Analysis: Is there a Ferguson Effect?

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Ferguson burning last fall
Ferguson burning last fall

Yesterday, the New York Times ran a story showing a rise in homicides in some cities. As we noted yesterday, there is a pushback in Texas against shootings of police officers. There is a belief by some that the protesters of Ferguson and the media coverage against officer involved shootings is playing a crucial role in driving up homicide rates.

As the Times notes, “Among some experts and rank-and-file officers, the notion that less aggressive policing has emboldened criminals — known as the “Ferguson effect” in some circles — is a popular theory for the uptick in violence.”

“The equilibrium has changed between police and offenders,” said Alfred Blumstein, a professor and a criminologist at Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University.

But there is reason to question that theory, as well. As Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, pointed out, “Homicides in St. Louis, for instance, had already begun an arc upward in 2014 before a white police officer killed an unarmed teenager, Michael Brown, in nearby Ferguson. That data, he said, suggests that other factors may be in play.”

As a column in the Atlantic points out “If the ‘Ferguson Effect’ is real, how can it be that it started before the Ferguson protests?”

Moreover, another effect is noted. Every officer involved shooting is getting strong highlights – particularly those involving an unarmed black victim. But the counter-message is coming up more frequently as well. Pushed by right-wing bloggers, the mainstream media is now covering the shooting of police officers as a counter-weight.

The right-wingers have a clear target – President Obama.

Tom Mullen yesterday in the Huffington Post noted, “Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke told Fox News yesterday, ‘President Obama has breathed life into this ugly movement,’ meaning Black Lives Matter and the ‘war on cops’ Clarke says the president is at least partly responsible for.”

He writes, “This is part of a larger narrative in right-wing media that cop killings are increasing due to Obama’s tacit support for anti-cop activist groups and failure to condemn those who attack or kill police officers.”

However, there is a problem with this narrative. Mr. Mullen writes, “Cop killings are way down during Obama’s presidency and on pace this year for the lowest annual total this century.” So, much as the murder rate began rising before Ferguson, the police homicide rate is falling, despite notable and publicized killings.

Mr. Mullen finds, “For the first six years of Bush’s presidency (2001-2006), the total number of cops intentionally murdered was 426. This doesn’t count 911-related deaths, which would obviously skew Bush’s number higher. During the first six years of Obama’s presidency, the total number of cops intentionally murdered was 382. That’s a 10 percent drop.”

In the seventh year of the Bush presidency there were 77 killings, and so far this year there have been 36. “Statistically speaking, we’re on pace for a total of 52 in 2015, which would be the lowest total in this century.”

You wouldn’t know that by the rhetoric. As we reported yesterday, The Dallas Morning News reported Monday that US Senator Ted Cruz and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick “have seized on the slaying of Harris County Deputy Sheriff Darren Goforth in solemn terms — but also with an edge.” They write, “With echoes of Richard Nixon in the late 1960s, both of the Texas Republicans are saying it’s time to ‘stand with’ — and pray for — law enforcement officers such as Goforth.”

Senator Cruz blamed the ambush murder of the sheriff’s deputy on President Obama. He told reporters in New Hampshire, “Cops across this country are feeling the assault… They’re feeling the assault from the president, from the top on down, as we see — whether it’s in Ferguson or Baltimore, the response from senior officials, the president or the attorney general, is to vilify law enforcement. That’s wrong. It’s fundamentally wrong. It’s endangering all of our safety and security.”

“I’m proud to stand with law enforcement,” Senator Cruz said. “… We need a president who doesn’t attack and vilify them, and who doesn’t seek to tear us apart along racial lines, to inflame racial divisions.”

Law enforcement pushed back, as well. “We’ve heard black lives matter, all lives matter,” Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman told reporters at a Saturday press conference. “Well, cops’ lives matter, too.”

In the meantime a new trend is emerging. The Guardian yesterday reported, “US police have fatally shot 30 people in moving vehicles this year, despite federal guidelines advising them not to. Why have police departments pulled the trigger on drivers rather than reform?”

