Chicago homicides

Attorney General Sessions Properly Links an “ACLU Effect” and the Chicago Homicide Spike

The Attorney General approvingly discussed my article linking the dramatic decline in street stops in Chicago under an ACLU agreement and the subsequent homicide spike. While Professor John Rappaport has a different take on this "ACLU Effect," his unsupported analysis does not fit the data.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

I was pleased to learn recently that Attorney General Jeff Sessions found convincing my soon-to-be-published article analyzing the 2016 Chicago homicide spike. In a speech to a law enforcement training conference last week, the Attorney General discussed the shocking 58% year-over-year increase in homicides in the Second City in 2016. As the Attorney General explained, an article Professor Richard Fowles and I co-authored collected data on the subject, concluding that the best explanation for the spike was a dramatic decline in street stops by the Chicago Police Department (CPD) at around the end of 2015, which in turn triggered the spike at around the beginning of 2016. Using multiple regression analysis and other statistical tools, we estimated that the decline in stops led to approximately an additional 200 victims killed and over 1,100 victims shot. We also provided our reasons for believing that the decline in stops was attributable to an agreement between the City of Chicago and the ACLU regarding street stops implemented at the end of 2015. We also noted that contemporaneous reports from the streets of Chicago during the spike had also identified the causal factor as the "ACLU effect"—and our findings supported those reports. The Attorney General cited these findings as a cautionary tale about well-intentioned but ultimately-harmful regulations on law enforcement.

One supporter of the ACLU—Professor John Rappaport—quickly attacked the Attorney General's speech, writing on Slate that Sessions was "scapegoating" the ACLU for the homicide spike. To criticize the Attorney General, Rappaport criticizes our study, calling the ACLU effect a "mirage."

It is, of course, much easier to be a supporter of ACLU police "reforms" if they unerringly produce nothing but benefits. But our study suggests that the real world is much more complex and that ACLU-style consent decrees can produce deadly trade-offs.

Professor Rappaport begins by observing that as CPD stops were substantially declining, Chicago suffered an increase in gun crimes, but not in other crimes. Rappaport writes: "So Cassell and Fowles need some theory for why street stops, when conducted en masse, were depressing gun violence but not other crimes—such that, when stop and frisk dropped, gun crimes alone shot up. They don't have one."

Actually, our article articulates a very specific, empirically-supported theory. As explained in our article (p. 24), the available empirical research suggests that some forms of proactive policing—such as targeted gun patrols or stop, question, and frisk tactics—are uniquely effective as suppressing gun crimes:

Interestingly for our purposes—i.e., for trying to explain why Chicago's gun crime rates increased dramatically but not rates for other crimes—one of the conclusions suggested by such studies is that stop and frisk (at least in some forms) will reduce gun crimes, but not other violent crimes. For example, a study in Indianapolis found that targeted offender gun patrols reduced gun-related crimes substantially but did not appear to affect violent crimes without firearms. See E.F. McGarrell et al., Reducing Gun Violence: Evaluation of the Indianapolis Police Department's Direct Patrol Project (NCJ-188740 Nat'l Inst. of Just. 2002). Another study, in New York, found few effects of SQF on robbery and burglary rates. See Richard Rosenfeld & Robert Fornango, The Impact of Police Stops on Precinct Robbery and Burglary Rates in New York City, 2003-2010, 31 Just. Q. 96 (2014) (finding no statistically significant correlations between SQF and burglary or robbery using yearly rates of crime and SQF stops across all 75 precincts in the New York City Police Department).

Our article also collects research showing that the typical mechanism by which aggressive policing is expected to prevent gun crimes is not by physically removing guns on the streets but rather through deterring the carrying of guns in the first instance—something which could uniquely reduce firearms violence. Rappaport may not agree with our theory—or have some as-of-yet-unpresented data to contradict it—but to write that we "don't have a theory" is simply false.

