Black Crime in Baltimore High -- but Should be Higher
Crime in Baltimore is dropping like a pile of hot rocks. And Elliott Einbinder knows the reason why: It is hard to get arrested there.
Einbinder is a Jewish dentist who was attacked last week on his way to afternoon prayers near his office -- all in front of witnesses willing to tell police what they saw. Let’s pick up the story from Baltimore Jewish Life:
“One 24-year-old African American female followed him and sucker punched him on the side of his head, swelling his lip and breaking his glasses. She continued to throw punches as Dr. Einbinder tried to swat her away.”
"I thought this was a 15-year old boy. She was half my size and just didn't appear to be a female. I kept asking her why she was doing this to me; I said, 'I didn't anything to you'! She spat on me and according to one witness, she said, "C'mon, fight me Jew.”
“The attacker originally told police that the doctor began the altercation but when witnesses contradicted her story she admitted to the police that she was "just having a bad day."
“He is also upset at the way the laws are written in that the officers on the scene were unable to arrest her even with the tens of witnesses to this attack on hand. Apparently an attack of this sort is considered a 2nd Degree Assault and unless witnessed by a Police Officer, and/or unless any type of weapon is used an arrest cannot be made.”
More than 20 witnesses. A crime scene confession. A shaken victim, willing to press charges. And what happened?
The case was turned over to a commissioner who decides whether to press charges and issue a warrant for the attacker to appear in court -- you know, the warrants they say cause riots in places like Ferguson.
The idea that crime in Baltimore is going down comes up every time a case of black mob violence hits the local news. Which is pretty much all the time. Everything except that black part, that is, which they leave out.
Baltimore reporters are getting tired of having to constantly remind everyone how their city is safe -- and getting safer.
“Impressions matter. Crime stats do not,” lamented Peter Hermann, chief crime apologist for the Baltimore Sun.
Hermann was explaining life in the big city to a New Jersey yokel who wanted to know what happened to the large group of black people that was rampaging through downtown Baltimore, attacking people, destroying property, and creating mayhem. All beneath her hotel balcony window in the upscale Inner Harbor.
That really does not narrow it down much, because what seemed “scary” to her, Hermann said, was “normal and routine” to grizzled observers of the gritty Baltimore crime beat. Police “made no arrests, saw no crime, had no reason to make an announcement. There’s not even a report -- it’s just something that happens,” he said.
Last summer there was so much crime, so much video, so many people wondering why it was happening so often, that Governor O’Malley suggested that the new mayor might want to copy what he did to fight crime when he was mayor: Put more boots on the ground.
Not on my watch, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake told the Baltimore Sun:
"Returning to the days of mass arrests for any and every minor offense might be a good talking point but it has been proven to be a far less effective strategy for actually reducing crime.”
This came just a few months after Maryland legislator Pat McDonough called on the governor to declare downtown Baltimore a “No-Travel Zone” because of all the “black” people who were “terrorizing” the area.
The mayor did not like that advice either.
She had her own plan and it was working just fine: Just stop arresting people. When O’Malley was mayor, the city collared 100,000 miscreants a year. Last year, they nabbed 50,000.
This allows the Mayor to brag to anyone willing to listen that violent crime in Baltimore is down -- 45 percent since the year 2000.
They may have stopped arresting people, but crime just keeps on chugging along. Locals know the truth: Baltimore is a dangerous place for racial violence and the people who run the town -- and their mouthpieces at the local paper -- could not care less.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, 50 to 100 black people were fighting, destroying property and creating havoc at a local public swimming pool. You know, the kind they open so kids don’t do things like that.
They were asked to leave. They went straight to a nearby city-owned bicycle concession and stole 40 bikes after roughing up the people who were supposed to be guarding them.
No one was arrested. Nor did anyone at the local papers hear much about anything as 50 to 100 black people, stolen bikes in tow, rampaged through a few more neighborhoods as they returned to their lair.
That same holiday weekend, 200 black people were fighting, destroying property and creating havoc downtown. Near the Inner Harbor, again. This time they arrested two people. When some readers observed that crime and violence in Baltimore was a black thing, others lashed out, demanding they stop “demonizing black people.”
