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The 2016 Chicago Homicide Spike - Explained

After an ACLU consent decree with the Chicago Police Department dramatically reduced the number of stop and frisks, homicides significantly increased as a result.

As the Chicago Tribune reported this morning, University of Utah Economics Professor Richard Fowles and I have just completed an important article on the 2016 Chicago homicide spike. Through multiple regression analysis and other tools, we conclude that an ACLU consent decree trigged a sharp reduction in stop and frisks by the Chicago Police Department, which in turn caused homicides to spike. Sadly, what Chicago police officers dubbed the "ACLU effect" was real—and more homicides and shootings were the consequence.

The analysis is relatively straightforward. It is well known that homicides increased dramatically in Chicago in 2016. In 2015, 480 Chicago residents were killed. The next year, 754 were killed—274 more homicide victims, tragically producing an extraordinary 58% increase in a single year. What happened?

Many commentators have observed this startling year-to-year change in homicides. However, a surprising lack of empirical effort has been devoted to exploring the causal factor or factors. This issue is, to put it bluntly, of life or death importance. Against a frightening backdrop of an annual baseline of about 500 homicides in Chicago each year, something in 2016 led to the death of more than 250 additional victims in a single year.

In our paper, Professor Fowles and I bring empirical research tools to bear in an attempt to identify what changed in Chicago during that time. While such analysis may be unable to provide absolutely definitive answers, it can suggest which factors are more likely than others to have been responsible. Given that, quite literally, more than two hundred additional victims died in 2016 in some of Chicago's most impoverished neighborhoods—and more might similarly be killed in the future in Chicago and elsewhere—finding answers must be regarded as a high priority.

Our article proceeds in several steps. It begins by describing in general terms what is quite accurately called a "spike" in homicides in Chicago in 2016. A 58% year-to-year change in America's "Second City" is staggering, suggesting something changed dramatically to initiate the increase.

We next attempt to pinpoint the time when things changed in Chicago—what might be called the "inflection" or "break" point in the data series. We begin by seasonally adjusting Chicago homicide and shooting data, which show significant seasonal fluctuation from cold weather months to warm weather months. Once the data are seasonally adjusted, a change or "break" in the data series can be statistically detected around November 2015.

We next explore the possibility that, as been suggested by a number of observers, a reduction in stop and frisks by the Chicago Police Department that began at the very end of 2015 was responsible for the homicide spike starting immediately thereafter. Good reasons exist for believing that the decline in stop and frisks caused the spike. Simple visual observation of the data suggests a cause-and-effect change. In the chart below, we depict the (seasonally unadjusted) monthly number of stop and frisks (in blue) and the monthly number of homicides (in gold). The vertical line is placed at November 2015—the break point in the homicide data. This is precisely when stop and frisks declined in Chicago.

Detailed regression analysis of the homicide (and related shooting) data strongly supports what visual observation suggests. Using monthly data from 2012 through 2016, we are able to control for such factors as temperature, homicides in other parts of Illinois, 9-1-1 calls (as a measure of police-citizen cooperation), and arrests for various types of crimes. Even controlling for these factors, our equations indicate that the steep decline in stop and frisks was strongly linked, at high levels of statistical significance, to the sharp increase in homicides (and other shooting crimes) in 2016.

We also explain why the possibly contrary experience with reductions in stop and frisks in New York City may be exceptional and inapplicable to Chicago and other cities. New York has comparatively low levels of gun violence—and stop and frisk tactics may be particularlyl important for deterring gun crimes.

We then qualitatively search for other possible factors that might be responsible for the Chicago homicide spike. For various reasons, none of these other candidates fit the data as well as the decline in stop and frisks. In addition, Bayesian Model Averaging ("BMA") provide strong statistical evidence that our findings are robust in the sense that they are not due to inclusion or exclusion of any particular variables in our equations.

Our equations permit us to quantify the costs of the decline in stop and frisks, both in human and financial terms. We conclude that, because of fewer stop and frisks in 2016, a conservative estimate is that approximately 236 additional homicides and 1115 additional shootings occurred during that year. A reasonable estimate of the social costs associated with these additional homicides and shootings is about $1,500,000,000. And these costs are heavily concentrated in Chicago's African-American and Hispanic communities.

In our penultimate section, we explain why the ACLU settlement agreement with the Chicago Police Department is the most likely cause of the decline in stop and frisks. Indeed, the ACLU took credit for the decline in stop and frisks at the start of 2016.

We conclude by offering some tentative suggestions for how policy-makers might reassess the importance and benefits of stop and frisk practices on the streets of Chicago and other cities. We also situate our findings within a larger body of developing empirical literature supporting the conclusion that restrictions on law enforcement investigations has real-world consequences by reducing police effectiveness. Sadly, Chicago's 2016 homicide spike may be a reflection of the tragic consequences that follow when that linkage is ignored.

This short summary cannot capture all parts of our analysis, so for all the details, download the full paper here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • ||

    Diversity sucks and tolerance is a one way street.

  • Longtobefree||

    Wait a minute!
    Chicago has strong gun control laws.
    Every student in America knows that more gun control is the only effective way of stopping shootings.
    So there cannot be ANY shootings in Chicago, let alone homicides.
    This must be some of that fake news I hear about from time to time.

  • regexp||

    Chicago is rated 8th in terms of toughest gun control laws. And ranks 18th in homicides that involved guns.

    And based on all evidence available - gun control laws do reduce gun related fatalities.

  • Noscitur a sociis||

    Rated 8th what? By whom?

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Based on evidence and reasoning that would get your elementary school science faire project graded D, anyway.

  • ||

    New Hampshire has very loose gun laws, high gun ownership, and in 2016 had 8 by a gun. One person in every 167,875 were killed by someone with a gun in 2016.

    Chicago has very strict gun laws, low gun ownership and in 2016 had 754 gun homicides. One person in every 3,587 were killed by someone with a gun in 2016.

    Based on that one stat point, you are very wrong.

    Of course, people who think critically know gun violence is a result of culture, not gun control laws. But it is easier to think a magic law will solve all of our problems.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    More to the point, the firearms crime rate in Chicago itself varies by at least a factor of 10 from one neighborhood to another, under exactly the same gun laws and practical availability of guns. So we know for an absolute fact that something besides gun laws is having a huge impact on crime rates.

    It's a standard principle of statistical analysis, that in the presence of multiple causes, you can't measure the effects of one cause without accounting for the others. Unless you can identify exactly what's causing South Chicago to be vastly more dangerous than North Chicago under the same laws, and characterize it to considerable precision, you can't even begin to attribute any differences between Chicago and other places to gun laws.

    It's statistical malpractice for any researcher to claim otherwise.

  • DJK||

    It's almost like the fact that 50-75% (depending on source) of gun crimes are associated with drug or gang activity and that those activities tend to occur in particular areas of large cities.

  • DJK||

    Remove "the fact that". I intended to structure the sentence differently.

  • Caldey||

    The Chicago PD needs to extend this analysis to each neighborhood of Chicago to determine which ones require "stop and frisk" for public safety.

  • TomW||

    Limiting the results you look at to only gun related fatalities gives you an inaccurate picture based on a selection bias.

    To properly asses the results you need to look at all fatalities, to tell if gun homocides were just offset by homocides of other forms given the limited access to firearms.

    The goal is to reduce homocides right? Not just homocides of a particular method.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    You must have the violence control movement in mind. The gun control movement only cares if there's an opportunity to control guns involved.

  • Rev. Arthur Ꮮ. Kirkland||

    After guns are controlled, we'll go on to lower-priority issues like knife control and acid control like in Britain.

    Carry on, clingers.

  • NToJ||

    There's a chicken-egg issue here. Cities with higher gun homicide rates are going to have more gun laws because people who deal with gun homicides more frequently are going to vote for gun regulations.

  • Rigelsen||

    The only meaningful effect of which will be to reduce the likelihood that a prospective victim will be able to defend themselves, and thus quite possibly increase both the assault rate and lethality.

    It would certainly be nice if these public policy debates could be conducted with some logic instead of pure emotionality.

  • NToJ||

    I agree it would be nice if the public policy debates about murders could be conducted with logic rather than emotion, but murder and death generally are emotional subjects.

