Sheriff Ramsay’s Remarks Political / Rate of Arrest of Blacks Three Times Greater…


by Dr. Martha K. Huggins, Ph.D….

Assistant Public Defender Trish Gibson, a 20-year veteran of Key West’s Public Defender’s office, is running for Public Defender. This makes Sheriff Ramsay’s attempt at discrediting her in The Citizen (4/19/2015)–Political. Gibson had the honesty to state cautiously on the ACLU’s “Policing in Paradise” panel (4/13/15) that, in her experience, ‘selective enforcement can be seen by where we are getting our arrests for drugs–Bahama Village.’ Attorney Gibson went on to say, ‘I have never heard someone say [to a confidential informant] go to Duval Street to buy powder [cocaine].’ Sheriff Ramsay, expressing “outrage” in the Key West Citizen at Gibson’s honestly measured remarks, offers statistics on drug-related apprehensions: of 304 such arrests over a 15 ½ month period by Key West Police, “93 were Black and 208, or 68%, were White.” Calling such raw numbers and the one lone percentage, “rates,” demonstrates that Monroe County’s Sheriff does not understand statistics, even though he freely quotes them and then draws a conclusion not validated by his raw numbers and percentages.

Investigating whether one race, ethnicity, or gender is under-, equally-, or over-represented among arrests for a particular offense requires simply comparing the percentage of the group arrested with that group’s proportion of a city’s or county’s population. Whites constituted 68% of those arrested for “illegal drugs” over a 15 ½ month period and Blacks constituted 31% of these arrestees. These groups are, respectively, 68 and 10 percent of Key West’s population, leading to the statistical conclusion that in Key West during the period examined, Black’s arrests for “illegal drugs” were three times greater than their share of Key West’s population, while Whites were arrested at about their Key West population share (68%).

Unfortunately, Key West and Monroe County are not unique in this finding. An ACLU study of marijuana arrests in the United States (2001-2010), found that while Black and White people use marijuana at roughly the same rates, the majority of US counties arrested Blacks for Marijuana possession at higher rates than Whites. In the US in 2010, “marijuana arrest rates for Black people were 3.73 times greater than those for White people nationally.” Key West law enforcement should take some consolation in the fact that the city’s proportional arrests of Blacks for illegal drug possession is “only” three times (and not almost 4 times) greater than those arrests for Whites.

My richest take-away from the ACLU panel was Chief Donnie Lee’s insight about Crack sales and use in Key West (paraphrased): ‘It’s not drug sellers’ customers who get arrested, it’s the sellers. As many Whites smoke Crack as Blacks and about half of the customers going to Bahama Village to get drugs are White. We see more Blacks in drug sales because customers know that Bahama Village is where Blacks live and is [therefore] the place to buy crack.’ This attitude of Key West’s ‘Top Cop’ manifests race-based profiling—the assumption that Crack is the only drug sold illegally in Key West [or the only one that KWPD needs to focus on] protects White drug dealers and their customers—and places the man who is commander and role model for his officers in a position to institutionalize a racist policy that targets poor Blacks greatly out of proportion to their share of Key West’s population.

Whites ‘seek out the crime’ and Blacks ‘do the time,’ as Chief Donnie Lee’s and Trish Gibson’s concurrent observations suggest.



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18 thoughts on “Sheriff Ramsay’s Remarks Political / Rate of Arrest of Blacks Three Times Greater…

  1. one cannot expect the police to exhibit even the slightest understanding of statistics, or any abstract thought really. the article below explains why.
    after reading the article, it will become crystal clear to the reader how an exceedingly unimpressive man such as donie lee can rise to the top of the heap, continually expose himself to public humiliation every time he opens his mouth without the tiniest hint of self-awareness, and finally, be a lap dog for his masters without regard to his self respect. seems our sheriff may be cut from the same cloth.

  2. I remember thinking that New Orleans’ police chief was subservient to the Mayor and other city and business officials; Chief Serpas seemed a bit slow but I came to see him as a little the boy who let “daddy power” prevail. His subservience was “rewarded” by dismissal when the powers no longer needed him. So I guess my conclusion is that a weak Chief is seen as a good choice for some city officials, with intelligence possibly being a detriment.

