A report by the supposed “non-partisan” The Marshal project reveals that whites commit more justifiable homicides against black attackers than blacks commit against white attackers. The report implies that this is because of institutionalized racism. Closer examination puts paid to this “theory” . . .

Note: the report is obsessed with racial disparities. From themarshalproject.org:

In almost 17 percent of cases when a black man was killed by a non-Hispanic white civilian over the last three decades, the killing was categorized as justifiable, which is the term used when a police officer or a civilian kills someone committing a crime or in self-defense. Overall, the police classify fewer than 2 percent of homicides committed by civilians as justifiable.

The disparity persists across different cities, different ages, different weapons and different relationships between killer and victim.

To understand the gaps, The Marshall Project obtained dozens of data sets from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and examined various combinations of killer and victim. Two types of “justifiable homicide” are noted: “felon killed by private citizen” or “felon killed by police officer.” (In a bit of circular logic, the person killed is presumptively classified as a felon, since the homicide could be justified only if a life was threatened, which is a crime.)

The use of quotes around “justifiable homicide” in the report is telling. Anyway, it’s possible that racism is a component in the disparity of the number of justifiable homicides where white people justifiably kill black people. But racism works both ways. There are numerous “hate whitey” threads in current urban black culture.

Not to mention the obvious alternative explanation: black men are more likely to commit crimes that justify their homicide by white people than white men are to commit crimes that justify homicide by black people. In 2012, there was 5.6 times as much violence committed by blacks against whites as compared to violence committed by whites against blacks. From cityjournal.org:

In 2012, blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites, and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence against blacks, according to data from the National Crime Victimization Survey provided to the author:

The Marshall Project found that after adjustments, white-on-black homicides were found to be 4.7 times as likely to be justified as the average. That number is remarkable close the the disparity of black crime against white people.

Even after adjusting for the ages of the killer and victim, their relationship and the weapon used, the likelihood of a white-on-black-male case being called justifiable was still 4.7 times higher than in other cases.

The Marshall Project report is marred by using only FBI Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) on justifiable homicides. Justifiable homicides recorded by the FBI system are known to be a fraction of the justifiable homicides that occur. Both Clayton Cramer and Gary Kleck have found that FBI UCR reports only record about 1/5 of justifiable homicides. The Marshal Project report minimizes this elephant in the room by admitting that:

For instance, Trayvon Martin’s death is listed as simply “other,” not as “justifiable,” though his killer was later tried and acquitted. That could mean that “justifiable” cases of all kinds are underreported.

In this case, notice the quotes around “justifiable,” even though a jury found that the killing of Treyvon Martin was justifiable.

Anyway, the FBI only categorizes a killing as a “justified homicide” if it occurs during the commission of another crime. The Marshal Project authors call that “a bit of circular logic.” They’re wrong. The FBI uses an extremely limited definition of justifiable homicide. From the UCR Handbook04(PDF), page 17:

NOTE: Justifiable homicide, by definition, occurs in conjunction with other offenses. Therefore, the crime being committed when the justifiable homicide took place must be reported as a separate offense. Reporting agencies should take care to ensure that they do not classify a killing as justifiable or excusable solely on the claims of self-defense or on the action of a coroner, prosecutor, grand jury, or court.

The following scenario illustrates an incident known to law enforcement that reporting agencies would not consider Justifiable Homicide:

17. While playing cards, two men got into an argument. The first man attacked the second with a broken bottle. The second man pulled a gun and killed his attacker. The police arrested the shooter; he claimed self-defense.

The UCR directs reporting agencies not to take into account the findings of coroners, prosecutors, grand juries or courts about whether a homicide is justifiable or not; reporting agencies may only use the FBI’s extremely limited definition.

It’s unlikely that someone who was justifiably killed in self defense will be recorded as committing a separate crime during the attack. There’s no reason to do so. The attacker will not be charged. They’re dead. This is a major reason why the FBI reports of justifiable homicide are so low.

If, however, the homicide occurs during an armed robbery, it is more likely to be recorded as justified. Blacks commit armed robbery at far higher rates than do whites.

In summary, the Marshal report ignores the possibility of black racism as a motive for a larger number of black attacks. It ignores the limits of the FBI Uniform Crime Reports of justified homicides. It ignores the fact of much larger numbers of violent crime committed by blacks that would justify defensive homicides.

All of those factors offer a better explanation for the disparity of justifiable homicides of whites against blacks than does institutional racism. Whether or not institutional racism creates the conditions that lead to the racial disparity in justifiable homicide stats is another question.