    I have not seen any conclusive science settling the issue of whether gun control laws increase or decrease gun crime. I think correcting for confounding factors makes this task virtually impossible. If I'm right, the correct policy is to let locals decide for themselves so we can gather more data.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Seriously, if we were discussing this with logic, it's questionable whether we even WANT the firearms murder rate to be lower.

    Gun controllers don't like to talk about it, but murder is mostly a matter of one criminal killing another criminal. And why is that a problem for the rest of us? Let them thin each other out.

  • NToJ||

    I think it matters what you mean by "criminal". In Chicago in 2016 only 40% of the homicide victims had a prior violent crime arrest. Since the share of homicide victims with gang affiliations didn't budget from 2015-2016, the increase was assumed primarily by people who were not identified as being involved in violent crime.

  • NToJ||

    Second "violent" crime should be "organized" crime.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Why is "street price of cocaine" used as an econometric variable in studies trying to compare effects of violent crime policies across jurisdictions? "Drug wars" seem highly correlated to violent crime.

  • BillyG||

    I have not seen any conclusive science settling the issue of whether gun control laws increase or decrease gun crime.

    You're asking the wrong question. You should be looking at the effect on ALL crime, not just 'gun' crime. After all, it doesn't matter how someone is murdered, dead is dead.

  • NToJ||

    I think that's an oversimplification. Yes, I'm concerned with homicide generally. But if gun control decreases homicides (generally) but increases "crime" (because possessing guns becomes a crime) you could theoretically have an increase in "crime" but a decrease in violent crime, and since I care about the latter more than the former, that's still a win.

    In any case, I haven't seen conclusive evidence showing that gun control lowers or decreases violent crimes.

  • William_Zanzinger||

    The article shows that strong enforcement of the gun laws (more stop and frisk) was correlated with lower homicide rates, while weaker enforcement of the gun laws (less stop and frisk) was correlated with higher homicide rates.

  • Jason Cavanaugh||

    "Stop and frisk" is not a gun law. It is also not Constitutional absent reasonable, individualized suspicion of a crime having been committed, or imminently about to be committed.

    Thank you for your opinion.

  • William_Zanzinger||

    But the reason "stop and frisk" matters is because it enables police to find guns (some of which are not legally possessed) and enforce the pertinent gun laws. Think a little bit more next time.

  • Jason Cavanaugh||

    Allowing police to enter homes and search without obtaining warrants, or allowing police to take your cellphone and copy all of it's data without warrants would likely find a tremendous amount of crime they are currently unaware of.

    But that's also unconstitutional, and therefore illegal in the highest sense of the word.

    Remember that when you point your finger at someone else, three of yours are pointing right back at you, Mr. Think A Little Bit More Next Time.

    Sincerely, an American who values the Constitution above all other laws or desires of the Government.

  • William_Zanzinger||

    Whether you think "stop and frisk" is good policy, or unconstitutional, is a separate matter from whether it can be used to find weapons that are unlawfully possessed.

  • MatthewSlyfield||

    No, whether or not "stop and frisk" is constitutional or unconstitutional is very much involved in the matter of whether or not it can be used to find weapons that are unlawfully possessed.

    If it's not constitutional, it can't be used.

  • FlameCCT||

    Stop and frisk appears to be localized to cities/areas with high gun control laws which also happen to be controlled by Progressive Democrats for decades.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Stop and frisk wherever implemented was based on allowing the police to stop people who matched the profile of previous bad actors who illegally carried weapons with criminal motive or intent.

    It was a people control law, not a gun control law.

    Gun control is about stuff like making it a felony to import/sell a military rifle with a cleaning rod under the barrel.

    Gun control law is not about stopping bad actors with motive or intent, or denying them opportunity to act; gun control is about malum prohibitum regulations on guns that research reviews by CDC 2003 and NRC 2004 found had no measurable impact on acts that are malum in se.

  • Alex the wolf||

    Wait a minute!

    Britain has gun control and gun violence is virtually inexistent.

  • susancol||

    Yep, but that doesn't mean that people in Britain are safer . . . http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....a-U-S.html

  • Earth Skeptic||

    OK, now where the fuck is Hihn?

  • FlameCCT||

    Note that the UK already had low gun violence prior to heavier gun control although the violent crime and homicide by other weapons increased before returning to a slower drop than previous to the legislation. Same occurred in Australia while violent crime and homicide in New Zealand and USA continued to decrease without gun control.

    I would also note that the UK had 3 mass murder events in 2017 with more homicides and wounded, all done by knives and explosives.

  • jonmarcus||

    Absolutely right There's no way guns could cross through Chicago's iron-clad, impermeable borders. It's not like there are hundreds of unmonitored routes by which it'd be trivially easy for someone to sneak in carloads of guns.

  • nonzenze||

    If our approximate figures are anywhere close to correct, these are very significant benefits (accruing in the course of just a single year) that must be fully and fairly considered in evaluating the desirability of CPD's stop and frisk policies.

    This is staggering. The authors seem to be claiming that we ought to consider the (conceded) desirability of deterring crime against the Constitutional limitations on police power.

    That's not how it works, any more than unassailable evidence demonstrating that there are very significant benefits to letting the police search peoples' homes must be considered in evaluating the desirability of the warrant requirement.

    But at the same time, the general test for the constitutionality of any stop is whether it is based on "reasonable suspicion,"a standard that requires only "some minimal level of objective justification" that "criminal activity may be afoot." [ ... ] The evidence collected here suggests that, at the systemic level, the collective body of CPD's stop and frisks were, in some sense, "objectively justified" because they had such a clear connection to deterring gun violence in Chicago.

    In some sense. In another, more relevant sense, the reasonable suspicion required is individualized.

  • Dilan Esper||

    Exactly.

    I would add that Prof. Cassell, a white guy from Utah, doesn't have to worry about he or his family members being stopped and frisked.

    It is really easy to advocate that other people bear the brunt of attacks on civil rights. When those other people are black, it is often an indicator of racial prejudice.

  • MonitorsMost||

    Yep. White guy runs statistical analysis about crime. Probably a racist.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Unless you're a mad scientist, you need to be aware of the values you are implicating with your studies.

    In this case, one of the main reasons stop-and-frisk has come under such scrutiny is accusations of discretionary profiling.
    So research that supports the efficacy of a policy that was allegedly racially fraught in it's application will give rise to questions about whether the research is performed to argue for such policies.

    Like if someone really does a deep clinical dive and finds support for phrenology, they might get some sidelong glances.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    So of course you're able to rebut the research with other data and not resort to engaging in precisely the sort of profiling that you are concerned about. Right?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Sarcastr0|3.26.18 @ 2:05PM|#

    Fair enough.
    I see Cassell's comment below as well.

    As a layman, it's hard to argue with his science, at least.

    I'm saying I don't care for the policy upshot of the research and questioning it's utility on those grounds, not attacking the validity of the results themselves.

    I don't get your point about my profiling Cassell.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    It is difficult to see anything but a reasoned argument when you analogize to phrenology.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I did not mean to imply they are analogous in degree, only in kind.

    I don't know from Chicago, but my understanding (which could be biased given the circles I run in in NY) was that NYC Stop and Frisk was some pretty bad news, racially.
    Proving it had a good effect is not a useful exercise unless you're willing to excuse that racist price.

    Maybe not quite phrenology, but think it's important to ask about the benefits of this investigation (without judging Castell personally), regardless of it's scientific rigor.

  • nonzenze||

    I think my point was that proving it had good effect is not useful even without reaching the fraught question of discriminatory application.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Like if someone really does a deep clinical dive and finds support for phrenology, they might get some sidelong glances."

    Or widespread support, depending on the biases of the audience. But of course, the whole reason we analyze data is so we don't have to simply follow our biases. If you do a clinical deep dive hoping to further disprove phrenology, and end up generating evidence that supports it, are you suggesting that someone should bury the findings?

  • Sarcastr0||

    There's a lot of data out there. Our choice of which to examine has implications for our values and policies in-and-of itself.

  • MonitorsMost||

    @Sarcastr0
    At the risk of being lumped in with some commenters on this chain that have thoughts on stop-and-frisk that are not my own, I will reply as it was my comment.

    I don't agree that you need acknowledge or consider racial sensitivity before undertaking the analysis of an issue. I think someone can believe that stop-and-frisk is a good policy without being prejudiced. I further think someone could in good-faith believe that stop-and-frisk is net benefit to society or that it could be implemented in a way that does not devolve to race-based suspicion.

