The ‘Ferguson Effect’ Is Real

The Ferguson effect was spotlighted by Manhattan Institute’s Heather MacDonald in a Wall Street Journal May 2015 op-ed.  MacDonald noted that arrests were sharply down in cities such as Chicago, St. Louis, and Baltimore because an “onslaught of anti-cop rhetoric” across the country caused officers to “scale back on proactive policing.”

At first glance, the number seems like an error — as if an FBI statistician had accidentally transposed some digits in the bureau’s annual report on crime released earlier this week.

Were there really 765 murders in Chicago in 2016? A year after the city tallied 478, and the year before that 411? A reader unfamiliar with Chicago’s recent crime history would likely say the true number has to be 576 or, worst case, 675.

Alas, anyone who has been paying attention to violence in Chicago knows the FBI didn’t make a mistake — the shocking number is accurate. Chicago’s annual murder total jumped 86 percent in the space of two years, evoking memories of the early 1990s crack wars when annual homicide totals regularly approached 1,000…

Although that horrifying statistic stands out, Chicago’s wave of killing wasn’t an aberration, nationally speaking. Six other major U.S. cities experienced a surge in murders in at least one year between 2014 and 2016.

Baltimore, for example, recorded 211 murders in 2014, a relatively peaceful year for the violence-plagued city. The next year, homicides exploded by more than 60 percent to 344.

Chicago and Baltimore have something in common beyond seemingly intractable gang violence. Along with several other cities — St. Louis, Dallas, Charlotte, and Milwaukee — they were the site of significant civil unrest that erupted following the killing of black men by police officers. Read full article at DailyCaller

Photo by Torbakhopper