Local bikers are still talking about how in April, a member of Car Free Baltimore was biking through a black neighborhood when dozens of the local thugs knocked him off his bike, punched him and all the rest.
That means laughing and shrieking with pleasure as they yelled ‘knock him out.” On video. No one was arrested. And oh yeah, that happens a lot, he and his readers reminded anyone who wanted to hear about it.
A Baltimore area bowling alley was the scene of dozens of episodes of large-scale black mob violence over the last several years. Every Saturday night, 400 black people from Baltimore descend on the alley, then create crime and violence in surrounding neighborhoods when they were through skating.
All the usual stuff: Bricks through police car windows, looting nearby stores, assaulting neighbors, over and over and over. And the official reaction: Put the criminals on a bus back to Baltimore with stern admonitions not to do it again.
This is a very long list. Much of the violence and denial are documented by your humble scribe in White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence to America and how the media ignore it.
Or you can catch some of the more recent Baltimore links over at the White Girl Bleed a Lot web site. There are far more stories than arrests. And lots of letters from people who live in Baltimore pleading for someone to tell the truth about the constant violence in that once charming city.
“Growing up in Baltimore city can be hellish for white people,” said one of many correspondents. “Anyone who isn’t black is a target.”
In February, Black History Month, Tracey Halvorsen wrote an article titled "Baltimore, You Are Breaking My Heart.” Much like an earlier article 100 miles up the freeway called “Being White in Philly,” Halvorsen wandered why Baltimore was so dangerous and why no one seemed to notice. Let alone care.
A few quotes:
“I’m tired of being looked at like prey.”
“I’m tired of thinking about the horrifying final moments for 51 year old neighbor, Kim Leto, stabbed to death in her own home by two teenagers.”
“I’m tired of wondering why city leaders haven’t said shit about recent horrific murders committed by children in supposedly “safe” neighborhoods.
“I’m tired of living next to a beautiful park that I’m scared to walk into at any time of day, thanks to regular stories of day-time muggings, drug dealing and gang violence.”
And of course, how she has to borrow a pit bull from her neighbor when she wants to walk around the block.
Or go to the dentist.
Like “Being White in Philly,” Halvorsen’s story contained all the requisite apologies for noticing. All the protestations about her black friends. All the denials that she was a racist.
The black commentators disagreed: They said race had everything do with crime. Halvorsen’s race. The white privilege that caused her to expect to live in a safe neighborhood. The white racism that caused the black people to commit the crimes and violence in the first place.
“I think the problem here is that many white and/or upper/middle-class residents of Baltimore -- and, of course, the Maryland suburbanites who work or play in Baltimore -- show no sense of the structural problems plaguing the city and the roots of violence,” said Shereen at a local blog that focuses on journalism and music operated by NPR reporter Lawrence Lanahan.
Before creating NPR’s favorite cop show, “The Wire”, David Simon chased crime stories for the Sun. Last year he made the news talking about how angry he was when George Zimmerman was found not guilty in the shooting of You Know Who.
Simon said if he were black, he would be heading for the courthouse with a brick in his hand because it was “open season” on black people.
That is why many were surprised that in his recent book, Simon talked about the “structural problems” of Baltimore. But not in a way that NPR would approve: He reminded his readers of what lawyers calls a Bronx jury: A black jury that will not convict a black defendant of the charges presented to it.
Some call it racial jury nullification. One study showed that only two percent of black defendants in Baltimore are found guilty of the original charges when tried in front of a black jury. Outside of Baltimore, that conviction rate goes up to 63 percent.
So in Baltimore, police will not arrest black criminals. Juries will not convict them. And all over the country, more and more district attorneys are talking about an epidemic of witness tampering that also makes convictions problematic.
Toss in stitches for snitches, and that is the fourth reason why the black crime rate is artificially low.
If you need a fifth reason, MSNBC’s golden girl Melissa Harris-Perry was gracious enough to offer one over the weekend. She was talking to a playwright about the prevalence of domestic violence among black men. Common place, said Ntozake Shange, author of “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.”
