JoT re
Sherm re Seattle Cops Shooting Black Men

Sherman, thanks for your response to my essay about Seattle cops shooting black men. You're right that law enforcement falls particularly heavily on blacks. Drug laws are especially hard on minorities, such as the bogus sentencing guidelines for crack.

I state that the reason that Seattle cops disproportionately shoot and kill black men is that black men disproportionately commit crimes.

You conclude: "Truthfully we will never know what 'category of people' commit the most crimes."

Indeed, without the details behind my 40% figure, I can't tell how accurate it is. Thus, I have little choice but to retreat to a much weaker statement. Instead of
      "Blacks disproportionately commit crimes,"
I fall back on the more general
      "Blacks disproportionately run afoul of the police."

Given my new, less assertive statement, we have this model for why 30% of the people that Seattle cops shoot and kill are black:

1. Police shoot and kill people that run afoul of them proportionately, regardless of "race."
2. Blacks run afoul of the police in disproportionate numbers.
3. Therefore, blacks get shot and killed in disproportionate numbers.

This scenario still supports my central point:
The fact that Seattle cops are disproportionately killing blacks doesn't indicate that Seattle cops are more trigger-happy toward blacks (because we already know that blacks disproportionately run afoul of the police).

And I'm talking about Seattle here, not Cincinnati or New York.

If I wanted to keep making liberals angry, I'd continue by pointing out that one reason that blacks disproportionately run afoul of the police is that they disproportionately commit crimes. But why even go there?

BTW: The 40% figure I quoted is from the Seattle Times, which cited the Justice Department as its source. The figure is that black men commit 40% of the crimes in the US, not that 40% of black men are criminals.

September 2001

"Numbers Game" (Sherm again)