January 7, 2014 11:15 am -

In cases where race is known, New York City has solved twice as many murders where the victim was white (86%)versus those where the victim was black (45%). Where the victim was Hispanic, the rate is 54%.

The race disparity tracks those in other facets of the criminal justice system. In 2013, 32 of the 39 executions involved a white victim, while just one white person was executed for killing only a black man.

But the total decline of homicide detective resources has also contributed to the problem. Officers re-assigned to smaller crimes can yield more measurable results by netting people for small crimes like marijuana possession, even if those stops and arrests do little to make the city safer.

And “solved” in this context means that police have cleared the case by identifying a suspect, who will then be charged and have the chance to defend himself. Police have rightly pointed out that, public pressure notwithstanding, it is better to have no suspect at all than the wrong suspect.


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.