©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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61 Responses to Racial Disparity in Justifiable Homicides Stats ≠ Institutional Racism

  1. Just so happens example Number 17 happened where I live. Illegal gun was used by felon who ran from scene. Showed up 2 days later at the hospital. Threatened hospital staff when he found out they were going to call the police. Was promptly arrested. Didn’t claim self defense until he lawyer ed up after charges were filed. The case is still going through the system. Even if he beats the 2nd degree murder charge he’s going away for a long time. By the way both were black. So no racism here. Just one thug killing another.

    • Black Men are only 6% of the population, yet commit 88% of the violent crime.
      That is the ONLY stat that matters. End Of Story

      • That’s 88% of solved crimes. For example in Chicago police found suspects in 16% of all last year’s homicides. Who do you think commited the remaining unsolved 84%?

    • Attacks with a broken bottle during a card game and is shot dead? That scenario is so 1890’s. 1990’s was all about the craps, IIRC

    • With a car behind them introduced in 2004. I agree witchu, it’s stupid fresh dope ’90s style, fer real doe.

  2. To be fair to the FBI, I’m guessing the reason their stats under report is because it takes time to disposition the outcome of these cases as they work through the system, and their stats guys may or may not have direction/funding to keep up with that months/years later when they are resolved. 20% of justifiable homicides being ruled as such almost immediately doesn’t seem unreasonable, to me at least. Is there evidence that the ‘other’ category is being filled with cut & dry cases that were immediately settled legally in favor of the shooter?

  3. This constant need of some groups to artificially enforce balanced dispersion in all things is bizarre, unnatural and impossible. Very Harrison Bergeron. I suppose every month a certain number of one race gets a free murder against a certain number of another race to ensure parity. Because that matters. Somewhere. To somebody.

    • I may not see eye to eye with you on some things but “This constant need of some groups to artificially enforce balanced dispersion in all things is bizarre” is one of the most brilliant statements I have ever read on the internet. It rings true in so many facets of life today

    • The real question isn’t qualifications of some sort, it’s whether the interpretation is accurate.

      I’m curious… What qualifications do you think are required? Do you have them?

    • Neither of the authors of the Marshall Project article (which appears to be the full extent of the Marshall Project’s “research” – I could not find a published paper anywhere) have a degree in statistical analysis. Anna Flagg apparently has one in applied math, while Daniel Lathrop appears to just have a journalism degree. Dean Weingarten has a BS in meteorology and an MS in mining engineering. From my own degree and friend’s degrees I would hazard a guess that Dean has been trained more extensively in statistical analysis than Anna (I don’t know anyone with a journalism degree, but I’d also guess Lathrop knows the dictionary definition of the word “statistics” and not much else).
      Though realistically, the omission of any accounting for the far larger rate of black on white crime than white on black crime is so laughably absurd as to be clearly an anti-gun (or anti-white?) propaganda piece. This is the most basic level of statistics – accounting for larger populations/events by converting data to rates. A similar example would be like when the media tells you that the US has 10 times the number of homicides as [fill in the blank country]. The comparison is never given as two rates, accounting for (for example) how Australia has around 1/10 of the population of the US. Instead it is just given as two contextless numbers, as is the case here.

      I generally find that most people questioning the qualifications of someone who has laid out their full assessment of a topic are uneducated or have some useless arts degree. If you knew anything about statistics yourself, you would not need to question Dean’s qualification’s, you would simply assess his methodology (though you might question how the Marshall Project’s journalists managed to obtain *their* degrees…)

    • I’m actually totally qualified to offer an opinion on this study. I have a degree in this field. This study is flat out purified bullshit.

    • So in your view only a few select people should offer a public opinion on a study written in plain english?
      What else is off the intellectual table?

    • Eh, it’s a six pointed star. Many street gangs are aligned with one of two confederations: the People and the Folk nations. One of them uses the star to represent something or other, and it shows up alot in affiliated gangs.

  4. The only solution is to have affirmative action guidelines for justifiable homicides. It’s important to even things out. //sarc//

  5. Blah blah blah…go hang out(or even drive through )the south or westside of Chiraq. White or black. Lots of gun toting savages looking for an EZ mark. If you’re black it might just be the hat or color you’re wearing…but it’s all da’ white man’s fault.

  6. Any effort to effectively assist in solving the alleged differences in the status of Blacks or other minorities is severely obstructed by the refusal of social justice warriors to treat people as individuals, which would force them to confront disparities in aptitude, character, and mental health. It is too easy to blame everything on “racism” or “societal discrimination”, which does nothing to help solve the real problem. All that claims of racism do is to motivate street demonstrations and violence. None of that works to help the disadvantaged. It is nothing more than frustrated people venting their frustration.

