This one will probably head to GD [solved murder case rates vs race]

But hopefully someone can provide some answers before it devolves.

Do the murderers of white victims get apprehended more frequently than murderers of black victims?

IOW, do people get away with murder more frequently if the victim is black?

Murders of white victims are solved at a significantly higher rate than the murders of black or hispanic victims.

That may seem like a statistic that proves blatant racism, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. If you look at the rate of murder cases solved compared to the general wealth of the neighborhood. you find that murders in more affluent neighborhoods are solved at a significantly higher rate than the murders in poor neighborhoods. When you look at the percentage of murders solved only in poor neighborhoods, the disparity between black and white victims is significantly less.

So the statistic may point more at classism than racism, but that starts heading into GD territory so I’ll stop there.

Moderator Note

I also edited the title to more clearly indicate the topic.

In New York City, yes, and the difference in the numbers is astronomical. I can’t find any primary source with national numbers. The transcript explains some of the disparity, though - black victims’ families and friends are less likely to cooperate with police, for example.

ETA: ninja’d.

Define “get away with”. Police rarely get charged with murder, but if you ask them, it’s because they never murder anybody.

Another confounding factor: Rich neighborhoods are often in rich municipalities, and so will be investigated by police departments with more resources. Unsurprisingly, police departments with more resources will solve more cases.

One also has to look at the kind of murders that are occurring. There’s a difference between a domestic dispute vs. a mugging gone wrong vs. a random act of gang violence vs. a targeted organized crime operation. Do different populations have different proportions of those?

Here in Canada what horrified me was the scale of our missing/murdered indigenous women. It’s a massive unsolved problem that until recently I had no idea existed.

It’s like there’s hundreds of Robert Picktons out there preying on Canada’s most vulnerable…and I have no clue! Christ.

These people did a study of the murder clearance rate in NYC. They found that 86% of murder with a white victim were cleared, 56% with a hispanic victim, and 45% with a black victim.
NYC has an above average clearance rate so it might not be completely representative.

ahem post 4. :wink:

It would be interesting to have a breakdown by type of murder type/locale (e.g. home vs. public spaces).

I have always wondered about the differing murder clearance rates in different countries. For example US statistics that I have come across were in the rough neighbourhood of 2/3 cleared, while the numbers for Germany are in the neighbourhood of 95 %. My pet theory is that the US has a lot of stranger on stranger murder while we Germans tend to murder and be murdered by our nearest and dearest (and often have the distraught killer call the police himself - an easy one for the clearance statistics).

I’ve seen a number of episodes of The First 48 which is a TV show that follows homicide detectives trying to solve a killing, and one thing that struck me repeatedly is how much they rely on canvassing and finding cooperative witnesses. In a neighborhood less willing to “snitch” or trust the cops, solving a murder would be much harder.