Professor Rappaport goes on to suggest that other research suggests that when proactive policing slows down, we should expect a higher increase in property crimes than in violent crimes. But the study he cites to prove this point—an important recent paper by Professors Rushin and Edwards—looked at federal consent decrees orchestrated by the U.S. Justice Department on all forms of policing, not just stop and frisk. Accordingly, it is perhaps unsurprising that broad decrees had broad effects on all types of crime. But what we were examining in our paper was a specific ALCU agreement focused narrowly on street stops.

Rappaport next wonders why we "ignore" other cities, noting that street stops declined in New York City without a subsequent homicide spike like Chicago's. But as we explained in detail in our article—and have previously discussed here at Reason—good reasons exist for concluding that a reducing street stops in Chicago would produce much different effects than in New York:

In 2016, New York's homicide rate was only 3.9 per 100,000 population, while Chicago's was 27.8—a rate more than 600% higher. But the relevant differences between the two cities may be even higher than this already staggering difference suggests. Looking at homicides committed by firearms, in 2016 New York's rate was 2.3 compared to Chicago's rate of 25.1—a rate almost 1000% higher. This is important because, as discussed earlier, gun crimes may be particularly sensitive to stop and frisk policies. In addition, because New York has such a small number of guns and gun crimes (relative to Chicago and many other cities), it can concentrate resources on preventing gun crimes in a way that other cities cannot….

Another problem in equating New York's circumstances with Chicago's is that the level of police power is different. Famously, New York has high levels of law enforcement. . . New York had about 153 law enforcement employees for every homicide committed in the city, while Chicago had only about 17 employees for every homicide committed—about a 800% difference. The difference is even greater if one combines both the gun homicide and police force numbers. Per gun homicide, New York has roughly 260 employees, while Chicago has only 19—well over a 1000% difference. To this point it might be objected that a homicide is a homicide, so it makes no sense to break out gun homicides separately. But homicides are not all alike. To the contrary, in general, homicides committed by firearms are more difficult to solve than other kinds of homicides, only adding to the relative difficulties for the Chicago Police Department. Moreover, in 2016, about 23% of New York's homicides were gang-related, while roughly 67% (or more) of Chicago's homicides and shootings appear to have been gang-related. Here again, gang-related homicides may be more difficult to solve than are other homicides, particularly in Chicago.

Rapport also notes that in 2016, other cities had homicide spikes, suggesting that homicides can increase for reasons apart from changes in police tactics. But our research tried to explain what was going on in one important city—Chicago—where our research tools and data could explore what was happening. Every city has its own story to tell, and we have tried to tell one chapter of Chicago's.

Rappaport even wonders whether Chicago's 58% homicide increase was unusual, linking to an intriguing paper by Professors Wheeler and Kovandizic. They explain that before jumping to the conclusion that some sort of homicide "spike" needing explanation exists, this typical volatility should be considered. While this caution is well-taken, what happened in Chicago was an exceptional spike outside of normal variability. Chicago's 2016 increase in homicides was the largest single-year homicide increase of the last 25 years among the five most populous United States cities. Rappaport fails to mention that Wheeler and Kovandzic's own "normal" volatility model shows that Chicago 58% 2016-over-2015 increase in homicides was "near the upper limit of the . . . 80% prediction interval"—i.e., near the very top of the 80% confidence band that encompasses normal year-to-year volatility. Indeed, after having surveyed homicide changes all across the country in recent years, Wheeler and Kovandzic specifically concluded that "[s]ome recent increases in homicides are clearly noteworthy, such as Chicago in 2016 . . . ."

While our paper focused on the time period for which we had full data (2012-16), Rappaport points to a homicide decline the next year—2017—in which Chicago's homicides fell from about 750 to about 640—a figure still well about where homicides were in 2015 before the decline in street stops. As we explain in our article, the most likely causes for the 2017 decline appear to be a combination of countermeasures that the Chicago took in response to the homicide spike. But Rappaport draws the remarkably sanguine conclusion that this decline proves "we can fight crime" without streets stops. Yes, it is true that crime can be fought in other ways—simply not as effectively. If our modeling is correct, relying on these other ways comes at the costs of the deaths and shootings of hundreds of additional victims, predominantly African-Americans and Hispanics located in some of Chicago's most impoverished neighborhoods.

