proactive policing

Wall Street Journal Op-Ed: Homicide Stats Show "Minneapolis Effect"

My op-ed summarizes my new research paper, which explains how a decline in proactive policing following anti-police protests is producing the startling rise in homicides around the country.


This morning the Wall Journal Journal published my op-ed on the subject of the nation's homicide spikes. There I summarize my new research study, which explains how a "Minneapolis Effect" of reduced policing in the wake of anti-police protests best explains the terrible surge in gun violence. Here are the op-ed's first several paragraphs:

Cities across the country suffered dramatic increases in homicides this summer. The spikes were remarkable, suddenly appearing and widespread, although often concentrated in disadvantaged neighborhoods. This year is on track to be the deadliest year for gun-related homicides since at least 1999.

The homicide spikes began in late May. Before May 28, Chicago had almost the same number of homicides as in 2019. Then, on May 31, 18 people were murdered in Chicago—the city's most violent day in six decades. Violence continued through the summer. July was Chicago's most violent month in 28 years. As of Sept. 1, murder is up 52% for the year, according to Chicago Police Department data.

Chicago's shooting spike reflects what is happening in many major cities across the country. Researchers have identified a "structural break" in homicide numbers, beginning in the last week of May. Trends for most other major crime categories have remained generally stable or moved slightly downward.

My much longer research paper will appear in a forthcoming issue of The Federal Sentencing Reporter.  That paper explains the basis for estimating that the Minneapolis Effect has led to about 710 more homicides and 2,800 more shootings in June and July alone, with the victims heavily concentrated in disadvantaged communities. The paper provides supporting examples from five cities–Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and New York City–which all have suffered a Minneapolis Effect.  The policy conclusion of my longer article: The best way for the nation to deter shootings and homicides is to restore proactive policing to its previous levels before the anti-police protests.

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  1. Hmmmm, interesting that it is only shooting deaths that are increasing and not any other types of crimes. I wonder if that is because other crimes are less likely to leave something that has to be dealt with. If someone steals your x-box, no one knows if you don’t report it, but if there is a dead body on your front lawn, someone is going to call it in.

  2. The only common sense reaction here is: No duh. If you remove the police, your crime will increase.

    People who advocate for the removal of police from urban areas by defunding them are just stone cold crazy. And they have proverbial blood on their hands.

    1. Assuming that is true, is that because the protests interfere with law enforcement, because our cops include a bunch of delicate flowers with psychological disorders who are unable to face legitimate criticism, or because cops are simply refusing to do their job in the hopes of blackmailing society into shutting down their critics?

      Because if it is 2 or 3, the proper response is to tell the cops to do their jobs or expect to be fired for cause.

      1. If you could lose your job and pension (and it’s pretty hard to transition from law enforcement to another career) due to political shenanigans, what are you going to do, the minimum while hanging out at the donut shop, or proactive policing?

        1. They have unions. They are hard to fire.

          Indeed, if anything, their recent job performance is actually evidence of what conservatives have said about unionized workplaces for decades.

      2. “the proper response is to tell the cops to do their jobs or expect to be fired for cause.”

        I think it would be prudent to hire replacements willing to take the job under the current conditions, and make sure that works as well as now, before getting rid of the current ones.

        There are certain occupations – people who work in the ER, at the water plant, and so on where you want to make sure exciting new ideas actually work before irrevocably getting rid of the old organization.

        1. The reality is that part of reforming policing is going to probably require spending more money on the police- specifically on such things as screening out the bullies who seem to be naturally attracted to the job, and offering enough money to attract talented people instead. (For that reason, among others, I can’t say I am the biggest fan of “defund the police”.)

          But there are people on police forces right now who need to be removed and never allowed into any public or private law enforcement role again. And that includes anyone pulling “blue flu” garbage over enforcing homicide laws right now.

    2. XY, your common sense approach cannot explain why the only increase is in homicide, and not other criminality. I’ll be interested to see if Prof. Cassell’s longer paper attempts to explain this.

