As the shouting match continued.
CNN commentator Mark Lamont Hill pointed out that an investigation in Ferguson, Missouri found that there was “considerable evidence of racism” in the police department.
“It doesn’t matter!” Houck exclaimed.
“Harry just went on national TV and said black people are prone to criminality!” Hill observed.
“Well, they are!” Houck replied.
“You think black people are prone to criminality?” Hill asked, raising his voice. “You don’t mean to say that. I’m going to give you a chance to correct [yourself]. You don’t mean that black people are prone to criminality.” “You are interpreting something else into what I’m saying into your narrative!” Houck yelled back. “That’s what you do!”
Yeah, ok, everyone else is biased in how they look at things except Mr. Harry Houck. Or are they?
Someone happens to have posted the NYPD numbers in my diary yesterday so I have the exact figures and charts Harry was referring to and having looked at similar figures from the FBI Uniform Crime report for years I find that this report is immediately suspicious not only in what it includes, but in what it doesn’t include.
First and foremost ia the fact that this data is being provided by the NYPD and that by itself is automatically subject to scrutiny since as we’ve seen from their Stop and Frisk Statistics they don’t exactly have the best track record of correctly identifying guilty parties.
New York’s controversial stop-and-frisk policy, hailed by the city’s mayor and police chief as crucial in fighting crime, could boast only a 3% conviction rate between 2009 and 2012, according to a report by the state attorney general released on Thursday.
The report by Eric Schneiderman, the first detailed examination of the policy’s arrest and conviction rate, used data from the New York Police Department and the Office of Court Administration to examine approximately 2.4m stops over the three-year period. Those stops resulted in almost 150,000 arrests, but only half of those led to a conviction or a guilty plea.
Some 2% of those arrests – or 0.1% of all stops – led to a conviction for a violent crime. Only 2% of arrests led to a conviction for possession of a weapon.
“The attorney general’s report has confirmed what young men of color have known for years – that the Bloomberg administration’s stop-and-frisk crusade is targeting innocent people and is pathetically ineffective and inefficient in apprehending criminals,” said New York Civil Liberties Union executive director Donna Lieberman. “The new administration must make reforming the NYPD and its abuse of street interrogations a top priority.”
Basic math, 150,000 arrests out of 2.4 Million stops is only 6.2%. Only 2% of those arrests led to a conviction, and over 90% of those stops led not only to no arrest, but also no citation. About 90% of the people stopped by police, and remember that was 2.5 MILLION STOPS, apparently did nothing wrong. The vast majority of those stops, were of black and/or Hispanic people.
In 2013, New Yorkers were stopped by the police 191,558 times. 169,252 were totally innocent (88 percent). 104,958 were black (56 percent). 55,191 were Latino (29 percent). 20,877 were white (11 percent).
So right off the top we have a long standing practice by NYPD of targeting minority individuals whether they are guilty of anything or not, and most often they aren’t. They only generated 6% arrests with this practice and only 2% convictions, all of this is good to keep in mind as we look at some more examples of the NYPD crime numbers that Harry Houck touts.
First the Murder Chart.
The first thing I notice is that these charts are entirely racial. They also attempt to draw a direct line between racial victims, racial suspects and racial arrests as if someone was quite mindful in construction of this chart to show that their suspects and arrests in any racial area are specifically driven by the rate of victims racial and no other potential factors. I also don’t understand why the racial groups are not in alphabetical order, why exactly does “White” come before “Hispanic.”?
One thing I’ve found from looking at the FBI Murder numbers is the fact that when they attempt to draw a race based matrix the first thing they do is try to make things apples to apples. In order to accomplish that they only chart single offender/single victim numbers. This is the chart people use when they usually claim that 92% of crime against black people are committed by blacks. They always, and I do mean always, ignore that the same chart tends to indicate that 83% of white murder victims are murdered by whites, however when you analyze the complete murder stats, both single offender/single victim cases but also multiple victim, multiple offender cases (such as the Dallas shooting) the two figures reverse position and it becomes 83% of the first black victims are killed when the oldest offender is black, vs 92% of the first white victim being killed when the oldest offenders are white.
What we see on the NYPD chart isn’t any notation for the number of incidents or how often you may have had single victims, multiple victims, multiple victims or multiple offenders. Some of these events may have been inter-racial some of them not. This data doesn’t really tell us any of that.
