Urban Dynamics Blog

Urban Homicides and the Blue Perspective

By Matt Johnson

According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, “blacks” are the largest proportion of homicides each year. And the largest number of these happen in urban settings each year. This fact is easy to see if one takes into account the vast majority of data on this site that illustrates the economic, political, social, and ecological depression that traditionally disenfranchised Americans still face today and everyday here in the United States.

Utilizing North Minneapolis as an example, we know that that part of Minneapolis experiences the highest foreclosure numbers and rates, the highest numbers and rates of condemned and vacant buildings, the highest unemployment rate, nearly the highest numbers and rates of crime, the lowest education levels, and the lowest rates of median household income, just to name a few things.

In addition, the north side of Minneapolis is also home to the largest “black” population in Minneapolis. Why is this so? Well there are historical reasons for such economic depression; for example, there were red-lining policies (legal segregation) and policies that favored economic, political, social, and ecological resources to the dominant group, i.e., “whites.” What does this have to do with the video?

In this video, it is clear that modern, social justice activism is something that Police Chief Edward Flynn is thinking about in great detail. In this video, his words are clearly directed at such activists and not necessarily those in the community his officers patrol. It’s clear he’s attempting to make a distinction.

And although he hasn’t seen the data or current hypotheses from this website, it is clear he has built up some intution about what the data might say about those crimes in the subsystem of his city of responsibility. And make no mistake, he’s taken ownership of it.

One last thought, I don’t agree with the title of the video. I think most American citizens who live in depressed areas are well aware it. If a larger proportion of “blacks” do indeed live in depression as the data suggests, then the title is incorrect. But again, that’s not who the Chief is talking to. It’s clear his comments are directed at a select few.

Update: The original video was taken down by The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. In addition, the fact that many police officers care about the communities they patrol shouldn’t be a difficult concept to understand.

Matt Johnson is a writer for The Systems Scientist and the Urban Dynamics blog; and is a mathematical scientist. He has also contributed to the Iowa State Daily and Our Black News.

You can connect with him directly in the comments section, and follow him on Twitter or on Facebook

You can also follow The Systems Scientist on Twitter or Facebook as well. 

Photo credit: Pixabay




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