Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill has a suggestion for NFL players protesting on behalf of black lives: Take a stand against black-on-black homicides, which result in far more deaths than black men killed by rogue cops.
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The Republican prosecutor, who is black, cited figures from the FBI Uniform Crime Report showing that 6,115 black men were murdered in 2015, as opposed to data indicating that 259 black people — 249 of those men — were killed in 2015 by law enforcement.
“In terms of protesting the issue of black lives lost, one of the most difficult things to fathom in this nation is the amount of black lives lost as a result of black-on-black violence,” Mr. Hill said Saturday on “Fox & Friends.”
Drawing on his experience as Elkhart County prosecutor, Mr. Hill said that most police shootings of both whites and blacks are deemed justified in that they are “typically situations that involve some measure of criminal activity or violent activity.”
“In the rare instance where a police action is unjustified, then we absolutely have to take action and where it’s warranted, police have to be held accountable and arrested and prosecuted for murder if warranted,” Mr. Hill said.
“But in the sense of what’s destroying our nation and our black communities in terms of generation after generation, this is a growing concern that seems to be ignored by so many people,” he said. “And if we look at many of these urban areas that have NFL franchises, this would be an important area where NFL athletes could stand up and take note.”
The number of NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem has dwindled to about a dozen after spiking last month in reaction to President Trump, who suggested owners should fire those who refuse to stand.
The protests began during the 2016 season as a statement against police shootings of black men, an issue that led to national protests after the 2014 death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of an officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
The number of black people killed by police declined slightly from 259 in 2015 to 233 in 2016, according to the Washington Post’s Fatal Force database, while the FBI found the number of black homicide victims has soared, rising from 6,095 in 2014 to 7,881 in 2016.
“I don’t want to suggest that only black-on-black violence is an issue in this country — it’s not, we need to abhor all violence — but when we’re talking about the issue of saving black lives, that’s a dramatic issue that needs to be brought to the forefront,” Mr. Hill said.
“And this is an opportunity for the NFL to not just to stand in silence on an issue they think is an important, but to rise up in unity and make sure that we’re all aware of this important issue and do something about it,” he said.
As for kneeling during the national anthem, Mr. Hill said “at a time when our nation is severely divided, I question whether it’s the appropriate time, although I don’t question their right to do so.”
About a dozen players sat or took a knee before last weekend’s match-ups, down dramatically from the nearly 200 who did so at the Sept. 24-25 games.
Most murder victims are killed by people of the same race: A 2010 Bureau of Justice Statistics report found that from 1980 to 2008, 93 percent of black homicide victims were killed by black offenders, while 84 percent of white victims were killed by other whites.