Donald Trump’s latest racism controversy involves fake homicide statistics

Trump on the campaign trail.
Trump on the campaign trail.
Image: Reuters photo
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Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s latest controversy involves fake homicide statistics, which incorrectly say African-Americans are the predominant killer of whites in the US who die from homicide.

On Sunday (Nov. 22), Trump re-tweeted a graphic from “SexyPatriots (TM),” to his nearly five million followers. The account the graphic came from describes itself as “Pro #America Cut off ALL funding to countries, even allies,” which tweets mostly against feminism, refugees, and #BlackLivesMatter protesters.

The information in the tweet is factually incorrect, and Trump is being accused of “race-baiting” and “the worst form of racism” because it significantly overstates the percentage of white homicide victims who are killed by black offenders.

The stated source of the information, the “Crime Statistics Bureau—San Francisco” does not exist. The Federal Bureau of Investigation distributes information on race in homicides and other crimes, but the last release is for the full year of 2014. The actual data for 2014 presents a very different picture:

What the one and two percent figures in the original graphic refer to is unclear. In 2014, 1,108 Americans were killed by police, according to a website that tracks police killings but not race. About 32% of people shot by cops were African-American, according to recent FBI data, more than double the percentage of African-Americans in the overall population.

The day before Trump sent out the tweet, an African-American activist at a Trump rally was beaten up after he interrupted Trump’s speech. “Maybe he should have been roughed up,” Trump said later. Last week, Trump said he “would certainly implement” a database that tracked Muslims in the United States.