Rappaport is seemingly unwilling to stipulate that the disappearance of hundreds of thousands of street stops by CPD in 2016 led to even a single additional homicide. Instead, Rappaport tries to pin the blame on other factors. For example, Rappaport suggests that a reduction in funding for a social program known as "Ceasefire" might be the cause. An analysis by the Chicago Crime Lab found that this explanation doesn't fit, because the ceasation in funding was well before the spike took place.

Rappaport also cites the release of the Laquan McDonald video depicting a CPD officer shooting a young African-American. The causal mechanism that Rappaport advances is that the video's release "affected how and when citizens called the police." That is a speculative hypothesis for what happened in Chicago in 2016. We investigated that very subject at length in our article (pp. 37-43), explaining that any reduction in police-citizen cooperation would be expected to result in an increase in all crimes, not just gun crimes. Of course, as discussed above, Rappaport himself has to admit that this is not the pattern seen in Chicago crime data in 2016. In any event, we collected monthly 9-1-1 call data from Chicago during the relevant time period. Directly contradicting Rappaport's speculative hypothesis, the call data show a longterm downward trend—no sharp break around the time of the McDonald video release. If Rappaport has any data to support his speculative theory, he has yet to provide it.

As a final fallback position, Rappaport argues that, even if declining street stops caused the homicide spike, the ACLU should not be blamed. Rappaport, who previously interned in the ACLU's National Legal Department, tries to invent an incongrous timeline to deflect attention away from the ACLU. Stop and frisks clearly began to fall in November 2015, but he asserts (without support) that was "six months before CPD finished preparing officers" to implement the ACLU agreement. Rappaport's chronology is wrong. As we document in our article, the ACLU's agreement in August 2015 envisioned revised general orders relating to street stops "by December 31, 2015." CPD promulgated the new general orders on this schedule shortly before December 31—precisely when the decline in stop and frisks occurred.

In addition, the link between the ALCU agreement and the decline in stops has been specifically acknowledged by … the ACLU. In February 2016, when it was clear that the number of CPD stops had fallen dramatically—but before the deadly consequences had been fully revealed—the ACLU took credit, saying the decline was actually "a good thing" produced by the agreement.

In writing our paper, Professor Fowles and I had no intention of trying to "scapegoat" anyone. Our goal was to spark a discussion about how to save lives in Chicago, particularly on the city's south and west sides where a disproportionate number of deaths result. We appreciate the fact that the Attorney General is now discussing this question as well. The best answer remains to be determined. But too many lives are at stake to try to simply sweep under the rug the clear possibility that police street stops may play an important role in assuring public safety in Chicago and elsewhere.

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62 responses to “Attorney General Sessions Properly Links an “ACLU Effect” and the Chicago Homicide Spike

  1. Maybe I’m missing something, but it seems like the ACLU’s argument misses the point. Opposition to “stop and frisk” tactics does not need to be justified with lower crime rates. In general, any limits to police power will make it easier for criminals to commit crimes. In fact, we could eliminate the 4th Amendment and any warrant requirement for a search, and I bet crime rates would go down. Nevertheless, we choose to put these limits on police power, and the cost of that freedom from government is that it also protects the bad guys.

    By arguing over whether the ACLU order caused a rise in crime, the ACLU is arguing the wrong issue. The argument against stop and frisk is that it is a violation of one’s personal liberty. The fact that crime may go up is simply the cost of that freedom.

    1. By arguing over whether the ACLU order caused a rise in crime, the ACLU is arguing the wrong issue. The argument against stop and frisk is that it is a violation of one’s personal liberty. The fact that crime may go up is simply the cost of that freedom.

      The ACLU has in the past been a staunch supporter of the “living” approach to constitutional interpretation. It has been OK with the absence of standards for discovering how the constitution has “grown” as long as it supported the “growth.” However, it has recognized uneasily that somewhere in the process is a judicial evaluation of current public opinion.

      The ACLU may be worried that statistics making it look like the current constitutional interpretations are responsible for a crime wave will cause the constitution to “grow” in ways that result in a reduction of constitutional civil liberties. Could be a reasonable concern, given how such “growth” has been explained in the past.

