The ill-fated prosecution of six Baltimore police officers for the accidental death of Freddie Gray in April 2015 was the spawn of the Black Lives Matter movement. The preposterously unjustified charges against the officers grew out of the BLM conceit that cops are racist murderers. On May 1, 2015, state's attorney Marilyn Mosby invoked Al Sharpton's extortionist chant of "No Justice, No Peace" as a motivation for her charging decisions, after rioters had destroyed the livelihoods of dozens of Baltimore's workers and small businessmen.It is therefore fitting that Mosby's vendetta is collapsing all around her, based as it is on an ideology composed of demonstrable lies about law enforcement.
Recently in Policing Category
The acquittal Thursday of another Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, like the acquittal 25 years ago of the Los Angeles officers who beat Rodney King, reveals the inadequacy of the criminal-law remedy. Suing the police for money under a strengthened federal civil rights law would be a better response to police misconduct.There is some truth here, but there is more to it.
Right now, however, federal law makes it more difficult to sue a police officer for denying a citizen his constitutional rights than for injuring him by ordinary negligence. If an officer negligently drives his car and injures a citizen, the victim can win money just by proving negligence, and the city that employs the officer pays whatever the jury awards.
But when an officer uses excessive force or makes an unlawful arrest or search, proving wrongful conduct is not enough. Under Section 1983 of the federal civil rights statute, the officer can escape liability with the special defense of qualified immunity -- showing that he reasonably believed his conduct was lawful, even if it was not. And if the jury finds the officer liable, federal law does not require his employer to pay the award.
Thirteen states gave some teeth to their implied consent laws and made it a crime to refuse testing.
The case is State v. Goodson, Circuit Court for Baltimore City, No. 115141032.
The [DOJ] study offers two explanations regarding the Ferguson Effect and how it has impacted crime, specifically murder. The first explanation asserts that increased police scrutiny in the wake of highly publicized shootings have caused law enforcement to pull back, allowing for criminals and potential murderers to roam freely, undeterred. The second emphasizes the distrust and discontent that exists between the police and African American communities, resulting in a lack of cooperation with police investigations.*
Americans' confidence in the police has edged back up this year after dropping last year to its lowest point in 22 years. Currently, 56% of Americans have "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the police, four percentage points higher than in 2015. Confidence is essentially back to where it was before a series of highly publicized incidents involving white police officers and young black men in several communities across the country.
"'Elephant in the room' or 'Elephant in the living room' is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth that is going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss.
"It is based on the idea/thought that an elephant in a room would be impossible to overlook."
Lisa Marie Pane and Don Babwin have this story for Associated Press.
CHICAGO -- Violent crimes - from homicides and rapes to robberies - have been on the rise in many major U.S. cities, yet experts can't point to a single reason why and the jump isn't enough to suggest there's a trend.
Still, it is stumping law enforcement officials, who are seeking a way to combat the problem.
"It's being reported on at local levels, but in my view, it's not getting the attention at the national level it deserves," FBI Director James Comey said recently. "I don't know what the answer is, but holy cow, do we have a problem."
You have to get down to the 15th paragraph before the Ferguson Effect is even mentioned, and it is immediately followed by a dismissive comment by the lacking-a-better-explanation expert. The ongoing efforts to dismantle the highly successful tough-on-crime movement of the past several decades -- ignoring history in order to repeat it -- is not mentioned at all.
The anti-punishment and anti-police crowds (overlapping but not equal sets) have been on a roll for several years now. When the results that persons of sense warned would follow do follow, the likely causal connection must be ignored or dismissed.
[Editors Note: Unknown to either of us, Bill and I were posting on the same subject at the same time. That's okay. I will leave them both up. There is overlap, but also some differences in the posts.]
The importance of proactive policing, which is what the Ferguson effect deters, is sufficiently obvious that even liberals understand it. Today at an AEI conference on sentencing reform, Steven Teles, a leading proponent of softer sentencing, expressed his concern that the sentencing reform movement, which has carried the day in some states, will be set back if the crime rate continues to rise and/or if those released pursuant to the reforms commit horrific crimes.
Teles therefore stressed the importance of coupling softer (he calls it "smarter") sentencing with measures to prevent crime, including proactive policing. In other words, sentencing reform, an important agenda item for the left (and for some conservatives), might not be sustainable without the kind of policing the left castigates -- and thereby deters.
But the same mindless accusations of racism that the softer sentencing movement relies on also undergird the virulent attacks on the police that produce the Ferguson effect. Thus, we're quite unlikely to get both a soft sentencing regime and policing that will help society cope with the consequences of having vastly more criminals on the street.
Just so. The cultural rot and grievance narratives that have produced the push for dumbed down sentencing are certain also to produce continued shrunken policing. Our budding crime wave will stop only when the ideas that have spawned it are exposed and defeated.
[T]he evidence is not looking good for those who dismiss the Ferguson effect, from the president on down. That group once included Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, who was an early and influential critic. Mr. Rosenfeld has changed his mind after taking a closer look at the worsening crime statistics. "The only explanation that gets the timing right is a version of the Ferguson effect," he told the Guardian recently. "These aren't flukes or blips, this is a real increase."
A study of gun violence in Baltimore by crime analyst Jeff Asher showed an inverse correlation with proactive drug arrests: When Baltimore cops virtually stopped making drug arrests last year after the rioting that followed the death of Freddie Gray while in police custody, shootings soared. In Chicago, where pedestrian stops have fallen nearly 90%, homicides this year are up 60% compared with the same period last year. Compared with the first four and half months of 2014, homicides in Chicago are up 95%, according to the police department. Even the liberal website Vox has grudgingly concluded that "the Ferguson effect theory is narrowly correct, at least in some cities."