Milwaukee police chief Edward Flynn delivered an emotional statement to reporters earlier this month after a public meeting about the April police shooting of Dontre Hamilton, asking protesters to remember that police protect the black community (when they're not shooting members of it.) Many found his message stirring, but no one was more moved than internet racists looking for ammunition.
Flynn fired Christopher Manney, the officer who shot Hamilton, in October. A grand jury is currently deciding whether to charge Manney with a crime—first-degree murder is on the table—and when the decision comes down, protesters plan to gather in the park where Hamilton was shot. The case is especially contentious in the wake of the Ferguson, Mo., protests after the police killing of black teenager Michael Brown.
Which leads us up to this video of Flynn's press conference on Nov. 6, where he defended the Milwaukee PD by arguing that the crime victims they serve are predominantly black:
"80 percent of my homicide victims every year are African-American. 80 percent of our aggravated assault victims are African-American. 80 percent of our shooting victims who survive their shooting are African-American."
That doesn't do a damn thing to address the three police shooting protesters are concerned about, but it's also not, as one of the most popular posts on Reddit today puts it, "a harsh truth about African-American crime in his community."
It's also not, as the top comment on YouTube claims, "the unpleasant truth about minorities and high crime rates." Don't read the YouTube comments, by the way: They're all about deporting "niggers" "back to Africa."
The harsh, unpleasant truth about minorities and high crime rates is that Wisconsin incarcerates a higher percentage of its black men than any other state—and it's not close. A study last year found that 13 percent of working-age black men in the state are in prison or jail, nearly twice the national average.
In Milwaukee? More than half of all black men in their 30s and 40s are or have been locked up, many for non-violent drug offenses.
Internet racists are not likely to mention this when they blame the black community for destroying itself. But they're definitely likely to hear a statement about violent crimes against African-Americans and pretend it supports the batshit conclusion that crime literally would not exist without black people.
It's really great how the internet has ushered in a post-racial utopian society.