    The great taboo is discussion of the evidence that races do differ in aptitude and intelligence, which causes differences in behavior. Black Americans average 85 on most measures of intelligence, while White Americans average 105. Hispanics average 88. Orientals average 110, and Jews and Scots average 115. The performance and status of these groups closely follows these differences. No racism is needed to explain the differences.

    That is not to say that all of the members of each group are superior or inferior to the other groups. No one is “average”. There are Black geniuses and Oriental imbeciles.

    One partial remedy for these differences would be to group students of similar aptitude together, and separate them from students of lower aptitude. Grouping them together does not elevate the students of lesser aptitude. It only pulls down the performance of the more gifted. That is another mistaken theory that social justice warriors cling to.

    Until we break down the taboos to candid discussion of such individual differences, there will be no progress. Only more conflict.

    • Jon Roland,

      And we know that the methods which allegedly establish innate intelligence have absolutely no dependency on culture/upbringing because … ???

      Hint: the very nature of the methods to establish innate intelligence are almost certainly biased toward the culture/upbringing of the person who creates the method. An intelligence test which requires deductive reasoning that includes using a telephone will give inaccurate results on an Australian Aborigine who was raised without every having seen nor heard of a telephone.

      Might some races have generally higher intelligence levels than others? Sure. Will we ever be smart enough to devise testing to ACCURATELY measure that? I doubt it.

      • Actually IQ tests have been around for about 100 years and of course psychologists know about cultural bias and have accounted for it. Back in the day when literacy in America was less common the Army even used a test that did not require recruits to know how to read. Anyway here is an excerpt of Jordan Peterson talking about the validity of IQ for anyone that is curious. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jSo5v5t4OQM

      • In fact we know it isn’t true that upbringing and other such “environmental” factors have no bearing on innate intelligence as measured by these tools. That’s because several studies have looked at the “heritability” of intelligence using these same tools. The consensus seems to be that IQ is somewhere around 70% heritable, leaving about 30% for other factors. By comparison, height is about 80% heritable.

      • In problem u_s with that premise is that many first generation vietnamese or Chinese that don’t speak good english, testing with the western designed IQ test, still show their IQ average as being higher than the Caucasian population.

  7. This is what they did in schools. Claimed blacks were disciplined disproportionate to whites. Solution? Take discipline out of the schools. How’s that working for us?

    • Actually it’s the whites that disrespect their parents as teens and then send them off to nursing homes when they’re older.

      How many times have you seen a little Cody or Travis yell obscenities at his mom?

    • And never even entertained the idea that perhaps, just maybe, the AAs were misbehaving at a disproportionate rate. Couldn’t be that! No way.
      Similarly, I heard George Snagglepuffulus whining about Trump’s “attacks on the media” basically saying “truth will out,” never even considered that maybe their reporting is biased if not out right incorrect and dishonest. They’ve lost credibility because of Trump talking bad about them!

  8. “blacks committed 560,600 acts of violence against whites, and whites committed 99,403 acts of violence against blacks”

    This is horrible! White people, you are letting us all down. Since non-hispanic whites make up almost 63% of the US population and blacks less that 13%, I fully expect that every white person will go out there and attack five black people right now, just to balance the books.

    Do it for the Marshal Project! Right away!

    • It is funny how disproportionate those statistics are, especially considering that most of us white guys are closeted Klansmen and savage Neo-Nazis bent on perpetrating perpetual violence against minorities.

      • Actually you really are perpetuating systemic violence against minorities. Quite directly too, not through being a consumer or taking part in gentrification or whatever, but through jury duty and legitimization of law enforcement, particularly when it comes to nonviolent crimes.

        • The loony left’s vision of equality: castigate those who do right and excuse those who do wrong, so that both may feel equally valued by society.

        • Bwahahahaha Hahaha Hahahaha Bwahahahaha Hahaha

          Sorry…..couldn’t help myself…. Ludicrous
          BS just makes me burst out LMAO.. 😏

        • And it would appear that many black people are perpetrating direct violence against white people by committing violent crimes against them, according to this “study”. And when they are apprehended by law enforcement, I will applaud law enforcement on their success, and then gladly, when summoned, appear for jury duty where I will find them guilty (assuming I am convinced of their guilt by the court).

        • Come and see the violence inherent in the system! Help, help, I’m being repressed!

