Violent crime, after falling for two decades, has risen in some U.S. cities since the beginning of 2015. According to BBC, the blame of the rise may be from the “Ferguson Effect,” in which protests to perceived police brutality sometimes turned violent.
The murder rate in NYC has gone up by 20% from 2014 to 2015. Murders in Baltimore are up 37% and 50% in Houston. In L.A., murders are down 2%, but violent crime is up by 27%.
James B. Comey, the director of the FBI, recently admitted, “I am in many ways more worried ’cause the numbers are not only going up, they’re continuing to go up, in most of those cities, faster than they were going up last year.”
While Mr. Comey does not know the reason for the rise in crime, he expressed concern that in areas of some cities the people dying are almost entirely black and Latino men. “We can’t lose sight of the fact that there really are bad people standing on the street with guns. The young men dying on street corners all across this country are not committing suicide or being shot by the cops. They are being killed, police chiefs tell me, by other young men with guns. … I don’t know what the answer is, but holy cow do we have a problem.”
Read here in the WSJ’s Notable & Quotable, Mr. Comey’s view on the rise of crime in America, which he feels is not getting the national attention the problem deserves.
I also got a briefing this morning on the quarterly stats for homicide in the nation’s largest cities. I’ve talked to you about this before, and I was very worried about last fall. I am in many ways more worried ’cause the numbers are not only going up, they’re continuing to go up, in most of those cities, faster than they were going up last year.
I worry very much, it’s a problem that most American[s] can drive around. From the Las Vegas trip you can’t tell that more than 60 people have been murdered in Las Vegas this year. From the [Magnificent Mile] in Chicago you can’t hear the sounds of gunshots that have killed more than 200 people so far this year. Lots of other cities, as I’ve said, most of them . . . I think it was 42 or  I got briefed on. Most of them have seen an increase. It’s again, happening in certain parts of the cities and the people dying are almost entirely black and Latino men. We can’t drive around that problem. I raise it with you all because I hope it’s being reported on at local levels, but in my view it’s not in the attention of the national level it deserves. I don’t know what the answer is, but holy cow do we have a problem. . . .
I resist the term Ferguson effect, because to me I think that is still what I’m talking about, the viral video effect and changes in the way police may be acting, and in the way communities may be acting, in terms [of] how much information they share with police. Could well be at the heart of this, or could well be an important factor in this. The reason I resist Ferguson effect is, Ferguson at least to my recollection wasn’t about videos. I think it is the potential effect of marginal pullbacks by lots and lots of police officers that is changing some cities. . . .
I’ve heard it from the folks who briefed me. I’ve heard it lots in conversations, privately, with police leaders. That they perceive lots of place[s] in the country a change in the way police are doing their work.