Black Lives Matter Gets Black People Killed
Black Lives Matter has been accused of demonizing police and heightening racial tensions. I agree with those criticisms, but the movement has an even more basic problem.
It threatens black lives.
Homicide rates have gone up recently, but the violence hasn’t been spread evenly: of the increase in killings last year, around a third took place in largely African American areas of Chicago. Baltimore saw more bloodshed too. Both cities would benefit from the sort of proactive policing that helped reduce New York’s crime rates in the early 90’s. But thanks to #BLM, they’re unlikely to get it.
A poll published last year by the Pew Research Center found that 72% of law enforcement officers believed their colleagues have become less likely to stop and question suspicious individuals. The reason? No one wants to be the next Darren Wilson.
In 2014, Michael Brown was shot and killed after he attacked Wilson. Although eye witness accounts and two autopsies backed up Wilson’s version of events, Black Lives Matter activists spread the claim that Brown had been shot execution-style with his hands up. Wilson ultimately lost his job and was forced into hiding. Meanwhile, protests broke out across the country–some of which turned violent.
In light of this, it makes sense many officers would feel more reluctant to do their jobs. Unfortunately, that reluctance correlates with more killings, as violent criminals with illegal guns are less likely to get taken off the street. And while this endangers society at large, African Americans face the biggest risk: despite comprising just 13% of America’s population, blacks make up around half its homicide victims.
Obviously, unjustified police shootings are unacceptable (and as Daniel Saver proved, they don’t just happen to blacks). However, vilifying every use of force before the facts are known only disincentivizes good police work, and that costs lives.
Most of them are black.
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