    Now, obviously I am strongly against stop-and-frisk regardless of this research. But I'm not in favor of saying we should suppress (or self-censor) arguments or data in favor of stop-and-frisk just because said information might persuade other people that the policy is good. Generally, more information on a subject is good.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    I think people are getting ahead of themselves, or at least getting sidetracked by the news. What if there is evidence that stop-and-frisk doesn't have any effect? I'm not asking this /just/ because this entire conversation has been generated by a single city's short-term negative correlation, when time-series causation is notoriously hard to pin down.

    Now what if, say, in another big city -- call it New York City -- the end of stop-question-and-frisk (SQF) policy did /not/ lead to a crime increase? Because that's what happened.

    NYC, SQF, and murder

    National Review article on NYC and proactive policing

    It's more complicated than that, because SQF policies tend to show at least a short-term drop in crime, but it's worth knowing about when civil liberties as /well/ as safety are a stake.

    National Academy of Science on Proactive Policiing

  • Sarcastr0||

    It could be you have no prejudice, in fact I have no reason to believe the researchers are. But that doesn't mean the study isn't problematic, evaluating a prejudiced policy.

    Assuming the policy is as reputed, there is no way to evaluate how an egalitarian stop-and-frisk policy would do based on this data.

  • PoxOnBothYourHouses||

    Sarcastr0: I'm not sure we are disagreeing.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Neither am I.

    Responsibility of the citizen scientists was one of the topics I really enjoyed in science policy school. This was just an excuse to revisit that.

  • damikesc||

    It is really easy to advocate that other people bear the brunt of attacks on civil rights. When those other people are black, it is often an indicator of racial prejudice.

    I've often said statistics are inherently bigoted.

  • Dilan Esper||

    That is a non-response.

    The point isn't that collecting statistics is racist. It is that offering justifications for why OTHER groups' civil rights must be violated in ways one would never tolerate if it happened to him or his family is a sign of animus.

    And if the people who bear the costs are blacks, well....

  • NToJ||

    Since black people are the overwhelming victims of the increased gun homicide rate in Chicago, these arguments wouldn't be for "OTHER groups' civil rights" to be violated.

  • Dilan Esper||

    This assumes that you know better than all the blacks who have complained about police oppression for 50 years as to what is good for black people.

  • NToJ||

    I don't, which is why, as I said below, I think the decision on whether to have more or less stop and frisks should be decided by the people in the affected area.

  • NToJ||

    I'd add that the paper itself says that it is not assuming to know better than black people in the community. The data is a tool for making policy, not the policy itself.

  • swood1000||

    I don't, which is why, as I said below, I think the decision on whether to have more or less stop and frisks should be decided by the people in the affected area.

    Maybe we can have "constitution free" zones, where areas of the country decide that certain constitutional provisions are not applicable there?

  • NToJ||

    Re: 4A, this was the entire country until 1940 or 1960, depending on when you think incorporation occurred.

  • Naaman Brown||

    We have that in NYC under the Sullivan Act.

    25,000 legal handguns.

    NYPD and/or federal ATF estimate one or two million illegal handguns in NYC.

    Kinda like the effect of the federal Volstead Act on alcohol or the federal Marihuana Tax Act on pot.

    Malum prohibitum laws on things don't stop malum in se acts by people in part because its people who have motive and intent, not the means, and in part because bans create black markets that may be smaller than the legal market but bad actors are a fraction of the population, so the black market does not have to huge.

  • Krayt||

    What do people in the highest crime areas think of stop and frisk, and its disappearance?

  • NToJ||

    Don't know. I had heard anecdotally that high crime area residents supported extensive police involvement after the murder spike. But the nationwide polling data I've looked at tends to show majority opposed for stop and frisk by black people, with slim support from whites and Hispanic folks.

  • damikesc||

    That is a non-response.

    ...to a non-sequitur. Seemed fitting. You brought up a race aspect that simply did not exist for whatever reason you did. Don't expect others to treat such idiotic utterances as a serious point.

    The point isn't that collecting statistics is racist. It is that offering justifications for why OTHER groups' civil rights must be violated in ways one would never tolerate if it happened to him or his family is a sign of animus.

    There was not an advocacy of anything. It was pointing to what could arguably be described as a major cause of the problem. I didn't say "Let's bring it all back". He simply tried to point out "Hey, why did homicides skyrocket so badly".

    Again, your beef seems to be that the stats are "racist" when they are simple reality. Keep in mind, I don't personally give two shits about the homicide rate in Chicago. Not my issue.

    And if the people who bear the costs are blacks, well....

    Hey, I'm not calling for bringing it back. But for informative purposes, WHY Chicago is a murderous shithole is a justifiable area to investigate.

  • Dilan Esper||

    1. Just because something is statistically based doesn't mean it isn't racist. People argue that blacks as a group have lower IQ's. Those people tend to be racists.

    2. Again you are missing this is offered as a justification for stopping black people- and NEVER white members of the Cassell family- and frisking them. So it isn't just about statistics- it is about taking away the rights of other people.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Is it? I haven't read the paper yet, but you're the one making the accusation. You'll need to provide a clear citation where it explicitly calls for stopped black people and NEVER white members of the Cassell family.

    Again, I don't see you rebutting the paper at all but merely impugning the motives of the authors.

  • damikesc||

    Just because something is statistically based doesn't mean it isn't racist.

    Yeah, it kinda isn't. Reality doesn't always play by the rules you wish it would.

    People argue that blacks as a group have lower IQ's. Those people tend to be racists.

    Do you have a counter to said claim outside of "you're a racist"? See, if they said it and it was utterly false, it would be racist. If they say it and it is true, then it is an unfortunate reality. Reality is not overly concerned with feelings.

    Again you are missing this is offered as a justification for stopping black people- and NEVER white members of the Cassell family- and frisking them.

    Cassel said "WE should bring this back"...where? That conflicting rights exist is not a new phenomenon. He provided information. He provided information and a conclusion. Decision A can cause Outcome B to occur. To ignore that is to think like a child.

    So it isn't just about statistics- it is about taking away the rights of other people.

    What rights is he ADVOCATING removing?

    I get it, you want to kill off INQUIRY. It is a traditional act of a totalitarian idealogue.

  • Sarcastr0||

    Hypothetically, lets say there was a policy to lock up all blacks.

    And then a study showed crime totally dropped right after that.

    That is statistically based, true, and racist. Because the only policy upshot is a racist one.
    ================
    Stop and Frisk was arguably racist in it's enforcement. You can't just say 'not racist, lol!' to bringing that up.
    You can argue it's worth it, or that the enforcement wasn't racist, or that the effect wasn't due to the racist enforcement.
    But just saying 'but it's true' doesn't absolve you from question about what's going on.

    Like with IQ, anyone who just notes blacks have a lower IQ without interrogating the context of the test and class bias and other stuff is being factual but pretty reckless with the truth.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Hypothetically, lets say there was a policy to lock up all blacks.

    And then a study showed crime totally dropped right after that.

    That is statistically based, true, and racist. "

    So let's see.... They lock up all blacks, hoping to prevent crime. And I say to myself, "Holy Crap! This is a horrible way to prevent crime! And I'll betchya it isn't effective! I bet if I conduct a study and show that crime hasn't dropped, they'll open up the camps and let the black people out."

    So I conduct my study, and don't get the results I hope for. Does that make me a racist?

    Of course, even if such a policy would reduce crime, it would be justified. That's the correct argument against it, unless you are prepared to concede the policy if that data doesn't come out your way.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    "Hypothetically, lets say there was a policy to lock up all blacks.

    And then a study showed crime totally dropped right after that.

    That is statistically based, true, and racist. "

    Actually, we don't have to imagine. Looking at stats about racial populations (by States) there is a very strong correlation of murder/gun murder with increasing Black population.

    Is this observation racist?

  • damikesc||

    You are conflating a racist POLICY with the study itself being racist. The study just looks at results.

    Science isnt racist. It just is not.

  • Sarcastr0||

    The choice to analyze a racist policy for efficacy implies being open to the possibility that the policy might be adopted if it is effective, does it not?

    It's not an ironclad implication, but without disclaiming that view, it remains open until rebutted.