The Guardian notes, “The US Department of Justice, prominent international policing experts and most major police departments across the US agree: police officers should not fire their guns into moving cars. The shots are widely viewed as ineffective for stopping oncoming vehicles, and the risks to innocent parties are seen as overwhelming.”

They add, “More than a quarter of those killed were black men, a group that according to the US Census Bureau makes up just 6% of the driving-age American population.”

The report notes, “In all cases, officers said the vehicle posed a threat either to their own lives, to those of police colleagues, or to bystanders. In almost all incidents, however, their decisions to shoot appeared to run counter to federal guidance instructing officers to open fire only if a driver presents a separate deadly threat, such as a gun. None of those killed were accused of pointing firearms at police, and in only three cases did police appear to be aware of a gun being inside the vehicle.”

They add, “Like thousands of other law enforcement agencies around the US that have declined to reform their internal policies in line with DoJ standards, Alexander City has a rulebook that says officers may fire into moving vehicles ‘as the ultimate measure of self-defence’ when ‘the suspect is using deadly force.’ Implicit is that the vehicle itself may be considered the deadly weapon.”

—David M. Greenwald reporting

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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39 thoughts on “Analysis: Is there a Ferguson Effect?”

  1. Davis Progressive

    the ferguson effect is baseless.  you also have the problem that in south carolina and cincy, the cops were caught lying about what happened once the tapes got released.  if people distrust the cops, perhaps some of that is warranted.

  2. TrueBlueDevil

    Jumping off of the data alleged by Richard Rosenfeld in one city seems hardly objective or thorough. Some could also argue that “some cities” outweigh “one city” and offer a better chance for seeing a trend in urban America.

    This alleged uptick in police killings will continue to be studied. I’ve seen no search for a “target”, but instead for those public individuals who have made numerous public statements supporting rioters and protestors, and questioning police officers. These include Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, the mainstream liberal press and George Soros. (Soros allegedly funded multiple social justice / rabble-rouser groups to the tune of $33 Million.)

    In case after case, Obama, Holder, and others have taken the “side” of alleged criminals before we have the facts, and also questioned the motives of the police.

    Typically Obama takes an anti-police stance before facts were available. For example, President Obama said “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”. In another case, he took the side of college professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who was taken into temporary custody when he was belligerent with police, and Obama said that the Cambridge police “acted stupidly”. President Obama rushed to publicly insert race into the situation, but later tried to defuse his clumsy actions with a “Beer Summit”. This undergraduate-level imbroglio dominated the news for a whole week.

    We also had a veteran police officer recently killed in Chicago by 3 individuals. I have’t heard Obama share his pain over the killed of Kate Steinle in San Francisco. He seems to mainly identify with the shootings of young black men. Not the two Sheriffs murdered in Sacramento.

    Professor Rosenfeld hardly seems objective when he refers to Michael Brown as an “unarmed teenager”, when he fails to mention he attempted to kill an officer, had committed multiple violent felonies a short time earlier, was on drugs, and at 300 pounds was charging the officer a second time.

    David reports that 25% of cars being shot at were driven by African American: given other statistics which are substantially higher, these numbers should be good news.

    The liberal mainstream media plays its role in hyping the race angle. There has been at least one case where the media doctored the transcript / dialog to fraudulently insert race into the dialog. Recently, NBC, CBS, and ABC failed to cover the “pigs in a blanket” march in Minnesota which showed the ugly side to the BlackLivesMatter political movement. This is not objective reporting. It is biased, shoddy, and may also be a search for ratings – which translates into money and prestige in some liberal circles.

  3. Davis Progressive

    “Jumping off of the data alleged by Richard Rosenfeld in one city seems hardly objective or thorough”

    really?  so you have st. louis, an epicenter of activity where the protests are actually occurring, cited in multiple articles for their jump in murder rate, and yet, when it is pointed out the temporal problem, you write it off as unobjective?  really?