      1. Yes, my longer paper discusses why shooting crimes are (potentially) uniquely responsive to proactive policing. Pp. 26-27. Also, as a explained at the end of the longer paper, the same crime patterns developed in Chicago in 2016 during their homicide spike at the same time as a steep decline in stop and frisks. pp. 51-55.

        1. And again, I will state, your thesis is just as compatible with the police being sociopaths who are willing to spike the murder rate in response to criticism, or mentally disabled snowflakes whose skins are way too think to take criticism.

          Indeed, I think those explanations are far more likely than the one you prefer.

          1. Or you’re stuck on “Dead men DO bleed!” because your sacred cow has been gored.

  3. Fake news. The only reason, now and forever, is structural racism.

    1. This is not a falsifiable hypothesis.

      1. And consequently not false 🙂

  4. Good, I hope Democrats suffer, materially, from the outcomes of their policies and their rhetoric.

    1. Which makes you a worse American than RAK, who I don’t always agree with, but at least he doesn’t wish for his countrymen to suffer for sharing views other than his.

      1. While Sam takes things a bit too far, some of his views have real merit.

        The basic idea is this. It’s taking responsibility for one’s actions and words, and living with the consequences of those actions and words. Because actions and words do have consequences.

        If you work hard in school and work, you obtain a decent paycheck, then your work and actions have merit and reward. If by contrast, you decide to not work, have a view that you “shouldn’t have to work”, the result is that you don’t get a paycheck. Do you “suffer” by not getting a paycheck? In some respects, yes.

        “Should” you suffer? That’s an interesting question. If you don’t, your actions are disconnected from the consequences, and have no real effect. “Suffering” in this context is part of being human, part of being an adult, and part of being in the real world. If your actions never have any real consequences, if you can’t “lose,” then there’s no real meaning to your actions. So, perhaps you should be able to suffer for the results of your actions, if they are bad.

        1. If you believe you have everything figured out so well that you’d rather those that disagree with you have bad stuff happen to them than have yourself be proven wrong, you’re not talking about accountability, you’ve just got issues.

          1. If you don’t understand accountability and responsibility, with a dash of hyperbole thrown it, you are not near as smart as you think you are.

            1. I understand accountability.

              Sam’s post is not talking about that.

              1. So hyperbole is only something you send, but do not receive.

                Explains a lot.

                1. Based on his commenting history, Sam is quite serious.

                  That you wish to pretend he isn’t should tell you something.

                  1. Sigh.

                    Sarcastro, you’re being particularly dense today. Between telling someone else what they actually mean, or between transposing “views” with “effects”….

        2. Setting aside the general immorality of hoping people suffer, the problem with Sam’s argument is the same one always reflected by bigots: collectivism. Assuming for the sake of argument that the underlying theory is correct, the people suffering from underpolicing are not the same ones calling for defunding the police. Sam glosses that over by lumping them all together under the umbrella of “Democrats.”

          Maybe me refusing to work “should” result in me suffering, but that obviously isn’t a reason that my neighbor should suffer.

          1. Naw. The major flaw, and I mean fatal flaw, in is his argument (which is ‘you make your bed, you sleep in it’) is essentially that the Democrats in major cities experiencing the rise in murder rates are going to actually blame the incumbent Democrat politicians responsible for the conditions.

            1. I’m pretty sure Sam wants those Dems punished as well, for not allocating the blame as he would like them to.

              And also for voting wrong.

          2. “Setting aside the general immorality of hoping people suffer”

            That’s a misstatement of the position. It was hoping people suffer the consequences of their actions. That’s critical. I’ll demonstrate why.

            If people make an action, that action has one of three general categories of effects.
            1. The action has no consequences
            2. Other people suffer the consequences
            3. The person suffers the consequences.

            With point 1, If people’s actions had no consequences, it’s somewhat nihlistic. Nothing you do matters. There are no consequences to anything you do. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

            With point 2, if only other people suffer the consequences of your actions (but not you), that leads to power hungry dictatorial mindsets where you order others around like pawns, but never suffer yourself. That’s not good either.

            Only point 3 really makes sense. Your actions should matter. And you should be affected by those actions.

