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FBI director says video is making police less aggressive (and that's a bad thing)

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DrForester

Kills Photobucket
Jun 7, 2004
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Because police on video is making them less aggressive, and that's totally why murder rates are spiking in some cities...

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/12/us/comey-ferguson-effect-police-videos-fbi.html

WASHINGTON — The director of the F.B.I. reignited the factious debate over a so-called “Ferguson effect” on Wednesday, saying that he believed less aggressive policing was driving an alarming spike in murders in many cities.

James Comey, the director, said that while he could offer no statistical proof, he believed after speaking with a number of police officials that a “viral video effect” — with officers wary of confronting suspects for fear of ending up on a video — “could well be at the heart” of a spike in violent crime in some cities.

“There’s a perception that police are less likely to do the marginal additional policing that suppresses crime — the getting out of your car at 2 in the morning and saying to a group of guys, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’” he told reporters.

Mr. Comey was wading back into a dispute from last fall that pitted him against some of his bosses at the White House and the Justice Department and one that roiled racial tensions over confrontations between police officers and minorities.

He first raised the idea in October that a “chill wind” had deterred aggressive policing. But Obama administration officials distanced themselves from Mr. Comey at the time. They said they had seen no evidence to support the idea of a “Ferguson effect,” named after the 2014 shooting by a police officer of an unarmed black man in Ferguson, Mo., which sparked widespread protests.

Obama administration officials declined to comment on Wednesday about Mr. Comey’s latest remarks, which were sharper in tone than his previous statements. But some dissenters said he was needlessly stirring up an unproven and divisive notion.

“He ought to stick to what he knows,” James O. Pasco Jr., executive director of the National Fraternal Order of Police, said in a telephone interview. The organization has more than 330,000 members.

“He’s basically saying that police officers are afraid to do their jobs with absolutely no proof,” Mr. Pasco said.

Mr. Comey’s remarks were prompted by a private briefing he received on Wednesday about rising crime rates in more than 40 cities during the first quarter of 2016.

He said the new statistics, which have not been made public, showed a significant jump in murder rates in many cities. The numbers rose even more quickly than last year, Mr. Comey said. In 2015, rising murder tallies in Washington, Baltimore, Milwaukee, St. Louis and other cities made national news.

The two cities Mr. Comey singled out in the latest tallies were Las Vegas and Chicago. He said most of the murder victims were either black or Hispanic men, although F.B.I. officials declined to provide specific figures and said the data would likely be released later this week. In Chicago, where violence and police shootings have angered the city, officials say that as of April, murders were up 54 percent from last year, and shootings were up by 70 percent.

Mr. Comey said that he could not fully explain the trend or the major differences from one city to the next.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but holy cow, do we have a problem,” he said.

“It’s a complicated, hard issue, but the stakes couldn’t be higher. A whole lot of people are dying,” he said.

He said that the spike in violent crime deserves more national attention from scholars, the media, and the public.

“Something is happening,” he said. “A whole lot more people are dying this year than last year, and last year than the year before and I don’t know why for sure.”

Asked about his past views on the “Ferguson effect” as a possible explanation, Mr. Comey said he rejected that particular term, but added that he continued to hear from police officials in private conversations that “lots and lots of police officers” are pulling back from aggressive confrontations with the public because of viral videos.

He said that the phenomenon “could well be an important factor in this.”

More than many of his predecessors at the F.B.I., Mr. Comey has not hesitated to use the prestige of his office to draw attention to difficult and sometimes unpopular issues involving race and crime.

Last year, he gave an unusually candid speech at Georgetown University about the tense relationship between police and blacks, saying that minorities are scrutinized more closely than whites because of bias. In the talk, he cited a song from a Broadway musical called “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.”

That won him praise from some advocates of minorities, but in the debate over the Ferguson effect, he has angered some minority leaders who say the real problem remains policing in their communities that, if anything, is too aggressive, and far short of passive.

One reason for the sharp disagreement is that there is little reliable national data on the topic, even at the F.B.I.

The F.B.I. has promised to build a database compiling police shootings and confrontations with members of the public, but Mr. Comey said that project was at least two years from completion.

“That does frustrate me,” he said.