  • Voize of Reazon||

    We faced the same issue with affirmative action, and the Supreme Court's answer was that, being racially discriminatory, affirmative action is justifiable only if it passes strict scrutiny, and in Fischer v. UT Austin it did. Would that also be a solution here, or must we suppress the data to preclude the argument?

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'm not saying we suppress the data now that it's out, but what the heck were we doing bothering to look at the efficacy of racial discrimination in policing?

    Note that the strict scrutiny-passing purpose for affirmative action put forth by the SCOTUS is seeking diversity. I don't believe it for a moment, but there isn't even that fig leaf here.

  • Voize of Reazon||

    Compelling interest and narrowly tailored are hard to satisfy, and I don't know that stop-and-frisk would pass but if it failed it wouldn't be because reducing the rate of homicides where it is 20 times the national average isn't a compelling government interest.
    I expect it would be more likely to fail the narrowly tailored test, because the city has not been able to implement the policy without a racially discriminatory effect but that effect cannot be defended as necessary to achieve the objective.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "what the heck were we doing bothering to look at the efficacy of racial discrimination in policing?"

    Ignoring, for the moment, that you have failed to establish that the policy involved any racial discrimination, what you are really arguing, writ large, is that empirical analysis of a policy that is morally questionable is itself morally questionable?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "The choice to analyze a racist policy for efficacy implies being open to the possibility that the policy might be adopted if it is effective, does it not?"

    Not necessarily. I've seen lots of people, (IIRC including yourself) argue that torture isn't an effective method of interrogation. That doesn't mean that all the people arguing that would be open to it if it was effective.

    But of course, there are other issues with your comment:
    One might reserve judgement on whether or not the policy, as implemented, was racist while determining it's efficacy. You claim its implementation was racist, but I haven't seen you cite any data.

    The results of this study might inform us as to the likelihood of success of a similar, non-racist policy.

    If the policy is beneficial enough, the benefit might justify the racist implementation. Things like additional screening for sickle-cell anemia and other conditions come to mind.

  • Sarcastr0||

    One argues lack of efficacy against people who don't care about other aspects. Hence, the argument about the efficacy of torture - that's how you deal with those grim-eyed souls who think life is an episode of 24, or worse.

    I've been pretty clear I haven't seen any data, partially because how would you get the data. But if you're going to publish data about a policy's operation, you should probably look at the implementation of that policy, no? So on whom is the burden, here?

    If you want to talk about a similar, non-racist policy, then you need to isolate the non-racist effect in your research to have any scientific benefit.
    ===============
    If the policy is beneficial enough, the benefit might justify the racist implementation
    How does this kind of utilitarian logic end up short of rationalizing slavery. The needs of the many, after all!

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "But if you're going to publish data about a policy's operation, you should probably look at the implementation of that policy, no?"

    Why? Data's data. The implication of the policy is certainly worth discussion, but it's not a requirement for publishing data. One can make an empirical argument saying, hey, when we made this change, it had a bad effect. If you want to argue that the change was desirable despite the bad effect, that burden's on you.

    "If you want to talk about a similar, non-racist policy, then you need to isolate the non-racist effect in your research to have any scientific benefit."

    How? As you point out, there is no data for a similar non-racist policy. So the best I can do is publish data based on the racist policy (assuming it is, in fact, racist)

  • Sarcastr0||

    Data is data? Data has utility or not. A good scientist does not to his research blind to the implications.

    e.g.:
    If the best you can do is publish data that isn't useful because it's conflated with unacceptable racism, then maybe this isn't a useful exercise.
    Unless you're willing to allow that such racism isn't so unacceptable.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Thaty is the rationale for gun control?

    Does anyone really think that mass confiscations of guns would happen in the Upper East Side or Central Park West instead of Harlem?

  • Harvey Mosley||

    So if non gun owners are calling for gun control because criminals are misusing guns but the law has a disparate impact on law abiding gun owners that's a sign of animus, right?

  • David Nieporent||

    I've often said statistics are inherently bigoted.

    I'll bet you thought that sounded clever in your head.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "I would add that Prof. Cassell, a white guy from Utah, doesn't have to worry about he or his family members being stopped and frisked."

    Cassell is dead wrong, but this is a terrible argument. Cassell likely doesn't have to worry about him or his family members being shot in Chicago either.

  • MonitorsMost||

    Bingo. I am willing to believe that stopping young black men in bad areas and frisking them for guns has some effect on reducing gun crimes. You can probably deter drug mules by making x-rays and rectal exams mandatory on border crossings and flights from central and South America. Still not going to support the government sticking its finger up my ass.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    That's what separates you from the average Conspiracy-loving conservative, MonitorsMost.

  • damikesc||

    Bingo. I am willing to believe that stopping young black men in bad areas and frisking them for guns has some effect on reducing gun crimes. You can probably deter drug mules by making x-rays and rectal exams mandatory on border crossings and flights from central and South America. Still not going to support the government sticking its finger up my ass.

    Fully agreed.

    But it does kill, hard, the whole "We need MORE gun control to stop gun violence" nonsense.

  • BillyG||

    How does it do that? By saying an unconstitutional tactic helps reduce crime, we cannot use a wholly constitutional different tactic?

  • damikesc||

    Oh, the 4th Amendment is sacrosanct but the 2nd is not. Intriguing. Both are very much in the BOR and you seem to hold one as more important than the other.

    What is the HIERACHY of Amendments for you?

    Again, I do not care if feral dipshits in Chicago decide to off one another. I do not live there, visit there, or have any desire to change that. If the death rate increases tenfold there...my life will remain unchanged.

  • Rev. Arthur Ꮮ. Kirkland||

    The 2nd Amendment guarantees the right of the militia to be armed, not black people. After all, none of the Founders wanted slaves to have guns.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Which is wholly constitutional?

    Stop and frisk?

    Or gun control?

  • damikesc||

    Which is wholly constitutional?

    Stop and frisk?

    Or gun control?

    Depending on how serious you are about liberty...neither or both.

    I think both run seriously afoul of Constitutional Rights and NEITHER are Constitutional.

    You?

  • Rigelsen||

    Not very familiar with the constitution, are we?

  • Star1988||

    Uh no. What the data clearly shows is that when the gun control laws are enforced (stop and frisk) there is a clear drop in gun violence.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    But if you believe Sarcastro & Co., it's only when the enforcement regime transgresses the 4th amendment, that there is a drop--so where does that leave the "gun control" argument?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Way to put words in my mouth.

    Just because I'm concerned about one part doesn't mean I'm disclaiming all other concerns.

    I haven't given the 2nd Amendment aspect a lot of thought, but it'd be the illegality of the guns, not the stop and frisk that's the problematic part, no?

  • NToJ||

    "This is staggering. The authors seem to be claiming that we ought to consider the (conceded) desirability of deterring crime against the Constitutional limitations on police power."

    Why wouldn't we consider the desirability of deterring crime against policies like the Constitutional limitations on police power?

  • nonzenze||

    Why wouldn't we consider the desirability of deterring crime against policies like the Constitutional limitations on police power?


    Because that's not how the Constitution works.

    We can't (short of Art V) waive trial by jury even if you have all the evidence in the world and everyone concedes the empirical point.

  • NToJ||

    In light of "Art V" shouldn't we debate the Constitution?

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    I guess nobody but you got the impression that this was a debate about using Art V to exclude certain parts of Chicago from the 4th amendment.

  • nonzenze||

    Like former Justice Stephens, if you want to repeal one of the amendments in the Bill of Rights, come out and say so.

    There's no shame in it (and quite the contrary, we should be more open to at least debating it). But there is some dishonesty in pushing policies that would require amendment without owning up to it.

  • bernard11||

    I didn't know King Arthur had a great-great grandson.

  • BadLib||

    This outlook is alarmingly reminiscent of those who believe we ought to consider the (conceded) desirability of deterring criminal and accidental misuse of firearms against infringing on the Constitutional right of individuals to keep and bear arms.

    However once we accept, and even champion, one such incursion, it's not surprising that the other would be accepted, and even championed, as well.