        1. Davis Progressive

          no an anecdote is a single story.  data are a conglomeration of individual cases.  the st. louis murder rate is not an anecdote, it is data that disproves that ferguson drove the murder rate at least in st. louis because the increase started before ferguson.  what it doesn’t prove is that the murder rate in chicago wasn’t driven by ferguson – except there is data there that show that to be the case as well.  remember the person interviewed in that part of the story was a professor in st. louis and was speaking to data in st. louis.

        2. tribeUSA

          DP–no, as presented in the article above the data neither prove nor disprove the Ferguson effect. That is, it is indisputable that it is possible that more than a single factor is involved in the increased murder rate in St. Louis; in fact it is typically the case that emergent social phenomena, like changes in crime rates, are influenced by multiple factors. Thus because another factor or factors may have ticked up the crime rates before the Brown shooting, does not rule out that a ‘Ferguson effect’ may have been another added significant factor after the Brown shootings. It may be possible to pick apart the data to separate casual factors; as you know this is very difficult in the social sciences; the luxury of controlled experiments generally isn’t there!

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          We’ll also need more time to gather more data, and also compile more statistics from this year so that we can get a better comparison.

          Just as I don’t think the stats from one city prove anything, I also don’t see them disproving anything. We need more data on either “side” to establish a trend.

  4. Davis Progressive

    “Typically Obama takes an anti-police stance before facts were available. For example, President Obama said “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon”. ”

     

    didn’t he make the comment after the trial?  besides, is his comment in accurate?  wouldn’t his son have looked a lot like trayvon?

     

    “Professor Rosenfeld hardly seems objective when he refers to Michael Brown as an “unarmed teenager”, when he fails to mention he attempted to kill an officer, had committed multiple violent felonies a short time earlier, was on drugs, and at 300 pounds was charging the officer a second time.”

     

    a few things here – brown was unarmed.  second, it’s not clear that he committed multiple felonies a short time earlier (potentially one if they had charged it as a robbery – taking by force or fear – but more likely given his absence of record, reduced to a misdemeanor), and finally you’re taking the testimony of the officer at face value when eyewitness accounts were conflicting and there was no video.  when we have had video in most of these cases, it does not show the officer acting in good light.

    1. TrueBlueDevil

      No, he commented while it was still under investigation. He also brought in the DOJ and FBI.

      He actually called it a “national tragedy”. The controversy with Louis Gates actually lasted for weeks until the infamous “beer summit”.

      I’m unsure if Obama ever retracted his remarks when it came out in trial that Trayvon was on top of Zimmerman and slamming his head into the concrete.

      1. Davis Progressive

        why do you think it improper of him to comment – it was a national tragedy.  the part you quoted from ironically wasn’t dependent on the facts of the case.  so what exactly do you think he shouldn’t have said and why?  you think no one should comment on a tragic and needless death until they have absolutely all of the facts?  don’t bring gates into this, that was silliness.  stick to trayvon.

        part of the problem here is that zimmerman was told not pursue?  we don’t know exactly how things transpired and the reason that zimmerman was acquitted had more to do with florida’s laws than anything else.  if that situation happened in california, zimmerman would have been convicted.  you bring up the slamming the head without the context of the encounter.

        1. TrueBlueDevil

          Our President made it a racial issue when we had no evidence of such. He also chose to address a crime situation where there was nothing unusual or unique, just that liberal rabble rousers, journalists and race hustlers championed the encounter. This is why many Americans feel race relations have taken a large step backwards under this President.

          Trayvon sadly made a number of poor choices that night. He could have run to his parents, back to 7/11, or chosen another route and / or called 911. Instead, he chose to be the aggressor and Trayvon chose to instigate the physical violence. Some reports claim he was a big rap fan, and was high on marijuana. Also not the best choice to go out late at night for a drink, something my parents wouldn’t allow. While he had the legal right, it is not common sense. This is one of many reasons why many parents have a CURFEW. There were many assaults that night across America, Trayvon just chose to attack someone who was packing.