NBC video story:
http://www.nbcnews.com/nightly-news...n-20-major-u-s-cities-stats-show-685489731792
 

ponpo

( ≖‿≖)
Aug 22, 2011
19,671
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In Chicago, where violence and police shootings have angered the city, officials say that as of April, murders were up 54 percent from last year, and shootings were up by 70 percent.

Damn
 

Montresor

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Dec 31, 2008
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James Comey, the director, said that while he could offer no statistical proof, he believed after speaking with a number of police officials that a “viral video effect” — with officers wary of confronting suspects for fear of ending up on a video — “could well be at the heart” of a spike in violent crime in some cities.

No statistical proof.

He "believes" that there's a viral video effect.

The viral video effect "could" be at the heart of a spike in crime.

Maybe he should wait until statistics are released that corroborate his claim.
 

Kettch

Member
Jun 7, 2004
5,375
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We should just let police kill all suspects. I'm sure crime would go down. Well, non-suspect murdering crime at least.
 

GregLombardi

Member
Dec 5, 2008
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There is probably an effect here. We're going to have to converse about it as a society.

Or sensationalize it / lie about it. Whatever we want!
 

kirblar

Member
Oct 9, 2010
63,315
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So dumb.

Violence is still going down- these places are spiking for other reasons (like police work slowdowns in some areas!)
 

Surface of Me

I'm not an NPC. And neither are we.
Oct 24, 2011
13,478
50
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The deep south.
Reading the whole thing it just seems he trying to figure out why the murder rate has spiked in cwrtain cities and thought this was a possibility.
 

NYCmetsfan

Banned
Apr 24, 2010
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Reading the whole thing it just seems he trying to figure out why the murder rate has spiked in cwrtain cities and thought this was a possibility.

The article is confusingly written.

The begin the article by insinuating that he brought it up then put this in towards the end
Asked about his past views on the “Ferguson effect” as a possible explanation, Mr. Comey said he rejected that particular term, but added that he continued to hear from police officials in private conversations that “lots and lots of police officers” are pulling back from aggressive confrontations with the public because of viral videos.

He said that the phenomenon “could well be an important factor in this.”

So its seems like there was an speech on rising murder rates and he was asked about past comments he says its a possibility and ads a few more lines about what he's heard from cops. The times seems to have reversed the order putting the response to that first.

I don't know how the article's title is supported. He basically says here's a problem we don't know, some people have said this might be something, we need more people looking into it so we have more data.

Does anybody have the actual speech?, its not on the fbi's website and the times provides no details where there was to try to find other sources of his quotes to see what the context is.

The two things quoted in the OP really provide no information, this is horrible reporting
 

DarthWoo

I'm glad Grandpa porked a Chinese Muslim
Jun 9, 2004
6,092
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1,625
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One would think that police getting away with practically anything, even when captured on video, with maybe a few weeks of paid vacation at worst, would only embolden them to be more aggressive.
 
Nov 10, 2005
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It should be noted that even if this is true, it's a necessary thing to have happen. The end result will be:

1. We get rid of video cameras (bad)
2. We notice that the police aren't very good at their job and create a federal mandate that all current police be retrained and receive an education, and all future police officers -must- go to college for two years, bare minimum (good)
 

NYCmetsfan

Banned
Apr 24, 2010
22,725
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This guy sounds like more of an asshole than J Edgar.

Yes worse than the guy who told MLK jr. to kill himself

https://www.fbi.gov/news/speeches/hard-truths-law-enforcement-and-race

First, all of us in law enforcement must be honest enough to acknowledge that much of our history is not pretty. At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo, a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups. It was unfair to the Healy siblings and to countless others like them. It was unfair to too many people.

There is a reason that I require all new agents and analysts to study the FBI’s interaction with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to visit his memorial in Washington as part of their training. And there is a reason I keep on my desk a copy of Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s approval of J. Edgar Hoover’s request to wiretap Dr. King. It is a single page. The entire application is five sentences long, it is without fact or substance, and is predicated on the naked assertion that there is “communist influence in the racial situation.” The reason I do those things is to ensure that we remember our mistakes and that we learn from them.

A second hard truth: Much research points to the widespread existence of unconscious bias. Many people in our white-majority culture have unconscious racial biases and react differently to a white face than a black face. In fact, we all, white and black, carry various biases around with us. I am reminded of the song from the Broadway hit, Avenue Q: “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist.” Part of it goes like this:

Look around and you will find
No one’s really color blind.
Maybe it’s a fact
We all should face
Everyone makes judgments
Based on race.