  • DjDiverDan||

    As one of my favorite economists, Thomas Sowell, is fond of saying, there are no solutions, only trade-offs. In this case, a trade-off was made - greater protection of Constitutional liberties in the form of no "stop and frisk" without probable cause, in exchange for reduced personal safety. But liberty never comes without costs. Chicago might have even decreased homicides to near zero with a sufficiently Soviet-style law enforcement style, with secret police monitoring every street corner, and shuttling every private citizen possessing a gun, knife, or other weapon immediately off to the Gulag without trial - if that reduced violent crime by 90%, is that a trade-off to which you would agree? And Chicago might have itself imposed a greater cost because of its strict gun-control policies; how many of these homicides might have been avoided if citizens had greater freedom to arm themselves against assaults?

    As empirical evidence, I find the article very interesting, but it doesn't compel any particular policy response, it simply informs us of the costs of the trade-off of liberty for security in this particular case - do you value liberty in the form of freedom from unwarranted stop-and-frisk tactics enough so that you are willing to accept an additional 250+ deaths in a city the size of Chicago?

  • Sarcastr0||

    Well put.

    The interaction of the concept of rights with the concept of tradeoffs is an interesting one. Policy-wise, rights seem to act more like a thumb on the scale than an inviolable area of policy.

    So while I'm kinda chilled by the upshot of this research (and skeptical at the lack of effort to find confounding factors), it is useful research even in light of the Fourth Amendment, and even the associated racial concerns.

  • MonitorsMost||

    I thought the paper did a decent job on addressing other contributing factors. Would have liked to have seen more discussion on the inherently small sample size of murders in a City with 3 million people. But it was better than I expected.

    Agree with the rest. Increased crime is the cost of doing business to avoid unreasonable searches and racial/economic profiling.

  • Sarcastr0||

    I'm super bad at statistics, but in my policy courses I learned about confounding factors that have a similar time profile or are separately correlated with the purported cause.

    So if another policy rolled out at the same time, or if ending stop and frisk allowed fewer cops on the street, or a drop in morale, etc. etc.

    I didn't see much about that being looked at, though that might just be that nothing came up.

  • NToJ||

    "Other Possible Causes of the Homicide Spike" are addressed at Section V of the paper, starting on page 35, and includes "Changes in Police Leadership", "Gun Control Laws", and "Educational and Social Spending."

  • Sarcastr0||

    Fair enough.
    I see Cassell's comment below as well.

    As a layman, it's hard to argue with his science, at least.

  • Gerry R||

    This sounds good on the surface, but how does this explain New York, where a similar reduction in stop and frisk has NOT resulted in such a spike. Could it be a different reaction on the part of the police to the new policy?

  • apedad||

    Actually I was thinking that since NYC is an island with limited access points, it's much more difficult to move large amounts of illegal weapons into the city undetected.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Seriously? You think people are stopped and searched entering Manhattan? (Most of NYC isn't an island.) Like going through customs?

    Look, Escape From New York was just a movie, that wall isn't real.

  • susancol||

    "Look, Escape From New York was just a movie, that wall isn't real."

    Thanks for the good laugh! It was obvious to me (from one of the silliest comments I'd seen recently) that apedad had never been to NYC, never seen the streams of traffic, the millions of cars going in and out daily, the smallest SmartCar of which could easily and invisibly carry 20 firearms. Or a load of ANFO. Or many other bad substances. Don't think the "easy to interdict an island" theory has worked at all in narcotics, or even cigarettes . . . ;)

  • ||

    To be fair, trucks are subject to search at the Port Authority crossings, but the millions of cars are not, nor are the millions of people on public transportation. One could easily fit 50 handguns in a standard suitcase.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Thinking about the illegal gun salesman in "Taxi Driver"?

    I am trying to re-imagine "Taxi Driver" with the gunrunner required to do a Universal Background Check on private sales.

  • NToJ||

    Section IV.B.3 of the paper addresses "The Experience of Other Cities and Declining Stop and Frisks" and begins with NYC. They don't view the comparison as apt because of several factors, including Chicago's homicide rate being 700% higher, Chicago's firearm homicide rate is 1000% higher, generally lower concentration of guns in NYC, relatively higher levels of police resources in NYC, etc. Starts at p. 25 of their report.

  • Rossami||

    At risk of stating the obvious, correlation =/= causation. You have demonstrated a correlation. You have hypothesized causation but you have not (and statistically cannot on such a limited dataset) demonstrated causation. The assertion that contrary evidence (New York) can be ignored as "ideosyncratic" is unpersuasive and the statistical significance of a mere 5 years of data (and only one after your assumed causation) is questionable at best.

    Second, even assuming causation, you have not (and again likely cannot) demonstrate whether it is direct causation (because criminals were emboldened by the policy change) or indirect causation (such as a retaliatory work slow-down by police in those areas).

    So while interesting, I do not see this research as sufficient to support the policy conclusions you allege.

  • ||

    "So while interesting, I do not see this research as sufficient to support the policy conclusions you allege."

    Have you read the full paper where they argue that New York is different for multiple reasons, or do you just refuse to even consider that differences may exist between the two cities that led to different results based on the two sentence paragraph in this summary? You should read the actual paper before making claims that the research is not correct.

  • Rossami||

    I did read the full paper before commenting, including all their arguments for why New York's results were "idiosyncratic". I also replicates some (though not all) of their math. As I said, I found their arguments unpersuasive.

  • mad_kalak||

    You know how this blog occasionally mocks nonlawyers who say things like "but the 1st Amendment says 'Congress shall make no law' so XXXX is blatantly unconstitutional"? Well the social scientists of the world would do a similar thing if you went on a social science blog, and after an analysis about a "natural experiment" using regression with appropriate controls, backed by strong theory.

  • dwb68||

    Multiple regression analysis cannot do anything except add a layer of psudoscientific sounding words to "correlation implies causality." It is a logical fallacy, even in fancy regression clothing.

    Chicago is a major hub for opium and heroin distribution. A lot of cities saw a spike in drug trafficking and homicide related to the opiod epidemic. And, ACLU effect could simply be a proxy for other police practices.

    In Baltimore, for example, Federal marshals and warrant officers were not welcome in the city and repeat, violent, criminals with outstanding warrants were allowed to roam the streets. A recent initiative to lock em up seems to have reduced the murder rate. This has nothing to do with stop and frisk, and everything to do with effective policing - getting known repeat offenders off the streets.

    Heck Il recently went shall-issue, maybe the delayed effect of lots of CCW permits has caused the increase!

    I can make up all sorts of reasons for the murder rise, and cannot be proven wrong.

    In any case, even supposing this is true, the desire for the police to have manufactured reasons for the police to stop people has led to restrictions on other rights, like concealed carry. That, plus little police accountability when encounters do go wrong, has led to a rise in anti-police sentiment. In a free society, even an openly carried loaded weapon is not a reason to stop and frisk someone, unless the police know for a fact that person has a prior conviction.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Chicago is a major hub for opium and heroin distribution.


    If only Indiana did not have such loose restrictions ion opium and heroin.

    If only there were national laws regarding opium and heroin.

  • NToJ||

    "Chicago is a major hub for opium and heroin distribution. A lot of cities saw a spike in drug trafficking and homicide related to the opiod epidemic. And, ACLU effect could simply be a proxy for other police practices."

    The paper addresses "Other Possible Causes of the Homicide Spike" including "The Opioid Epidemic", starting on page 48. The authors think this is an unlikely candidate because temporally the spike in opioid use came roughly three years before the spike in gun homicides, and the homicide spike did not appear in other areas of Illinois, or other Midwestern cities, that also saw a spike in opioid use.

  • chidiver||

    I think the devil is in the details here when comparing Chicago PD and NYPD changes in policy after the ACLU got involved. NYPD still has a pretty robust proactive policing program. Chicago PD basically let the ACLU rewrite department policy with regard to interactions with the public. CPD officers were required to fill out an extensive contact card for every interaction, such that they would have to take half an hour to fill out paperwork for every interaction.

    From the point of view of the cops, they were basically papering the ACLU's next lawsuit against them personally. So at that point human nature takes over and the cops revert to sitting in their cars and waiting for the gunfire before doing anything. For better or worse, the change in policy not only eliminated stop and frisk, it eliminated all proactive policing efforts in those neighborhoods.

    Also, I don't know if the paper addressed it, but CPD has wayyyy fewer cops than it did 10-15 years ago. It probably doesn't explain 2015 to 2016, but it does explain the upward trajectory of violent crime in Chicago vs. the rest of the country.