    I do wish that our law enforcement would at least learn statistical data presentation. Thanks “keys bum” for your thoughts. (Ps the article you sent was a good read) Martha

    1. well, one of the definitions of the word is ‘difficult to understand.’ I guess I could have used abstruse, esoteric, or even recondite. they can all be used to convey the same meaning.

      I took many a course in statistics, and if you found it to be easy, then I bow to a superior mind. I still wonder how I got through all of them.

  3. I don’t need statistics to know a heap of street drug trafficking is occurring on Duval Street, and I mean street drugs other than booze, oceans of which also is trafficked on Duval Street. I bet undercover agents could drug bust plenty of Anglos, Latinos and Blacks, but mostly Whites, for illegal street drugs in Duval Street bars and clubs, and on Duval sidewalks and lateral streets and sidewalks, if Donie Lee wanted that to happen. Might be some of the busteds would be KWPD officers providing security at night for Duval Street establishments. Might be when pigs fly, before Lee goes after that end of the narcotics trade in Key West. But if Lee cleaned that completely up, it would not be a dent in the narcotics trafficking on Duval Street, because trafficking in booze is legal there, and all over Key West. Boozers tend not to view themselves as drug addicts, and booze providers tend not to view themselves as narcotics dealers, but booze is a narcotic, and it has caused far more harm, I imagine, than all the other narcotics trafficked in Key West, be they illegal narcotics, or doctor prescribed. Plain and simple, Key West is a narcotics den; and narcotics is the engine that drives Key West’s economy. Rid Key West of narcotics and it would be dang close to a ghost town.

  4. Regardless of the numbers, statistics will sway to whatever side is making a case or paying the bill, as Huggins (Piled High, and Deeper) shows. I would seriously question anyone who uses the NYTimes and the Daily Kos as sources. Truthfully, this has been a problem since the 60’s and society is too afraid and dishonest to confront it. The fact is, it was brought about through the court pendulum swinging from too harsh to too lenient on criminals as a remedy for ghetto violence.

    In 1985, James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein wrote – “Even allowing for the existence of discrimination in the criminal justice system, the higher rates of crime among black Americans cannot be denied. Every study of crime using official data shows blacks to be overrepresented among persons arrested, convicted, and imprisoned for street crimes.” Blacks as a group are also overrepresented among persons arrested for so-called white-collar crimes such as counterfeiting, fraud and embezzlement.

    Certain groups downplay studies on black crime rates, if they ever discuss them at all. Some of the most violent cities today are run by blacks, with crime rates peaking in the 70’s and 80’s under black mayors and black police chiefs.

    Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011 there were 279,384 black murder victims. Using the 94 percent figure means that 262,621 were murdered by other blacks. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities it’s 22 times that of whites. Coupled with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery. With greater crime rates, comes a greater police presence. That exposure will, and does lead to greater contact, and subsequent shootings. It isn’t a matter of white on white or black on black, unless put in context. Disproportionately, blacks commit more crimes. Especially against each other. For example, 2005 most homicides involving one victim and one offender were intraracial. About 93% of black homicide victims and 85% of white victims in single victim and single offender homicides were murdered by someone of their race.You never hear of white kids being killed by cops, especially black cops. Black officers account for a little more than 10 percent of all fatal police shootings. Of those they kill, though, 78 percent were black. Dillon Taylor of Utah, white, was shot and killed by a black officer. No white rioting. White officers, given their great numbers in so many of the country’s police departments, are well represented in all categories of police killings. White officers killed 91 percent of the whites who died at the hands of police. And they were responsible for 68 percent of the people of color killed. Those people of color represented 46 percent of all those killed by white officers. What about white cop – Kevin Quick that was kidnapped and murdered by four black males? You haven’t heard about that one. The lamestream media won’t put it out there. It goes against the current administrations agenda. I did not cite the sources, just do a simple Google. DOJ/BJS is a great source if you have the time.

