And as the good white liberal writers and white editorial board at the Indianapolis Star show us, anytime a racial disparity exists between white and black people, not only is racism to blame, but the disparity immediately calls for an alacritous front page story bemoaning the obvious example of white supremacy in action.
|Oh no! Black people don't snitch on black criminals, thus the Indy Star has a need to call the disparity a crisis!|
In this scenario: how dare white people not tolerate white murderers and protect them with a steadfast aversion to snitching to the police! [Families of Indy's black homicide victims seek justice:CASES INVOLVING WHITE VICTIMS ARE FAR MORE LIKELY TO GET SOLVED — AND THE DISPARITY IS GROWING., Indianapolis Star, 2-21-16]:
Clarence Wade Havvard III, a city employee and father of two, was shot and killed outside a house on Bernard Avenue last summer.
Coriana Johnson and Makayla Mitchell, two teenagers who served as role models to girls through a youth empowerment group, were found dead in a car on the west side in the fall.
Deshaun Swanson, a 10-year-old sports fan who dreamed of playing professional basketball, was at a memorial service in Butler-Tarkington when bullets sprayed the home. The young boy’s brutal death sparked a citywide uproar over the state of violence in Indianapolis.
What these four victims have in common is concerning. It's not just that they were part of an especially violent year in Indianapolis. And it's not just that they are black. These four represent a particularly troubling and growing trend among the city's black homicide victims: No one has been held accountable for their deaths.
An IndyStar analysis of homicide data provided by the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department shows that since 2011 a significant gap has developed between the solve rates for black and white homicide victims — and 2015 was one of the worst years in the past decade. In 2015, 87 percent of homicides involving white victims were considered solved by IMPD. But when the victim was black, the rate dropped to 50 percent.
What's worse, it’s not projected to get much better. Experts say any solutions might require years to have a noticeable effect.
This growing disparity is happening at a particularly tense time. Police are losing connections in neighborhoods as foot patrol officers are stretched thin. A pervasive “no snitch” culture has taken hold of many neighborhoods where witnesses with criminal records avoid police for fear of being arrested themselves. And a yearslong national conversation about race and policing has fueled additional mistrust. On television and social media, people are left picking sides, leading to pro- and anti-police factions that rarely, if ever, see eye to eye.
The racial disparity in homicide solve rates wasn't always this wide. From 2008 to 2010, the gap ranged from 5 to 12½ percent.
But the disparity has grown noticeably since 2011. The department’s closure rates for cases involving white victims has averaged more than 86 percent in the past five years. The solve rate for black victims, however, rarely edges above 60 percent. For 2014 and 2015, the department has solved about 50 percent of such cases.
"It is disturbing whenever a case is not solved," Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said. "An unresolved homicide is unacceptable regardless of the race of the victim. It's particularly unacceptable if there is a growing disparity."
The data are not perfect. IndyStar was given access to homicide data only from 2007 through 2015. Officials cited record-keeping difficulties before city police merged with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office that they said affected the accuracy of older reports.
The data provide a clear picture of the disparity. What it can't explain is why.
Without knowing the intricacies of every case, it’s hard to understand why one case might be harder to solve than another. And officials can’t point to specifics that explain the gap, saying the solvability of each case is determined on an individual basis and often relies on the evidence or witnesses available. Such details aren’t present in the homicide data reviewed by IndyStar.
Compounding the problem is a growing number of killings. Last year, the city recorded 144 criminal homicides, the most in city history. Most happened in the last six months of 2015.
"Would I be honest to say that I wish our end of year would have been better than it was?” asked Bill Lorah, IMPD’s deputy chief of investigations. “Absolutely, because we're striving to solve them all, and we fell a little short. But it's not over yet."
Lorah said he’s confident the department will solve more 2015 killings throughout 2016. In cracking those cases, he said, the racial disparity would naturally improve, since the approximately 50 cases involving black victims are almost entirely what’s left to solve.
But history shows the chance of clearing many of those cases is getting slimmer. Data show the vast majority of homicide cases are solved within the first year, when evidence is still fresh for a detective. Typically, only a handful of cases are solved in the following years.
But how does a community become more willing to talk to police? Joe Simpson, a black City-County Council member who represents Butler-Tarkington, said part of the solution is for the police department to simply look more like the community it serves.
“If you look at the police department in the city, it doesn’t reflect the community,” Simpson said. “You’ve got all kinds of people that live here that they can’t even communicate with.”
The most recent racial breakdown shows that more than 80 percent of sworn IMPD officers are white, compared with 60 percent of the city’s population. Meanwhile, only 14 percent of the department is black, while 27 percent of the city is.So because black people commit more crime, and because black citizens of Indianapolis protect black criminals by not snitching on them to police, there is a dire need for more black police officers to "reflect the community..."
Blacks are extremely violent in Indianapolis, and the black community these violent black criminals prey upon would rather fail to cooperate with police than work to get them off the streets by providing valuable testimony helping detectives solve homicides.
White people do it. Why can't blacks?
There are two simple solutions here: 1. No more police patrolling black communities, and 2. All white journalists must live in these black communities and enjoy the community they so happily write about as eternally aggrieved by ever-present white racism.
If black people don't feel they have a responsibility to cooperate with police and turn in black criminals who terrorize their own community, then I don't have a responsibility to care about the black community at all.