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The Ferguson Effect

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

After two decades of drastic crime reduction, homicides in America’s 50 largest cities increased by 17% in 2015. Following two decades of employing proactive police techniques whose greatest beneficiaries were residents of poor minority neighborhoods, officers suddenly started to face new obstacles. When working in inner cities, cops found themselves surrounded by jeering crowds whenever they attempted to make an arrest or simply interview citizens.


Predictably, officers then began to retreat from proactive policing techniques. Rather than questioning a suspicious person who appeared to be hiding a gun they let an armed robbery take place. They began reacting to crimes whose victims were almost always black. Whether they have been proactive or simply reacting, police have been a major presence in black neighborhoods for decades as a result of the persistent and steady breakdown of black families in America.

Much of the demand for a switch from proactive to reactive police techniques came from the press in the wake of the Ferguson protests of 2014. The media made much of the fact that blacks were more likely than whites to be stopped and questioned by police officers. Lacking in their reports was any mention of disproportionate black involvement in crime, which would have undercut the thesis that blacks were being targeting simply because of their race. In 2012, blacks were responsible for 58% of the robberies and 60% of the homicides in Missouri. This is despite the fact that blacks are less than 12% of the state’s total population.

It is also notable that 42% of all cop killers whose race has been identified are black. In contrast, little more than a quarter of all homicides by cops involve black victims. This is all relevant evidence in the ongoing public trial of the police. But it has been ruled inadmissible by the ideologically slanted judges among the media elite.


In the wake of their conviction in the court of public opinion, the police retreat from proactive engagement with suspects has had consequences, which have reverberated throughout the nation. For example:

-In Cleveland, homicides for 2015 were up by 90% over the previous year.

-In St. Louis, by the end of April 2015, shootings were up by 39%, robberies were up by 43%, and homicides were up by 25% compared to the previous year.

- By the end of May 2015 shootings in Chicago increased by 24% and homicides increased by 17% compared to the previous year. The surge continued into 2016 with 100 Chicagoans shot in the first ten days of January.

-Murders in Nashville rose 83% in 2015.

-Washington D.C. ended 2015 with a 54% increase in murders.

-Baltimore suffered its bloodiest month since 1972 with 45 murders in the first 30 days of July 2015. All but two of the murder victims were black.

-Minneapolis saw a 61% increase in homicides in 2015.

Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter “civil rights” activists march through the streets of St. Paul chanting “Pigs in a blanket. Fry ‘em like bacon.” It speaks volumes about the content of their character.

It is no coincidence that cities with large black populations have been hit the hardest by recent crime increases. When black agitators wage a public relations war on the police by hurling wild accusations of racism against white cops the result is predictable. They simply defend themselves by withdrawing from black communities. This, in turn, leaves black victims of black crime defenseless.


It is telling that the Washington Post has started collecting data on police shootings. In the process, they have discovered that 50% of police shootings in 2015 were white. Only 26% were black. This can hardly be called evidence of bias when one examines black involvement in crime rather than their representation in the general population, which is only 13%. Overall blacks were 62% of all robbery arrests, 57% of all murder arrests, and 45% of all assault arrests in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009. That pattern has been consistent for many years.

Moreover, the vast majority of the 258 black victims of police shootings in 2015 were armed. Those 258 victims were only a fraction of the roughly 6,000 blacks who were killed by other blacks in the same year. But black on black crime is seldom discussed in polite circles. Social justice warriors are not slaves to political correctness. They are now running the plantation.

In August 2015, a 9 year-old girl was killed in Ferguson when gunfire ripped through her house and then through her body when she was doing her homework on her mother’s bed. Yet very few people remember her name. In contrast, they do know the name of Michael Brown – a thug who propelled a movement by stealing from a black businessman and attempting to wrestle a gun from an innocent white cop he had just assaulted.

It should be readily apparent that today’s “civil rights” activists are not really social justice warriors. They are no longer trying to help society or even to advance justice. In fact, it is charitable to say that they ever were. They are simply progressive racists with an agenda that is both anti-social and unjust. Like most progressive causes it is killing the very people it claims to be saving and sustaining its own life with a potent combination of ignorance and propaganda.


In the end, it produces hypocrisy so rank that it cannot be obscured by the smell of rotting corpses.

Author’s Note: The sole source of information for this column is Heather MacDonald’s excellent new book The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe. None of the themes in this column were taken from Michelle Obama.

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