FBI director warns about ‘Ferguson Effect’; chill wind blowing through cops will make America dangerous

FBI Director James ComeyIt’s called “The Ferguson Effect” and it’s got the FBI worried.

Ever since Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri last August, Black Lives Matter protests have swept the country.

Now the director of the FBI, James Comey, believes there is a connection between those demonstrations and the rise in violent crime in America, called the Ferguson Effect.

“Far more people are being killed in America’s cities this year than in many years — and let’s be clear: far more people of color are being killed in America’s cities this year. And it’s not the cops doing the killing,” Comey said Friday at at his alma mater, the University of Chicago Law School, CNN reported.

Cleveland and Milwaukee have already passed last year’s murder totals, while Dallas and Tampa are on pace to surpass their 2014 numbers, according to CNN.

Comey believes that those increases may be due, in part, to the added scrutiny on law enforcement and the fact that many officers fear being the next target of video vigilantes.

“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?” said Comey.

“I spoke to officers privately in one big city recently who describe being surrounded by young people with mobile phones held high, taunting them when they get out of their cars,” he said.

“The question that has been asked of me, is whether these kinds of things are changing police behavior all over the country,” he said during the speech. “And the answer is, I don’t know. 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.”

While Comey said some of the change that has come about because of the scrutiny “is to be welcomed,” he warned that our cities face real problems that need police attention.

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that there really are bad people standing on the street with guns,” Comey said. “The young men dying on street corners all across this country are not committing suicide or being shot by the cops. They are being killed, police chiefs tell me, by other young men with guns.”


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