On Saturday we introduced readers to the ‘Ferguson Effect’. The idea is that the recent spate of prosecutions and instances of social unrest that followed a series of events involving perceived police misconduct directed at African Americans have made police officers gun shy – literally.
Here’s what Thomas W. Smith fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of ‘Are Cops Racist?’ Heather Mac Donald wrote in a WSJ piece:
This incessant drumbeat against the police has resulted in what St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson last November called the ‘Ferguson effect.’ Cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity and the ‘criminal element is feeling empowered,’ Mr. Dotson reported. Arrests in St. Louis city and county by that point had dropped a third since the shooting of Michael Brown in August. Not surprisingly, homicides in the city surged 47% by early November and robberies in the county were up 82%.
Similar ‘Ferguson effects’ are happening across the country as officers scale back on proactive policing under the onslaught of anti-cop rhetoric. Arrests in Baltimore were down 56% in May compared with 2014.
Note this passage: ‘Cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity and the ‘criminal element is feeling empowered.” That, according to Mac Donald, is why crime is up across many American cities.
A second set of data casts considerable doubt on that thesis. According to The Washington Post, fatal police shootings have doubled with law enforcement now killing more than two people every day.
This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/31/2015.