  2. Next step, apply Cassell’s sound (if it is sound) reasoning to gun crimes everywhere, while getting rid of the offensive, and likely illegal, need to single out particular surveillance targets without probable cause to make it work. The key to accomplishing the latter goal will be to rely on law abiding links in the gun supply chain to restrict access to crime guns for the non-law abiding. To do that will require identifying the types of guns preferred by criminals, and banning their sale to everyone. Gun advocates will be outraged, but the magnitude of the effect Cassell’s research demonstrates (if it does demonstrate what he says it does) is so large that it would be insanity not to seize the opportunity, and demonstrably reasonable as a matter of law to do it. Indeed, it would be far more legally reasonable than continuing arbitrary stop-and-frisk policies which are not applied alike to everyone.

    1. This is easy, “identifying the types of guns preferred by criminals” – handguns that go bang. Then this may be less easy, “banning their sale to everyone”.

      1. The 1968 Gun Control Act identified the weapon of choice of criminals as the .22 Short RG-10 revolver imported from Germany. So they banned imports of so-called Saturday Night Specials.

        Now criminals are restricted to higher quality guns, like Glocks made in the USA plant of Austrian Glock.

        Improving the quality of weapons available to be stolen from the poor was an amazing “crime control” strategy. You ban makes and models and styles of guns as criminals switch to using whatever is commonly owned by the law abiding.

        Which is easier to do: focus on some 400,000 gun criminals, or go after 300,000,000 guns and the 65,000,000 people who own them?

        I became aware of the gun control movement during the local option prohibition of alcohol during 1953 to 1968, Same confusion over handling bad behavior by bad people, same voodoo criminology.

  3. This is so incredibly easy to validate, re-instate the old policy, if after a year the condition doesn’t revert to normal then it’s dis-proven (likely a missed factor). If it does revert then the hypothesis of the paper is validated.

    1. But other policies would also be in effect or out during the time frame. Sussing out specific effects of policy change is not as simple of changing one policy, when others are also changing.

    2. Or you could compare the policy implementation in one large city to the implementation in a similarly-situated large city. Like say, New York. Of course, when the results come out exactly contrary to your preferred narrative, you’ll have to engage in some fancy tap-dancing in an attempt to distinguish the two situations.

      That, by the way, is exactly what the authors did. They found results in NY that were the reverse of the results they claimed to find in Chicago then fell all over themselves rationalizing why NY must be different and didn’t invalidate their hypothesis.

      1. Exactly! One finds a correlation in Chicago. If it’s not a spurious correlation, find evidence for it elsewhere. One needn’t find identical results, but null ones are troublesome for the hypothesis, and New York’s reversed experience is a hard nut to crack.

        In the 1990s, Mayor Giuliani’s police department instituted pro-active policing, and crime rates fell. This was widely trumpeted. Then it was found that the same decline in crime rates was occurring all over the country, including in cities that hadn’t changed their policing styles at all.

  4. You don’t mean “police stops.” You mean arrests and detentions based on race without probable cause. Which merely proves that authoritarian regimes once again have fewer crimes than liberal democracies…..and less freedom.

    QUESTION: since you’re not inhibited by trivial Fourth Amendment values why not start randomly tapping the phones of the five biggest Chicago law firms. Bet you’ll put a big dent in white collar (yeah, white-skinned) crime.

    PS: Did you know that more money is stolen from banks year in and year out by banks’ Chairmen of the Board than all bank robberies by gun combined. Oh, yeah. We’re real impressed by your research. Ha ha ha.

    1. Did you know that more money is stolen from banks year in and year out by banks’ Chairmen of the Board than all bank robberies by gun combined.
      What data do you have on money stolen by the Boards? I’d love to see it. I also find it interesting you limit your bankroberies to “by gun”.

  5. If you want to blame the ACLU and its settlement agreement with the CPD for drop in stops, and subsequently the spike in homicides, don’t you have to get into what the settlement agreement actually requires the CPD to do?

