COLUMBIA, Mo 10/28/15 (Beat Byte)
-- White persons with outstanding felony arrest warrants in Boone County
outnumber black felony suspects by a whopping 44%
, contrary to public perception that black persons commit more -- and more serious -- crimes.
One hundred and three (103)
persons the Boone County Sheriff's Department describes as "black" are currently wanted on felony warrants.
That's 35% of 291 "active felony warrants" posted on the Sheriff's website
as of October 27, after correcting for duplicates (the same person wanted on multiple charges).
One hundred and forty eight (148)
white persons -- 51%
of the total -- are felony suspects.
White male felony suspects outnumber black male felony suspects by a startling 57%
. Among black felony suspects, 76 persons are male
; 27 persons are female. Among white felony suspects, 119 persons are male
; 29 persons are female.
Nineteen (19) felony suspects are described as Hispanic (6.5% of the total); six suspects as Asian (2%). The Sheriff's Department describes 15 suspects as of "unknown"
Boone County includes Columbia, Ashland, Centralia, Hallsville, and several smaller communities. Active Felony Arrest Warrants, Boone County, Missouri
White Male: 119
Black Male: 76
White Female: 29
Black Female: 27
Hispanic Male: 17
Hispanic Female: 2
Asian Male: 4
Asian Female: 2
The felony warrant statistics bear out a trend this publication reported Monday
: White persons significantly outnumber black persons on the local crime rolls
These statistics are contrary to a media-fed conventional wisdom: that black persons commit more crimes than white persons, and more serious crimes (felonies vs. misdemeanors).
News reports feed this perception -- which has become a stereotype -- by feeding readers and viewers a steady diet of black mugshots and crime reports featuring black males.
In fact, the only newsworthy feature about these statistics may be their relation to the population as a whole. Boone County's population is 9.6% African-American; 82.6% Caucasian
But population demographics cannot explain
the long-running media trend toward reporting black crime more frequently -- and in more detail -- than white crime.
In fact, the opposite should be true: If white persons are a majority of the population and commit a majority of crimes, media reports of white crime should equal -- or exceed -- media reports of black crime
But they don't, which worries researchers like Mizzou Journalism School professor Cyndi Frisby, Ph.D.
"The media portrays black males in one of three ways: as entertainers, athletes, or criminals," she told an audience at Thursday's University of Missouri Black Studies Conference.