By Steve Neavling
Attorney General Loretta Lynch joined the debate over the so-called “Ferguson effect,” saying there’s no data to show that crime is on the rise because of criticism over police tactics, CNN reports.
“While certainly there might be anecdotal evidence there, as all have noted, there’s no data to support it,” Lynch said in an appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.
The comments come a month after FBI Director James Comey said officers were reluctant to enforce the law at times because of viral videos of cops making arrests.
“In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns?” he asked in a speech at the University of Chicago Law School, his alma mater.
“I don’t know whether this explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind blowing through American law enforcement over the last year. And that wind is surely changing behavior.”
Lynch’s comments were similar to President Obama’s administration.
“The available evidence at this point does not support the notion that law enforcement officers are shying away from fulfilling their responsibilities,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said at a daily briefing soon after Comey’s remarks.
“The evidence we’ve seen so far doesn’t support the contention that law enforcement officials are somehow shirking their responsibility, and in fact you’ve seen law enforcement leaders across the country indicating that’s not what’s taking place,” he said.