Wesley Lowery — National Reporter for the Washington Post and Pulitzer Prize winner, is extremely angry at Heather Mac Donald for writing an article for National Review that mentions the huge race gap in shootings in New York City:
Is Heather’s 50X for shootings in NYC correct? It was not in 2014:
Instead, 50X was an understatement that year when the ratio hit 98x.
In the year 2014 in New York City, non-Hispanic blacks were arrested at a rate (relative to their share of the city population) of over 98 times rate at which non-Hispanic whites were arrested. I wouldn’t bet too much on that extreme ratio being replicated every year since it is highly dependent upon a tiny denominator of white arrestees, which could easily fluctuate up or down just due to chance.
Also, the homicide gap isn’t quite as large as the shooting gap in NYC, due to whites tending more to commit their homicides without guns, such as with fists or vehicles. And, it’s not implausible that there are a small number of professional hits carried out in NYC by white professional hitmen who are experts at not getting arrested. But, in general, white on white killings tend to be cleared: a lot of them are domestic violence, or brawls, or murder-suicides, or whatever.
Moreover, NYC whites are exceptional among American whites in general in being less prone to gun violence.
On the other hand, New York City blacks may be less prone to gun violence than African Americans in general as well. For example, NYC has long had a sizable West Indian population that tends to be more bourgeois, a growing African immigrant population that got in for educational credentials, and an African-American middle class that goes back to the Harlem Renaissance or before.
But all this is a reminder that New York City crime isn’t really like it looks on “Law & Order.”
Race, Crime, and Justice in America ￼
2016 Revised Edition
By Edwin S. Rubenstein
New Century Foundation
… New York City, for example, does not participate in NIBRS but it records the races of arrested offenders, and consistently distinguishes between whites and Hispanics. In 2014, 374 people were arrested for murder. Their races were as follows:
White: 2.9 percent
Black: 61.8 percent
Hispanic: 31.8 percent
Asian: 2.7 percent
Other: 0.8 percent
Police take murder very seriously and investigate all cases carefully. Press and judicial system scrutiny are high. Arrest rates for murder therefore track actual crime rates more closely than for any other crime. Murder is probably the crime for which it would be most difficult for police to make “biased” arrests even if they wanted.
Given a population (page B1 of report) that was 32.8 percent white, 22.6 percent black, 28.9 percent Hispanic, and 13.0 percent Asian, a black was 31 times more likely than a white to be arrested for murder, a Hispanic was 12.4 times more likely than a white, and an Asian was twice as likely.
These multiples and those for other crimes appear as graphs on the next page. A “shooting” is discharge of a firearm in which a bullet strikes a person. There is another way to express these disparities. If New York City had been all white in 2014—and the additional whites committed crimes at the same rates as the city’s actual white residents—there would have been 32 murder arrests instead of 374, 1,844 robbery arrests instead of 10,163, and 16 arrests for shootings rather than 503. These figures would reflect reductions in these crimes of no less than 91, 81, and 97 percent, respectively. There are race differences in crime rates throughout the United States, but the differences are particularly sharp in New York and other major cities. This is probably because whites who live in urban centers are often relatively wealthy whereas blacks and Hispanics who live in cities are relatively poor.
The racial ratios for shootings in 2016 were also extremely high according to the NYPD Supplementary Homicide Report:
Shootings Shooting victims are most frequently Black (72.5%) or Hispanic (23.3%). White victims account for an additional (2.9%) of all Shooting victims while Asian/Pacific Islanders victims account for (1.3%) of all Shooting Victims. The race/ethnicity of known Shooting suspects is most frequently Black (70.7%). Hispanic suspects accounted for an additional (26.9%) of all suspects. White suspects (1.9%) and Asian/Pacific Islander suspects (0.6%) accounted for the remaining portion of known Shooting suspects. The Shooting arrest population is similarly distributed. Black arrestees (67.5%) and Hispanic arrestees (29.2%) account for the majority of Shooting arrest population. White arrestees (2.3%) and Asian/Pacific Islander arrestees (1.0%) account for the remaining portion of the Shooting arrest population.
Something else to keep in mind is that in recent decades, New York City has had far more young black women than young black men, as first noted by Jonathan Tilove in 2003. I followed up on him in 2013 using 2000 Census data:
I finally found a government report for New York City in 2000, and, yes, the ratio of black males to females plummets from about age 21 onward. To eliminate the natural effect of women living longer on average, I just looked at ages 20 through 39 in New York City. There were 28% more black women than men in that cohort.
And, it’s not much caused by black women moving to New York because they were fans of Sex and the City, either. In Manhattan (which includes Harlem), the gap was smallest, with just 15% more women than men among 20 to 39 year olds. In more middle class Queens, with its large West Indian population, the gap was only 18%. In Staten Island 27%, in the Bronx 32%, and in Brooklyn, which had, by far, New York City’s largest black population, the gap was 35%.
Hopefully, the decline in homicides and AIDS deaths means the gap is smaller in the 2010 Census, but I haven’t been able to find any numbers for NYC from that Census yet.