    As I read it, the settlement requires the CPD to document stops that result in an arrest, and train their officers that they need to follow Supreme Court precedents by not basing stops solely on race, religion, national origin, etc. Assuming the CPD was following the requirements of the Constitution when making stops prior to 2016, why should the number of stops have gone down at all?

    If you accept the conclusion that the rise in homicides are directly correlated to the decline in stops, doesn’t the blame for the homicides fall on the CPD more than the ACLU, since they are the ones who apparently decided to reduce the number of stops?

    1. The rise in crime might be tied to the effect of “blue flu” (if we can’t stop w/o probable cause we won’t stop or do anything else).

      Or it could be tied the gangstas’ perception that “the coast was clear”. This a spate of crime could lead to focus on actual criminals and be followed by a downward trend.

      It was Norvall Morris of the U Chicago Law School who advocated suspending fourth amendment if the object of a search was guns in his “Honest Politician’s Guide to Crime Control” 1969. He also believed in ignoring the second amendment.

    2. “they need to follow Supreme Court precedents by not basing stops solely on race, religion, national origin, etc. Assuming the CPD was following the requirements of the Constitution when making stops prior to 2016, why should the number of stops have gone down at all?”

      There’s a good “because” to this. The evidence used to prove discrimination in such things is percentages of actual stops — i.e., disparate outcomes. The police can go on all they want about how in this case we relied on x” and in this one there was a clear ‘y’ issue, but the police will know (or at least believe, based on outcomes in other well-known arenas) that since ~85% or so of all stops are of blacks and Hispanics, advocates will argue that clearly there is discrimination going on. The counter argument, that ~85% of homicides in Chicago with known offenders actually are by blacks or Hispanics, will have tough slogging.

      So the police shrug their shoulders and go back to donuts and coffee.

      1. And lot of people (including me) have trouble believing accounts made by Chicago-area law enforcement.

  6. Our goal was to spark a discussion about how to save lives in Chicago, particularly on the city’s south and west sides where a disproportionate number of deaths result.

    Only sparking discussions!

    It’s pretty clear what you’re advocating, why are you so coy?

    1. What is he advocating?

      He flat out says he supports such stops. Nothing coy about it.

      You hint at nefarious goals?. What are they?

      1. Bob, did you read the bit I quoted? I think you may have misread.

  7. Rapport also notes that in 2016, other cities had homicide spikes, suggesting that homicides can increase for reasons apart from changes in police tactics. But our research tried to explain what was going on in one important city?Chicago?where our research tools and data could explore what was happening. Every city has its own story to tell, and we have tried to tell one chapter of Chicago’s.

    Uh, sorry, but no. Science — even social science — doesn’t work that way. A valid theory is one that provides a general explanation, not one that applies to one specific situation only.

    Otherwise, you’re still just buying Lisa’s rock.

    1. I haven’t seen the bear patrol episode in ages. 🙂

    2. IDK. This paper provides one data point. It’s up to others to extend it or challenge it with data from other cities. It’s unreasonable to expect every paper to study every city.

      1. Science that is descriptive and not predictive is not really science.

        Same issue people have with string theory.

        1. I suspect we’re talking around each other. But, science-wise, it’s perfectly ok to say “we measured X under these conditions. And here is a possible theory to explain X.” Others* can test that theory under other conditions.

          *and others probably should do the confirmation to hedge against methodological error.

          1. Except that by limiting itself to Chicago, this study is cutting off that reproducibility, no?

            1. Right. And it’s important to understand that — contrary to OldCurmudgeon’s description — they are not saying “It’s up to others to test it in other cities.” They’re saying, “We don’t care what happens in other cities. If the theory proves invalid in other cities, then it’s because those cities are different.”

              All they have is a correlation that may be entirely spurious, and they’re handwaving away any evidence that suggests the same.

        2. Science that is descriptive and not predictive is not really science.

          Does that edge into problems with regard to evolution? I get that you can do a lab experiment to show bacteria changing under natural selection pressure, but how do you apply that scientifically to interpreting the fossil record? Paleontology not a science? Geology not a science?

