The Ferguson Effect comes to New York: NYPD arrests plummet in wake of officer firing in Garner case
What is it about the Left that fails to understand that painting cops as racists has consequences?
In the wake of the firing of a police officer over the death of black cigarette street seller Eric Garner, New York's police are focused now on just playing it safe.
The firing of NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who was involved in the fatal arrest of Eric Garner in 2014, appears to have already had an effect on the Big Apple, with the number of arrests dropping sharply compared to 2018 and cops warning of plummeting morale among New York City's finest.
Just between Aug. 17, when Pantaleo was fired, and Aug. 25, arrests dropped by 27 percent compared to the same period in 2018, the New York Post reported.
NYPD cops made 3,508 arrests compared to 4,827 a year earlier, according to the Post.
Only a leftist could not have seen this coming.
What happened in New York was a tough situation. Yes, it was a shame that Garner, an illegal seller of loose cigarettes, did die over what was called an illegal if short duration chokehold. But the problem was more than cops using bad chokeholds: the lesson from this story could have been that Garner should not have been resisting arrest, with the further teachable moment that the cops have to make split-second decisions, and this death that came of that not happening was about cops defending themselves from imminent harm rather than racial animus. Instead of that lesson, though, the whole incident became dominated by race-hustlers whipping up racial controversy (even though black cops were also involved) and then New York's blue-city leftist politicians heaping opprobrium for the New York Police Department as the Klan in blue. As leftists, they already don't like cops, starting with city's much detested Mayor Bill de Blasio, who once claimed that he had "the talk" with his multi-racial son about the inherent racism of New York's cops against black people.
The net result of that sorry act is what always happens when this kind of political grandstanding wins the day: a long, slow police strike. Cops are now afraid to enforce the law, or quite possibly unwilling to enforce the law under these unacceptable ground conditions. If cops can be fired for doing their jobs, the best course of action is to do less of their jobs. If a leftist blue city doesn't have the cops' back, why the heck should they stick their necks out? If the legal ground under their feet is wobbly, they'll seek safer ground higher up. Proactive policing goes out the window with this kind of demonization of cops, how could anyone ever prove that a police officer didn't see something happening? If cops are the bad guy now, crime can be someone else's problem. Being human, cops will pick and choose only the most politically and racially fireproof cases before taking any enforcement action. Proactive enforcement equals lost pensions. If the Left wants to politicize policing, then policing will come solely from the standpoint of officers' political safety, not the city's physical safety.
It was the result seen in Ferguson, Missouri, when a completely innocent police officer lost his job due to the political establishment's cheerleading to the false claim "hands up, don't shoot," which was made worse by the Obama administration promoting the narrative. Here's Wikipedia.
The Ferguson effect is the idea that increased distrust of police following the 2014 shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri has led to an increased crime rate (or sometimes increased murder rate) in major U.S. cities. The mechanism usually suggested is that police have less vigorous enforcement in situations that might lead to backlash, though other mechanisms are suggested. The term was coined by Doyle Sam Dotson III, the chief of the St. Louis police, to account for an increased murder rate in some U.S. cities following the Ferguson unrest.
And the Left has denied that that ever happened.
But the Ferguson Effect played out a second time in Baltimore, with the death of another black man arrested for a crime, Freddy Gray, triggering more demonization of police by leftist politicians looking to make hay. Arrests plummeted. Here's what USA Today reported:
In the space of just a few days in spring 2015 – as Baltimore faced a wave of rioting after Freddie Gray, a black man, died from injuries he suffered in the back of a police van – officers in nearly every part of the city appeared to turn a blind eye to everyday violations. They still answered calls for help. But the number of potential violations they reported seeing themselves dropped by nearly half. It has largely stayed that way ever since."What officers are doing is they're just driving looking forward. They've got horse blinders on," says Kevin Forrester, a retired Baltimore detective.
The surge of shootings and killings that followed has left Baltimore easily the deadliest large city in the United States. Its murder rate reached an all-time high last year; 342 people were killed. The number of shootings in some neighborhoods has more than tripled. One man was shot to death steps from a police station. Another was killed driving in a funeral procession.
Only an idiot could not see this coming when the next haymaking racial incident came to New York. The left will for sure deny anything's happening - nothing to see here, move along, as the cops say. Yet's it's unmistakeable that a pattern is occurring. It's a failure of the city's leftist leadership, of course, but it's also a failure of the voters who elect them. If blue-city denizens want to keep electing people who demonize cops, they are going to have to start getting used to a big surge in crime as cops stop enforcing the law pro-actively. Denial doesn't stop it, and the reality is, nobody can force a cop to be a hero. What comes now is what always comes of wholesale painting of cops as racists over every controversial event: cops taking steps to protect themselves first, Going Galt. It's a result that's as predictable as sunrise.