            Now, the collective issue is something different. We live in a representative democracy. We, as a collective democracy make choices, vote for leaders and representatives, and those representatives make choices and actions. The people indirectly make the choices, as a collective.

            So, in this given situation in Minnesota, the people, as a collective, made a choice to vote for and put into office certain city council members. Those council members made a choice, to reduce police funding and not support the police. And that choice had a result, which was a higher crime and murder rate in the city of Minneapolis.

            Now, personally what I find particularly galling is that while the city council members were slashing police funding, they were simultaneously getting the city to pay for Private security for themselves. This was an example of case 2. The council members made a choice, and action, but didn’t suffer the consequences (because of their private security).

            But the people who voted these politicians into power are not blameless. They made a choice of who would represent them, and their choice led to police being cut. (You can go further into it, and the failure of the people to immediately recall the politicians for their actions). That choice is an action, and it has results and consequences. And no, not everyone voted for these politicians, but we are a representative democracy, with what that entails unfortunately.

            Now, I would HOPE that the people who voted for these politicians would learn from their mistake, learn that their actions had consequences, and perhaps next time vote for politicians who would support the police (Or even recall the current politicians). The people may not however. It’s a democracy, it’s their choice. And if they continue with their current (in my opinion poor) choice, then the murder rate may continue to rise unfortunately.

      2. “Which makes you a worse American than RAK, who I don’t always agree with, but at least he doesn’t wish for his countrymen to suffer for sharing views other than his.”

        Yet – the very progressive policies he supports make everyone poorer.

      3. Have you actually read RAK’s posts? Gompers may be unkind in his expression of schadenfreude but RAK regularly wishes his rape fetish on anyone who disagrees with him in the slightest. Obnoxious as many of the arch-conservative commentors in these threads can be, RAK is the walk-away winner for consistent bigotry, intolerance and spite.

        1. Sure. Tell yourself that a metaphor, obnoxious though it is, is the same thing as literally wishing violence on people.

        2. Yeah, Rossami, you’re smarter than to take that interpretation of down your throats and run with it.

      4. It’s not that Democrats should suffer for having different views, it’s that Democrats should be forced to bear the consequences of their own actions.

        The rest of the country should not bear the costs of disastrous policies. First because the rest of the country had no hand in crafting or implementing these policies; and second because if there are no consequences for bad policy then there is no reason to implement good policy.

        Democrats – including both voters and elected officials – are responsible for the riots. Let them suffer the consequences.

        1. None of us knows what the protests will result in. We have opinions about what might happen.
          Which is why nakedly wishing for suffering is not about consequences, it’s about attaching your own opinions to tribal spite.

        2. The assertion that Democrats are responsible for the riots is ridiculous. But this is the internet, and you stated it as if it were a fact, so it must be true.

          1. No, you’re a fucking idiot.

          2. The assertion that Democrats are responsible for the riots is ridiculous.

            They’re certainly responsible for not doing much to put a halt to them, and in fact overtly tolerating crap like CHAZ.

  5. “Trends for most other major crime categories have remained generally stable or moved slightly downward.”

    Really? What about the over $2B in property loss due to property crimes from the riots? I assume this is because almost no one has been arrested and charged for these, and they therefore don’t make it into the statistics. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t happen, and that there hasn’t been a spike in property crime.

      1. Except I assume this is because almost no one has been arrested and charged for these, is demonstrably false. Local and federal authorities have been releasing lists of arrests regularly.

        1. Except the Soros-elected DA lets them off so there aren’t charges. He said “arrested AND charged”.

          1. Hey, now. Don’t be expecting Sarcastr0 to abandon years of tradition and suddenly begin responding to what people actually say vs. his dishonest mischaracterizations of what they’ve said.

    1. If you look at page 10 of my longer article, you will see depicted in a graph for the City of Minneapolis the very, very sharp spike in property crimes (specifically, commercial burglary) at the end of May that is connected with the riots and looting there. But then property crimes return to, essentially, normal patterns. If you look at the original Rosenfeld Report referenced in my paper, the same pattern as occurred in Minneapolis occurred nationally.

  6. I wonder if an alternate explination might not be increased frustration or anger over the issues raised in the protests.

