The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Crime Is Not Just a Statistic

Posted on | December 18, 2022 | 5 Comments

A friend sent me the video of a robbery in Chicago this week in which the victim was his mother-in-law. The robbers stole her $50,000 Jeep Grand Cherokee, and police tell CWB Chicago that this gang of robbers is believed to be responsible for many other such recent crimes.

Finding data about crime in the United States has gotten more difficult since Joe Biden became president and Merrick Garland became attorney general. It used to be, I could link to the exact page of FBI stats that showed the data I wanted to highlight, but now they’ve installed some kind of cheesy app called the “Crime Data Explorer,” and you’ll have to navigate that yourself to find the numbers I’m citing here. In 2021, there were 22,900 murders in the U.S., according to the FBI. Of those crimes, the race of the victim was reported in 14,677 cases and the race of the perpetrator was reported in 14,963 cases. So in about 35% of homicides, the FBI provides no data on the race of either the victim or the perpetrator. With that stipulation in mind, of the homicides in 2021 for which the race of victims and perpetrators were known, 8,534 of the victims (58%) and 7,868 of the perps (53%) were black. Comparing those numbers, you may be tempted to tbink nearly 700 black people were murdered by non-black perps, which may be true, but probably not. The more likely explanation is that this discrepancy reflects unsolved homicides in which no information about the perpetrator is available. The far more important insight from this data is that black people (13.6% of the U.S. population) are vastly overrepresented in homicide statistics.

But what about robbery? According to the FBI, of the 159,985 robberies for which the race of the perpetrator was known, 93,252 were black (58%), while among the victims, 43,164 were black (32%) and 79,566 were white (59%). Again, we must stipulate that these numbers are incomplete, as not all police agencies report their crime data to the FBI, and many of those that do report such data don’t list the race of victims or perpetrators. Still, the key statistic is the vast overrepresentation of blacks among the perpetrators of robberies, and the fact that (in comparison to homicide), whites are more likely to be the victims of robberies. Also, robbery is a much more common crime than homicide.

What about Chicago, where this robbery took place? According to the Chicago Police Department, there were 7,935 robberies in the city last year — that’s an average of 22 robberies daily, or about 150 robberies per week. Also, in 2021 Chicago had 10,651 motor vehicle thefts — an average of 29 stolen cars daily, more than 200 auto thefts a week. And then there’s the murders. According to the excellent Chicago crime aggregator site HeyJackass, so far this year, 711 people have been murdered in Chicago, of whom 646 were shot to death (meaning that about 9% of Chicago homicide victims died from stabbing, strangulation, etc.). In addition to those shot to death, Chicago has also had 2,856 people wounded by gunfire who survived being shot. Which means that, on an average day this year, 10 people were shot in Chicago, of whom 1.8% died and 8.1% survived. Thank you, Mayor Frogface!

When your city is averaging 70 shootings a week, in addition to all those robberies and car thefts and whatever other crimes are happening, it can truly be said that nobody in Chicago is safe from this uncontrolled mayhem, not even my friend’s mother-in-law, visiting from Wisconsin:

A 70-year-old woman was walking her dog in one of Chicago’s most affluent neighborhoods Wednesday when she was confronted by a masked stranger who pointed a pistol in her face and shouted, “Give me your f***ing purse or I’ll kill you and your f***ing dog, too.” She instantly complied, whereupon the robber grabbed her purse, reached in and took her car keys, flung the purse aside, and got into a blue Honda with three other accomplices. They rolled up the block to where the woman’s Jeep Grand Cherokee was parked, then two of the thieves exited the Honda and climbed into the woman’s Jeep, and both vehicles sped away.
It was all over in a matter of seconds, and this brazen daylight robbery in the Lincoln Park neighborhood took place at the exact same time that the chief of Chicago’s police department was downtown giving a media briefing about the arrest of four other criminals who were apprehended and charged in a recent spree of dozens of robberies. A few hours later, the son-in-law of the Lincoln Park victim called to tell me the story of the robbery, which was captured on surveillance video that was soon broadcast on local news programs on several Chicago stations. . . .

Read the rest of my latest American Spectator column.



5 Responses to “Crime Is Not Just a Statistic”

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