  9. I think the most significant explanation is that the huge majority of crime is intraracial. White people killing black people is fairly irregular, so it’s unsurprising that other irregularities (i.e a much higher than normal rate of justifiability) appears in those incidents.

  10. Many in the black community will use racism as the rationalization to commit crimes of any flavor. They’re poor, living in the projects because of racism thusly I need to commit crimes in order to survive.

    I am a bail bonding agent as well as a bounty hunter. My perspective on the whole crime in America is unique. I do believe there is generally more violence in the black community. Blacks are about 13% of the population and committ a very disproportionate amount of crime. Subsequently a higher potential to be shot by the victim in self-defense. These are somewhat complex issues to solve but also quite simple. When you walk out of your house, don’t commit crimes.

  11. Whenever I see or hear the word “racism”, “racist” or “bigot” now days, I automatically shut down. Those words have been used so often, and so unjustifiably (especially over the last 8 years) that they no longer have any real meaning. They are used continuously by the progressive left to shutdown any argument that they know that they cannot justifiably win, that they have lost any kind of real impact. The ones constantly using those words haven’t figured this out yet, but eventually they will have to when the majority just stop reacting to them when used. I’ve already done just that.

  12. The greatest obstacle to achieving racial justice is the refusal of social justice warriors to treat people as individuals, which would force them to confront racial differences in aptitude, intelligence, and character. They prefer to attack the many measures of intelligence as part of the “societal discrimination” they claim is the cause of all disparities in success in various fields of endeavor. Some tests might be biased, but taken together they tend to agree: Whites have an average IQ of 105, Blacks 85, Hispanics 88, Orientals 108, and Jews 115, and these numbers are highly predictive of life success, leaving little differences left to be explained as the result of societal discrimination. They are are also predictive of differences in character.

    Another myth of social justice warriors is that grouping students of different aptitudes will pull up the less gifted, and not pull down the more gifted. The solution would be to group students by talent and level of achievement (not by race).

    The third myth of social justice warriors is to attribute disparities in performance as evidence of racism, rather than the result of innate differences in talent, which is predicted by genetic heritage, not by environment. No progress can be made in solving the real problems without honestly examining the evidence. There are even laws that make this mistake.

    If everything is the result of racism, that leaves the social justice warriors with nothing they can do that is effective. All that is left is street demonstrations and attacking the speech rights of those they think they disagree with. That is just useless venting, and can lead to violence.

    The way forward is to get everyone to discuss the evidence without prejudice, and act accordingly.

    • “The way forward is to get everyone to discuss the evidence without prejudice, and act accordingly.”

      Which unfortunately is very unlikely to ever happen.

  13. A 6’2″ 270 lb UT-loving black jew modeling his Livestrong bracelet and Nutrisystem success?

    Oh I thought this was the caption contest.

  14. That’s not how “institutional” works. I bookmarked this site for the gun reviews, not your weak grasp of causation. No wonder climate change denial lives in this community, you seem to have difficulty understanding the world beyond the immediate present.

    I mean really? “There are numerous “hate whitey” threads in current urban black culture.” Really? You don’t say, there’s angry and frustrated segments of marginalized communities voicing crude ignorant opinions? Online? On the internet? With curse words? Yikes!

    Are you going to get better ad dollars with that headline, instead of the closing statement of the article?

    “Whether or not institutional racism creates the conditions that lead to the racial disparity in justifiable homicide stats is another question.”

    • Keep grasping. There is no “institutional racism”. There is simply the continued failure of a segment of our society that is a plague of violence, failure, and general anti-social behavior. Blacks are not victims they are the victimizers. As a group, blacks are more violent, misogynistic, homophobic, anti-Semitic, and racist than most of America. The inability to figure out education, birth control, and behavioral norms is not the result of racism. It is simply a reflection of cultural values. I know this seems harsh, but years of living in the ‘hood have given me low tolerance for white-guilt hang wringing.

      It’s all about culture. There’s a reason no one has ever said “Oh shit, Asians are moving in down the block!”

      • Bullshit about the Asians. They move into a neighberhood and the property values, and the property taxes, skyrocket.

        Great neighbors, but at a cost.

  15. To find out that it isn’t racism but stupid people playing stupid games and winning stupid prices, normal people would have to read this article all the way to the word “justified”. Seriously, if it is justified it was their fault, not the fault of the police, that concept can’t be that hard to understand. Kinda sad that there even has to be an article explaining this.

    • Or not the police but the self defender. Anyways, a justified homocide is justified. Who would have thought? A dead criminal is a good criminal.

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