  • Bob from Ohio||

    NYC is very heavily policed. Its police force is well over 40,000 and the geographical area is compact.

  • Naaman Brown||

    NYPD's current authorized uniformed strength is 40,000 officers.
    New York City estimated 2017 population 8,622,698.
    8,622,298 / 40,000 equal one cop per 215 population.
    Population density over 27,000 people per square mile.
    290 homicides 2017, rate: 3.36 per 100,000 population

    Chicago PD has about 12,244 officers.
    Chicago estimated 2016 population 2,704,958.
    2,704,958 / 12,244 equal one cop per 220 population.
    Population density: 11,923 in 2016.
    664 homicides 2017, rate: 24.55 per 100,000 population.

    My hometown has about 160 police officers, 52,800 population,
    one cop per 330 population, one murder in 2016.

  • MOFO.||

    I had sort of a similar thought. What if the CPD were upset about the way the ACLU/stop and frisk thing were handled and, as a result, changed not only the way they were policing, but how they were reporting crime?

    I have heard that there was, in the past, a lot of political pressure to report crimes as lesser offences to bring down the crime stats in Chicago.

    For example:

    http://www.chicagomag.com/Chic.....ime-rates/

    What if CPD, in response to what they feel is a betrayal by the Chicago political leadership, simply refused to reclassify crimes downward?

  • Naaman Brown||

    Murder is very hard to under/over report. Medical examiners/coroners report homicides to NIH/CDC. Police crime reports go to FBI. The police/FBI reported murders and ME/coroner numbers track and trend very closely.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Errata: ...ME/coroner homicide numbers ...

  • Paul Cassell||

    In our full paper, we try to comprehensively analyze other possible causes of the spike. For example, we review opioid data, explaining why the trend lines there do not correspond to the homicide spike.

    In our full paper, we also discuss New York at length. Our analysis on differences between New York and Chicago may be of interest. Here's part of the analysis:

    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 700% 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 more than 1000% higher. This is important because, as discussed earlier, gun crimes may be particularly sensitive to stop and frisk policies.

  • phattyboombatty||

    I'm curious if you go beyond the numbers and look at the circumstances of the particular shootings involved. For example, imagine if a prominent gang leader died or was imprisoned and a resulting power vacuum caused a gang war where numerous individuals were murdered. Sometimes if you simply interview people in the affected neighborhoods and/or the local police, you can get a much better idea of what is actually causing the homicides. You can also determine whether the persons committing the homicides are the type of individuals that would be influenced by a more aggressive stop and frisk policy.

    I realize if you were looking at statistics on a national level this level of detail would simply not be viable. But, where the level of homicides is in the hundreds, it wouldn't be quite as impractical.

  • NToJ||

    Page 46.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I understand there are concerns that stop and frisk would implicate both the 4th and 14th Amendments.

    But if it just saves one life, is it not worth it? What uifd the life it saves is yours?

  • MonitorsMost||

    If banning free exercise of religion stops one would-be religious fanatic from killing someone I. The name of god, isn't it worth it?

    If requiring 24/7 video surveillance inside of houses stops one premeditated murder plan, isn't it worth it?

    If one criminal's forced self-incrimination leads to a conviction and prevents him from going and killing another victim, isn't it worth it?

    If one public hanging, drawing and quartering broadcast on prime time deters one person from mustering another, isn't it worth it?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Very good points.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    I call Poe's law.

  • MonitorsMost||

    Might have been.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Canada had a national registry of long guns for 17 years.
    It produced corroborating evidence in four homicides where they already had a suspect with motive and opportunity and I believe were caught in possession of the murder weapon.
    At the expense of that national registry, they could have had an additional 2,000 police fully funded over those 17 years, with a greater impact on crime deterrence, investigative power.
    Canada did away with that registry after 17 years of mostly expense and little benefit.
    (The national long gun registry was implemented in response to a school massacre using a rifle.)

    But if it saves one life, is it worth it to divert resources that could be better used in other policies or programs? Maryland and New York State abandoned their ballistic fingerprint databases because the expense was not worth the meager benefits (if any) and their state police had better things to spend the money on.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Wealthy white conservative from Utah sees the downside of diminished respect for "other people's" rights.

    At an ostensibly libertarian(ish) blog.

    At an ostensibly libertarian website.

    Oh, and he's a self-described "victims' rights" advocate.

    But not the victims of biased, abusive policing, who tend not to be wealthy, white conservatives from Utah.

    Bonus fun: Comparing this with the 'these damned kids value their safety over my gun absolutism' complaints.

  • BillyG||

    It sounds like you're saying minorities suffer when constutional rights are respected and followed to ensure the US is not a police state.

    Carry on, Tyrant.

    Bonus fun: Trying to figure out what is meant by "But not the victims of biased, abusive policing, who tend not to be wealthy, white conservatives from Utah."

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Also, he is admitting that gun control laws will be enforced by abusive, biased cops.

  • damikesc||

    That is the part I get the least.

    Why do people who think the NRA has bought the government want the government to be the only people with guns?

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    I believe the NRA's gun absolutism will become counterproductive as America continues to improve.

    I also believe the Constitution (although not necessarily or even likely the Second Amendment standing alone) generally entitles an American citizen to possess a reasonable firearm for self-defense in the home, and hope the predictable backlash against gun nuttery does not diminish that right.

  • damikesc||

    A comment by one of the idiots from the HS showed why they need to be absolutists. When mentioning the bump stock ban, she said "When they give an inch, we will take a mile".

    Well...then go fuck yourself. I won't give an inch. Why the fuck should I?

    Like it or not, pro-gun is still more popular than fascists like you want.

    I also believe the Constitution (although not necessarily or even likely the Second Amendment standing alone) generally entitles an American citizen to possess a reasonable firearm for self-defense in the home, and hope the predictable backlash against gun nuttery does not diminish that right.

    It also does not protect speech on the internet, given your laughable definition.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    If right-wingers insist on having gun safety laws shoved down their throats -- as societal progress repeatedly has been, for decades -- that would be fine by me.

    Fight for backwardness as hard as you did with respect to school prayer, decent treatment of gays, abortion, environmental protection, abusive policing, creationism in science classrooms, contraception, flag-burning, and similar issues. I expect the result to be predictable. The important question seems likely to be whether the backlash on gun safety becomes too severe.

  • Naaman Brown||

    Gun safety is a code word for gun prohibition from the traditionalists of the National Coalition to Ban Handguns school. Reasonable regulation to prohibitionists is prohibition.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So if legalization of contraception and abortion are "forward", does that not mean legalization of guns is "forward".

  • phattyboombatty||

    I'm sure if the government had webcams in every house and could monitor the actions of citizens 24/7 there would also be a reduction in crime. In exchange for a certain base level of freedom, a number of crimes will be committed that could otherwise have been prevented. It's just the cost of a free society.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    "It's just the cost of a free society."

    Good; but banal.
    Now tell us how and by whom these costs should be analyzed.

  • phattyboombatty||

    Why do the costs need to be analyzed? What's the point? Our freedoms aren't on the table, so why bother analyzing the cost of those freedoms? For example, should somebody do a study to determine the economic cost to society because of slavery being illegal?

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    The fact that you even ask that first question again highlights the banality of your comment.
    The whole point of gov't is to organize decisions about trade-offs of various freedoms. "Our freedoms", as you say, are "on the table" to one degree or another, every day.
    And there have been hundreds of scholarly analyses on the economic feasibility of slavery.

  • M.L.||

    Either way, it would appear that in the grand scheme of things Trump's election means the "end for the neoliberal world order" as stated by this compelling but unsettling essay:

    Is this the end for the neoliberal world order? https://bit.ly/2G4EvMz

    That might sound appealing for many reasons, but unfortunately the outlook is very bad.

    "To save themselves, neoliberals increasingly embrace ever more illiberal ideas. China's progressively authoritarian dictatorship has completely undermined the neoliberal assumption that economic growth would eventually promote the rule of law and democracy. Now China's approach elicits hosannas from new wave authoritarians, such as Jerry Brown . .

    Despite initial economic success, President Trump is unlikely to succeed, as much a reflection of his unappealing personality and ideological incoherence than policy failures. Over time, opposing forces like the media, much of Wall Street, the tech oligarchy and academia will likely turn back right-wing nationalism. But neoliberalism as we have known it seems largely finished.