    Let’s not forget the “victim mentality,” produced over “blacks were slaves.” America did not start slavery, as it has been around 10’s of thousands of years. We are the only country that ended it more quickly after the creation of our Republic, than any other country. The transatlantic slave trade was dwarfed by the Arab or Muslim slave trade, which lasted from 650 AD to 1900 AD. It is estimated that a minimum of 18 million Africans were enslaved by Arab slave traders, and that over one million Europeans were enslaved by the Muslim world during the same period. It still exists on the African continent. According to Anti-Slavery International, and the ILO, there are currently over 20 million people in bondage.

    The first slave owner in America was a black man – In 1654, John Casor became the first legal slave in America. Anthony Johnson, previously an African indentured slave, claimed John Casor as his slave. The Northampton County ruled against Casor, and declared him property for life by Anthony Johnson. I know, I know, now you will probably call out how inhumane law was back then. Granted, but it is history. Since Africans were not English, they were not covered by the English Common Law. Many free “Negroes” (verbiage from that time frame documents) owned black slaves; in fact, in numbers disproportionate to their representation in society at large. The statistics show that about 28 percent of free blacks owned slaves—as opposed to less than 4.8 percent of southern whites, and dramatically more than the 1.4 percent of all white Americans who owned slaves. Everyone needs to open their minds and realize what schools are teaching today tend to leave the important facts out.

    Black people are not committing crimes at higher rates because of overbearing gun laws or drug laws, or a criminal justice system that is going after them. The problem is cultural – self-destructive behaviors and attitudes that are accepted and supported by society, mostly among the black underclass. Another problem is black criminal behavior which realistically stems from the breakdown of the black family. It is time that blacks started doing for themselves instead of waiting for Nanny Sam to, and until we do so as a nation, it will only get worse.

    I apologize in advance for any spelling and/or grammatical errors, so grammar/spelling Nazis, ooops. This will be my only post reference Gibson’s asinine statement, and Huggins attempt to crucify Sheriff Ramsay and Chief Donie Lee. For all you armchair quarterbacks, and keyboard cowboys, as the old proverb goes – “Never criticize a man until you’ve walked a mile in his moccasins.”

    Some of the above was written with information from:

    Jason Riley, a black member of the Wall Street Journal Editorial Board.

  5. Dear Steve, I can see that you dug in and did research
    targeted to support your beleifs–as you seem to claim is done I n your initial paragraph. However, in contrast to you, I adopted a much more limited perspective as good science does. I began with the statistics of the Sheriff and his conclusion from them and used standard practice in statistics for exploring his conclusion from the statistics. By the way, the simple statistical procedure I used is also employed to assess–besides arrest differences–also the disproportional race, ethnic, age, and gender discrepancies in deaths, diseases, and births. I assume that if the CDC announced that white males between 20 and 50 are 4 times more likely than Blacks to get alcohol-related dimentia, you’ll take heed and not see this as a biased attack on white men?

    We need a Sheriff who has the most basic knowledge of statistics if we are to accept that he wants his men and women to observe people’s Constitutional civil rights. And It’s really questionable for him to enable the violation of civil rights by KWPD by fibbing with their statistics.
    So listen up out there: bring on the civil rights lawsuits against KWPD and Sheriff’s Department and make sure to name Sheriff Ramsey and Chief Lee for enabling and hiding them. My assessments

  6. It seemed to me the Sheriff did not get what Trish Gibson said, which was about her own public defender case load. Her case load is not statistics, but is facts. Trish said she had no powder (cocaine) drug cases made on Duval Street. She had no confidential informant cases made on Duval Street. She said her cases are crack cases, in Bahama Village. Her confidential informant cases are in Bahama Village. I did not know Rick Ramsay had any deputies making drug busts in Bahama Village. Does he? I thought that was KWPD. What the blue paper, and, it seems, everyone keeps dodging, is Duval Street is a massive drug trafficking corridor, and it is encouraged by the city. Booze sales and open containers are encouraged for all but homeless people. Cocaine arrests are not made on Duval, are they? I have published a number of times that a stripper told me young KW cops providing nighttime security for Duval clubs are trafficking drugs in those clubs. The only person, so far, to challenge me on that, ironically, was Naja Girard. I am convinced it’s happening. The point I’m making, again. Narcotics, including booze and street and prescription drugs, are what drives Key West’s economy. And if KWPD is making narcotics busts only in Bahama Village, yes, that is facts, not statistics, and it is racial discrimination, if Whites are not being arrested in those busts.