    1. Anger is easy, a lazy man’s emotion. It feels empowering to be angry at the perception of injustice. It feels good to lash out in a tantrum, because lashing out is easy, requires little planning, coordination, effort, leadership. Our primal brains love to see fire, whether at camp, or the local laundromat or grocery store. Anyone who has watched a toddler knows that the the brain is wired to alter one’s environment, and the easiest way to do so is to break things, to smash a tower of blocks rather than build a tower.
      When individuals and communities get stuck in the infantile trap, they stay that way.
      How many community organizers does it take? Ask Barrak. Likely the answer is none, but first the community must want to organize.

  7. No mention of lockdowns, crippled economy, depopulated schools, unemployment pay so high it discourages employment, and governors and mayors exercising tyrannical arbitrary control over normal life while encouraging protests and rioters. Did anyone actually expect a peaceful summer with so many young people with so much idle time on their hands?

    There is nothing mysterious about increased crime, or the Burn Loot Murder crowd.

    1. Once again, not increased crime across the board, only homicide. Perhaps your pre-conceived narrative needs some adjusting for this one.

      1. MAJOR crimes, or did you miss that. Let’s see, Portland is no longer arresting anybody for looting or arson. Are those major crimes?

        Oakland CA and other jurisdictions stopped taking reports for burglary years ago. Strange how burglary reports haven’t increased.

        Fewer cops means fewer victimless crimes reported. Strange how that works. Inexplicable.

    2. Actually, my longer paper discusses lockdowns and unemployment (among other alternative factors) at pp. 18-25.

  8. The author said it was an increase in gun violence. Perhaps someone should ask the guns why they’re so mad. GLM!

  9. To the extent the decline in proactive policing is ordered by city hall, then the pols should explain how a murder spike is justified by some other policy goal (good luck) or pay the political cost. To the extent it’s an ad hoc work slowdown, the cops involved should be replaced by new ones who understand that their duty is to protect and serve everyone, including some who may hate them. berate them, and even break the law. If that’s a problem for them, as I think it was Alec Baldwin who said in The Departed, the world needs plenty of bartenders.

    1. Lol, “replace with new ones.” Yes, because ppl are just lining up to be spit upon, set on fire, battered, executed on the street as they sit in their cars, threatened with job loss if they try to save their lives, and whose families are verbally and physically threatened, fired from their employment, and have their homes vandalized.

      I think you would be hard pressed to find medical personnel, or anyone in any profession, that willing to serve under these circumstances.

      1. The pipeline from eager 23 year old to fully qualified cop is about a year. Then add in the street knowledge you don’t learn anywhere but, you know, on the street.

      2. If they aren’t willing to protect and serve when it gets ugly or dangerous, and no one who’s willing to do the job right is waiting to take their place, then we’ll just have to pay what the market demands for people who are.

        1. A fair point.

          However, from the employer’s point of view if your wage costs are spiralling because you find yourself having to pay higher and higher wages, because people hate working for you, it’s traditional to have a think about whether there’s anything you can do about the reasons people hate working for you, before opening up your check book and letting all those moths out.

          Maybe it’s your obnoxious nephew, to whom you gave a big job, to please your sister, but who strolls around the office abusing the juniors and leering at the reception lady. Maybe you could consider turning the heating on in the office ? After all it is Green Bay and it is January.

          That lack of enthusiasm that you’re detecting in your workforce. Maybe it’s not them. Maybe it’s you.

          1. That it can be more than one thing, and that neither excuses the other, goes without saying.

      3. A good way to get people to stop yelling at you is to stop engaging in wildly unnecessary violence when you interact with them. In most normal professions, if you’re doing such a bad job that a huge fraction of your “customers” is unhappy with you, you work on understanding what’s going on with the relationship and improving it. If you’re a cop apparently you decide your job is too hard and stop doing it.

  10. Well you see, those black and brown bodies are being ventilated by other black and brown bodies so that makes ALL the difference.

    1. Police shooting people and regularly getting away with it is a different thing than standard violent crime.

      One can care about both.