          I have yet to hear Obama council young men to stay at home at night, to avoid confrontation, to call for help, to run away, and to make healthy choices that could have saved this young man’s life. It is sad.

        2. Davis Progressive

          disagree across the board.  first, he had plenty of evidence that it was a racial issue.  second, it’s like your living in la-la land, the reason that people are angry and reacting is that this stuff has been going on for years and no one said boo about it.  and if you want to argue the particulars in a case don’t fit the outrage, that’s fine, but the anger comes from a real place and if the president has to wait until all the facts are known he loses the opportunity to say something real about racial profiling.

          “This is why many Americans feel race relations have taken a large step backwards under this President.”

          no the reason why many people think race relations have taken a step back is that whites thought all was honky-dory because no one was reporting about this stuff.  now all of a sudden, they are seeing the world that blacks lived in for years and oh my god, we have bad race relations.

          “Trayvon sadly made a number of poor choices that night.”

          and so did zimmerman, but the difference is zimmerman killed someone and acquitted or not, his life is over. if he had followed dispatch’s instructions, he would have left the scene to the police and his life would be far better than it is now. but you want to put this on the victim, the kid in all of this.

        3. TrueBlueDevil

          There was evidence of a confrontation and a shooting, but no evidence of racism. In fact, the media failed to note that Zimmerman is Latino. Where is the evidence?

          Second, police shoot white suspects or criminals more often that African Americans, they are just rarely covered. We can thank George Soros for a lot of that (google the Washington Times for proof).

          Actually, crime has had a substantial reduction along with the broken windows policing and stiffer sentences, which runs counter to your assertion. You can’t have it both ways. This are well-known facts which liberals have attributed to other factors, but no one denies that tens of thousands of young men have avoided death.

          Racial profiling was never proven in this case, you’re all over the place. You don’t deny that Trayvon instigated the attack, and beat his head into the cement.

        4. zaqzaq

          DP stated,

          “you want to put this on the victim (Martin), the kid in all of this.”

          The evidence supported the conclusion that Martin physically attacked Zimmerman.  Martin was also the racist in the incident referring to Zimmerman as a “crazy cracker”.  The term “cracker” is a derogatory term for a white person.  Arguably the only racist in this incident was Martin.  Zimmerman committed no crime when he followed Martin at night in his neighborhood or not following the directions of the 911 dispatcher.  I found it telling when watching the trial that the prosecutor changed their factual theory from their opening statement and adopted the defense’s fact pattern that Martin was on top of Zimmerman when he  was shot.

          The true national tragedy in the Zimmerman case was the politicized prosecution of Zimmerman.  The local DA declined to file charges due to a lack of evidence.  MSNBC doctored the 911 tapes to make Zimmerman appear a racist on the Rachel Maddow show.  A special prosecutor was appointed due to the outcry and she over reached in charging Zimmerman with murder.  Our criminal justice system should be outside of politics which is an ideal that should continually be the focus.

          The other national tragedy is that Obama administration officials attend the funerals of thugs like Brown and not the cops who get killed.

    2. tribeUSA

      DP–I’m fine with the statement “If I had a son, he would look like Trayvon” being made in private by Obama, or being made by someone not in high political office; however it was not good statesmanship for the President to broadcast such a statement in public: by doing so, he puts undue emphasis on the importance both of race (both his own and Trayvon’s) and physical appearance in general; which should not be a factor in adjudicating a case like that of Zimmerman:Martin, where there was no evidence of racial bias. Even if there were strong evidence of racial bias, in another case like the church shootings, such a statement is still unstatesmanlike.

    3. zaqzaq

      DP,

      Brown clearly committed a robbery (felony) when he stole the cigars and used force or fear to retain the cigars as he left the store.  The video of the incident clearly shows the store clerk trying to stop Brown as he left the store and clearly shows Brown using force to shove the clerk away as he left the store.  Your OPINION as to how the case would have been handled in court has no bearing on the facts of the incident or whether or not a felony occurred.

