Progressives desperately trying to hide 'Ferguson effect' rise in crime
The rise in crime attributable to the anti-police #BlackLivesMatter movement sponsored by George Soros money could be the sleeper issue of the 2016 election. Dubbed the “Ferguson effect” over the outrage ginned up by the death of a criminal who was falsely said to have had his hands up when he was shot by a Ferguson, Missouri police officer who, in fact, was facing a life-threatening situation as the thug attempted to grab is firearm, the rise in crime has been substantial and widespread.
This has progressives very worried, and they are pulling out all the stops, harnessing the organs of elite opinion in an effort to deny that the Ferguson effect is genuine. Fortunately, Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute is America’s great truth-teller on crime, a fearless and brilliant scholar of the issue. She writes in the Wall Street Journal:
Murders and shootings have spiked in many American cities—and so have efforts to ignore or deny the crime increase. The see-no-evil campaign eagerly embraced a report last month by the Brennan Center for Justice called “Crime in 2015: A Preliminary Analysis.” Many progressives and their media allies hailed the report as a refutation of what I and others have dubbed the “Ferguson effect”— cops backing off from proactive policing, demoralized by the ugly vitriol directed at them since a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., last year. Americans are being asked to disbelieve both the Ferguson effect and its result: violent crime flourishing in the ensuing vacuum.
In fact, the Brennan Center’s report confirms the Ferguson effect, while also showing how clueless the media are about crime and policing. (snip)
The resulting projected increase for homicides in 2015 in those 25 cities is 11%. (By point of comparison, the FiveThirtyEight data blog looked at the 60 largest cities and found a 16% increase in homicides by September 2015.) An 11% one-year increase in any crime category is massive; an equivalent decrease in homicides would be greeted with high-fives by politicians and police chiefs. Yet the media have tried to repackage that 11% homicide increase as trivial.
Mac Donald examines all of the methods used to obscure and deny the crime rise that would have Americans anxious if they knew about it. It is well worth a read, if only to remind us how easy it is for elite opinion-makers to deny the truth.
There is absolutely no reason to expect that the trend toward less effective policing and rising crime will abate in 2016. Mac Donald quotes a (necessarily) anonymous police source:
Critics of the Ferguson-effect analysis ignore or deny the animosity that the police now face in urban areas, brushing off rampant resistance to lawful police authority as mere “peaceful protest.” A black police officer in Los Angeles tells me: “Several years ago I could use a reasonable and justified amount of force and not be cursed and jeered at. Now our officers are getting surrounded every time they put handcuffs on someone. The spirit and the rhetoric of this flawed movement.
The only question is who will make this a political issue. My money is on Donald Trump.