Thanks Dan Clinciu. Indeed, you know the answer to that— and almost everyone really knows, but never talks about this intolerable reality. I state who the killers are clearly, but you have to read below the bullet-point in the beginning to this full section buried in my 7,500 words (I swear, my early draft was under 3,500). Maybe you caught this:

The emotional saga ended Saturday, January 5, with the arrest of a black man and the detainment of another black male. Both are now charged with capital murder. That wasn’t what people expected. Though, statistically speaking it should have been because white gunman almost never kill black children in random shootings. Tragically, a black child in the U.S. is fatally shot on average at least once a day, 400 per year, occurring 10 times more often than their white or Asian counterparts. Left unsaid in media is the fact those are almost entirely black-on-black killings. And no one offers $100,000 to find their killers.

And the point I will reiterate over-and-over: It’s a form of racism not to give justice to these young black kids at the same levels as white and Asian kids. Shaun King, civil rights activists, sports athletes, and the media only cared or knew about Jazmine Barnes because they thought a white person killed her. And they were wrong.

That’s the reality I write about here:

King likely won’t read Jill Leovy’s 2015 book “Ghettoside,” which shows how black victims of crime are less likely to receive justice by having their killers jailed, and he’ll ignore how 52 percent of murder offenders are black. A specific example where that injustice hits close to home: The clearance rate for murders in Chicago where I live is three times lower than the 59 percent national average, dipping below 17.5 percent in 2016 when around 800 people were shot and killed. It dropped even lower in 2017 and 2018, and in USA Today a Louisiana criminologist called the problem “national disaster.” More than 95 percent of victims and perpetrators are non-white in Chicago, and far too many of their families receive no justice. Nor peace.

What I find interesting is how it’s supposedly “structural racism” to prosecute criminals, who disproportionately make lives miserable or deadly for persons of color, and put them in jail. More than half are there for violent crimes. The War on Drugs isn’t driving incarceration. 5% of the prison population are considered “unambiguously low-level drug offenders.” I strongly refute the idea that criminal justice is The New Jim Crow and a continuation of the 13th Amendment in my piece, “The 13th” and its Glaring Omission: Actual Crime that Mirrors Demographics.)

Charts and facts like this chart and caption below you will find in that article. Again, this trend is a GOOD thing and ANTI-racist in my opinion. Locking people up isn’t the perfect solution. Bi-partisan reforms should (and did) happen, certainly, in the arena of criminal justice. But I would also argue that if crime surges up again, that’s far worse than putting people in jail that would cause others great harm. I make that argument in several of my essays. Also, I don’t see how there will be massive changes in the prison population without tremendous transformations in Americans’ behavior, or radical policy such as cutting all prison terms in half.

Again, the murder rate is down by half from the 1990s levels, as well as crime in general. Which factor carries the most weight for the drop: Eliminating lead in gas, abortion, more police, data-driven police tactics(CompStat), or incarceration? Or video games? (It has been considered.) A panel of experts from the National Academy of Sciences said incarceration has had a “modest” effect, apparently. I’m more inclined to believe Steven Levitt’s of Freakanomics-fame: “Crime fell sharply and unexpectedly in the 1990s. Four factors appear to explain the drop in crime: increased incarceration, more police, the decline of crack, and legalized abortion.” Length of sentencing is one area I’m most open to seeking change (along with the War on Drugs) to limit over-incarceration, because usually criminal behavior decreases as one ages. Not many 50-year-olds do stick-ups.



Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
David Shuey

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.