      The physical evidence along with an audio recording of the shot pattern all supported Officer Wilson’s testimony concerning and contradicted Johnson’s.  You should read some of the transcripts.

      The reference to “unarmed” has also grown tiresome.  Both Brown and Marting were “unarmed” when they attacked Wilson and Zimmerman.  Just because a person is unarmed does not mean that they cannot kill or seriously injure another individual when they attack.

      1. TrueBlueDevil

        Exactly. I’m not a police officer, but his attack on the (minority) store clerk could have been assault and battery.

        When Michael Brown had his hands on the officer’s gun, he was no longer unarmed. Attacking an officer is a felony, trying to steal a gun is probably felony theft, and then there is attempted murder.

        The Left does a horrible job of picking their patron saints. Horrible.

  5. Frankly

    On the point of “statistics” “proving” that the recent rise in violent crime and recent cop deaths are not caused by liberals’ and Obama’s pro “victim” and anti-cop stance, I see liberals and Obama dangling from a rope over a cliff that will eventually be cut by statistical trends… and then liberals and Obama will do what they usually do and start flapping their arms and say they don’t need the rope because they can fly from their righteousness.

    1. Davis Progressive

      you need to read more closely.  the comment was: “That data, he said, suggests that other factors may be in play.”  not “prove” there is no “prove” here

      1. Frankly

        I think it is a dangerous game.  From my perspective it is common sense that a demand for the cops to “ease up” is going to result in an increase in crime.  I really don’t know why anyone would chase statistics that even “indicate” that this is not the case.

        We don’t need less policing, we need more of a different style of policing.  But there is no leadership for this, only those blaming cops and those blaming criminals and their enablers.

        1. Davis Progressive

          in some respects we need both less and a different style.  i know black/ hispanic kids who get stopped by police for doing things that no white kid would get stopped for.  that’s a fact.  i saw it personally.  but i do agree, we need a different style of policing as well.  i think the blacklivesmatter agenda actually addressed both.  you aware of the new training regimen being introduced in davis?

        2. Biddlin

          “But there is no leadership for this, only those blaming cops and those blaming criminals and their enablers.”

          No. you just don’t bother to read further than the headlines. I have read a wide range of opinions and also a number of very thoughtful ideas for de-escalating the tensions between the public and the police. The outcome of all this uproar might be determined by a truly engaged  “civilian” public, deciding what role they want law enforcement to play in society and redirecting existing LEOs to conform with their wishes.

          ;>)/

        3. tribeUSA

          DP–re:  i know black/ hispanic kids who get stopped by police for doing things that no white kid would get stopped for.  that’s a fact. ”

          Wow, that’s quite a claim! I would like to know the specifics. Perhaps there is a white kid somewhere who may have been unjustifiably stopped for something no black kid would get stopped for, or is this categorically impossible?

        4. TrueBlueDevil

          DP assumes a lot, and also stereotypes why kids of different races get pulled over.

          While I have seen many ethnic groups get confrontational with police, more often than not it has been by black brothers who have responded this way. Even guys with a college education and “mature”, and they then give me the dogma DP repeats. A few have reconsidered their stance when I tell them how many times I have been pulled over, for various reasons in various places. I’ve gone long periods never getting pulled over, and then will get pulled over 4 times in one month. There are many other factors at play than skin color.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            DP doesn’t “assume,” he spent decades as a defense attorney, so I think he has observed a lot. He also has a mixed race daughter who grew up in Davis, and he saw the world through her eyes too. I had a year’s period of time where I was pulled over four times – each time I was committing a vehicle code violation. That’s not what racial profiling is. And that’s not what people are complaining about. One of my first group of interns was an African-American UC Davis football player. One of the nicest guys you would care to meet – polite, intelligent. I asked him one time how many times he had been pulled over by police in Davis, he said all the time to the point that they stopped driving into town at night. He showed me his car, it was not a new model, but it was well-maintained with an Aggie sticker. It looked like a student car. He told me he was pulled over ten times his freshman year – no tickets. I’ve also been on ride-alongs with police, and I know at night you can’t see into a car well enough to determine race most of the time. But I have never heard these stories from my white interns. So what explains it? You are correct that there are many other factors at play other than skin color, but I think you’re missing a key point here – skin color matters often enough that most people of color stop trying to discern the difference. Police tactics that create this kind of resentment among otherwise law abiding people is counterprodeuctive in my estimation.