    So what will replace neoliberalism? Most likely the next iteration will be an increasingly autocratic one, reflecting the increasingly concentrated nature of the world economy, and facilitated by the growing control over information by a handful of tech oligarchs."

  • M.L.||

    Oooops. Wrong thread!

  • MightyMouse||

    You're fine. The threads aren't organized by topic anyway.

  • nonzenze||

    MM, your comment is just like Paul's paper:

    (1) Empirically valid (in the sense of likely-to-be-true)
    (2) If true, quite sad
    (3) Apparently nothing we can do about it

  • NToJ||

    Just so everybody understands the liberty interests at stake, assuming the author's conclusions about causation are roughly in the right ballpark, it's ~ 400-500K fewer stop and frisks causing ~250 preventable murders. I can see being on the fewer stop and frisks side of that, but it's hard for me to place myself mentally in Chicago. Ultimately I think that evaluation should be made by that community.

  • Paul Cassell||

    Professor Fowles and I make the same point that NToJ makes, writing in our paper:

    ...the concerns and preferences of the impacted neighborhoods must be heavily weighted in any calculation of costs and benefits to stop and frisk. All too often, policy makers determining such issues as stop and frisk do not have to bear the burdens of expanded police enforcement—or of increased gun violence. Given that stop and frisk policies may present "deadly dilemmas," the proper resolution of those dilemmas requires consideration of the weights to be attached to the competing sides of the scales—weights that perhaps can best be attached by those directly affected by the consequences.
    ...our findings may be useful to communities in Chicago and other parts of the country that are considering these issues, particularly minority communities. Our research strongly suggests, contrary to claims made by some observers, that CPD's stop and frisk practices have an important effect in providing increased public safety for minority residents in Chicago. For example, if we simply take our finding that extending the stop and frisk practices through 2016 would have saved approximately 236 lives —and if we assume that those saved lives would have been distributed in the same ratios as were found in 2016 for all Chicago homicides —then the lives of about 184 African-American homicide victims and 38 Hispanic victims would have been saved in that one year.

  • NotAnotherSkippy||

    Our research strongly suggests, contrary to claims made by some observers, that CPD's stop and frisk practices have an important effect in providing increased public safety for minority residents in Chicago.

    And here I thought the only purpose of your paper was to justify the white patriarchal hegemony. I haz disappoint.

  • NToJ||

    As you note in the paper, 2017 has already seen a decline in the homicide rate from 2016, which you attribute to changes in other policies by the CPD, including increased resources allocated to preventing violent crime. Since the 2017 homicide rate eliminated roughly 40% of the 2015-2016 increase, rather than revisiting a stop-and-frisk policy that was constitutionally suspect, shouldn't we instead focus on doubling down on other, less harmful, solutions? (Also don't the wide splits from 2015-2017 also urge more caution re: interpreting the data?)

  • silver.||

    I was considering that this might be a temporary reactionary increase or some sort of correction. I'm also a layperson, so I could be totally off. My instinct is to wait for more data before making policy decisions, although I don't live in Chicago, so I don't have to live with the effects of such crime or stop-and-frisk. It's possible that this is an acceptable balance for residents. I'm also somewhat optimistic about the rate declining on its own as the 2017 data suggests. Maybe the fact that criminals are carrying more guns is acting to discourage the escalation of conflicts in general.

  • bernard11||

    Looks like there may be a lot of collinearity among the arrest variables in the model, which would affect the coefficients. I don't think the Bayesian business really addresses this, but I'm not sure. Maybe it would be better to lump all that into a single independent variable.

    Has this article been submitted for publication anywhere (not a law review), and reviewed by someone who really understands the statistical issues? It's been a while, so I cant say there are clear errors, but I am suspicious, anyway.

  • Paul Cassell||

    Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) is a standard response to multicollinearity. The BMA analysis of the equations shows that our results are quite robust and not due to inclusion of any particular variable in the equations.

    If you're interested, I'll be presenting the paper at the University of Illinois College of Law (Champaign) on Wednesday, April 4, as part of an academic conference on regulating the police.

  • bernard11||

    Thanks for the response and invitation. Sadly, I will be unable to attend. Well, not really unable, but it's a long trip. I'm sure you understand.

    I don't want to be particularly critical, mostly because I don't have a good understanding of BMA. Still, the description in the paper, at least, did not tell me any more than that the S&F variable was included in the best of the possible models using your selection of independent variables. I don't quite see how this solves the problem, but again, my grasp is limited. That's why I'd like to see comments by a statistics expert on the topic.

  • NToJ||

    Is Fowles the statistics guy? Can we get him to comment?

  • bernard11||

    I'd guess he did the statistical work. So, even though he is probably somewhat knowledgeable he may not be the best choice to judge his own work.

    These things are tricky and even people with some training can get lost in the weeds. That's why outside reviews are (frequently) useful, and why I asked where the paper had been submitted.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Mr. Ness, I do not approve of your methods."

    "Yeah, but you're not from Chicago"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gAM2Q7Sqlbk

    But that's the movies. Maybe the cops figure out how to prevent crime without throwing random people up against the wall?

  • Lastseer||

    I disagree. The spike in homicides has clearly caused a decline in stop and frisks. This is elementary as clearly there are less people around to stop in the first place.

    Has anyone tried to correlate the Chicago homicide rate against mentions of Trump on the news? Those have gone sharply up in the last two years as well.

  • DJK||

    Can Cassell's model explain why murders in Chicago dropped by 16% in 2017 compared to 2016 and by 22% so far in 2018 compared to 2017? Did something about stop and frisk change over the last two years?

  • Paul Cassell||

    We discuss the 2017 decline in homicides -- to levels still well above 2015 -- at about pp. 54 and following of the full paper. (See Part V.C - "A Preliminary Peek at the 2017 Data".) Possible causes include: increase in Chicago police officers, increased federal presence, introduction of more gunfire detection technology, increased sentences for repeat gun offenders. We conclude:

    Our general sense of the 2017 responses is that, while generally useful, they would not have been sufficient to fully restore the baseline level of homicides in Chicago that existed before 2016. And if we look at the data for 2017, we see that while homicides declined modestly in 2017 from the heights they reached in 2016, the number of homicides in 2017 was still substantially above the number in 2015, as show in Figure 8 below.

  • DJK||

    Thanks for the follow-up!

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    Did the ACLU reach its settlement with the Chicago PD because it felt that the cost of stop-and-frisk outweighed the benefits, or because stop is illegal? Lots of illegal activities might have a benefit, but we don't do them because they're illegal.

  • bernard11||

    IIUC, the settlement had to do with documenting the stops properly. The need to do this and, police claim, the time required, caused a reduction in stops.

  • ScottK||

    "Guns don't kill people, the ACLU kills people."

    I'm having a hard time seeing anything in the ACLU consent order that would act as a mechanism for an increase in homicides, the consent order was mostly about recording all encounters, not only those resulting in arrests.

    If the peace officers changed their position because they were unwilling to be accountable (any data on that?), that's on them.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    We need to find a way to attract better people to law enforcement. My experience with a prominent case of Chicago police misconduct indicates Chicago would be a great place to start.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    It's always wise to legislate based on a single personal anecdote.

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    The shortcomings of the Chicago Police Department -- brutality, immorality, racism, unlawful conduct, and the like -- have been vividly established.

    Other than that, great comment.

  • Smooth Like a Rhapsody||

    You were the one who set the terms.
    And: is it your side's position that these brutal, corrupt, racists ought to be given a monopoly on access to lethal force?
    (Great comment, indeed.)

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Hypothetically, if the police expect their recorded encounters to be judges by an unrealistic standard, they might decide that, under a system where all encounters were recorded, the only safe thing was to not have encounters. IOW, stop doing their job.

    But, realistically, (And I don't say this often.) I agree with Artie. We need a better class of people in law enforcement. The profession tends to attract bullies, and, ironically, fails at self-policing.

  • TWW||

    So, if "Stop and Frisk" is effective in reducing gun violence, is it not also just a form of effective gun control?

  • gdanning||

    To quote Justice Scalia when, during oral arguments in Maryland v King, the Maryland AG said, "Since 2009, when Maryland began to collect DNA samples from arrestees charged with violent crimes and burglary, there have been 225 matches, 75 prosecutions, and 42 convictions, including that of Respondent King,":

    "Well, that's really good. I'll bet you, if you conducted a lot of unreasonable searches and seizures, you'd get more convictions, too. That proves absolutely nothing."

