In remarks Tuesday at a House of Representatives Judiciary Committee hearing on policing strategies, Milwaukee County, Wisconsin Sheriff David Clarke dismantled the "myth" that police kill more black males than anyone else and shamed elected officials and the media for "exploit[ing] the emotions" of the public by giving credence to the recent protest slogans "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" and "Black Lives Matter." Clarke also addressed the realities of black-on-black crime statistics, the black prison population, and the need for a conversation that would focus on the behavior and lifestyle of many in the black community, rather than the blanket calls for police reform.
"Police use of force should be scrutinized," Clarke told the committee. "Locally, that is."
"It should be examined in terms of factual data and circumstances that led to the police action, and not from an emotional foundation of false narratives or catchy slogans like 'Hands Up, Don’t Shoot,' or 'No Justice, No Peace' or 'Black Lives Matter,'" he added.
Clarke called out the liberal mainstream media and politicians for using those headline-worthy moments to play on America's emotions for their own gains. "Let's leave that conduct for the public to engage in," appealed the sheriff.
Clarke combined his 37 years of experience with the data he has amassed from studying the subject of crime and race and countered those statistics, even from our own Department of Justice, he says comes by way of "a predetermined agenda":"
In 2013, the USDOJ under Attorney General Eric Holder did a study in conjunction with the National Institute of Justice on traffic stop data. They found that when you use control factors that statistics and research require for legitimate findings, any racial disparities are attributed to differences in offending. The study showed that Black drivers violated speeding and other traffic laws at much greater rates than whites. That conclusion of this study under the Eric Holder-led USDOJ might be ugly to some, but it is what the data and research found. That same study showed that three out of every four Black drivers said that police had a legitimate reason for stopping them.
The same is true in arrest and incarceration data of African-American males. Participation rates in violent crime explain the disparity of why so many Black males are locked up in prison. Black males are disproportionately involved in violent crime, and this violence is predominantly perpetrated against other Black people. It is not the result of a discriminatory criminal justice system.
The entire black population in state and federal prisons, Clarke said, is at 37.5%. He indicated that if those convicted of drug charges were released, the black prison population would only drop to 37%. "So much for the myth of Black males filling up prisons merely for drug convictions," Clarke said, "not to mention that illegal drug use is the scourge of the Black community and leads to a great deal of violent crime."
Clarke destroyed another "false narrative" by saying, "It is a myth that police kill Black males in greater numbers than anyone else." His data easily counters this assertion, showing that between 2009 and 2012, white males were killed by police officers at nearly double the rates of blacks:
61% (915) of 1,491 people who died from police use of force were white males while 32% (481) were Black males.
Clarke then pointed out "the elephant in the room" -- black-on-black crime -- and requested the conversation shift from simply calling for widespread police reform to addressing the bad behaviors of those in the black community:
Black-on-black crime is the elephant in the room that few want to talk about. We can talk about police use of force but it doesn’t start with transforming the police profession. It starts by asking why we need so much assertive policing in the American ghetto. Are police officers perfect? Not by any stretch of the imagination. Are police agencies perfect? Not... even... close. But we are the best our communities have to offer.
Instead, the conversation should be about transforming Black underclass subculture behavior. The discussion must start with addressing the behavior of people who have no respect for authority, who fight with and try to disarm the police, who flee the police, and who engage in other flawed lifestyle choices. Bashing the police is the low-hanging fruit. It is easier to talk about the rare killing of a Black male by police because emotion can be exploited for political advantage.
The police are easier to throw overboard because they can’t fight back politically. This however is counter-productive and will lead to police pulling back in high crime areas where good law-abiding Black people live. Black people will be the losers in all this as violent crime rates skyrocket over time. This means more... Black...crime victims.
Last year, Clarke made headlines when he demanded AG Holder issue an apology to law enforcement officers for accusing them of racial profiling.
Video of the hearing below via MRCTV: