Dick Morris: The Truth Behind Police Killings


Police do not disproportionately kill unarmed black men.

According to Heather Mac Donald, writing in The Wall Street Journal, “[t]he police fatally shot nine unarmed blacks and 19 unarmed whites in 2019, according to a Washington Post database.”

That number, while tragic, is down from 2015 when 38 unarmed black people were killed by police compared to 32 white people. (“Unarmed” included examples where the victim had a gun in his car but not on his person.)

Overall, police fatally shot 1,004 people in 2019. About a quarter were African-Americans, Mac Donald writes.

Since African-Americans constitute 13 percent of America’s population, that ratio might seem excessive until one notes that 53 percent of homicide offenders are African-Americans.

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Politically, the increasing stridency and vigor of protests against the police are leading the Democrats to consider a range of proposals to hobble the police.

Pelosi’s crew in Congress wants to drop the shield that protects police from liability for civil suits and strip them of military equipment used by SWAT teams.

Outside of Congress, protesters are calling for defunding police and diverting their appropriations to community, antipoverty, educational and youth groups.

Others are calling for reparations paid to African-Americans by the government to compensate them for the residual effects of slavery.

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These and other radical proposals put Biden in a real bind. If he supports them, he opens himself to a devastating counterattack from Trump.

But if he refuses to go along he will sap enthusiasm for his candidacy from African-American and white liberal voters.

Black turnout is a major issue for the Biden campaign.

In 2012, African-Americans cast 13 percent of the vote nationally. But only 12 percent of the 2016 electorate was black

Since African-Americans voted 93 percent for Obama and 88 percent for Hillary, the decrease in turnout comes right off the Democratic vote share.

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Biden will not endear himself to black voters by waffling on the reform proposals of groups like Black Lives Matter.

As African-American congressmen struggle to keep up with their constituents, increasing their demands at each opportunity, they will pose a greater danger to Biden.

Having to run in an electorate that will be 70 percent white, he must modulate his positions, a stance guaranteed to drain the enthusiasm from his black support.

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Dick Morris is a former adviser to President Bill Clinton as well as a political author, pollster and consultant. His most recent book, "50 Shades of Politics," was written with his wife, Eileen McGann.