The Ferguson effect in Ferguson

Newly released figures show that murders increased by 11 percent in the U.S. in 2015. 1,532 more people were murdered last year than the year before. The murder rate (murders per 100,000 population) rose by 10 percent.

According to Kent Scheidegger of the Crime and Consequences blog, only twice in more than a half century has the rate jumped double digits in one year. In one other year, the increase was just short of 10 percent. The three years? 1966-1968, when crime was rising at a horrific rate and, by the end of this period, many thought our society was beginning to unravel.

We also have 2015 data from Ferguson, Missouri, via Heather Mac Donald. She writes:

In 2014, Ferguson’s violent-crime rate was 545 violent crimes per 100,000 residents, considerably above the 2014 national average of 362. But in 2015, the number of violent crimes in Ferguson surged 65 percent, from 115 to 190. Ferguson’s violent-crime rate in 2015 was 790 per 100,000 residents, over two times the national average of 373 in 2015.

(Emphasis added)

What about murders? They increased from two to five. That’s an increase of 150 percent but the absolute numbers are too low to draw conclusions from. As MacDonald notes, however, “low absolute numbers have never prevented the Left from declaring a surge in hate crimes, say.”

Meanwhile, robberies were up 60 percent, from 51 to 82. Aggravated assaults rose 46 percent, from 60 to 95.

We can draw conclusions from the 65 percent increase in overall violent crime in Ferguson. Here is what Mac Donald concludes:

Ferguson’s residents. . .and above all its black residents, faced a greatly elevated chance of being victimized by violent crime in 2015, as officers backed off from proactive policing under the Ferguson effect. . . .

Ferguson, Mo., is emblematic of how the Ferguson effect is hitting cities with large black populations: It has produced the largest homicide increase in nearly a half-century. That crime increase will only end if the false narrative about policing promulgated by the Black Lives Matter movement and embraced by President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is finally put to rest.