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 groups69.3% 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."