  • Michael Herrington||

    Surprise, surprise – if you make the police too scared to do their jobs, or complicate things to the point that they can't do their jobs effectively even if they wanted to, crime goes up.

    Ironically, in this case the ones who suffer the most are the ones you're ostensibly trying to "protect." But at least those folks can take heart in knowing that their constitutional rights are being protected by the ACLU while they're being slaughtered by each other.

    After all, political correctness is far more important than personal safety.

    The ACLU & its ilk are like cancer with AIDS upon our nation, using our own laws against us & weakening us from within. They've transformed our constitution into a straightjacket as well as a suicide pact. Executive Director Anthony Romero said their primary agenda is to gum up the machinery of our nation so that we're robbed of our momentum, and that he was personally "exhilarated" by the all the lawlessness being committed by the ACLU's groupies.

    The consent decree is doing exactly what it was intended to do: paralyzing the police while making it easier for the roaches to take over neighborhoods. This is the kind of chaos "progressives" want so they can establish their new "utopia" out of the rubble. But Marx failed & so will they, despite their Saul Alinsky playbook. Unfortunately, in the meantime we are paying a dear price for their diseased vision.

  • nonzenze||

    Executive Director Anthony Romero said [Citation Needed]
  • Jerry B.||

    Appears he wants to gum up the machinery of government to rob the Trump Administration of it's momentum.

    Reuters story

  • Sarcastr0||

    The ACLU & its ilk are like cancer with AIDS upon our nation, using our own laws against us & weakening us from within. They've transformed our constitution into a straightjacket as well as a suicide pact.
    ...
    This is the kind of chaos "progressives" want so they can establish their new "utopia" out of the rubble.

    Yes, the liberals are all secret evil Commies using our Constitution against us! Lets lock them up for the good of liberty!!

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    So many conservative positions appear to be a predictable consequence of disaffection, failure, hopeless, and backwardness. As a philosopher once observed:

    "End up like a dog that's been beat too much
    'til you spend half your life just covering up"

    After decades of having progress rammed down their throats, confronting a daunting demographic wave, strident right-wingers seem to be adopting the Joker's 'I just want to watch it burn' approach.

    Which will make their aspirations even more irrelevant to American society.

  • TwelveInchPianist||

    "Yes, the liberals are all secret evil Commies using our Constitution against us!"

    Commies? Anybody who bothers to listen to, say, BLM, knows that liberals are secret evil white supremacists using our Constitution against us.

  • MightyMouse||

    It would seem the communities would be best at protecting the communities. The police wouldn't like this, but maybe Chicago could have a "street sheriff" program.

    Each street would vote on a sheriff, who would have jurisdiction only on the street, receive some compensation, training, a smart gun. In essence, the communities would have a neighborhood watch with teeth, and the cops wouldn't need to be paid for running back and forth frisking.

    To make an analogy to medicine, it would be like having an accessible walk up clinic, instead of an inaccessible doctor.

    Maybe this is a bad idea, which is why it's not been tried. But then again, maybe it's the cops why it's not been tried.

  • nonzenze||

    This is pretty much already the case with gang ownership of the streets.

  • David Nieporent||

    Lisa, I'd like to buy your rock.

  • NToJ||

    But have you seen a tiger in Springfield?

  • sscogges||

    Thank you for posting the paper in its entirety and not behind some academic paywall! I would have appreciated a fuller description of the regression model though. In particular, how were standard errors for the regression coefficients calculated? The paper simply says that you used OLS. Does that mean you also used model-based standard errors assuming independence between observations? If so, I'd be interested to see how the conclusions change under a variance structure allowing for correlation between observations as a function of time.

  • nonzenze||

    This is the sort of thing that should go in an appendix and be paired with a downloadable dataset.

  • bernard11||

    Good question.

  • maddarter||

    Why not call it the Fourth Amendment effect? or FA Effect?

  • loveconstitution1789||

    "New York has comparatively low levels of gun violence—and stop and frisk tactics may be particularly important for deterring gun crimes."

    Stop and frisk is unconstitutional no matter what the Supreme Court thinks. There is no stop and frisk exception in the 4th Amendment.

  • Jerry B.||

    I have found some more studies on the increase in homicides in Chicago and Baltimore. One thing that stood out in both cities was that around 75% of people arrested for homicide had prior convictions, around 60% had prior arrests for violent crimes, and around 40% had prior firearms-related arrests. Over 40% had more than 10 prior arrests.

    Chicago report

    Baltimore Report

  • NToJ||

    I cannot believe that murders, of all people, would exhibit prior criminal behavior. Who can you trust anymore?

  • OtisAH||

    Yes, everybody is aware of the gun control efforts in Chicago. In fact, it's referenced many many many times in this thread. Of course, without assistance from neighboring Indiana in shutting down the so-called Iron Pipeline (named for the flow of guns from far less restrictive Indiana to Illinois), Chicago could have the best and most effective gun laws in the country and it won't do a lick of good.

  • Naaman Brown||

    My home county had local option alcohol prohibition 1953-1968 and it was a massive failure.
    If only there had been a federal prohibition to prevent alcohol from entering from other jurisdictions.

  • Naaman Brown||

    My home county had local option alcohol prohibition 1953-1968 and it was a massive failure.
    If only there had been a federal prohibition to prevent alcohol from entering from other jurisdictions.

  • Henry||

    We have the same problem in my area with crack cocaine. But we can't figure out what neighboring state we can put blame for it on.

  • Harvey Mosley||

    Assuming for the sake of argument that you are correct about the "Iron Pipeline" what makes you think that people willing to break the law to buy and sell guns wouldn't break another law that made it "more illegal" to buy and sell guns? Because anyone buying guns in Indiana to sell to people in Chicago without going through an FFL is already breaking the law. And any resident of Chicago who goes to Indiana to buy guns for themselves is already breaking the law.

  • WJack||

    "[T]he so-called Iron Pipeline . . ." source?

  • Henry||

    This article seems to have an agenda rooted in the fallacy of the false dilemma.

    Suppose the Mutt City police chose to combat violent crime by cluster-bombing any neighborhood that exceeded a particular level of lethal mayhem. Violent crime would in fact go down. And if later the He-Man Woman-Hugger Do-Gooders' Association told the police that they couldn't do that anymore, crime would go back up. None of this implies that we need the police to resume cluster-bombing neighborhoods to remain in control of crime.

  • Room 237||

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

  • Room 237||

    "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

  • Naaman Brown||

    Stop and frisk has a long pedigree often ignored by commenters today.

    A whole generation of gun control advocates were influenced by Norvall Morris of the Chicago Law School. Morris came to Chicago by way of New Zealand, Australia, and London universities. His sphere of influence included Albert Alschuler, Bernard Harcourt, Frank Zimring, Gordon Hawkins, and Abner Mikva.

    Norval Morris and Gordon J. Hawkins, "The Honest Politician's Guide to Crime Control", U Chicago Press, 1970. Morris supported gun prohibition ignoring the 2nd Amendment and suspending 4th Amendment restrictions: there can be no right to privacy if the object of a search and seizure is a gun.

    Morris reportedly was turned down for a plum federal government position due to his attitude toward 4A. That was one reason why, years later, I was amazed that NYPD had implemented stop-and-frisk.

  • Kazinski||

    Its is interesting that you have one group of people who are advocating a solution to gun violence that would violate the rights of tens or hundreds of millions of innocent people by confiscating all their semiautomatic firearms even though it probably wouldn't reduce gun violence at all because even a bolt or lever action rifle or revolver could still be used for mass shootings, and there would still be plenty of semiautomatic weapons available on the black market.

    In Chicago on the other hand you have the officials who have enforced an unconstitutional total gun prohibition, and now draconian gun restrictions that have been terribly ineffective, while at the same time implementing an unconstitutional stop and frisk policy that has shown by this study at least to be somewhat effective. Much more effective than the gun prohibition.

    If I had to choose which unconstitutional policy to support, I'd pick the stop and frisk, because it at least works a little. But I actually think the more effective solution would be to get rid of the unconstitutional legal gun prohibition policies to allow people to protect themselves.

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