        5. Frankly

          So what explains it?

          The part you always leave off (ignoring for the fact that cops do not have radar ESP to tell that the driver is the nicest guy in the world) is that blacks, statistically, are much more likely to be involved in crime.  And cops, who are sworn to prevent and stop crime, are always more suspicious of people and activities that give them clues that those suspects are connected to crime.

          Said another way, if cops pulled over and checked out the same number of white and black suspects, they would find a reason to arrest more of the black suspects than the white suspects (statistically proven).

          The root of the problem is the much higher incidence of crime by blacks.  And it causes the unfortunate negative result of cops paying more attention to blacks.

          You can call it racial profiling, but it is really probability calculating and the gut feel of experience that cops have for identifying people that are involved in breaking the law.

          The main problem you have is that you create other problems by forcing cops to ignore their experience.   We can and should train and discipline to eliminate true racial bias, but until and unless blacks are represented in crime the same as other races, you cannot make the case that the over-representation of black stops by cops is a sign of racism.

          Black over-representation in crime IS the problem.

        6. Davis Progressive

          david summed up my view well.

          “The part you always leave off (ignoring for the fact that cops do not have radar ESP to tell that the driver is the nicest guy in the world) is that blacks, statistically, are much more likely to be involved in crime. ”

          so your view is pull over as many blacks as possible because you are more likely to catch a criminal?

        7. Frankly

          so your view is pull over as many blacks as possible because you are more likely to catch a criminal?

          Who said that?

          My son tells me about an incident where he and three other friends had parked near the Black Bear Dinner and were in the car about ready to pull away when a Davis patrol car flashed them to stop.  Apparently a bit earlier there was an attempted break in of the Black Bear and the cops were checking out my son and his friends.  They consisted of one white (my son), one Asian, one Hispanic and one African American.   The police asked the Hispanic and African American boys to step out the car and for my son and the Asian boy to remain in the car.

          My son was doing a slow burn watching his friends get questioned, and then the cops let them go and one came to the window and said “in case you were wondering why I only questioned your two friends is that they fit witness descriptions and video surveillance of a pair of suspects for several break ins in the area.”

          Without that explanation it just looked like racial bias to my son.  With the explanation it still hurt his feelings that two of his good friends were targeted, but he no longer blamed the cops since they were just being rational.

        8. Davis Progressive

          your story doesn’t explain away a racial profiling explanation.  just as a vague description of a black man in west davis doesn’t justify the officer questioning eli davis.  if you read sociological research, part of the problem is that people have much more difficulty pointing out specific characteristics of out-groups than within their own ethnic groups.  it also explains the research on eye witness identification that shows people have a much more difficult time describing and identifying people of other races than their own.

        9. Frankly

          You offer highly complex-nuanced challenges that can’t be proved or disproved… and that have absolutely no practical application to remedy any problem real or perceived.

          So what does the cop do in this situation?  Question all four to make sure nobody gets their feelings hurt feeling singled out?  Question none of them for fear of Davis liberals pointing the finger of racism or racial profiling?  How is either of those two approaches supportive of the job that cops need to do and that we need them to do?

          How about the situation where the witness descriptions were of a white and Asian boy and the cops question all four to help make it seem “fair”?  Then Davis liberals would scream “RACISM” for that too.

          This is what frustrates me about this type of point from you… there is nothing useful… nothing actionable.

