow rioters to burn down an entire city, harm innocent people, and destroy the remaining businesses not shut down by the coronavirus lockdown. Where are these big and strong police ordered to show force by dictatorial mayors and governors when it comes to dealing with actual violent criminals? Why is it that they only seem to arrest family-oriented people trying to hold prayer services or open a business, but somehow a gathering of well over 10 people to burn down a store is not met with swift justice and deterrent?
If nothing else, we are seeing what happens when politics and racial demagoguery trump true color-blind law and justice. Our country has descended to the lowest depths of tyranny and anarchy at the same time – tyranny for you and me; anarchy for the most violent criminals.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.