Killers of Black people are less likely to be arrested than those who kill White people, according to a recent report by The Washington Post on Wednesday.
The Post looked at homicide arrest data from the nation’s 52 biggest cities where the victim’s race was identified and found that out of almost 26,000 cases in the last ten years, over 18,600 victims were Black.
Despite a higher rate of death at the hands of another person, only 47 percent of those crimes led to an arrest, per the report. When the victim was White, 63 percent of arrests were made.
Police officers from different cities across the country told The Post that they work hard to solve the murders of Black victims, but they get resistance from witnesses, which hinders the case.
“We don’t care what color you are,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans told the Post. “Sometimes, because a case goes unsolved, people get the perception that we forget about their loved ones…We never forget about them.”
According to the study, there were more than 7,300 Black murders with no arrests in Baltimore, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia. The figure was much lower in white-majority cities such as Columbus, Ohio, Buffalo, Nashville and Omaha, where 1,026 Black murders went unsolved.
“Black life is seen as not as important,” Rev. William Barber told the Post. “The black community gets cut by both edges of the sword. There’s no big rush to solve a case when it’s considered ‘black on black.’ But if it is a black-on-white killing, then everything is done to make an arrest,” he added.
Click here to read The Washington Post’s extensive report “An Unequal Justice.”
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Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.