    1. I find this very on-point. I’d say get more “facts” about drug sales and police–more than one case–and then seek patterns–which police, which clubs, when–and then assemble your “facts” into patterns. Then your facts will be believable to someone other than yourself. That’s what statistics do–assist in the grouping of singular (I.e., viewed by one person only) “facts” into patterns that summarize combinations of single events. Thx Mh

  7. You still don’t get it. MDKHuggins – you regurgitate the same drivel, but make no point. You are too busy pointing out that someone may not be as well versed in something you have immersed yourself in for a lifetime. But seriously, you live in a bubble among people who only think like you do, and that is your comfort zone. Probably never held a real job outside of a learning institution, so again, a bubble. Did you know that studies show that 85% of all statistics are made up? Ya get it? Do you honestly think that the Sheriff should concern himself on the inner workings of statistical analysis, statistical bias, risk ratios, means and medians? I am guessing that someone reporting to him provided a cursory number to respond to Ms. Gibson’s asinine statement. Your logic dictates that banking CEOs need to know what SQL queries specifically pull in the best population for Platinum cards over Gold cards.

    What if numbers are disproportionate, because that is just the way it is? What if it is because black drug dealers don’t understand what “being on the radar” means, and they sell the same drugs, from the same location, to the same druggies, at the same time? What if they don’t care? What if all of your studies about statistics reference blacks (deaths, diseases, and births) can only be attributed because it is that specific race? Blacks disproportionately occupy the NFL (roughly 68% black though only 13% nationally) and NBA (roughly 76% black, and again only 13% nationally), should the whites trying to make the NBA or the NFL cry racism? Should we enforce affirmative action for whites? Should we look at creating a “Disproportionate Minority Contract” study to see why there are disproportionately too many blacks getting contracts in the NFL and NBA?

    Abortion disproportionately affects minority fetuses. HIV disporportionately affects blacks. Is it the whites fault? Asians disproportionately live longer, have less disease, and the lowest number of births out of wedlock (roughly 17% compared to blacks at roughly 72% and whites at 29%). But why? How about strong family units, close community which strengthens identity, understanding the value of hard work to be successful are some of the more prominent reasons, and not a victim mentality. The academia need to try and stop creating excuses and find answers, honest answers, with which to confront the true issues. I know it tugs at your little liberal heart to see all these blacks struggling because of the white man and the establishment, but until the black community stops playing the victim and the liberal establishment stops pushing the victim story to maintain their voting bloc, they are only a victim of the liberal agenda.

    Why do blacks lag behind in almost everything, except membership in the NFL or NBA? Let me guess, poverty, dysfunctional families, and most importantly – white privilege. Nahhh…I blame it on the black establishment and their race exploitation business in conjunction with the liberals pushing low expectations for that same establishment. From the #nojusticenopeace to the #handsupdontshoot debacle, to #blacklivesmatter, what’s next…how about #dosomethingforyourselfandnotrelyongovernment? Liberals try to minimize anything a poor black youth does that is criminal – Sharpton said that Michael Brown really didn’t commit robbery, he was only shoplifting. The Ferguson riots – the blacks are angry and should be allowed to loot, pillage, burn down businesses, and shoot at cops. The black Mayor of Baltimore allows the rioting blacks space of their own to destroy property. WHAT?? Why do the liberals not talk about single-parent households? The majority of black children nationwide – 54 percent – are being raised by single mothers. Only 12 percent of black families below the poverty line have both parents present, compared with 41 percent of poor Hispanic families and 32 percent of poor white families. In all but eleven states, most black children do not live with both parents. In every state, 70 percent of white children do. In all but two states, most Hispanic children do. How are the whites to blame? Young black men with married parents go to jail at the same rate as white men with married parents — there is no racial gap — and young black men without married parents go to jail at the same rate as white men without married parents. Blacks who do succeed are labeled as “racists” and “Uncle Toms” by the liberal elite and black establishment.

