Black Lives Matter: From a lie to a murder spree

Katherine Kersten of the Center of the American Experiment describes how, in Minneapolis, a lie by Black Lives Matter produced a spike in the murder rate:

[S]tarting in November 2015, Black Lives Matter and other activists wreaked havoc for weeks protesting the death of Jamar Clark. Clark was a 24-year-old with at least 20 previous arrests. He assaulted a woman; blocked paramedics from treating her; refused to comply with officers’ order to take his hands from his pockets, and was shot as he tried to grab an officer’s gun.

In the face of protests, changes of racism, and harassment of the two officers involved in the shooting of Clark, the police force changed its approach to law enforcement, just as Black Lives Matter wanted. According to Kersten:

After the Clark affair, Minneapolis police officers understood how great a risk they face of having their reputations destroyed — or even being slapped with a criminal indictment — if things go bad in a single incident. So they began to back off the sort of proactive policing — like traffic and suspicious-person stops — that prevents higher-level crimes and gets guns off the street.

The consequences were predictable:

By mid-July, shootings in Minneapolis were up 46 percent compared with the same time last year, though in the last couple weeks of July the increase dipped to 24 percent — perhaps a temporary blip. On the North Side, law-abiding citizens say that violent crime, up 11 percent, is suffocating their neighborhoods, and they plead for more law enforcement.

Just under 80 percent of the gunshot victims in Minneapolis this year are black.

Kersten also examines statistics regarding use of firearms by the police. In New York City in 2013, police officers responded to 80,000 weapons-related calls. Yet, they discharged their own weapons only 40 times.

Nor is it “racist” white cops who did the discharging. Kersten points out that the city’s black officers were 3.3 times more likely than other officers to fire their weapons at crime scenes where gunfire is involved, according to a recent study.

In Minneapolis, according to Kersten, the police department gets about 500,000 calls for service a year. Yet it’s hard to find an officer who has discharged his or her weapon in the course of duty. Since May 2013, police officers have shot and killed three men — a mentally disturbed Hispanic man who was knifing another man; a black man who was firing at two officers, and the aforementioned charmer Jamar Clark.

Yet Mayor Betsy Hodges and the Minneapolis City Council have embraced Black Lives Matter’s “the cops are racist” story lie. Council Member Cam Gordon, for example, deplores “the structural racism baked into our system” and “the new Jim Crow that’s plaguing our city.”

Their demagoguery has consequences. For example, the City Council has decriminalized “lurking with intent to commit a crime” and instituted a “diversionary program” (i.e., no fine or jail time) for some who are charged with obstructing the legal process (e.g., by surrounding and obstrucing officers when they try to make an arrest).

These changes embolden criminals. A retired police officer tells Kersten:

They know the cops are afraid to stop and confront them about their guns. They taunt and catcall and spit at the cops’ feet, and then pull out their cellphones to video any reaction. They know there will be no consequences.

As police authority ebbs, the climate of menace and intimidation grows. So too, as noted, does the murder rate.

Black Lives Matter isn’t making America safer for blacks. It is making it more hospitable to violent criminals, most of whose victims are black.

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