Get Our Newsletter



Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

September 2019
S M T W T F S
« Aug    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Ferguson effect

AG Lynch Says No Data Supports FBI Director’s Comments on ‘Ferguson Effect’

camera policeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

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.

DEA Chief Agrees with FBI Director Comey That Police Are Less Aggressive After Ferguson

police lightsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The head of the DEA said Wednesday that he agrees with other law enforcement officials that police are less aggressive because of the racially-charged incidents captured on videotape.

Chuck Rosenberg said he agrees with FBI Director James Comey that the tensions nationwide have had a chilling effect on police.

“I think there’s something to it,” Rosenberg said during a press briefing on drug statistics at DEA headquarters in Arlington. “I think he’s spot on. I’ve heard the same thing.”

President Obama has disputed the claims, saying police continue to do their jobs diligently.

Whether the less aggressive policing has had an effect on crime won’t be known immediately, Rosenberg said, agreeing with Comey that it’s to early to draw conclusions.

Fiscal Times: When It Comes Criminal Justice Reform, FBI Director James Comey Is Wiser

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Liz Peek
Fiscal Times

When it comes to criminal justice reform, whom are you going to believe? James Comey, the nation’s top cop, or politicians eager to curry favor with the black community?

FBI chief James Comey earned himself a summons to the Oval Office last week by telling the truth about the war on crime. President Obama suggests that racial bias has led to too many black men being locked up and vows to combat “disparities in the application of criminal justice.” Comey argues that tough policing in minority neighborhoods has saved thousands of black lives and that the recent upsurge in homicides may reflect the “YouTube” effect — making police officers nervous to do their jobs. The good news is that Comey, imbued with an impressive independence streak, has another 8 years to serve. Even though Obama could presumably pressure him to resign, he can’t fire him.

Democrats and Republicans alike have hopped aboard the criminal justice bandwagon, noting the large incarceration rate in the United States and the disproportionate number of prisoners of color. Hillary Clinton hit a common theme when she noted in a speech last spring, “It’s a stark fact that the United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet we have almost 25 percent of the world’s total prison population.” She fails to note that the disparity stems fromhigher crime rates. Homicides in the U.S. run seven times the rate in other developed countries, according to a 2011 study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the UCLA School of Public Health.

Clinton also gets it backwards with her next statement: “The numbers today are much higher than they were 30, 40 years ago, despite the fact that crime is at historic lows.”

Many would suggest that crime is at historic lows because so many criminals have been put behind bars. Comey made that case recently, speaking at the University of Chicago Law School. He reminds us that not so long ago, urban crime, especially in minority neighborhoods, was horrific. In New York City, 2,000 homicides a year was considered the norm in the 1980s and 1990s; last year there were 328.  As Comey notes, “White people weren’t dying; black people were dying. Most white people could drive around the problem. If you were white and not involved in the drug trade as a buyer or a seller, you were largely apart from the violence.”

To read more click here. 

USA Today: FBI Director Comey Fans Flames without Evidence on ‘Ferguson Effect’

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Editorial Board
USA Today

Since the mid-1990s, violent crime in the USA has dropped by nearly half. From 713.6 incidents per 100,000 people in 1994, it had fallen to 365.5 by last year. Apart from a short-lived uptick in 2005 and 2006, the downward trend has been persistent.

Criminologists initially attributed the decline to the ebbing of the crack cocaine epidemic. When the rate continued to fall long after the crack turf wars were over, the experts turned to other possible explanations. Changes in policing? The rising rates of incarceration? No single explanation was particularly convincing.

But now that preliminary data show an increase in violent crime in certain large cities this year, one man says he already knows why. FBI Director James Comey  says the spike is at least in part the result of what is being called the “Ferguson effect” — the increased scrutiny of officers in the wake of several highly publicized police brutality cases, including the shooting of an unarmed man in Ferguson, Mo., last year. This scrutiny, Comey says, is causing police to be more cautious and criminals to be more emboldened.

It is possible, of course, that Comey is on to something and will be proved right over time. Surely, no officer wants to be the next YouTube sensation. But given the history of crime theories, confidence in a gut-sense explanation is unwarranted. Blaming the crime rise on police criticism is provocative and shouldn’t be done without firm data to back it up.

To read more click here. 

Baltimore Sun: FBI Director Comey Wrong about ‘Ferguson Effect,’ Distracts from Real Issue

FBI Director James Comey

FBI Director James Comey

By Editorial Board
Baltimore Sun

On Friday, FBI Director James Comey told an audience in Chicago that he believes that the “YouTube effect” — that is, the heightened scrutiny police officers have faced after a series of highly publicized incidents of questionable use of force, including Freddie Gray‘s arrest in Baltimore — has contributed to the nation-wide rise in violent crime. This is not a new theory — it has been voiced here by the head of the police union and by the former police commissioner, who said he believed officers “took a knee” after April’s riots. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel recently said he believed officers had gone “fetal” under the scrutiny. But given what Mr. Comey admits is a lack of any real data to support it, the theory is a damaging one to advance, as it only underscores the disconnect between police and the communities they are supposed to serve.

Mr. Comey said he has heard anecdotal evidence that officers are being told by superiors that their political leaders have “no tolerance for a viral video,” and that as a consequence, officers are reluctant to get out of their cars and question suspicious people. “Lives are saved when those potential killers are confronted by a police officer, a strong police presence and actual, honest-to-goodness, up-close ‘What are you guys doing on this corner at 1 o’clock in the morning’ policing,” Mr. Comey told an audience at the University of Chicago Law School. “We need to be careful it doesn’t drift away from us in the age of viral videos, or there will be profound consequences.”

What is so troubling about this line of reasoning is that it suggests officers have no idea about what has brought us to this point. The issue is not officers doing their jobs in an energetic, proactive way. The issue is the use of force when it’s not needed, the violation of civil rights and the general dehumanization of people who live in high crime areas, usually African Americans. The killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., which sparked the era of heightened scrutiny for officers, was not captured on video and proved less clear-cutthan reports initially suggested. But a series of subsequent cases — the killings of Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Walter Scott and Sam DuBose, the arrest of Sandra Bland and others — cannot be construed as situations conscientious officers would find themselves in simply by doing their jobs.

To read more click here.