    Apparently, per President Obama and Eric Holder, America is a racist nation. Voting Whites disproportionately outnumber voting blacks, and President Obama (black man) was elected and then re-elected by those same racist white Americans. I don’t get it. Now, anyone who mentions President Obama in any disparaging way, is automatically labeled a racist. Either the left has no comprehension of what racist actually means, or they do, knowing full well that their sheeple are too stupid to understand it. Law after law has been put into place to assist the black community to become equal and “get back on its feet.” From Brown v. Board of Education to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, to the Voting
    Rights Act of 1965, to the Fair Housing Act (in the Civil Right Act), to Affirmative Action – all attempts to jump start and then maintain equality for blacks, but somehow, it is never enough. As for my earlier statistic on black cops shooting blacks (Black officers
    account for a little more than 10 percent of all fatal police shootings. Of those they kill, though, 78 percent were black) means either that black cops are just as racist as the left believes white cops are or black criminal suspects bring about their own demise. Dr. Shelby Steele stated – “High crime rates, drug use, low academic performance, fatherless families, gang violence, and high dropout rates are functions of personal irresponsibility and bad choices, not discrimination.”

    As W.E.B. Dubois said – “A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.”

    1. Steve: As W.E.B. Dubois said – “A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.” That’s what we are seeing in Baltimore. Mh

      Keep up your writing and seek publishing outlets. It’s not in me to put down any one who actively writes. Good luck, I’m sure I’ll hear from you again. Mh

  8. Steve…

    your sources belie your argument. your ignorance of society’s structure and motivations as determined by an exploitative economic paradigm render your analysis both otiose and insipid.
    the facts of institutional poverty and discrimination are beyond the literary effort I wish to espouse upon here, but suffice it to say, they exist, flourish, and remain a concerted component of, and an integral, coordinated effort of the powers-that-be to keep their “machine” running. Part of that “machine” is to enlist the intellectually obsequious.

    here, i’ll prove it you. two job applications come across your desk. all things being equal, one has the name Jane Smith, the other has the name Shaniqua Smith?

    which one does conservative, religious YOU pick up?

    there ya go….

    1. Keysbum – aren’t you the true sesquipedalian…boring. I guess the facts from BJS.GOV are untruthful….and you saying “conservative religious YOU” belies your ignorance. Conservative, slightly, more libertarian…not even close to socialist as yourself – religious, definitely not. You conspiracy nuts need to take time to polish your tin foil hats…because you are comical.

      You don’t know me, not in the slightest. I see again, your leftist mentality makes you unable to deal with facts. As for which job application – whoever is the most qualified….again, keep sticking your neck out there with your ignorant opinions…

  9. sorry there steveo…. i usually write with the erudite, regular members of the Blue Paper in mind. polysyllabic syntax comes as easily to them as vacuous sociopolitical analysis comes to you.

    i’ll try to use “little” words from now on with you. or, i would be happy to supply you with a-word-for-the-day until your vocabulary… oops sorry… until your “lingo”, is no longer a source of embarrassment to you, and you can read along with the rest of us.

    your sources are conservative, religious, and governmental; would that be the same government that swears unemployment is 5.2% and the economy is booming? the conservative and religious sources speak for themselves (as well as, sadly, about you, steveo). let me guess, you believe santa and jesus are white, right? and Jimmy the Greek was right-on about the “big bucks” and the small brains, right?

    look at the application thing again; your reading comprehension could use some work as well. just a thought. hey… there’s something to try!

    1. Ok Keysbummo…I am sure you do…most likely to make you feel a part of the club of adults….small penis syndrome? So what should I use for sources? Socialist, atheist, anarchist? You really are a dummy….regardless of your ability to use a dictionary and thesaurus. This is your government…you and your ilk put this non-qualified community organizer in his throne to feel good about yourselves, with little to no research. But it felt good, and you probably had a thrill up your leg….and stop trying to guess what I believe. You are making yourself out to be a complete ass. If you are going to criticize someone on reading comprehension and the ability to use $50 words (again is boring, snobbish, and passé), try proper grammar. For example, beginning your sentences with a capital letter, not overusing hyphens, commas inside of quotes, do not begin sentences with conjunctions (used to join words and phrases), and improper use of a semi-colon. So before you starting trying to belittle the lumpenproletariat, proofread your rambling diatribe. Oh, and another thing. Stay on point (means to focus) with the discussion at hand, and argue facts….and quit your bloviating.

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