Lies about crime, race


Monday’s guest commentary, “On stopping crime, Obama failed and Trump succeeded,” was terrible. It was false, polemic, and racist. The Editor of The Recorder should have exercised better judgment and declined to print it. 

1. The premise of the commentary was false to begin with. The President of the United States does not fight or stop most crime. Crime is largely a local issue — it is committed locally and investigated and prosecuted locally. There is some federal and interstate crime, but it is a small subset of overall crime.

2. Even within the dopey premise of the commentary, the truth is that the Obama presidency saw the lowest violent crime rates in decades To quote the preliminary analysis from the Brennan Center For Justice, “The violent crime rate is projected to decrease slightly, by 0.6 percent, essentially remaining stable. This result is driven primarily by stabilization in Chicago, and declines in Washington, D.C., two large cities that experienced increases in violence in recent years. The violent crime rate for this year is projected to be about 1 percent above 2014’s violent crime rate, the lowest recorded since 1990.” Who was President in 2014? It turns out it was Obama, whom the author asserted had “failed.”

3. The author then bemoans the decline of “stop and frisk,” somehow linking it to Obama. I think a far more likely cause of the decline was the fact that New York City’s use of it was declared unconstitutional in a US District Court and current Mayor DeBlasio campaigned on curtailing its use. The result, as acknowledged by National Review’s Kyle Smith, was “Today in New York City, use of stop-and-frisk, which the department justified via the 1968 Terry v. Ohio Supreme Court ruling, has crashed. Yet the statistics are clear: Crime is lower than ever. It’s possible that crime would be even lower had stop-and-frisk been retained, but that’s moving the goalposts. I and others argued that crime would rise. Instead, it fell. We were wrong.”

4. The author of the commentary reaches a low when he asserts that, “As we learn from Mac Donald, cops actually shoot more whites than blacks, even though blacks commit a greater number of the nation’s violent crimes.” This is false, as FBI UCR data for 2013 show that 228,782 white people were arrested for violent crimes and 151,627 black people were arrested.

Our community is not well served by outsiders who lie about crime and race. The Editor of the Recorder can select better content for Porterville.

Len Andrews


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