The Rape numbers seem to closely match the Murders.
A similarity you can also see with Felonious Assault.
However when you get to Grand Larceny, there’s a dramatic difference.
As there is with Petit Larceny
Something else that’s missing from these charts are the relative rates of each of these crimes and also the fact that the suspect and arrests rates for each of them also vary greatly. To get at this you have to dig a bit deeper, and a few of those raw numbers are provided but not all of them.
Here are the total numbers of victims, but again not the number of incidents, in each of the above areas.
Murder Victims — 335 Rape Victims — 1160 Robbery -— 18,471 Felonious Assault — 20,419 Grand Larceny — 42,686 Misdemeanor Assault — 52,673 Petit Larceny -— 80,804
There’s also a large difference in the clearance rate (arrest per crime) for each type of incident. Although we don’t have the number of incidents, only the number of victims we can’t create a true clearance percentage by we can accomplish an approximation showing the ratio of victims to suspects to arrests.
Murder Suspects — 243 (72%), Arrests — 308 (91%) Rape Suspects — 1139 (98%), Arrests — 796 (68%) Robbery Suspects — 26,463 (143%), Arrests — 10,780 (58%) Felonious Assault Suspects — 20,118 (98%), Arrests — 15,082 (73%) Grand Larceny Suspects — 21,289 (50%), Arrests — 9574 (22%) Misdemeanor Assault Suspects — 51,728 (98%), Arrests — 35,536 (67%) Petit Larceny Suspects — 45,335 (56%), Arrests — 25,789 (31%)
As you can see the numbers are all over the place, if there’s any kind of trend it tends to be that the most prevalent crimes have the lowest rate of arrests including Grand Larceny (22% of 42k), Petit Larceny (31% of 80K), Robbery (58% of 18k) and Misdemeanor Assault (67% of 52K) and also that the suspect numbers do not necessarily reflect any of those arrest rates. I’m not exactly sure what the purpose of including suspect numbers really is, particular when it’s actually so much higher in the case of robbery suspects (143%) than the number of arrests (58%). How’s that work? How is that useful? Where are all those suspects disappearing too? Why even bring it up if there ultimately wasn’t sufficient evidence to affect an arrest because as we’ve shown above arrests don’t necessarily mean conviction, nor does it mean guilt.
This is merely a snapshot of what the police think is going on, it may not be what actually happened which is why we have judges, juries and courts in the first place. The entire point in this debate is how police belief differs from factual reality, and quoting numbers provided by police without the data being being vetted and verified really proves the existence of their bias rather than the reverse.
Further let me point out something else, by bringing back the Petit Larceny chart again now that we have a little better understanding of the differences between the victim, suspect and arrest rows.
This is the one of the two charts, along with Grand Larceny, where we see a high number of white victims. It’s also the most common crime. One thing I noticed with each and every single one of these charts is that the black portion going from suspects to arrests always declines and the Hispanic portion always increases. Here are the full numbers behind this chart.
AMER IND 0.8% Victims 0.3% Suspects 0.4% Arrests ASIAN/PAC.ISL 11.1% Victims 3.9% Suspects 5.5% Arrests BLACK 30.9% Victims 51.0% Suspects 44.4% Arrests
WHITE 32.5% Victims 15.4% Suspects 17.3% Arrests
HISPANIC 24.7% Victims 29.3% Suspects 32.5% Arrests
As this shows Blacks drop as a percentage from 51% of Suspects down 6 points to 44% of Arrests while Hispanics increase from 29% of Suspects up 3 points to 32% of Arrests. This kind of shift happens on every chart, consistently. I don’t know why that is or what it fully means but perhaps it shows that for some reason black people are being suspected consistently at a rate higher than there is evidence to arrest them with.
It’s also odd that we have a White victim rate of 32%, but only a White suspect rate of 15% because most crimes don’t usually jump across racial lines and particularly when total arrest rate is only 31% indicating that 69% of perpetrators in the most prevalent crime aren’t being caught. That’s 55,754 unidentified perpetrators, a figure that by itself is higher than any other crime victimization number. Add to that another 33,295 Grand Larceny suspects (78%) that are going without being caught or arrested. That’s a lot of missing people who aren’t being factored into the final equation when we still have no idea what race they are or aren’t, although they could mostly be white since most of the victims in these areas are also, but we really can’t be sure.
The fact is that we don’t truly know what we don’t know.
