The Lie Behind the Lynch Mob

In-Missouri-Police-Officer-Named-Who-Shot-Michael-BrownSunday in New York City, Al Sharpton led at least 2,500 marchers in a rally condemning “a society where police are automatically excused” for wrongdoing. At issue was the recent death of Eric Garner, a black New Yorker who resisted arrest and subsequently died from what a medical examiner described as an interplay between a white police officer’s chokehold and Garner’s multiple chronic infirmities. A featured speaker at Sunday’s demonstration was the mother of Amadou Diallo, a black man who was killed in a 1999 shooting by four NYPD officers. “Police cannot judge our sons and execute them for no reason,” she declared.

Yesterday, Sharpton spoke at the funeral of Michael Brown, the black teenager who was recently shot and killed by a white policeman in Missouri. Claiming that the police had callously treated Brown “like his life value didn’t matter,” Sharpton called on the congregation to help “change this country.” Indeed, Sharpton has vowed to turn Brown’s death into a “defining moment on how this country deals with policing.” His contention is that too many African Americans are being unjustifiably killed in the streets by white police. If he’s correct, then we’ve got a monumental national scandal on our hands that surely deserves to be addressed. So let’s examine the facts and see what they tell us.

The most comprehensive information we have on this issue comes from a landmark 51-page report published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics in 2001. This study examined incidents where police used deadly force to kill criminal suspects during the 23-year period from 1976 through 1998.[1]  The study did not distinguish between whites and Hispanics,[2] but instead categorized all members of those two demographics as “white.” So, for the moment, let’s refer to this group as “W&H” (Whites & Hispanics) rather than “whites.”

During the course of the entire 23-year period examined in the study, 56% of all suspects killed by police were W&H, and 42% were black.

Over time, W&H constituted an ever-increasing percentage of those who were killed by police: In 1978, they accounted for 50% of all such killings. By 1988 that figure had climbed to 59%, and by 1998 it stood at 62%.

Meanwhile, the trend for African Americans was moving in precisely the opposite direction: In 1978, black suspects were 49% of those killed by police. By 1988, that figure had fallen to 39%. And ten years after that, it stood at 35%.

Most cases where police killed suspects during 1976-98 were same-race incidents: When W&H officers were the killers, the suspects were usually W&H (63%). And when black officers were the killers, the suspects were usually black (81%).

In 1998 specifically, 3.2 out of every 10,000 black officers killed a black suspect sometime that year, whereas only 1.4 out of every 10,000 W&H officers killed a black suspect.

Also in 1998, about 2.8 out of every 10,000 W&H officers killed a W&H suspect sometime that year—double the rate at which W&H officers killed black suspects.

To fill in the data from more recent years, we must turn to a 2011 Bureau of Justice Statistics study which covers the period from 2003 to 2009. Unlike the earlier study, this one does distinguish between whites and Hispanics.[3] Of all suspects who are known to have been killed by police during the 7-year time frame, 41.7% were white, 31.7% were black, and 20.3% were Hispanic.

It is also worth noting that during the 2003-2009 period—when blacks were 31.7% of all suspects killed by an officer—blacks accounted for about 38.5% of all arrests for violent crimes, which are the types of crimes most likely to trigger a confrontation with police that could result in a fatality.[4]  These numbers do not in any way suggest a lack of restraint by police in their dealings with black suspects. On the contrary, they suggest the opposite.

The bottom line is this: Evidence of systemic racism in police shootings simply doesn’t exist. Anywhere.

But Al Sharpton and his ideological ilk have no use for facts like these. For Sharpton, the corpses of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are merely props to be exploited for the purpose of advancing the singular agenda he has had for more than 30 years, which is to convince as many people as possible that America is, and always has been, an inherently racist wasteland that needs to be fundamentally transformed—economically, politically, and socially. The facts of any specific case are irrelevant to Sharpton. For him, everything is about the larger agenda.

Nor is this anything new for Sharpton. Way back when this utterly pathetic individual was immersed in his equally pathetic Tawana Brawley “rape” hoax, one of his closest aides, Perry McKinnon—a former police officer, private investigator, and hospital security director—revealed the following: “Sharpton acknowledged to me early on that ‘the [Brawley] story do sound like bullsh**, but it don’t matter. We’re building a movement. This is the perfect issue. Because you’ve got whites on blacks. That’s an easy way to stir up all the deprived people … and all [you’ve] got to do is convince them that all white people are bad. Then you’ve got a movement.’”[5]

A quarter-century later, nothing—absolutely nothing—has changed.


[1] All calendar years from 1976 through 1998 are counted, thus 23 separate calendar years are included in the study. All told, approximately 8,578 suspects were killed by police during those 23 years. The annual totals ranged from a low of 296 to a high of 459. Data for a small handful of states is missing from this study, but the vast majority of police killings nationwide were counted.
[2] “Hispanics” is a broad and nebulous term referring, generally, to people whose heritage can be traced to Spanish-speaking countries. The term was concocted for political purposes in 1970 by the Nixon administration. For an excellent explanation of the term’s origins and its subsequent ramifications, click here.
[3] The data in this study are not entirely comprehensive, because not every U.S. state reported its overall statistics in every year that was examined. Nevertheless, the ratios uncovered in the report are highly illuminating.
[4] The annual violent-crime arrest statistics for 2003-2009, broken down by race, can be found here: 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. 
[5] Richard T. Pienciak, “6 Interviews That Shook Tawana Team,” New York Daily News (June 16, 1988), p.4.

