Heather Mac Donald On Sharpton Profiling Suit: Whites, Not Blacks, Frisked Disproportionately
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Heather Mac Donald has done good work in the past on the subject of racial profiling. (See Heather MacDonald Debunks Racial Profiling, and Profiling Again) Her latest effort is a response to Al Sharpton's threat to sue the NYPD for stopping and frisking African-Americans "disproportionately." The Amsterdam News, a paper serving African-Americans in the New York area, includes the helpful information that "anyone who believes that they were racially profiled by a stop and frisk should join the class-action suit." and a contact number for Sharpton's National Action Network. [Email them][Frisk this! |Sharpton launches anti–stop-and-frisk class-action lawsuit, by Nayaba Arinde, February 8, 2007]

The NY Post has a story on it, too, [ Al Pledges ‘Frisk’ Suit, By Brian Hamacher, February 5, 2007 ]but they don't seem to consider it their journalistic duty to put money in the pockets of Sharpton's lawyers. Here's Heather's answer to allegations of wrongdoing by the NYPD:

As long as blacks commit crime in numbers wildly disproportionate to their representation in the population, police data are going to show higher involvement with blacks than with whites. According to victims and witnesses, blacks committed 68.5 percent of all murders, rapes, robberies, and assaults in New York last year, though they are only 24 percent of the city’s population. Whites, who make up 34.5 percent of New Yorkers, committed 5.3 percent of those crimes. Blacks are nearly 13 times more likely to commit violent crimes than whites.

In light of this massive disparity in crime rates, the police stop-and-frisk data are not just reasonable but inevitable. Last year, 55 percent of police stops were of blacks—a proportion far below the 68.5 percent of violent crime that blacks commit—while 11 percent of stops were of whites, nearly double their 5.3 percent contribution to violent crime. [Why Cops Stop and Frisk So Many Blacks | Blame high black crime, not police racism. by Heather Mac Donald, City-Journal.org, February 7, 2007]

So, in point form, we have

  • As a result of immigration, internal migration, and white flight, today only one in three New Yorkers is white.
  • Whites commit very little crime, but are stopped about twice as often as our crime rate would seem to indicate. See here for a possible reason, and good luck to anyone who wants to try a profiling suit.
  • Blacks commit lots more crime, but are stopped less often than their crime rate share would warrant.

And one more thing

  • While 55 percent of the suspects were black, another 29 percent of the suspects were Hispanic. Someone tell the Wall Street Journal that Hispanic immigration doesn't just include nannies and busboys, and chicken pluckers, it now includes 29 percent of the suspected criminals in New York.
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