FBI chief tries to deal with the ‘Ferguson effect’

26 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Absent From The Debate: Obama’s Refugee Calamity.

CHICAGO — Speaking to a ballroom of thousands of police chiefs and top law enforcement officials, FBI Director James B. Last night, there was time at the Republican presidential debate to discuss vaccinations and the ten-dollar bill but not a word was uttered about one of the most pressing issues – Obama’s imminent plan to bring in thousands of Islamic refugees from Syria.

The Ferguson effect is the Bigfoot of American criminal justice: Fervently believed to be real by some, doubted by many others, reportedly glimpsed here and there, but never yet attested to by any hard evidence. Comey said Monday that the national debate over whether the phrase “Black Lives Matter” is anti-cop is further deteriorating the relationship between police officers and minority communities. Overall, they plan to expand the current refugee cap of 70,000 worldwide to 100,000 over the next few years, enabling them to admit tens of thousands more from the Middle East. 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. And he urged police to embrace the hashtag as an opportunity to better understand those they are sworn to protect. “There is a line of law enforcement and a line of communities we serve, especially of communities of color…,” Comey said. “Each time somebody interprets hashtag Black Lives Matter as anti-law enforcement, one line moves away.

While there are plenty of experts who disagree, what makes Comey’s comments so rattling is that if there is an observable Ferguson effect, it may suggest that many law-enforcement agencies have come to rely on abusive or questionable practices, rather than developing other crime-control strategies that could be successful even under public scrutiny. “The question that has been asked of me, is whether these kinds of things are changing police behavior all over the country,” Comey said during a speech at the University of Chicago Law School. “And the answer is, I don’t know. 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. There have been anecdotal stories that argue that criminals are getting bolder—in Baltimore, for example, where violent crime spiked after Freddie Gray’s death in police custody in April—but as Ta-Nehisi Coates has pointed out, most arguments for the Ferguson effect come down to coincidence and hand-waving. 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. Here’s what Comey said Friday: I’ve been part of a lot of thoughtful conversations with law enforcement, elected officials, academics, and community members in recent weeks.

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. They are being killed, police chiefs tell me, by other young men with guns.” On Monday, Comey said that he welcomes scrutiny of policing by the Department of Justice — reviews such as those conducted in Ferguson, St. 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-cut than reports initially suggested. Louis, Cleveland and elsewhere — but noted that the “age of viral videos” has fundamentally changed police work and made officers more hesitant to do the kind of policing that prevents violence. 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.

Those comments, interpreted by some as a validation of the “Ferguson Effect” — a theory advanced by some that riots and racial unrest in places such as St. Louis and Baltimore have prompted police officers to become more restrained, resulting in upticks in violent crime that otherwise would not have occurred — almost immediately drew skepticism among groups advocating police reform. “The assertions made by Director Comey are outrageous. A major obstacle to assessing the recent spike is that social scientists struggle to explain fluctuations in the crime rate even when there is copious data to work with. By his own admission, these statements are not backed up by data, and there are mixed reports about levels of crime since the heightened scrutiny of police officers began after the protests in Ferguson,” Amnesty International USA executive director Steven W.

Given the history of drug dealing and other crime in the area, few would question officers’ decision to approach the corner where Gray and another man where hanging out on the morning of April 12. There’s a raft of theories, none of which effectively explains the drop by itself, and all of which in aggregate still leave most of the decline unaccounted for. We shouldn’t just seek to block entry of those who are already trained terrorist infiltrators like the 9/11 hijackers; we must also keep out the likes of those who danced in the streets of Brooklyn, NY when we were attacked.

I know that there’s been some talk in the press about spikes that are happening this year relative to last year,” Obama said. “I’ve asked my team to look very carefully at it — Attorney General Lynch has pulled together a task force — and it does look like there are a handful of cities where we’re seeing higher-than-normal spikes. The FBI just arrested a 15-year-old boy in Philadelphia who was plotting an “ISIS style” attack against the Pope when he visits Washington next week.

So imagine Comey is right: The spike in crime really is a Ferguson effect, and police have drastically pulled back from policing because they’re afraid of being caught on camera. (Civil-liberties campaigners have long pushed back against the law-enforcement defense of surveillance and stop-and-frisk that if you’ve done nothing wrong you’ve got nothing to hide; by complaining that being videotaped prevents them from carrying out their duties, it seems police are finally embracing the activists’ point.) The implication of the Ferguson-effect argument is that police can’t provide safe streets and low crime rates without massive civil-rights violations—aggressive use of physical force, racial profiling, searches that fall into legal gray areas, and so on—and without alienating black communities. Are those who say officers are afraid of scrutiny willing to argue that actions like those are necessary — or even in any way helpful — to the cause of preventing violent crime? He probably knew no other country but America and had all the reason in the world to love this country and appreciate the opportunity it afforded him. Comey’s remarks caught officials by surprise at the Justice Department, where his views are not shared at the top levels,” The New York Times reported. “While the department had no immediate comment on Friday, several officials privately fumed at Mr.

African Americans were stopped at a rate far beyond their share of the population, but more to the point, black motorists were twice as likely to be searched as white ones — even though drugs and weapons turned up more frequently in cars driven by whites. Blacks were charged with a variety of minor offenses — from possession of small amounts of marijuana to resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer — far more frequently than whites.

North Carolina keeps more detailed data on such encounters than other states, but the pattern held in other places where the Times was able to conduct a similar analysis. With the growing success of cyber-Jihad there is no way to ensure that these thousands of Syrian refugees of military age will not become radicalized and bite the hand that feeds them. The casualty of not having conservatives moderate GOP presidential debates is that Republican voters are never treated to a serious discussion about immigration, perhaps the most consequential issue of our time.

The only discussion of immigration last night was centered on the liberal moderator’s false choice about whether we should physically deport “Every last” illegal alien in the country. Absent from the debate was a true discourse about the fundamental transformation of our country through immigration that is transpiring without the input of the people.

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