          I think in your career you grew to dislike and/or distrust cops and can’t get over it.

        10. Davis Progressive

          actually i’m sure there is a solution to this problem because part of the problem is not the police in this case pulling over a car (hard to know what they saw or the description they got) but the description they received.  the problem in the eli davis case was an extremely vague description from the caller – no age, no clothing, vague size.

           

          but here’s another factor that you’re not considering – what if the race of the individual isn’t clear.  they call a person black but they are just a dark complected white person or vice versa?  what if they are described as hispanic but in fact middle eastern?  what if the eyewitness didn’t see it clearly and thought the person was black but wasn’t?  then you end up pulling over a bunch of people who are actually not as described because you are doing it by race rather than discription?

        11. Davis Progressive

          “I think in your career you grew to dislike and/or distrust cops and can’t get over it.”

          in my career there were cops that you knew were going to be honest even if it potentially hurt their case and cops that you knew were going to lie even when they didn’t need to.  you always have to plan for the lowest common denominator and protect citizens against that.

        12. Frankly

          Are you describing attorneys or cops?

          I once was told that if you are a person that has a hard time sticking with the truth, then being a lawyer is a good career choice because they can demand the truth without themselves having to echo it.

          I am troubled by your point.  There are generally good people out there.  And then there are people that crap on morals and basic human decency.  In every profession you will find them.  I just had a Kaiser doctor treating a family member that was rude and egotistical.  So does that mean I should criticize and disrespect the entire team of Kaiser doctors?

          You are an attorney by education and profession, right?   Talk about bad apples!   There are many bad attorneys out there… looking to fill their pockets at the expense of anyone they can bleed… and without any moral twitch while the bloodletting takes place.

          Cops have to deal almost exclusively with humanity below the line.  Frankly, I am always flummoxed by social justice crusaders with a brain – you and David for example – that cannot seem to get this point that the job is LAW ENFORCEMENT.  That is the job of a cop.  It isn’t to become a surrogate father for all those fatherless boys and girls that lack a moral compass and that break the law with impunity.

          The job of policing need improvements, but it is not the root of the problems.  the need for policing is a symptom of the root of the problems.  And ironically the REAL solutions to the root of the problems are inconvenient for your ideology and the power of the Democrat political apparatus.

          The cops are your scapegoat for everything wrong with your worldview.

        13. TrueBlueDevil

          David, I’ve witnessed plenty. Many of us have biracial relatives, friends from multiple ethnic groups and / or countries, and a great variety of backgrounds. Not all, but many. We have eyes. The most recent high school graduation I went to at a “diverse” school, of the top academic awards, every single award went to an Asian-American student. We have eyes. I have multi-racial this or that relatives and friends whom I (we) see the world through, too. It’s no longer 1952 or 1974.

          For your anecdote of one person who was allegedly pulled over on multiple occasions, I’ve got friends with the opposite take. And a few others have said, “Yeah, I probably get pulled over more than you, but our crime rate is the main reason.”

          Last time I was in a gated multi-million dollar community, three of the maybe 10 home owners I saw were black. Business deals are cut all the time with no idea what color the person on the other end of the phone is!

          I’ve been around the block a few times so I take these stories with a handful of salt. Sometimes the numbers or observations simply don’t hold water. Ten years ago I asked a friend, a large black young man how being black affects him on a daily basis. Smart guy. He hummed, and hawed… and couldn’t give me an answer. Finally he said, “When I get in an elevator with white women, they pull out their keys!” … I grinned and replied, “They do the same for me, it’s the new self-defense classes.”David wrote: “I’ve also been on ride-alongs with police, and I know at night you can’t see into a car well enough to determine race most of the time. But I have never heard these stories from my white interns. So what explains it?”I’ve had friends with expired tags, a missing headlight, a car that is out of place (old car in a wealthy area) get pulled over. A far greater representation in certain crime statistics also is a big part of the answer you seem unwilling to accept.

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