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  • Joseph L Kibitlewski, PhD - December 2, 2016 reply

    “For blacks, police pursuits far more deadly”

    A scary headline indeed but what is it implying? This headline is the product of USA Today reporter Thomas Frank, USA TODAY on December 1, 2016. Is this written to pique the interests of someone looking for a racial angle to report?
    When one reads his article one discovers a few facts that are germane to real implications but are mentioned in minor ways only.

    A good place to start for examining these happenings is of course at the beginning. What cause these pursuits in the first place? Are the police officers just chasing cars at random for no good purpose or are the police performing their duty to apprehend lawbreakers?
    When read Mr. Frank’s column we discover that those fleeing had committed a crime. Should the police look the other way because the lawbreakers were black? If that were so it would then be the police who are acting in an unlawful manner. So, we read Mr. Frank’s piece and he promotes the opinion that the police are racially motivated in these pursuits. Many of these pursuits, I am sure, take place at night where the racial identity of the driver, from any distance, would be problematic. Mr. Frank also points out that in some cases the windows of the fleeing vehicle were heavily tinted. Is x-ray vision provided to the pursuing officers?
    It is really very simple to sort this out. A law is broken. The police are tasked with apprehending lawbreakers. The lawbreakers do not obey the police actions to bring them to a halt for further investigation but flee instead. This also is against the law. We have a pattern now unfolding. The vehicle broke a law. The vehicle failed to obey the police to pull over. The vehicle speeds away, resisting the police and as a result will most likely exceed the speed limit, thereby breaking yet another law. And Mr. Frank wants to place the blame of the resulting accidents of these pursuits upon the shoulders of the police. REALLY?
    He implies that these pursuits are racially motivated by the police.
    In 2005, the New Century Foundation published “The Color of Crime,” a study of the relationship between crime, race, and ethnicity in the United States.
    This study addresses more than police pursuits but rather a broad spectrum of police, law and race situations.
    To wit: Blacks have notably high crime rates. This pattern holds true for virtually all crime categories and for virtually all age groups
    • In 2013, a black was six times more likely than a non-black to commit murder, and 12 times more likely to murder someone of another race than to be murdered by someone of another race.
    • In 2013, of the approximately 660,000 crimes of interracial violence that involved blacks and whites, blacks were the perpetrators 85 percent of the time. This meant a black person was 27 times more likely to attack a white person than vice versa. A Hispanic was eight times more likely to attack a white person than vice versa.
    • In 2014 in New York City, a black was 31 times more likely than a white to be arrested for murder, and a Hispanic was 12.4 times more likely. For the crime of “shooting” — defined as firing a bullet that hits someone — a black was 98.4 times more likely than a white to be arrested, and a Hispanic was 23.6 times more likely.
    • If New York City were all white, the murder rate would drop by 91 percent, the robbery rate by 81 percent, and the shootings rate by 97 percent.
    • In an all-white Chicago, murder would decline 90 percent, rape by 81 percent, and robbery by 90 percent.
    • In 2015, police killings of blacks accounted for approximately 4 percent of homicides of blacks. Police killings of unarmed blacks accounted for approximately 0.6 percent of homicides of blacks. The overwhelming majority of black homicide victims (93 percent from 1980 to 2008) were killed by blacks.
    So, the question screams loud and clear. Why are these deaths happening? It is because people break the law. More people break the law in percentages greater than their representation in the population as a whole. Want to live? Obey the law and the lawful order of the police. No matter what ones race is the law applies to all.

    admin - December 2, 2016 reply

    Thank you Dr. Kibitlewski,
    I had hoped to take a day or two off from reading about police chases. After almost 10 years, it is draining. As a result I had not seen nor read Tom Frank’s 12/1/2016 article ( and therefore cannot proffer an opinion at this time.
    More to follow, I’m sure.

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