But if we can’t help our latent biases, we can help our behavior in response to those instinctive reactions, which is why we work to design systems and processes that overcome that very human part of us all. Although the research may be unsettling, it is what we do next that matters most.

But racial bias isn’t epidemic in law enforcement any more than it is epidemic in academia or the arts. In fact, I believe law enforcement overwhelmingly attracts people who want to do good for a living—people who risk their lives because they want to help other people. They don’t sign up to be cops in New York or Chicago or L.A. to help white people or black people or Hispanic people or Asian people. They sign up because they want to help all people. And they do some of the hardest, most dangerous policing to protect people of color.

But that leads me to my third hard truth: something happens to people in law enforcement. Many of us develop different flavors of cynicism that we work hard to resist because they can be lazy mental shortcuts. For example, criminal suspects routinely lie about their guilt, and nearly everybody we charge is guilty. That makes it easy for some folks in law enforcement to assume that everybody is lying and that no suspect, regardless of their race, could be innocent. Easy, but wrong.

Likewise, police officers on patrol in our nation’s cities often work in environments where a hugely disproportionate percentage of street crime is committed by young men of color. Something happens to people of good will working in that environment. After years of police work, officers often can’t help but be influenced by the cynicism they feel.

A mental shortcut becomes almost irresistible and maybe even rational by some lights. The two young black men on one side of the street look like so many others the officer has locked up. Two white men on the other side of the street—even in the same clothes—do not. The officer does not make the same association about the two white guys, whether that officer is white or black. And that drives different behavior. The officer turns toward one side of the street and not the other. We need to come to grips with the fact that this behavior complicates the relationship between police and the communities they serve.

So why has that officer—like his colleagues—locked up so many young men of color? Why does he have that life-shaping experience? Is it because he is a racist? Why are so many black men in jail? Is it because cops, prosecutors, judges, and juries are racist? Because they are turning a blind eye to white robbers and drug dealers?

The answer is a fourth hard truth: I don’t think so. If it were so, that would be easier to address. We would just need to change the way we hire, train, and measure law enforcement and that would substantially fix it. We would then go get those white criminals we have been ignoring. But the truth is significantly harder than that.

Not long after riots broke out in Ferguson late last summer, I asked my staff to tell me how many people shot by police were African-American in this country. I wanted to see trends. I wanted to see information. They couldn’t give it to me, and it wasn’t their fault. Demographic data regarding officer-involved shootings is not consistently reported to us through our Uniform Crime Reporting Program. Because reporting is voluntary, our data is incomplete and therefore, in the aggregate, unreliable.

I recently listened to a thoughtful big city police chief express his frustration with that lack of reliable data. He said he didn’t know whether the Ferguson police shot one person a week, one a year, or one a century, and that in the absence of good data, “all we get are ideological thunderbolts, when what we need are ideological agnostics who use information to try to solve problems.” He’s right.


There's a lot of things to talk about and critique and disagree with that Comey has said but lets not speak in bad faith
 

akira28

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Aug 31, 2010
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He's a law enforcement booster. so its pretty obvious he's going to say something like this. Just like Obama's Drug Czar said medical marijuana is a joke.
 

140.85

Cognitive Dissonance, Distilled
Jun 6, 2006
9,954
0
0
Comey's been prosecuting for three decades and helped take down the Gambino family. I'll take his educated comments (talking to law enforcement in those cities) on what might be behind the recent spikes in murder over the media and Obama admin any day.
 

Wolfe

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Dec 28, 2010
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Comey's been prosecuting for three decades and helped take down the Gambino family. I'll take his educated comments (talking to law enforcement in those cities) on what might be behind the recent spikes in murder over the media and Obama admin any day.

v

He's a law enforcement booster. so its pretty obvious he's going to say something like this. Just like Obama's Drug Czar said medical marijuana is a joke.

Not trying to say you're wrong or anything, just providing a good example of a counter point (imo).
 

BLACK AMERICAN PSYCHO

Junior Member
Mar 28, 2012
10,069
2
855
Comey's been prosecuting for three decades and helped take down the Gambino family. I'll take his educated comments (talking to law enforcement in those cities) on what might be behind the recent spikes in murder over the media and Obama admin any day.
Hmmmmm I wonder if he was involved in cointelpro. Maybe he was one the major figures in the destruction of the black power movement haha.
 
