Systemically Neutral Law Enforcement

The dogma that American law enforcement is “systemically” racist is one of the chief pillars of what passes for liberal thought. In truth, that theory has been perhaps the most damaging of all leftist shibboleths.

A recent meta-study concludes that there is no empirical evidence that our criminal justice system discriminates against blacks, but that academics nevertheless continue to assert that claim–even in studies whose data actually refute it:

An analysis of twenty years of academic literature found that there is little or no evidence that minorities are mistreated by the criminal justice system when it comes to punishment, despite assertions to the contrary by policymakers, media, and academics.

“In recent years it has become common belief within the scholarly community as well as the general public that the criminal justice system is biased due to race and class issues. We sought to examine this with meta-analysis. Our results suggest that for most crimes, criminal adjudication in the US is not substantially biased on race or class lines,” professors Christopher J. Ferguson and Sven Smith of Stetson University found in a study to be published in the criminology journal Aggression and Violent Behavior and obtained by The Daily Wire.
As a meta-analysis, the study did not create a new dataset on criminal sentencing and race, but rather examined 51 studies conducted by others looking at the question since 2005. The numbers suggesting no or marginal racial bias in punishment were therefore collected by the existing studies, but those authors often claimed to have found racial bias in their writings, even when their numbers did not back it up.
“We express the concern that evidence for racial bias in the U.S. criminal justice system has been consistently weak, and that scholarly narratives have too often ignored this in favor of the systemic racism narrative,” Ferguson and Smith wrote.

The criminal justice system isn’t biased, but academia is. Lots of good (if dishonest) livings are being made by perpetuating the racist cop myth.

In 2020, George Floyd’s death led to riots across the country and a movement for “police reform” whose scope was not just national, but international. The alleged empirical basis for this “reform” movement was that Minnesota’s law enforcement and criminal justice system was biased against blacks. The only evidence adduced in favor of this claim was that fact that on a per capita basis, more Minnesota blacks go to prison than whites or members of other races. Well, yes: that is true across the country.

The question, obviously, is why. Beginning in 2022, Minnesota’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began releasing data on perpetrators, organized by crime and by race. That allowed American Experiment Policy Fellow David Zimmer to prove, conclusively, that there is no anti-black bias in Minnesota’s law enforcement. Blacks commit serious crimes ten times as often as whites, per capita, and that disproportion explains all of the “disparities” in what follows. In fact, a white criminal in Minnesota is somewhat more likely to be prosecuted than a black criminal. You can read David’s report here.

Who has been hurt by the Left’s false narrative on criminal justice? All of us, as crime has spiked as a result of anti-police hysteria. But blacks have been hurt most of all. The false “systemic racism” claim has caused bitterness and defeatism among those who take it seriously. And, just as Zimmer’s analysis found that blacks commit serious crimes at ten times the rate of whites, blacks are victimized by criminals at an identical rate.

It is time to put the “systemic racism” nonsense out if its misery, once and for all.

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