FBI chief James Comey suggests Black Lives Matter has police backing off and crime pushing up. The Justice Department says not so. We’ll dive in.
A hot assertion from the head of the FBI in recent days. That video cameras and Black Lives Matter and uproar over race-driven police misconduct may now be keeping cops from doing their jobs. That crime is up in some places because police morale or willingness to intervene is down. The White House says not true. President Obama yesterday in Chicago, saying let’s not go to “us” and “them.” But then, there’s the video out of Columbia, South Carolina of a schoolgirl flipped on her head by a deputy, and we’re there again. This hour On Point, race, policing, and the “Ferguson Effect.”
-- Tom Ashbrook
Sue Rahr, executive director of the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission and member of President Barack Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Police Officers' Federation of Minneapolis.
From Tom’s Reading List
CNN Politics: FBI chief tries to deal with the 'Ferguson effect' — "The tensions over policing and crime come when, for the first time in a generation, unusual political forces have aligned and the nation appears on the verge of relaxing tough criminal sentencing laws. Liberals and conservatives now seem to agree that 1980's-era anti-drug laws boosted U.S. prison populations too much, with the burden falling disproportionately on minority communities."
Baltimore Sun: No 'Ferguson effect' -- "The case of Freddie Gray serves well to highlight the distinction between what Mr. Comey and others are talking about and what motivates those now calling for greater scrutiny of police. Given the history of drug dealing and other crime in the area, few would question officers' decision to approach the corner where Gray and another man where hanging out on the morning of April 12. The officers' decision to chase after him when he ran away probably wouldn't have raised many eyebrows either."
New York Times: The Disproportionate Risks of Driving While Black — "As the public’s most common encounter with law enforcement, they largely shape perceptions of the police. Indeed, complaints about traffic-law enforcement are at the root of many accusations that some police departments engage in racial profiling. Since Ferguson erupted in protests in August last year, three of the deaths of African-Americans that have roiled the nation occurred after drivers were pulled over for minor traffic infractions: a broken brake light, a missing front license plate and failure to signal a lane change."
This program aired on October 28, 2015.