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March 8, 2023

Today’s Killers Are Getting Away With Murder

That roughly half of all murders are unsolved is a tragedy for a supposedly developed country.

According to The Marshall Project and the Murder Accountability Project, the odds of getting away with murder in the United States are 50%. The FBI also confirmed this data, specifying that this is particularly about the police clearance rate, which has been measured over time from 1965-2020.

The clearance rate is a flexible standard since it doesn’t always mean justice is served. According to The Guardian: “There are several ways a homicide can be considered cleared. One is if someone is arrested, charged and turned over to a court for prosecution. Homicides can also be cleared by ‘exceptional means’, including the death of a suspect, another jurisdiction’s refusal to extradite someone, or police identification of a suspect, according to the FBI.”

Regardless, this is a historic low for our supposedly developed country.

The Reasons

One naïve suggestion for the 50% clearance rate was presented by public policy researcher Philip Cook of the University of Chicago Urban Labs, who stated, “It also could be that the standards for making an arrest have gone up and some of the tricks they were using in 1965 are no longer available.” Perhaps where Chicago, a city notorious for its corruption, is concerned, that has happened. However, this seems like idealistic happy talk.

As Tinisch Hollins, an executive director of a reform group in California, claimed, “People don’t need to see the data to know that the police are not doing their job.”

What has happened to produce such a drastic decline in law and order? Why are police “not doing their job”? The answers are complicated and political.

2020 was a year marked by pandemic lockdowns, social unrest, the death of George Floyd and the responsive riots (i.e., the Summer of Rage courtesy of Black Lives Matter and antifa), and two different political philosophies being put to the test. Combine that with a culture that has social media at its fingertips and an overinflated sense of self, and you have a recipe for chaos and broken communities.

Civilians were on hyperdrive to catch and punish “racist” cops. Instead of banding together as a community to help solve murders, civilians are more likely to pull out their phones and record the police to catch any wrongdoing or racism. This is also true of crimes in process — civilians are more prone to record the crime with their cellphones than try to stop it. This is not productive and certainly isn’t demonstrating care for the community at large.

Then there were the rioters and protesters demanding that police be defunded. Many blue cities complied, and criminals responded by doing exactly what you’d expect them to do. Fewer police equals more opportunity to commit crimes and get away with it.

There is still a strong anti-police riot going on in Atlanta. The hate group antifa has been attacking the city’s efforts to bolster the police and build a training facility to better equip officers. The “mostly peaceful riots” — if you can call Molotov cocktails peaceful — have resulted in deaths and multiple arrests.

The police across America, particularly in blue cities, are demoralized and overwhelmed. The Philadelphia Police Department says that the sheer volume of homicides is bogging it down. There is also a cop shortage. Who would want to protect and serve a community that actively hates them? The job is hard enough without that flak.

The Results

We have a more dangerous country because criminals are more likely to commit crimes if they think they have a chance to get away with it. Moreover, because of the racial element, communities of color are disproportionately affected. (Democrats say that about everything, but it’s actually true in this case.) According to data gathered by the Murder Accountability Project, “CBS noted a growing discrepancy in homicide clearance rates according to the race and ethnicity of the victim, with African American victims experiencing the lowest clearance rate.”

This is largely not because of racist cops but because of black-on-black crime and gang activity in minority communities. FrontPage Magazine also revealed that of the black teens who died in 2020 (the year of George Floyd’s death), 52% of them were murdered.

Our Mark Alexander pointed out an important piece of this puzzle. He noted: “Where victim race was known, black-on-black assault is much more prevalent than white-on-white. The fact that black citizens are 13% of the population but their murder victim rate is 22% higher than for white victims should be the starting place for every meaningful conversation about resolving the racial disparity associated with violence.”

The overall murder rate clearance percentage is a tragedy. There is no such thing as a perfect justice system — not on this side of glory, anyway — but there is much that we as a nation can do to support law and order: Fund and support the police, condemn hate groups like Black Lives Matter and antifa, and build up communities so that they are more united and have something to fight for and protect.

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