Just looking at those two previous examples about 100,000 criminals in New York, the ones who are actually committing the most crime, remain completely anonymous or with insufficient evidence to arrest it becomes a bit more difficult to argue, again as the Hispanic number consistently rises each time we go from suspect to arrestee, that black people are the only ones committing crimes in New York City. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t, meanwhile it’s possible lots more white criminals simply aren’t being suspected or caught. Just like the Affluenza teen and the Stanford Rapist the system is possibly giving them a pass and doesn’t even recognize them as “criminals” but that’s hard to prove with clearance rates of about 31% and 22%.
I know from experience that what some of these kinds of stats seem to indicate largely evaporates when you look deeper at them.
Yes, we do see a high representation of blacks both as victims and suspects in the most violent of crimes, murder, rape, assault and in shootings in general. Whether that is because “black people are just meaner and violent” or there are some forms of gang-warfare at play isn’t shown or explained by any of this data. Without a number of incidents to quantify how often that occurs or how many repeat perpetrators we’re talking about it’s difficult to fully unpack that info, but we can tell that the number of those incidents vastly pale compared to the frequency of grand and petit larceny.
So who are “most criminal?” From these numbers we really can’t tell.
There are lot of problems with the way this data is put together and displayed. It seems only intended to help make a racial argument and not really substantively reflect what’s truly going on with crime in each New York Borough particularly since they don’t show how many of those arrested were ultimately referred to the DA for prosecution — and we don’t have data from the DA showing how many of those referrals were actually convicted — however we do know that NYPD does have more detailed data, they were one of this cities that pioneered the use of COMPSTAT to help direct law enforcement resources where they are needed.
Why they would put out this report, which seems to be only designed to justify existing police policy of over focusing on their black populace as suspects, even when their arrest rate always drops by 5-10% in every category — and I would strongly expect another sharp decline from the arrest to conviction rate as shown by the Stop and Frisk Numbers which dropped from 6% to 2% — when the facts don’t truly bare that argument out?
Unless it’s just there to allow people like Harry Houck to scream “black people are more criminal” at the top of his lungs when it’s simply not possible to prove that with police stats alone while ignoring what the DOJ’s Ferguson Reports says — “it’s doesn’t matter” claims Houck — about blacks being specifically and deliberately targeted by police even when they haven’t broken more laws and even also ignoring the obvious bias and taint these numbers must have because of the record of 90% failed Stop and Frisks that show the exact same thing has been happening in New York City. How can we possibly have all that profiling and harassing of innocent citizens when there isn’t even a crime reported going on and not have it bleed directly into who Officers target and “suspect” when there is a crime reported? How’s that magic trick work, you get it wrong 90% of the time but we’re supposed to trust your judgement this time?
As I noted the other day in response to Rudy Giuliani’s bogus claims on Face the Nation, the raw numbers shows that an unarmed black man is five times more likely to be killed by police. None of Houck’s numbers justify, rationalize or excuse that.
To think that this guy, This Guy, was part of NYPD Internal Affairs charged with the job of fairly investigating and referring for prosecution Officers who cross the line against citizens pretty much tells you exactly why we see so little deterrence for police becoming brutal or using lethal force at the snap of a finger against unarmed and complying subjects.
Tuesday, Jul 12, 2016 · 4:36:47 AM +00:00 · Frank Vyan Walton
Chris Hayes went over his exactly same argument when it was raised by Bill O’Reilly.
“For people like Bill O’Reilly,” Hayes said, “there is a zero sum of concern, here. For him, this really isn’t about his interest in helping the actual human beings being killed on Chicago’s South Side. No. It’s about making a point. A point about the propensity of black people to commit violence, and then tossing them aside as violent people with ‘little discipline’ who are ‘unsupervised’ and ‘prone to imitate bad behavior.’” Hayes said, “There are about 200 million white people in America, making up about 63% of the population. In 2010, 1,179 white people were killed by black people.
Compare that number to the roughly 20,000 white people who died from accidental poisoning, 16,000 who died from accidental falls that year, or the 2,000 or so white people estimated who died from accidental drowning. In other words, Bill O’Reilly, you have more reason to be afraid of your own swimming pool than any young black man you see in a hoodie.”
Rep. Barbra Lee states that "many studies have shown that low socio-economic status is the largest indicator of violence rather than race".
Comments are closed on this story.