And often very brutal, she said. That is what her award-winning drama is about. But it is often not reported because black people don’t want to air their racial business in front of white people. Like the cops. It’s a Ray Rice thing.
This is not the first time Melissa warmed to the topic of not reporting crime against black women if it involved black men: “Part of the reason why, for example, we have an under-reporting of rape and domestic violence in African American communities,” said Harris-Perry in 2012, “is because we know the violence enacted on black men by police, so we often don’t call. Right?”
If you say so.
While Melissa tries to get her head straight about what to do about Ray Rice, newspapers and magazines are starting to catch on to the under-reporting hoax: Earlier this year, Chicago Magazine did a two-part story on how the police department deflates crime numbers.
So much so that the web site DNA Info reported that a Chicago police captain recently told a community group that he would not even talk about crime statistics: “You'll notice I didn't bring up stats," said Police Cmdr. Elias Voulgaris. "No one believes the stats.”
You can get the same local story from the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and media in Seattle, Atlanta, Cleveland, Louisville, Denver, and yes, however accidentally, even Baltimore.
In Detroit, the police department incorrectly reclassified 22 of its 368 slayings last year as "justifiable" and did not report them as homicides to the FBI as required by federal guidelines.
That is on top of the 11,000 abandoned rape kits recently discovered in a warehouse. Untested.
So however dangerous you thought Detroit was, it is 11,000 rapes and 22 murders worse.
Insert your favorite expletive of disbelief here.
Down in New Orleans, crime stats were so ridiculously low that state and a city inspectors did an audit. Here’s the money quote from the WWLTV news:
"For the second time in three days, a watchdog agency is questioning the New Orleans Police Department's crime statistics. A report released Wednesday by the city's inspector general shows that some crimes aren't being classified as crimes at all.
"We found in this case, 177 times in six months, which is a lot, that there was in fact crime that was not reported as such,” said Howard Schwartz, first assistant inspector general. “And they're not doing anything about it.”
In Madison, Wisconsin, they are doing something about it: The local paper claims that the police department in the most liberal city in America (sorry Berkeley) is picking on black people. The proof: Cops arrest black people in Madison for smoking pot 18 times more often than white people.
And they know that is wrong, they said, because everyone knows that black people and white people smoke pot in the same amount. Federal studies show that, but the paper somehow forgot to cite them.
So I will here: That information comes from the Bureau of Census and its annual household survey. Not the ‘fill out a form and drop it in the mail’ kind. This survey involves sending census takers into the home and asking 45 minutes worth of questions, including some about drug use: Black and white people admit to drug use in the same amount.
Medical people call that self-reporting. Study after study has shown it to be unreliable as a way of reporting drug use. The only reliable way is testing.
When places like Johns Hopkins University and the Journal of Addictive Behavior investigated the reliability of self-reporting versus testing, they find one group in particular does not report honestly: “African Americans.”
“A study of 290 African American men in Baltimore, Maryland undergoing treatment for hypertension showed that self-reporting of illicit drug use is unreliable. Only 48 of the participants reported drug use but urine drug tests revealed that 131 had used drugs.”
With self-reporting, drug use among black people was 16 percent.
With testing, 45 percent.
There’s more. Different study. Different journal.
According to the medical journal Addictive Behaviors, “underreporting of cocaine was documented with urine testing validation as well where African Americans in comparison to Caucasians who were urine positive were about 6 times less likely to report cocaine use when other factors are controlled for.”
Translation: When you ask, white people and black people report using cocaine in about the same amount. But when you test, black people are six times more likely to use cocaine. And lie about it.
Congressman John Conyers recently cited the same stories that formed the basis for the Madison story as proof positive of racism in the criminal justice system. “Racism, unconscious or not, has a disproportionate impact on criminal penalties in minority communities,” Conyers said earlier this year. “Bias can begin on decisions about what offenses are investigated. With enough time and officers in a certain location, it is only a matter of time before they find reasonable suspicion to stop, detain and arrest someone -- or many people.”
But not in Baltimore. Not anymore. That’s what they say, anyway.