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Fri10202017

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SEX OFFENDERS, TOO: Vast majority are white in Columbia and Boone County

Only 1/4 of registered sex offenders are black

COLUMBIA, Mo 11/5/15 (Beat Byte) --  Nearly 74% of Boone County's 306 registered sex offenders with mugshots are white, a review of the registry as of Nov. 5 reveals
 
Eighty one registered sex offenders -- 26.5% -- are black.  The statistic is in line with other local and national figures that peg the percentage of crimes committed by black persons between 30-40%.

Media portrayals, however, paint a strikingly different picture, over-reporting crime in the black community and studies show, stereotyping young black men as "gangstas" and "thugs". 

Second, less obvious victims of crime-related stereotyping are police officers, who are not, the statistics show, arresting or charging black persons with crimes of any type -- felony or misdemeanor -- in higher numbers than white persons.   

Other local crime statistics include:

62% of persons arrested for crimes in Columbia and Boone County are Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic, or Native American  

53% of Boone County jail inmates are white or other ethnic groups
 
65% of wanted felony suspects are white or other ethnic groups

69.3% of persons arrested for crimes nationally in 2012 were white; 28.1% were black.  

The media stereotypes make even less sense given the proportion of black persons in the population -- roughly 14% nationally.   They comprise a minority of the population and commit a minority of the crimes, yet appear in a majority -- over 50% -- of news reports about crime.    In some areas, the percentage of crime reports devoted to black persons is much higher. 


News stories in New York City represent 75% of criminals as black when the actual number is around 50%, media watchdog group The Color of Change reported in March 2015.   Their station-by-station breakdown found even more striking figures. 

At WABC, 82% of all race-identified crime suspects were black.    WNBC identified 73% of crime suspects as black.    At WCBS, the figure was 70%.   At WNYW/FOX5, 62%.  

The actual, accurate figure is 51%
 
In Columbia and Boone County, newspapers and television station reports vary:  black persons are identified in 53-57% of crime stories that report the suspects' race. 
 
"Studies of Americans’ unconscious beliefs show that most people — white and black — think black people are dangerous and both average folks and police are quicker to shoot black than white people," writes Occidental College sociology professor Lisa Wade, Ph.D.    "Where does the cognitive belief that black people are dangerous come from?   Partly, it comes from the media."    



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