FBI Data: Post-Ferguson Murder Spike Reaches 3,761 Dead


FBI data shows that 3,761 additional Americans have been killed in the murder spike which emerged after the White House intervened in the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri.

In 2016, 17,250 people were killed, up from 15,883 in 2015, and up from an average of 14,686 per year during the first six years of President Barack Obama’s term, according to the FBI data. If the extra dead from 2015 and 2016 are compared to the 14,164 killed in 2014, then the post-Ferguson spike adds up to 4,805 extra dead.

Even as murders jumped by 20 percent over two years, rape and robbery crimes remained flat, and property crimes, burglary, and theft dropped. Aggravated assault and auto theft did rise in 2015 and 2016, but at only roughly half the spike seen in murder.

Killings nationwide rose by almost 10.8 percent in 2015 and by another 8.6 percent in 2016. But most of the extra killing took place in poor urban areas run by the Democratic Party, such as Chicago and Baltimore, which saw 762 and 358 dead, respectively. In 2016, the killings jumped by 20 percent in cities with a population greater than 1 million. The 2016 murder rate was 16 percent higher than the murder rate in 2012.

Crime expert Heather McDonald blames the extra dead on the Democrats’ efforts to stigmatize and regulate cops after Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder intervened in the 2014 Ferguson riots, which took place shortly before the 2014 midterm elections.

Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks. In 2016, the police fatally shot 233 blacks, the vast majority armed and dangerous, according to the Washington Post. The Post categorized only 16 black male victims of police shootings as “unarmed” …

The reason for the current increase is what I have called the Ferguson Effect. Cops are backing off of proactive policing in high-crime minority neighborhoods, and criminals are becoming emboldened. Having been told incessantly by politicians, the media, and Black Lives Matter activists that they are bigoted for getting out of their cars and questioning someone loitering on a known drug corner at 2 AM, many officers are instead just driving by. Such stops are discretionary; cops don’t have to make them. And when political elites demonize the police for just such proactive policing, we shouldn’t be surprised when cops get the message and do less of it. Seventy-two percent of the nation’s officers say that they and their colleagues are now less willing to stop and question suspicious persons, according to a Pew Research poll released in January 2016. The reason is the persistent anti-cop climate.

After the riots, Obama cultivated and supported the Black Lives Movement, and also used his presidential powers to impose regulations of state and local police forces.

Local police chiefs and former FBI Director Comey also complained about the political and media pressure on street cops. “I don’t know whether that explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year,” James Comey in a 2015 speech at the University of Chicago Law School.

“We have allowed our Police Department to get fetal, and it is having a direct consequence,” Chicago’s Democratic Mayor, Rahm Emanuel, said during an October 2015 event. “They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact,” he added.

McDonald continued:

That truth has not stopped the ongoing [political and media] demonization of the police—including, now, by many of the country’s ignorant professional athletes. The toll will be felt, as always, in the inner city, by the thousands of law-abiding people there who desperately want more police protection.

Progressives, however, say things are just too complex to draw any conclusions about the cause of the killing spike since Ferguson. The Atlantic magazine declared:

The obvious lesson is that grand comprehensive theories [about crime rising] are likely not too trustworthy right now,” Pfaff said. A single theory can sometimes explain a surge in crime, like the emergence of crack cocaine in the 1980s, he noted. But no single factor appeared to be driving the current spike. “What is happening is local and likely demands solutions that account for local conditions,” he said.

The progressive Brennan Center for Justice muddied the waters by claiming the huge murder spike in Democratic-run cities shows there is no national crime spike, as if dead people in Democratic cities are less important than others:

“The data debunk claims from the Trump Administration that crime is out of control, but do highlight cities where violence is concerning,” said Inimai Chettiar, director of the Brennan Center’s Justice Program. “Chicago, for example, has had serious issues that need to be addressed. But by painting the entire country with too broad a brush, the President Trump and Attorney General Sessions are peddling fear and distracting from the frank and honest conversations needed to find solutions to these real problems.”

Allied progressive and business groups also fretted that the extra dead bodies might block their progress towards a planned rollback of tough criminal penalties. The fear was voiced by a top lawyer working for the Koch brothers, who hope to change white-collar prosecutions by changing a critical legal doctrine, dubbed mens rea.

“The latest data undercut claims of a national crime wave,” said Mark Holden, general counsel and senior vice president at Koch Industries. “But they make clear that work needs to be done to stop these troubling local spikes in violence, and persistently high rates of violent crime in a few major cities. State and local leaders from across the country have evidence-driven solutions, and we should learn from the dozens of cities and states that have successfully reduced crime, incarceration, and recidivism together.”

“The media, academia, and some police officials are again twisting themselves into knots to deny that depolicing is responsible for the ongoing violent-crime increase,”  McDonald reported. She continued:

The strong version of what I have called the Ferguson Effect—a drop in proactive policing leading to rising crime—is the only explanation for the crime increase that matches the data. The country has just elected a new president who understands that the false narrative about the police has led to the breakdown of law and order in inner cities. If the crime situation improves in the coming year, it will be because Black Lives Matter calumnies no longer have an echo chamber in the White House and because cops on the beat believe that they will now be supported for trying to restore order where informal social control has broken down.

Even though the increased murder rates have been clear since 2015, establishment media still focus their attention on the relatively few cases of bad cops killing ordinary young men.


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