Responding to a grand jury’s decision not to indict Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson for killing 18-year-old Michael Brown, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said on Sunday that the black community is more responsible for the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police than the officers themselves.
“I do believe that there is more interaction and more unfair interaction between police officers, white and black,” he admitted during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. “But I think just as much, if not more, responsibility is on the black community to reduce the reason why the police officers are assigned in such large numbers to the black community. It’s because blacks commit murder eight times more per capita than any other group in our society.”
Giuliani gave this answer in reaction to a Pew poll showing 70 percent of African Americans saying that they are treated less fairly by police. Only 37 percent of whites made the same complaint.
Last week, the former mayor made headlines for claiming that black-on-black crime was “the reason for the heavy police presence in the black community” and arguing that “the danger to a black child…is another black.”
But in these comments, Giuliani seems to be going further, implying that police are justified in assuming that all black people are criminals because of the high crime rates in their communities. During the show, Giuliani also claimed that Darren Wilson was justified in killing Brown and that prosecutors shouldn’t have even tried to indict him in front of a grand jury.
“I don’t see how this case normally would have even been brought to a grand jury,” he said. “This is the kind of case — had it not had the racial overtones and the national publicity — where a prosecutor would have come to a conclusion that there is not enough evidence to present to a grand jury.”
Later in the program, Marc Morial, the president of the National Urban League, pushed back against the argument that protests in Ferguson are ignoring the real problem of so-called black-on-black crime.
“About 84 percent of whites are murdered by other whites and the concern about violence in the black community is pervasive,” he said. “But the protests are directed as a response to the system of the killings of unarmed black men and the lack of accountability when those events take place.”
Some have pointed out that there is no such thing as black-on-black crime, arguing that crime is driven by proximity, not race. As the Daily Beast’s Jamelle Bouie has explained, “If African-Americans are more likely to be robbed, or injured, or killed by other African-Americans, it’s because they tend to live in the same neighborhoods as each other.” In fact, “crime rates among African-Americans, and black youth in particular, have taken a sharp drop.”