I hope you have a box of tissues ready. FBI Director James Comey, speaking to an audience of law enforcement personnel and their various hangers-on, explains that violent crime is higher in 2015 than in 2014 (except in all the cities where it isn't) because of the "Ferguson Effect." Is that the way that the increased militarization and use of force by police contributes to the overall tenor of violence in areas with existing crime problems? Because I agree, that certainly is something that should concern the FBI.
Oh. It turns out that The Ferguson Effect is police being too hesitant to do their job for fear of being caught on video and becoming the next YouTube sensation.
Americans of all stripes love playing the victim, be it in their personal lives or relative to their place in society. It is just heartbreaking, though, to think of all of our heroes behind the badge being unable to operate with impunity. Isn't this the same reactionary segment of society that falls back on "If you're not doing anything wrong, then you have nothing to worry about" when police behavior is put to scrutiny?
That one of the nation's top law enforcement officials doesn't see a problem with police complaining about being video recorded speaks to the systemic nature of the problem. They keep telling us it's "a few bad apples" when it's clear that the problem is systemic, part of both organizational thinking and behavior. I can't get enough of people making videos of cops, because without that we'd never hear of incidents like this or we would hear about them solely from the Official Version of events.