Liberal columnist Sally Kohn made waves when she wrote a CNN opinion piece on race and crime in America. She offered a few shocking crime statistics including these two:
- Black men were 6x more likely to be sent to prison as white men
- White men actually accounted for 69% of all those arrested for violent crimes in America
Yet, is this statistically true? Not exactly.
Her claim that 69% of all violent crimes were caused by white men isn’t entirely accurate. The statistic in question refers to all white people, men and women alike, and it includes all crimes – from loitering to kidnapping. It also fails to take into account the population factor. There are statistically more white people in the United States than there are black people. Thus, it would be expected that the number of crimes would be higher, given the increase in population size.
So how does race affect crime in America? According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, white men and women were arrested for 60% of all violent crimes in 2012. When breaking down strictly homicide, it appears that white males committed 41.5% of homicides; black males committed 45.6%. If you were to take into account population, black men are 7x more likely than white men to be arrested for homicide – breaking down to a rate of 33 murders per 100,000 black men, compared to 4.7 murders for every 100,000 white men.
While these numbers may be jolting – they can be skewed. Crime data includes each instance of crime; so one individual could be counted several times in the data if he is arrested for multiple offenses (which many are). To complicate the data even further, police officers often patrol minority neighborhoods, making arrests in those areas extremely likely. In addition, arrest data blends Hispanic offenders into both white and black categories, which makes it even more unclear.
So, does this mean that black men pose a great risk than white men? No. According to Robert Brame, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina, you are statistically more likely to be a victim of a white perpetrator because there are more whites in the population. Also, many have argued that black people are more likely to be arrested for the same crime as a white person. This is due in large part to heavy policing in black communities.
Further Reading: DUI Crackdown in Colorado Results in Hundreds Arrested
Crime by Race in America:
- In 2012, there were 4,631 homicides committed by white men
- In 2012, there were 5,095 homicides committed by black men
- In 2013, there were 4,486 homicides committed by white men
- In 2013, there were 4,863 homicides committed by black men
- White men committed 10,038 acts of forcible rape in 2012
- Black men committed 5,030 acts of forcible rape in 2012
- White men committed 223,426 crimes of aggravated assault in 2012
- Black men committed 116,984 crimes of aggravated assault in 2012.
- Black people are 3.7x more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession
Arrested for a Crime in America
One thing is abundantly clear; no matter if you are black or white, if you are arrested for a crime in America, you face serious penalties and consequences. Prosecutors will aggressively seek maximum penalties and jail time – and without an experienced Boulder criminal defense lawyer on your side, you could spend a long time behind bars. Your attorney will be able to review all the evidence against you and build a solid defense against these serious charges.
Contact Our Boulder Criminal Defense Attorneys
At the Steven Louth Law Offices, our Boulder criminal defense lawyers believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and we aggressively defend our clients and their rights to receive a fair trial. Our track record speaks for itself. Contact the Boulder criminal defense lawyers at Steven Louth Law Offices today for a free consultation and review of your case. Call us at (303) 422-2297 to start building a solid defense against these serious criminal charges.