Wash Post Study: Nationwide, Over the Past Decade Police Made an Arrest in 63% of the killings of white victims, but did so in just 47% of those with black victims

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From [HERE] Nearly a year after Aice Jackman was gunned down in the street, his mother and 5-year-old brother walked into a Dunkin’ Donuts, where the boy spotted a pit bull puppy and dashed over to pet it.

Kaiesha Skinner’s gaze followed her young son and then settled on the man holding the leash. Their eyes met. She froze: It was the same man who she believes killed Jackman.

She grabbed her youngest son’s hand, yanking him away from the man and back to their car.

“We all know who shot my son,” Skinner said later. “They just haven’t arrested him.”

In the past decade, police in 52 of the nation’s largest cities have failed to make an arrest in nearly 26,000 killings, according to a Washington Post analysis of homicide arrest data. In more than 18,600 of those cases, the victim, like Jackman, was black.

Black victims, who accounted for the majority of homicides, were the least likely of any racial group to have their killings result in an arrest, The Post found. While police arrested someone in 63 percent of the killings of white victims, they did so in just 47 percent of those with black victims.

The failure to solve black homicides fuels a vicious cycle: It deepens distrust of police among black residents, making them less likely to cooperate in investigations, leading to fewer arrests. As a result, criminals are emboldened and residents’ fears are compounded.

In almost every city surveyed, arrests were made in killings of black victims at lower rates than homicides involving white victims.

Four cities — Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit and Philadelphia — accounted for more than 7,300 of the black murders with no arrests. But even smaller majority-white cities have amassed large rosters of these cases during the past decade: 422 in Columbus, Ohio; 277 in Buffalo; 183 in Nashville; and 144 in Omaha.

In interviews with The Post, more than two dozen police chiefs and homicide commanders said they work just as hard to solve black murders but that those investigations are often hampered by reluctant witnesses.

No major U.S. city had a wider gap in arrest rates for white and black victims than Boston, where Jackman was killed last summer and where the killings of white residents are solved at twice the rate of black victims.

“We don’t care what color you are,” Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said. “Sometimes, because a case goes unsolved, people get the perception that we forget about their loved ones . . . We never forget about them.”

Residents and community leaders in many cities remain skeptical that police are doing all they can to solve black homicides.

“Black life is seen as not as important,” said the Rev. William Barber, a national civil rights leader, who called the failure by police to solve black homicides a civil rights crisis on par with questionable police shootings of minorities and wrongful convictions of black men.

“The black community gets cut by both edges of the sword,” said Barber, who until last year led the North Carolina chapter of the NAACP. “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.” [MORE]