In May 2020, the world was turned upside down
when a massively-overdosed George Floyd died on a
Minneapolis street while waiting for an ambulance that could
have saved his life. The narrative that Minnesota’s criminal
justice system was biased against blacks immediately took
hold, encouraged by Minnesota’s own state and local
In response to that narrative, states and local
jurisdictions across America, and even around the world,
enacted “reforms” that handcuffed law enforcement and
favored criminals. “Defund the police” became a mantra, and
Black Lives Matter, the source of many claims of law
enforcement’s discrimination against blacks, raked in tens
of millions from corporate donors.
But was the narrative of racial discrimination
true? Liberals supported it by comparing the percentage of
blacks in the general population of states like Minnesota
against the percentage who are caught up in the criminal
justice system through arrest, prosecution, conviction and
ultimately incarceration. The fact that blacks are
over-represented in the system–indisputably true–was taken
as irrefutable evidence that our criminal justice system is
There is, of course, another obvious
possibility–that blacks are over-represented as criminal
defendants and prison inmates precisely because they are
over-represented as perpetrators of serious crimes. Over the
years, Heather Mac Donald has been especially prominent in
pointing out this inconvenient truth.
Here in Minnesota, ground zero when it comes to
anti-law enforcement propaganda, there was a breakthrough
when the state’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension began
publishing data on offenders in
each criminal category by race. When we look at the
percentage of blacks (or any other group) who are arrested,
prosecuted, convicted, etc., the relevant comparison is not
between those individuals and the percentage of that group
in the general population, the vast majority of whom are
law-abiding. Rather, the relevant comparison is the
percentage who become involved in the criminal justice
system vs. the percentage in the offender population. The BCA’s
new data set allowed us to make this comparison.
Enter David Zimmer. David is a veteran of 33
years in the Hennepin County Sheriff’s office, from which he
retired as a Captain. He now works for American Experiment as
a Policy Fellow in Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.
David went through the painstaking work of analyzing the
BCA’s offender data and comparing it with arrest,
prosecution, conviction, sentencing and incarceration data,
which come from various sources. What he found should put to
rest forever the theory that law enforcement in states like
Minnesota is biased against blacks.
The BCA offender data show that blacks commit
serious crimes at a per capita rate ten times that of
whites. That proportion is followed from arrests through
incarceration, except that David’s analysis finds that
Minnesota’s criminal justice system discriminates–in a
statistical sense–against whites, as compared with blacks.
The report is here. Some might
find it boring, as it consists largely of statistical
analysis and charts and graphs. But if you enjoy seeing a
liberal narrative dismantled brick by brick, David’s report
is for you.
We issued a press release on David’s report,
but shockingly, neither the Minneapolis Star Tribune nor any
other liberal news outlet took us up on the opportunity to
interview Zimmer, or published any reference to the report.
That’s OK. We know whose side those outlets are on. They are
on the side of the perpetrators of serious crimes, not the
victims. David’s report concludes with the fact that the victims of serious crime line up
the same as the perpetrators–on a per capita basis, victims
are ten times as likely to be black. So the liberals are
hurting those they pretend to care about.
American Experiment has inaugurated a podcast,
and the podcast’s maiden voyage features me interviewing
David Zimmer. If you would rather spend 26 minutes listening
to us talk about the report rather than reading it–probably
not a bad idea–here is the podcast in video form:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE VIDEO.