"'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.