Violent Crime and Gun Crime Down

From the egalitarian (“social justice”), partisan, left-wing Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU School of Law:

Today, the national crime rate is about half of what it was at its height in 1991. Violent crime has fallen by 51 percent since 1991, and property crime by 43 percent. In 2013 the violent crime rate was the lowest since 1970. And this holds true for unreported crimes as well. According to the National Crime Victimization Survey, since 1993 the rate of violent crime has declined from 79.8 to 23.2 victimizations per 1,000 people. Americans who lived through the 1960s and 1970s remember the fear associated with a real surge in violent crime. In fact, the violent crime rate increased by 126 percent between 1960 and 1970, and by 64 percent between 1970 and 1980.

[…]

Government statistics show that, except for some small blips, serious crime has decreased almost every year from 1994 through 2013. For over a decade Gallup has found that the majority of Americans polled believe crime is up, contrary to the fact that crime rates have plummeted in almost every small and large city since the 1990s. This is not to say that all cities and areas are experiencing decreases in violent crime year after year, but the overall rate of violent crime is significantly lower than historic levels.

[…]

As with the Gallup polls data, the narrative of violent crime — at least in the popular press — doesn’t have much to do with the crime reality. Crime across the nation is at an all-time low. We need to recognize that and embrace effective policies to keep it even lower. Just as with the case of airplane crashes, the public may see the extraordinary event as representative of the norm when it is not. [America’s Faulty Perception of Crime Rates]

Hat Tip: Violent Crime Rates — US Statistics | National Review Online

How CNN Lied About The Ferguson Riots

From CNN is lying when they say Ferguson protests were ‘peaceful’ | New York Post:

It has been remarkable to watch the last few days as America’s self-styled “most trusted news network” has sent out teams of reporters to various areas of Ferguson, Missouri, ostensibly to cover the protests there. While their cameramen are watching cars on fire and stores being looted, the reporters ramble on about how “most people here” are “peaceful protesters.”

On Tuesday night, CNN correspondent Jason Carroll was reporting, “Most of the protesting we saw in front of the Ferguson Police Department tonight was peaceful.” Then as he started trying to explain the fires burning behind him, he was approached by three of the protesters, who proceeded to get in his face and yell at him because he was promoting a “certain narrative” — the police narrative. “You don’t understand!” one screamed.

Anchor Don Lemon quickly went elsewhere, saying he was worried about Carroll’s safety. When Lemon returned to Carroll later in the broadcast and asked him what the men were saying to him, Carroll refused to say. The reporter was stonewalling because, he explained, these men didn’t “represent” the peaceful protesters who were really the story.

[…] CNN’s “narrative” was laid out early on Monday evening as correspondent Van Jones (formerly of the Obama administration) warned the audience not to pay attention to “a few knuckleheads” who later became a “bunch of knuckleheads” who “started a bunch of nonsense.” Knuckleheads? Nonsense? When did “knucklehead” become a synonym for arsonist? When did taking a baseball bat to store windows become “a bunch of nonsense”?

[…]  Marc Lamont Hill, who explained that the problem is not the protesters but the police who have been “disingenuous” by closing off a road to protesters after they heard shots being fired.

[…] There was even a debate among … the correspondents — over whether they should have aired video of Michael Brown’s stepfather standing on top of a car yelling, “Burn this bitch down,” right after the verdict was released.

[…] From day one, CNN has twisted the Ferguson story. The network decided early on that an injustice had been done, contrary facts aside. [… ] The network helped stir up a nation to the point of violence. Yet, since the protesters must always be on the side of the angels, CNN lies about the destruction that follows.

It’s rare you see the liberal media’s dishonesty in such stark terms, but CNN can’t control the pictures. If you wanted to know what was really happening this week, all you had to do was press the mute button.

The Truth About Michael Brown, Ferguson and Officer Wilson

Rich Lowry has an excellent editorial on The Inconvenient (and tragic) Truths | New York Post:

The bitter irony of the Michael Brown case is that if he had actually put his hands up and said don’t shoot, he would almost certainly be alive today. […] the credible evidence suggests that Michael Brown — after a petty act of robbery at a local business — attacked Wilson when the officer stopped him on the street. Brown punched Wilson when the officer was still in his patrol car and attempted to take his gun from him. […] Again, according to the credible evidence, [Brown] turned back and rushed Wilson. The officer shot several times, but Brown kept on coming until Wilson finally killed him.