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  • wileyvet

    How is it that a so called man of God, has absolutely no conscience or shame? He’s a black Elmer Gantry, fraudulent from head to toe. He’s made a fortune from the misery he has perpetuated, and ridden the backs of the poor doing it. How does this man sleep at night and look at himself in the morning?

    • nomoretraitors

      He is NOT a “man of God”

      He sleeps as night because he has “absolutely no conscience or shame” (like all other left-wing radicals)

  • Sheik Yerbouti

    Al’s lips are moving.

  • Realist

    “His (Sharptons) contention is that too many African Americans are being unjustifiably killed in the streets by white police.”

    That statement certainly begs the question; What number would the “reverend” consider appropriate?

    It is precisely this type of thought-free, visceral incitement designed to rouse the emotional mob that is so in-vogue with libcultists and their minions today. Nothing – definitely not reason – will be allowed to interfere with the libcultists pursuit and aquisition of POWER.

    Viva la revolution!

  • jon

    I do have a problem with so little restraint being put on cops as to what gives them the green light to shoot/kill. “I felt threatened, so I shot”…….pretty broad and waaayyyy too much “personal interpretation”. A lot to be said for the days that cops were men and walked beats with their nightstick.

    • JoeThePimpernel

      I take it you didn’t read the article and have no need of actual facts for your vacuous opinions?

      • jon

        I did read the article and agree with most all of it. Perhaps my comments were not directly related but more of a personal opinion. Specifically I question whether a badge gives one the right to pretty much kill on impulse. If I do that, I am punished……every time. We have given the government way too much power and control over our lives. I have been called “racist”, but my comments here do not reflect that. Do they?

        • JoeThePimpernel

          So Officer Wilson killed Saint Charging Bull “on impulse?”

          Is that seriously what you’re saying?

          • jon

            Gonna strain your interpretive skill here:
            A cop stops you on the street and roughly starts pushing you around. You have done nothing wrong. Instinctively you make a fist and draw your hand back. At this point he can legally kill you if his “instinct” feels a threat of harm from you. Got it???
            (this has nothing to do with Ferguson)

          • jon

            To follow up that thought, if status quo remains in place we need to have a process by which a citizen has the right to use deadly force against a rogue cop.
            (yes, rogue cops DO exist)

          • Steve Bryant

            Jon, I hope you keep a clipping of your remarks so you will have something to read while recuperating. You’re going to love a world with no po-lice.

          • JoeThePimpernel

            What does that have to do with Saint Charging Bull?

          • nomoretraitors

            Where is the evidence Officer Wilson stopped him on the street and started “roughly pushing” him around?
            And I think as the videotape clearly shows, Brown stole from a store and then assaulted the clerk

          • 4Bravo1

            Your fantasy land description is not accurate and does not reflect a lawful shooting. Please look up the standard for use of force, educate yourself, and stop writing about a subject you are clearly ignorant about.

          • justsayin

            Don’t bother him with the facts, his mind is made up. Same with most of the Fergustan rioters and cheerleader Sharpton.

        • Steve Bryant

          jon, do you feel that you have a “right” to defend yourself when attacked? Is it exercising too much power and control for a police officer to use the weapon authorized for that purpose?
          If so, then women police officers, beware. (and men who can’t whip a 280 lb “child” with their bare hands, too)
          In a perfect world, you would get to trade places with officer Wilson….both during the encounter, and today, as he hides in fear for his life. Lucky for you Jon, and unlucky for both Wilson and Brown, that perfection only exists in the mind of the Monday morning quarterback.

        • 4Bravo1

          The right to kill on impulse? With about 1% of police contacts and only 400+/- police killings a year out of 2.5 million contacts, that must be the case. Moronic statement.

    • mccauley444

      There’s a lot to be said about the cops of old. They were tough and had to be. But something changed.

      Whimps who came across these cops cried and whined they were being picked on and weak kneed politicians passed law after law after law effectively taking the need for that toughness away.

      Now you have cops who could not fight their way out of a wet paper bag, file complaints against their fellow officers for being cops. Why would anyone want that job any more with idiots like you second guessing everything they do?

    • sashamanda

      So better that more policemen die or are disabled than that they react to a lethal threat.

    • 4Bravo1

      You mean when they could shoot you for fleeing during any felony, or when they would beat you in a seconds with their baton, or when they would turn dogs and water cannons on protestors? Jon, you are delusional to think the police of old used less force.

      • jon

        I’ll choose a dog bite anytime instead of a dozen .40 cal. slugs.

  • William

    No, conservatives, black people are not out to lynch you.

    • JoeThePimpernel

      No, Commies, white people are not out to lynch you.

    • jon

      What moon have you been living on??? Why don’t you go out tonite and play “knockout”?

      • William

        It must suck to be so afraid of black people.