Sep 8, 2010
18,402
0
0
Philly area
murder rates going up? can't be a systemic gun problem, no sir. Must be the police can't be thugs anymore!

Comey's been prosecuting for three decades and helped take down the Gambino family. I'll take his educated comments (talking to law enforcement in those cities) on what might be behind the recent spikes in murder over the media and Obama admin any day.

"James Comey, the director, said that while he could offer no statistical proof, he believed"

educated comments

lawl. nice appeal to authority btw.
 

NYCmetsfan

Banned
Apr 24, 2010
22,725
0
0
Hmmmmm I wonder if he was involved in cointelpro. Maybe he was one the major figures in the destruction of the black power movement haha.
Read the quotes posted
There is a reason that I require all new agents and analysts to study the FBI’s interaction with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and to visit his memorial in Washington as part of their training. And there is a reason I keep on my desk a copy of Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s approval of J. Edgar Hoover’s request to wiretap Dr. King. It is a single page. The entire application is five sentences long, it is without fact or substance, and is predicated on the naked assertion that there is “communist influence in the racial situation.” The reason I do those things is to ensure that we remember our mistakes and that we learn from them.
 

kame-sennin

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Jun 11, 2007
7,617
0
935
www.bluepeppercomics.com
Comey's been prosecuting for three decades and helped take down the Gambino family. I'll take his educated comments (talking to law enforcement in those cities) on what might be behind the recent spikes in murder over the media and Obama admin any day.



hmm
 

devilhawk

Member
Jun 2, 2007
6,560
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0
Wrap it up. Let's talk when we have actual data.
What statistical proof are you ever going to get.

AT BEST, you could get a questionnaire of police that shows a correlation with those responding with feeling like they are less aggressive with places that are experiencing higher shooting rates.

You will never have statistical proof lol.
 

Kitschkraft

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Nov 5, 2007
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This is the second time he's moaned about this.

Loretta Lynch said there was no evidence : http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/nov/17/loretta-lynch-no-data-ferguson-effect-policing-theory

“While certainly there may be anecdotal evidence there, as all have noted, there’s no data to support it,” she said during an oversight hearing on the Justice Department held by the committee.

Representative John Conyers of Michigan asked Lynch to address the topic, noting that he knew of “no real evidence to substantiate this claim”.

“Our discussion about civil rights and the appropriate use of force and all police tactics can only serve to make all of us – community members and police officers – safer,” Lynch said.

I think that law enforcement is going to have to find a way to be efficient while also respecting civil rights. The onus is on them. People should not be expected to sit down and be quiet.
 

Guileless

Temp Banned for Remedial Purposes
Jun 7, 2004
10,610
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Is the 'Ferguson effect' real? Researcher has second thoughts

Rosenfeld’s research was widely cited in articles debunking the Ferguson effect.

But that paper only looked at the evidence for the effect in one city. With funding from the National Institute of Justice, the justice department’s research arm, Rosenfeld did a new study early this year that looked that more broadly at homicide trends in the nation’s 56 largest cities and found an overall 17% increase in homicide.

As a result of that broader national analysis he said, he has had “second thoughts” about the Ferguson effect. “My views have been altered.”

Looking at the additional homicides in large cities, he found that two-thirds of the increase was concentrated in 10 cities: Baltimore, Chicago, Houston, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Washington, Nashville, Philadelphia, Kansas City and St Louis.

Those 10 cities had somewhat higher levels of poverty than the other cities he examined. But, he said, the “key difference” was that “their African American population was substantially larger than other large cities”: an average of 41% in those 10 cities, compared with 19.9% in the others.

Separate analyses looked at two of these cities in 2015 and early 2016. A FiveThirtyEight assessment of Chicago crime data concluded that the city’s increase in gun violence was statistically significant, that the spike dated back to the release of the video of the police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, and that it was closely correlated with a drop in police arrests. Researchers in Baltimore found a similar correlation between a drop in arrests and an increase in violence in the wake of protests over Freddie Gray’s death, and concluded that while the Ferguson effect played no role in Baltimore’s rising violence, a “Freddie Gray effect” may have been a significant factor.
 
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