Sunday, April 17, 2016

Stat Crimes Matter
How researchers try to obscure the existence of the Ferguson effect

A group of criminologists has purported to answer the question: “Was there a Ferguson effect on crime rates in large U.S. cities?” The “Ferguson effect” refers to the phenomenon of police officers backing off from proactive policing in response to the anti-cop Black Lives Matter movement, with a resulting rise in violent crime. The criminologists answer their own question with a minutely qualified “No.” In fact, their analysis resoundingly confirms the existence of the Ferguson effect.


But the existence of a Ferguson effect does not depend on its operating uniformly across the country in cities with very different demographics. When the researchers disaggregated crime trends by city, they found that the variance among those individual city trends had tripled after Ferguson. That is, before the Brown shooting, individual cities’ crime rates tended to move downward together; after Ferguson, their crime rates were all over the map. Some cities had sharp increases in aggregate crime, while others continued their downward trajectory. The variance in homicide trends was even greater—nearly six times as large after Ferguson. And what cities had the largest post-Ferguson homicide surges? Precisely those that the Ferguson effect would predict: cities with high black populations, low white populations, and high preexisting rates of violent crime.
And (very likely) Democrat governments entrenched for decades.
A virulent anti-cop protest movement dedicated to the proposition that murderous, racist cops are the biggest threat facing young black men today will have its biggest impact on policing in black neighborhoods. It is in these neighborhoods that cops will face the most hostility from residents steeped in the Black Lives Matter ideology and where cops will most worry that, if an encounter with a civilian goes awry, they will become the latest racist officer-of-the-week on CNN. It is in black neighborhoods, in other words, where proactive policing—making pedestrian stops, enforcing quality-of-life public order laws—will be most inhibited.
This is the goal for those who claim that ghetto attitudes and behaviors are "black culture" which must be left alone. As much as blacks complain about their awful ghetto entrapment, they do much more to preserve it than to actually change it.

1 comment:

Robert Coble said...

I work with several police officers. I can tell you first-hand that the "Ferguson effect" is real. Rather than risk destruction of their careers and personal lives, the officers on the street just don't investigate or respond as they did previously. Their attitude is: "At the end of the day, I'm going home to my family. Screw it; if they want to kill themselves, let 'em. I'm not getting involved unless I really have no other option." There also is a growing sense that the politicians will throw them under the bus at the drop of the hat. Consequently, many career officers are hanging up their badges as soon as possible. Some are holding out for early retirement; some are just leaving the police force for other work. These are all "good cops." And, despite the media and Black Lies Matter BS, the majority of them ARE "good cops" who really care about their communities.

This does not bode well for the future of this country.