In Baltimore, There Has Been No "Ferguson Effect," Just a "Freddie Gray Effect"
November 17, 2018, 01:38 PM
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The Ferguson Effect is one of the more blatant in the history of social science. It occurred both on a modest scale nationally, and on an acute scale locally in cities where BLM triumphed, such as St. Louis in 2014, Baltimore in 2015, and Chicago in 2016. But it’s not part of The Narrative. From CityLab in 2016:

Study: There Has Been No ‘Ferguson Effect’ in Baltimore
BRENTIN MOCK MAR 15, 2016

… Many factors played a part in the city’s homicide spike—but not the one most often cited.

The 2014 killing of Michael Brown by police turned the word “Ferguson,” the name of Brown’s Missouri hometown, into a call for action against police violence. Proponents of aggressive policing styles, however, have managed to appropriate the term to fit an opposing agenda. While the Ferguson cause has been about exposing the devastating consequences of the over-policing of black neighborhoods, the “Ferguson Effect” is a campaign about over-hyped, alleged crime waves overtaking urban landscapes.

… But can Baltimore’s homicides be attributed to the so-called “Ferguson Effect”?

The evidence for that kind of attribution is “very weak,” according to a study released Tuesday by the Johns Hopkins University sociologists Stephen L. Morgan and Joel A. Pally. Between August 2014 (when Brown was killed and the Ferguson riots erupted) and April 2015 (when Freddie Gray died in Baltimore while in police custody), most violent crime in Baltimore actually decreased, the researchers found. …

That violent crime escalated after [Freddie] Gray’s arrest, death, and the subsequent riots [in March 2015] is irrefutable, and Morgan and Pally explain that a “Gray Effect” may have overcome Baltimore.

If the word “Ferguson” was permanently and exclusively attached back to its original meaning, we might find evidence of an “effect” when it comes to a number of recent, inspiring events: the bringing down of Confederate monuments, the ousting of Chicago’s police chief, or the recent Chicago protests that forced Donald Trump to cancel a rally. Such events are more fitting of the “Ferguson Effect” tag, and they’re things that Black Lives Matter activists actually had a hand in. Anyone who tries to steal “Ferguson” to tie its meaning to rising crime is simply trying to distract people from the real, progressive effect that organizing since Ferguson has had on society.

Of course, Chicago went on to have an extremely homicidal 2016, following the 11/23/2015 release of the videotape of the very bad shooting of Laquan McDonald, which led to multiple triumphs of progressives over the CPD over the next few months.


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