Wednesday, September 2, 2015

If There is No Ferguson Effect, Then There Must Also Be No Problem With Police Brutality

Police across the country are pointing to various assaults on police as "The Ferguson Effect".  Naturally, Black Lives matter activists and various sympathetic "journalists" are angry about this and calling it racism and whatever.  Which is hilariously ironic.

Black Lives Matter is based on stringing together unrelated instances of police violence, in different jurisdictions with widely different police departments and policing policies, and claiming there is a pattern of racism.  The only thing these instances have in common are that the person killed was black.  But the Michael Brown and Vonderrit Myers shootings were justifiable.  The former was found justified after a justice department probe.  The latter was justified because Myers had a gun and was shooting at a police officer.

Others, such as Eric Garner and Tamir Rice were tragic mistakes, but not intentional murder.  Freddie Gray may actually be the result of brutality, but the officer most responsible for his death (the driver, who is charged with murder) is black, so this defeats the "racist" narrative.  Strangely, the one incident that appears to be definitely murder, the shooting of Walter Scott, is mentioned less often than these others.

These incidents really only have one thing in common; they resulted in the death of a black person.  All of the other facts and circumstances are widely disparate.  But a significant number of uninformed citizens are willing to believe that this tenuous string of purely anecdotal, context-free evidence proves that there is prevalent police racism in America.  Well, if that's true, then it must mean that the "Ferguson Effect" is a real thing.

We now have similar anecdotes of police attacks and other violence since Ferguson.  Police report more murders in Ferguson and Baltimore.  Two officers are murdered in New York.  A deputy is shot in the back and killed in Texas.  And last, but most telling, an Alabama cop is pistol whipped with his own gun.  He claims he hesitated precisely because of the national attention on police violence (This is what "Ferguson Effect" means), allowing the perp to have the advantage.  These are not the whole story.  But activist journalists such as Ta-Nehisi Coates and the clown car that is would have us believe that these are not a pattern; that they are unrelated incidents.  This, despite the fact that they are more than willing to connect the dots between every black person killed by a police officer, regardless of differing facts and circumstances.

The evidence supporting the "epidemic of police brutality" and the evidence supporting "the Ferguson Effect" is the same.  Meaning, the evidence is anecdotal, incomplete, and unencumbered by context or nuance.  So, Black Lives Matter activists and their supporters have to make up their minds.  Either the police brutality coverage is overblown, or there is in fact a "Ferguson Effect".  They can't have it both ways.  If their movement continues to have this sort of cognitive dissonance and blatant hypocrisy, they will lose all credibility.

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