[…] Aided and abetted by a compliant national media, the Ferguson protesters spun a dishonest or misinformed version of what happened — Michael Brown murdered in cold blood while trying to surrender — into a meme and a chant (“Hands up, don’t shoot”), and then a mini-movement. When the facts didn’t back their narrative, they dismissed the facts and retreated into paranoid suspicion of the legal system. The grand jury process was rigged, they complained, because St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch didn’t seek an indictment of Wilson and instead allowed the grand jury to hear all the evidence and make its own decision. Who could really object to a grand jury hearing everything in such a sensitive case?

Then there is the argument that Wilson should have been indicted so there could be a trial “to determine the facts.” If a jury of Wilson’s peers didn’t believe there was enough evidence to establish probable cause to indict him, though, there was no way a jury of his peers was going to convict him of a crime, which requires the more stringent standard of beyond a reasonable doubt. Besides, we don’t try people for crimes they almost certainly didn’t commit just to satisfy a mob that will throw things at the police and burn down local businesses if it doesn’t get its way.

Comments Washington Post’s Dana Milbank:

“[Prosecutor Bob] McCulloch short-circuited the process — reinforcing a sense among African Americans, and many others, that the justice system is rigged. He almost certainly could have secured an indictment on a lesser charge simply by requesting it, yet he acted as if he were a spectator, saying that jurors decided not to return a ‘true bill” on each possible charge — as if this were a typical outcome. As has been repeated often in recent weeks, a grand jury will indict a proverbial ham sandwich if a prosecutor asks it to.” [“Bob McCulloch’s pathetic prosecution of Darren Wilson”]

By “a grand jury will indict a proverbial ham sandwich if a prosecutor asks it to”, Milbank admits to wanting to rig the system to indict Wilson despite their being no factual basis for doing so.

Yet, thanks to McCullough releasing all of the evidence, we that know Brown was in the wrong because several Black eye-witnesses who were on the scene confirmed Officer Wilson’s account of the events — and their statements were backed up by the physical evidence. This evidence is publicly available for any protestor or looter to study if they can take the time away from blocking streets, chanting slogans, and putting buildings on fire. (If you read the documents pay special attention to witness number 10, page 4).

For a Grand Jury to indict someone — whether a policeman or not — the facts need to cast at least some evidence of guilt. Whether one person or a mob of three million protestors are emotionally distraught has no say in the justice of the matter. The purpose of justice is not to appease an ignorant lynch mob that cries “no justice-no peace” and goes on a looting binge. Jonathan Turley at USA Today emphasizes this point:

“The law requires us to deal with facts, and when those facts do not support a criminal charge, prosecution is barred regardless of popular demand. In the end, it rings hollow to cry ‘no justice, no peace’ when you are rioting or looting. There can be no justice if it is merely the result of demonstrations rather than demonstrated facts. Otherwise, the scales of justice become just one more object to throw through the window of an appliance store.” [‘Jonathan Turley, “Ferguson needs facts, not passions”]

In an interview with ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, police officer Darren Wilson spoke about the shooting of Michael Brown.

“I didn’t know if I’d be able to withstand another hit like that,” Wilson said of the altercation with Michael Brown. “I had reached out my window with my right hand to grab onto his forearm ’cause I was gonna try and move him back and get out of the car to where I’m no longer trapped…I just felt the immense power that he had. And then the way I’ve described it is it was like a 5-year-old holding onto Hulk Hogan. That’s just how big this man was.”

Comments Lowry on the issue:

There is good reason for a police officer to be in mortal fear in the situation Officer Wilson faced, though. In upstate New York last March, Police Officer David Smith responded to a disturbance call at an office, when suddenly, a disturbed man pummeled the officer as he was attempting to exit his vehicle and then grabbed his gun and shot him dead. [New York Post]

Here is a video on that shooting in New York, which could have been Officer Wilson.

