Are crime statistics factor in Zimmerman trial outcome?

July 19, 2013 8:13:49 PM PDT
The president reminded Americans on Friday that African Americans are involved in the criminal justice system in larger numbers than other races. He suggests that's led to some frustration in the wake of the George Zimmerman verdict.

President Barrack Obama said African Americans are disproportionately involved in the criminal justice system both as victims and perpetrators.

Victim statistics are harder to come by but arrests and police interactions are widely tracked.

African Americans make up a little more than 18 percent of Houston and Harris County. But they are 32 percent of the people Houston police officers interact with and 50 percent of the inmates in the Harris County Jail.

Texas prison stats are similar.

The president suggests overlooking those facts leads to frustration.

On Friday, he encouraged both soul-searching on that and a re-examination of stand your ground laws.

Two recent studies one from Texas A&M show the laws actually lead to an 8 percent increase in homicides, not a decrease. One study showed white males are more often the increased victims in stand-your-ground shootings.

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