One of the more interesting series of conversations I had at SHOT Show last week was with a highly-placed NGO official about the chilling effect that left-wing attacks on law enforcement have had on pro-active policing.
“Bob,” he told me, “the “Ferguson effect’ is very real.”
“Good officers are leaving the job as fast as they can retire, and the only reason younger officers aren’t leaving faster is that their isn’t a clear transition from law enforcement to the normal workforce for a lot of people.”
The officers who remain are demoralized, feel betrayed and back-stabbed by the communities they’ve sworn to to protect, and not without reason. Many are no longer proactively police their communities, and refuse to do anything more than answer radio calls.
Can you blame them?
The criminal element is well aware that law enforcement is now in a defensive posture, and they’re exploiting that reality to their advantage to settle old scores and attempt to redraw territorial lines.
Welcome to Gang War Land:
The number of homicides in the country’s 50 largest cities rose nearly 17 percent last year, the greatest increase in lethal violence in a quarter century.
A Wonkblog analysis of preliminary crime data found that about 770 more people were killed in major cities last year than the year before, the worst annual change since 1990.
The killings increased as some law enforcement officials and conservative commentators were warning that violent crime was on the rise amid a climate of hostility toward police. They said protests and intense scrutiny of officers who used lethal force had caused officers to become disengaged from their jobs, making streets more dangerous. Some have called it the “Ferguson effect,” after the St. Louis suburb in which Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed by a police officer in 2014.
This increase urban homicides is occurring as per-capita homicides are at the lowest levels since the Federal Bureau of Investigation began tracking these statistics in 1960.
It’s easy to put the blame for this where it belongs.
President Obama was barely in office when he “acted stupidly” by inserting the White House into the arrest of Obama’s friend Henry Louis Gates in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Gates was approached by Cambridge police after a neighbor reported a possibly burglary in progress. Gates responded belligerently—frankly acting like a pompous, entitled ass—and ended up charged with disorderly conduct as he pursued Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley outside and verbally assaulted him in a continuing tirade.
Obama then attacked the police for Gates’s behavior, and it’s been downhill ever since.
“Police vs. minorities” confrontation that has only worsened as Obama’s Department of Justice has inserted itself again and again into cases where minority felons were killed, from the deaths of gun-dealing, drug-abusing attempted murderer Trayvon Martin, to the death of attempted cop-killer Michael Brown, to the Administration’s interference in the Tamir Rice case. The DOJ’s clearly obvious racial motivations in harassment of law enforcement agencies has earned them the derisive nickname of “the Department of Racial Justice,” and the Obama Administration has clearly drawn battle lines by hosting “Black Lives Matter” communist radicals at the White House, and sending Administration officials to the funerals of these dead criminals, while utterly ignoring the deaths of police officers gunned down in the line of duty.
The “Ferguson effect” is very real, and is one of the few “accomplishments” of one of the most divisive Presidents in American history.
The lawlessness encouraged by the Obama Administration has helped contribute to a stunning increase in the number of firearms sold in the United States, where more than 1/3 of all firearms in the nation were sold in the last seven years of the Obama Presidency.
Citizens know that because of the President’s direct and indirect attacks on law enforcement that police officers are not going to stick their necks out where an eager Justice Department waits to cut them off.
We’re increasingly siloed and on our own… just as the Divider-in-Chief intended.