From the NY Daily News:

Officer David Smith, 43, was shot and killed after a crazed man grabbed his gun from his holster during a disturbance call Monday morning, according to police. An upstate New York police officer was shot and killed by a crazed man who snatched his gun from his holster during a disturbance call Monday morning, according to police. Johnson City Officer David Smith, 43, was shot multiple times outside an MRI office near Binghamton after a disturbed employee managed to grab his gun just after 7 a.m., said Police Chief Joseph Zikuski. The married 18-year police veteran, who has an 11-year-old son, had just arrived at Southern Tier Imaging when MRI technician James Clark, 43, wildly ran up to him before punching him several times as he was trying to exit his vehicle, said Zikuski. During the attack witnesses said Clark managed to somehow grab Smith’s weapon and repeatedly open fire until the 40-caliber duty’s magazine was spent.

Yes, racism does exist — on both sides of the “color-divide.”

Yes, there are cops who unjustly target people because of their race. Officer Wilson was not one of them.

Officer Wilson is the wrong person to target and blame for a situation he did not create — Michael Brown created that problem when Brown robbed a store, and then violently assaulted a police officer. Rather then saying “Yes, sir Mr. Officer. No sir.” He resorted to violence. Whether one takes up a fist or sword — to start up and initate violence — is evil. To use force, to defend oneself is the good.

Brown was the assailant; Officer Wilson is the victim.

Ask yourself if Officer Wilson was black would there be any of the rage over this incident? Would this even be an issue?

 

INSIGHT: Black officers can be harder on black criminal suspects?

Do diverse police forces treat their communities more fairly than almost-all-white ones like Ferguson’s? – The Washington Post

[…] do racially-balanced police forces actually treat their communities any more fairly than those as skewed as Ferguson’s?

From the studies that have been done, however, there’s no conclusive evidence to show that white and black police officers treat suspects differently — if anything, some of the studies show that black officers can be harder on black criminal suspects.

[…]

In 2004, for instance, criminologists found in an analysis of observational and survey data from St. Petersburg, Fla., and Indianapolis, Ind., that in resolving conflicts, “black officers are more likely to conduct coercive actions” — which could mean anything from verbal orders to physical confinement — than white officers. A 2006 study of Cincinnati police records concluded that white officers were more likely to arrest suspects than black officers overall — but it also found that black officers were significantly more likely to make an arrest when the suspect was black.

[…]

What’s more, polls show that black communities do not necessarily trust police forces more when they are more racially representative. In Washington D.C., according to a 2011 Washington Post poll, the police department got a relatively low 60 percent rating from black residents, despite the fact that the force is highly integrated. The New York Police Department’s demographics are close to those of the rest of the city, but a Quinnipiac poll from 2014 found that only 54 percent of black residents approved of its performance. The Detroit police department is so dominated by African Americans that it’s been sued for discrimination against whites, and yet only 18 percent of black Wayne County residents approved of its work in 2009.

CROSS: No Justice for Gibson Guitars

Bill Frezza revives the Gibson Guitars case in a piece published in Forbes.   The whole affair stands as an appalling example of the law run amok.  The owners believe they suffered heavy-handed treatment from the feds due to the “protectionist” interests of labor unions and environmentalists.  But when the law can be warped to satisfy the whim of any bureaucrat or power-holder, that’s not protectionism, that’s tyranny.  More specifically, the Gibson Guitars case epitomizes the tyranny of non-objective law.

While 30 men in SWAT attire dispatched from Homeland Security and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service cart away about half a million dollars of wood and guitars, seven armed agents interrogate an employee without benefit of a lawyer. The next day Juszkiewicz receives a letter warning that he cannot touch any guitar left in the plant, under threat of being charged with a separate federal offense for each “violation,” punishable by a jail term.

Up until that point Gibson had not received so much as a postcard telling the company it might be doing something wrong. Thus began a five-year saga, extensively covered by the press, with reputation-destroying leaks and shady allegations that Gibson was illegally importing wood from endangered tree species. In the end, formal charges were never filed, but the disruption to Gibson’s business and the mounting legal fees and threat of imprisonment induced Juszkiewicz to settle for $250,000—with an additional $50,000 “donation” piled on to pay off an environmental activist group.

You can read the rest here.

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