        • tagalog

          It’s not fear; it’s anger.

        • JamesJ

          May the knockout game come to your neighborhood.

        • jon

          It is a sign of intelligence…….lacking in the sub-sahara species

        • iluvisrael

          there are many decent blacks afraid of feral blacks – that’s why many of them move to white or mostly white areas when they have the means, like that bum jeramiah wright who lives in a white, gated community – it must suck to be such a low information pajama boy like you.

          • William

            feral blacks.. sheesh.

            And you righties cry when people call you racist.

          • iluvisrael

            There are feral whites too – I lived among them in NYC’s east village several years ago. I’d cross the streets when I saw them, not out of fear but to avoid their killer body odor. and btw, feral = lowlife and lowlives come in ALL races and ethnicities. Call me ‘racist’ all you want, like all leftwing morons who are losing the argument.

        • 4Bravo1

          It must suck to be some indoctrinated hippy that has no common sense or understanding of crime statistics.

    • tagalog

      Only when a white cop shoots a black suspect. Then it’s “Lynch him in the name of justice!”

    • JamesJ

      William, a white is 100X more likely to be a victim of black violence than a black is a victim of white violence. (FBI statistic).
      Why do leftist s deny science?

    • Infidel4Ever

      No black people, cops aren’t out to kill you. Other blacks do, though.

    • nomoretraitors

      No racebaiters, the police don’t go out each day looking for young black men to shoot

      • William

        Perhaps not to shoot, but to arrest. It’s called racial profiling/targeting.

        • Steve Bryant

          Sure William, that’s how the po-lice get their jollies…hassling black “children”. We can see what it looks like to be a smug ignoramus but help us out here; how does it feel?

        • mohdanga

          Blacks, making up 13% of the population, commit 50% of the country’s murders. Their level of other crime is similar, if not higher. Must be ‘profiling’ to arrest those responsible for commiting crime.

    • 4Bravo1

      Actually, they are. I saw them chanting for the death of a white conservative police officer. This is a fact. You are clearly wrong.

  • ron44

    Black Panthers or the new black panthers as they called themselves are in the business of murder and strong arming business and people to comply with their edicts which the MSM mainly ignores. They have been a partner in crime to most of these big cities who have failed economically because that are not interested in really helping people, just using them for their schemes. They are well funded by those who hide behind the scenes,

  • tagalog

    Al Sharpton must be very busy, what with shuttling back and forth between New York and Ferguson. I hope he’s not spending too much money on air fare.

  • Armed_Infidel

    Whites bring it on themselves. They’ve bought into the mythology of white malice and black moral superiority. These myths need to be deconstructed before “progress” can be made, if at all.

  • fistdeyuma

    Liberals are good at redefining words or using words with an undefined meaning. When Sharpton says he is a man of God most people assumed he means the most common usage of God. However Sharpton’s God is more commonly called the Devil.

  • Infidel4Ever

    Everything liberals say is one of three things: a vile lie, an outrageous slander or ignorant BS. Usually it’s all three together.

  • bligh

    Agree with everything in this article. I do think the police themselves have some things they need to change about how they operate though. Showing up in full riot gear and tanks should be restricted to riots and deadly situations…not 95% of the situations they actually are using them for…raiding poker games, underage drinking, unlicensed barber shops, seizing vehicles, various and sundry other outrages that have been in the news lately. They also need an INDEPENDENT entity to investigate police when a questionable shooting or abuse occurs..not the police investigating themselves.

  • keyster

    OMG! All those numbers!
    …when a rhyming slogan works so much better to promote the rhetoric.
    Such as, “If a white cop commits a crime, he don’t have to do the time.”

  • jon

    I keep my powder dry…..

  • MrUniteUs1

    Hmm right up until President Obama was elected. How many millions of words have been written and spoken to promote hatred of Black Americans since then? Racist views and actions are not static. Some of the people killed by police this month.that I read about. Earl Garner, Jeremy Lakes, Mike Brown, and Kajieme Powell

  • Stephen Williams

    OK what’s the upshot of this? Re-segregate the country because Blacks and Whites can’t live together? Give Blacks Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi as slave ‘reparations” and let them all move there under Black self rule? Sounds like what the Reverend is advocating, that’s precisely what the old Black Panther Party advocated. If this was done, no more White cops would be shooting young Black men. However I bet many young Black men would be shot by Black cops and other young Black men. Just remove Whitey from the equation.

  • jon

    Stevie……you gotta be a cop…..thats OK, just don’t wear it on your sleeve. I’m not gonna continue with this thread cuz you guys don’t READ what is written. Lets go get a donut….

    • Steve Bryant

      Jon, no I’m not a cop or even military. But you are apparently another guy who knows everything you need to know from your imagination of what the other guy is all about. I think it’s called pre-judging, or something like that, but I’m sure you already know what I’m talking about, right?

  • Marlin B. Newburn

    All Sharpton needs is a willfully ignorant population, and he’s got his following. He has just that in both points.

  • jon

    I do think that “profiling” has merit.

  • 4Bravo1

    Where did you see a tank? Hyperbole is not fact. You don’t have any.