          1. One can make predictions about what the fossil record (or geological record) will show. We won’t, e.g., see Neanderthals in the same geological layers as triceratops.

      2. You miss my point. I don’t criticize them for not studying every city; I criticize them for claiming that they can draw conclusions based on study of that one city.

        1. Or, more to the point, I criticize them for claiming that they can draw conclusions based on study of that one city and handwaving away all other data points that don’t support those conclusions by saying that those cities are different.

          “Policy A causes X” may be a valid statement. But “Policy A causes X only in Chicago” is not.

      3. OC: “It’s unreasonable to expect every paper to study every city.”

        What’s unreasonable in the case before us is the use of such limited data — and outcomes discrepant from those of other cities — to advocate major policy changes. In one’s conclusion one advocates for further study, and often suggests alternate data sources, etc.

        (particularly ones that infringe on civil liberties)

  8. There seems to be a trend lately of people refusing to admit that immoral, illegal policies might produce beneficial results. Note the unwillingness of many in the anti-torture crowd to admit that torture might sometimes yield useful results.

    1. Here you at least have a disputed study. Torture has some anecdotes from people with an interest in proving it’s useful, and a TV show.

      I also question the morality and utility of examining how well various ends justifying the means. More good data is better than less, but data does not exist in a vacuum.

      1. “Torture has some anecdotes from people with an interest in proving it’s useful, and a TV show.”

        And 10,000+ years of human use. People used torture for information gathering in every era and culture for thousands of years because it got results.

        There is no legal way to have a scientific study on the effectiveness of torture. How do you do a control group for instance?

        1. It’s almost as if there are other reasons to do torture than just to get accurate information…

          1. Say, wasn’t Bob the guy who accused those against torture of holding 9-11 victims in insufficient regard, and then spent the rest of the thread posting the brief bios of 9-11 victims?

            Sure sounds like truth-seeking behavior to me!

            1. Yes I was and yes you were.

              I see we are about to get a new CIA director confirmed despite her patriotic role in getting life saving information from scum. I think the people are on my side in this argument.

              1. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Bob.

              2. Perhaps, in exchange for the opportunity to become CIA director, she will get a prosecution under the next administration for immoral, unlawful, counterproductive acts that include torture.

        2. Yup. Even if the guy getting tortured had no involvement, and no idea what his inquisitor wanted, you could be sure he’d say whatever it took to supply results. Good one, Bob.

        3. I think it was Christopher Hitchens who said that once one has absolute control over another, his thoughts immediately turn to torture.

      2. “Torture has some anecdotes from people with an interest in proving it’s useful.”

        There are also loads of people who have an interest in proving that it’s not effective.

        And, as Bob says, there is thousands of years of history that includes torturing people the purpose of gaining information.

        Not to mention common sense. I mean, if you were captured by the enemy, are you more likely to spill your guts under torture, or in exchange for a pack of smokes and a beer or something?

        1. And, as Bob says, there is thousands of years of history that includes torturing people the purpose of gaining information.

          We also have thousands of years of history with respect to the heretic’s fork; bloodletting; tinctures of mercury; trepanation (holes in the head); trial by ordeal; arsenic rubs; administration of morphine lozenges to children; electroshock therapy; exorcism; lobotomies; tapeworms as weight-loss devices; and chloroform.

          Who says the traditional ways weren’t best? Other than conservatives, I mean.

        2. And, as Bob says, there is thousands of years of history that includes torturing people the purpose of gaining information.

          Not to mention common sense. I mean, if you were captured by the enemy, are you more likely to spill your guts under torture, or in exchange for a pack of smokes and a beer or something?

          I am not a professional interrogator, but I have heard from those who are that the latter is more effective overall.

          As for the efficacy of torture in general, it’s good at getting people to talk, sure. But is it good at getting people to give accurate information? Or just telling the torturer what the torturer wants to hear?

    2. “Note the unwillingness of many in the anti-torture crowd to admit that torture might sometimes yield useful results.”

      Typically, they are doing it to preempt the ticking-time-bomb hypothetical (and then, the subsequent comparison to the actual post-911/waterboarding facts).

