The Corner

New Data: It’s Still about Black-on-Black Crime

The FBI has just released its supplemental homicide data for 2012, including the numbers of interracial killings. These are highly relevant for the current rallying cry that “black lives matter.”

Unfortunately, the FBI continues its usual practice of combining whites and Hispanics into the single category “white,” thus overstating white crime and victimization rates. Even so, the data are telling.

A “white” homicide victim is over twice as likely to be killed by a black than a black homicide victim is to be killed by a “white.” Sixteen percent of “white” victims in homicide incidents involving a single victim and single offender were killed by blacks, compared with only 7 percent of black victims who are killed by “whites.” Given the fact that blacks are less than 13 percent of the national population, their homicide rate against whites and Hispanics combined is vastly disproportionate to their share of the population. There were 431 black killers of “whites,” compared to 193 “white” killers of blacks. Undoubtedly a large percentage of interracial killings involve gang killings among black and Hispanic gangs; the number of non-Hispanic whites who kill blacks is undoubtedly far lower than 193. (The number of non-Hispanic whites killed by blacks is also presumably lower than 431.)

Blacks are also disproportionately represented among cop killers. In 2013, blacks made up 42 percent of all cop killers whose race was known.

It is tempting to say in response to this latest data, drearily repetitive of everything that went before it, that “white lives matter.” Of course that would be racist. But it is precisely in response to the disproportionate criminality among the black population that the police are deployed in much higher numbers in black neighborhoods, where they are trying to save innocent lives. There are thousands of law-abiding inner-city blacks who live by bourgeois values and who need protection from criminals. Only the police are willing to provide that protection. Their mantra could be “black lives matter.” The 200 or so reported killings of blacks by police officers — nearly all justified — pale in comparison to the 6,000 or so killings of blacks by other blacks.

Heather Mac Donald — Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and the author of the New York Times bestseller The War on Cops

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