286 online
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 10 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/6/15

The "Ferguson effect" is just a ploy to reduce scrutiny of the police

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   2 comments
Message Trevor Timm
Become a Fan
  (2 fans)

eprinted from The Guardian

The DEA and the FBI have both blamed an alleged 'crime wave' on the reluctance of police to do their job because of public criticism over use of force
Is the United States actually witnessing a crime wave?
Is the United States actually witnessing a crime wave?
(Image by Photograph: Andy Katz/Pacific/Barcroft)
  Details   DMCA

Without a shred of hard evidence, first FBI chief Jim Comey and now the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration are publicly claiming increased scrutiny of police officers from the public -- essentially Black Lives Matter and other protesters -- are the cause of a fictitious crime wave in the United States. Not only are their comments insulting and ignorant, the entire premise of their argument is false.

The DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg said on Wednesday he thinks Comey "is spot on" in remarks the FBI director made on 23 October, when he said "viral videos" and criticism of police officers are creating a "chilling effect" on police work and leading to more crime -- what some have dubiously called the "Ferguson effect."

Even though Comey admitted the next day that he didn't have any hard evidence to back his statements up, that didn't stop Rosenberg from wholeheartedly agreeing. The Washington Post reported: "Rosenberg said he believed the Ferguson effect could cause police to become reluctant to engage with criminals because of 'the concern, rightly or wrongly, that you become the next viral video.'"

As the Post noted, the theory has been disputed by everyone from Barack Obama and former attorney general Eric Holder to the National Fraternal Order of Police, "all of whom have said it is offensive to suggest that police officers aren't doing their jobs." It is actually offensive on multiple fronts -- and not just to police officers.

The idea that there is some sort of expansive crime wave is a huge myth, and the media has, by and large, done a terrible job at giving people perspective on a couple percentage points change in violent crime seen in some cities over a one-year time frame -- where crime has been at record lows. Crime is actually way down across the board when you look at statistics over the past two decades. The Washington Post's Max Ehrenfreund is one of the very few reporters to comprehensively look at crime statistics across the country. Here's what he found:

Click Here to Read Whole Article

Rate It | View Ratings

Trevor Timm Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Trevor Timm is a co-founder and the executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation. He is a writer, activist, and lawyer who specializes in free speech and government transparency issues. He has contributed to  The (more...)

Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Sen. Dianne Feinstein's New NSA Bill Will Codify and Extend Mass Surveillance of Americans

Everyone loves Bernie Sanders. Except, it seems, the Democratic party

DOJ Investigation of AP Part of Larger Pattern to Intimidate Sources and Reporters

If Trump leaks are OK and Clinton leaks aren't, there's a problem

Why the Panama Papers should be a US election issue

One good thing about Donald Trump's campaign: it's ruining Jeb Bush's

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend