The Ferguson Effect: Fact or Fiction


A classic fault of the American justice system is to “blame the victim.” This is how, for years – even decades – law enforcement itself has escaped the ‘long arm of the law’; especially in regard to the murder of Americans of African descent. Awareness has grown amongst the public recently, with new focus being placed on police murders of unarmed victims such as Michael Brown and Freddie Gray – two major catalysts, among others. that have ignited modern movements of citizens seeking real-life justice. Law enforcement officials are weighing in on the debate over the so-called ‘Ferguson Effect’- named after the Missouri city where the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown led to months of protests.

Brown’s murder gave birth to today’s civil rights movements, and has now given name to the establishment’s double standard and “blame the victim” syndrome — the “Ferguson effect”, which basically states the politically charged question of whether a surge in crime in some cities reflects the reluctance of the police to confront suspicious people because of increased public scrutiny of their behavior. It is spreading like wildfire in law enforcement circles. The essence of the theory is that police are now so afraid of being filmed by bystanders that they are no longer policing communities as aggressively as they used to, except this statement is a lie. Evidence shows that police are actually more aggressive and deadly than ever. With all of the coverage and all of the cameras everywhere, 2015 is on pace to have more people killed by police than any year ever measured!

As of the beginning of November, 67 more people have been killed by police than last year. The families of the 983 people who’ve been killed by police this year would be shocked to find out that police are toning things down nowadays, according to governmental claims of the Ferguson effect.

Though more police have been prosecuted in fatal shootings than any year in recent history, not one single officer has been convicted yet in any of these cases! This, more than any camera, sends a message to police that no matter what the circumstance is in which they use lethal force, they are almost guaranteed to get away with murder.

There is a widening rift within the Obama administration over the “I think there’s something to it” stance of officials who say “more trepidation” among the police confronting people for fear of ending up in a video controversy like the kind that has become common in cities nationwide in the last year. “Rightly or wrongly, you become the next viral video … now you can do everything right and still end up on the evening news.”

But the White House has distanced itself from that notion, and some officials there and at the Justice Department felt that these type of remarks undermined their efforts to hold the police more accountable for civil rights abuses, while revealing a division within the administration that threatened to become a political distraction for President Obama on a major criminal-justice issue.

The distraction is the double standard that averts justice for innocent victims and their families. The White House is stressing that the impact of increased scrutiny on the police was not a cause of rising crime rates in some cities. “In fact, you hear law enforcement leaders across the country indicating that that’s not what’s taking place.”

While national crime rates remain well below the peaks of the late 1980s and early ’90s, a number of cities — including Washington, Baltimore, Milwaukee, New Orleans and St. Louis — have seen a troubling spike in murders so far this year. Criminologists and law enforcement officials have struggled to explain the increases.

And when it is not convenient to blame the victim, in the west you next blame Hollywood. One public official stated that Hollywood films have given the public a false sense of an officer’s ability to end a confrontation by simply shooting a gun out of a suspect’s hand or disabling him without deadly force. When an officer decides the use of force is justified, he shoots to kill.” The public’s false sense of …? We don’t think so. The numbers don’t lie.