    3. re: “There seems to be a trend lately of people refusing to admit that immoral, illegal policies might produce beneficial results.”

      While perhaps true as a general social trend, I am not seeing that in the arguments about this particular paper. What I’m seeing seem less like people refusing to admit that bad policies might produce beneficial results and more like people arguing that the authors have failed to adequately demonstrate that these policies do causally produce the results they claim.

  9. In high crime areas the cops mostly know who the bad people are but can’t do much about it because of fourth and fifth amendment protections. If gun control advocates really cared about saving lives they would be advocating for rolling back those protections instead of trying to trample on the second amendment rights of otherwise law-abiding citizens.

    1. ‘Screw the Fourth and Fifth, so long as I have my Second!’

      The blind trust that ‘cops know who the bad people are’ is also horrifyingly hilarious.

      1. The blind trust that ‘cops know who the bad people are’ is also horrifyingly hilarious.

        Some people believe that every bit as much as they believe that former Pres. Obama was born in Kenya, that our planet is a few thousand years old, that evolution is a satanic plot, and that Donald Trump is to rework economic fundamentals to enable uneducated, unskilled, rural white men to prosper at the expense of accomplished elites residing in our modern, successful communities.

  10. Interesting that the London authorities are planning to step up stop and search to combat the recent increase in knife crimes.

    Stop and Search

    1. I’m not sure that “interesting” is the word, given that racial profiling is as illegal here as it is in Chicago, but sure.

      For future reference, you’re better off avoiding the Express like the plague, since it’s about as reliable as the National Enquirer in the US. Here is the BBC reporting on what Sadiq Khan said: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-e…..n-43678988

      1. So, how do they “target”?

      2. I’m not sure where you found “racial profiling” in Jerry’s post. It was very short. I’m pretty sure my eyes didn’t skip over it.

      3. Now, your BBC link, OTOH, does hint that they will be using racial profiling, although it’s quite possible they’re just worried because they know the people they’re busting will be heavily slanted towards being members of certain groups

  11. Lawyers like to argue over legal details. It’s up to the rest of us to demand abolition of the drug war that increases crime and incarceration.

  12. “but to write that we “don’t have a theory” is simply false”

    Which is why he published in Slate and not in a reputable publication that checks facts.

  13. It’s certainly possible that changing the CPD’s policy resulted in an increase in crime and homicides, and it’s definitely true that this is a complex issue. But I find it suspicious that Prof. Cassell tries to explain the differences between NYC’s results and Chicago’s results by comparing the number of police officers “per homicide” and “per gun homicide,” and arguing that NYC has higher levels of law enforcement than Chicago. But the ratio of officers to population in Chicago is 0.439% and in NYC is 0.46%, which is not a meaningful difference.

    In short, at least in that one argument it looks like Prof. Cassell is playing with the numbers to advance a narrative rather than doing a real analysis.

  14. As an opponent of both gun control and stop and frisk, I have no respect for the ACLU given their lack of respect for the 2nd Amendment.

  15. ” New York had about 153 law enforcement employees for every homicide committed in the city, while Chicago had only about 17 employees for every homicide committed”

    so the take home message is: if a city under-invests in public service and does not hire sufficient numbers of police officers, those who are remaining can only maintain a modicum of order by seriously violating the civil liberties of citizens and cutting corners around the rule of law? Sounds not too implausible.

    1. I don’t think it’s fair to say that Chicago has under-invested in police resources. It’s officer population-to-resident ratio is about the same as NYC’s. The statistics cited by Cassell are designed to make it look like more police cause fewer homicides, which isn’t the case. In fact, NYC had more police and fewer residents 20 years ago when the homicide rate was much higher than today.

  16. While I don’t buy this as being sufficient to explain the magnitude of the spike in crime, the idea that someone couldn’t understand why searching people for illegal guns would make crimes committed by people illegally carrying guns with their illegally carried guns less common rather than all crime in general is mind boggling.

  17. What is this doing on a so-called libertarian blog?

  18. The 14th Amendment has been a failure.

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