That FBI Report Is Making the Ferguson Effect Hard to Ignore

Jazz Shaw, Hot Air, October 2, 2017

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As the Daily Caller reports this week, one disturbing trend can be found by matching up locations recording rising murder rates with the homes of widespread riots and anti-police protests.

As we discussed when looking at the rising murder and violent crime rates, the increases are not homogeneous across the country. Much of the spike in those figures is being driven by the shockingly higher murder numbers in a dozen or so cities. What some analysts are now doing is matching up those hot spots with the locations of the aforementioned anti-police protests. The result? The Ferguson Effect is almost undoubtedly real.

Some criminal justice experts say there is a causal link between the unrest and the two-year rise in homicides nationwide. Heather MacDonald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, has dubbed the phenomenon the “Ferguson Effect.”

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As McDonald sees it, agitation by groups such as Black Lives Matter, encouraged by slanted media coverage, has led to a retrenchment among big-city police forces. Street cops are so worried about being vilified by city leaders and the press that they are avoiding contact with the criminal element, she says.

“Cops are backing off of proactive policing in high-crime minority neighborhoods, and criminals are becoming emboldened.”

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Looking at the areas with steep increases in murder rates in this light, the dots pretty much connect themselves. It starts with the crime spikes in St. Louis, Baltimore and Chicago. Who is associated with those cities? Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Laquan McDonald. The first two cities experienced actual riots. While Chicago didn’t get quite that far out of hand, there were weeks of protests and regular disruptions. The next thing they have in common is the local and federal response. Each area, rather than thanking their police for fighting an increasingly dangerous gang violence situation with limited resources, saw municipal leaders chastising the police for being “too aggressive” or using similar language. Then the federal government, under Barack Obama and his two Attorney Generals piled on, demanding long term reviews of the police forces in those cities with mandates to clean up the police departments.

Small wonder that under such circumstances, the cops tended to back off considerably from proactive policing.

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And the criminals clearly noticed, becoming more brazen.

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