      1. And if it didn’t happen to people of ALL races you’d have a point — the reaction is PURE racism.

        1. This is a complete abandonment of your previous argument about general violence. I’ll take the W.

          To address your new thesis, Coleman Hughes thinking BLM’s argument about race and use of force is incorrect does not make it so. Maybe they’re following a false narrative, but your link did not prove it, just cited some stats. I can do the same thing (

          But even if BLM is wrong, who cares? BLM is advocating for a general change in use-of-force policy so I don’t know what you’re unhappy about, other than general white resentment.

          1. BLM is a racist terrorist organization and your support of them is typical of the racism that I have seen from you — I would have expected nothing else.

            The leading killers of black men are black men (either through murder or through lifestyle, heart disease, etc.) That you choose to ignore the victims of this violence, largely black women and children, speaks volumes about your level of actually support for actual black lives.

            There has been LITTLE real reform. For ONCE, with George Floyd, it looked like we’d actually get something done, but Democrat fucking racism and lust for political power screwed that up allowing the Klan With a Tan to murder, loot and destroy that chance along with SHOCKINGLY, black businesses and futures.

            1. I will ignore all the racist nonsense in your post. Are you going to address any of my arguments, or just going to call me racist against both whites and blacks?

              1) Police violence is a different cause than violent crime generally
              2) Regardless of their specific views of police motives, BLM advocates for reforms that will help everyone of all races

              1. A bloody shirt is not an argument and there have been few reforms, and MUCH damage to the country physically and emotionally (race relations, etc.)

                Uncreative destruction is a poor legacy

                1. 1) Police violence is a different cause than violent crime generally

                  2) Regardless of their specific views of police motives, BLM advocates for reforms that will help everyone of all races

                  1. 1. Largely, no — most criminals/victims are of the same race, the policing is a REACTION. Cops are not running around looking to gun down black men, they are there usually to assist another person of the same race, the victim. In that other non-violent lawbreaking leads to violence should give people pause to ponder if these “crimes” should be on the books at all or handled by armed agents of the state. Democrats DO vote for this crap, and cry when THEY are the victims. Indeed, if enough DO suffer for their idiocy, them may get wise?

                    2. Largely, no. “Diversity” seminars benefit the people (white women?) who give them. There has been little reform and sadly I expect little to come to benefit anybody of any color. These men were not killed because of racism, systemic or otherwise, but of a breakdown in society that leads way too many people to rush towards government sanctioned violence (real or threatened) to solve problems — problem exacerbated ironically by 60 years creating an no so great society.

                    1. Cops are not running around looking to gun down black men
                      The issue is they keep shooting and killing people who they don’t need to, and then not going to jail for it. That is not vital to decreasing violent crime.

                      What breakdown in society are you talking about? Violent crime is way down from decades past.

                    2. The issue is they keep shooting and killing people who they don’t need to, and then not going to jail for it. That is not vital to decreasing violent crime.

                      No. The fact that they sometimes shoot and kill people who they don’t – with the benefit of hindsight and in several celebrated cases only arguably – need to; means that we are policed by humans who make mistakes. Failing to shoot people that need to be shot increases violent crime, as they escape to offend another day.

                      The issue is – what is the appropriate balance of risk between shooting people who don’t need to be shot, and failing to shoot people who do need to be shot ? Bearing in mind the possibility that foresight is less reliable than hindsight.

                      If you can invent a firearm which reliably, but temporarily, disables a suspect so that the mistake of shooting unnecessarily is only temporary, there’s a Nobel Prize in it for you. Until then you will have to live in the world whose trade offs are provided by current technology.

                    3. I don’t think it’s been established that the current rate is a necessary error rate, nor that the current use of force is the correct level either in general willingness or in which scenarios it’s the go-to.

                      And then there are the cultural issues. Plenty of videos of what appear to be police tantrums…via force…against nonviolent demonstrators. A culture of entitlement by those charged with using deadly force is not a good way to be.

                      I’m not convinced that the structure of having our law enforcement all be prepared for deadly force is the right way to go.

                    4. I don’t think it’s been established that the current rate is a necessary error rate, nor that the current use of force is the correct level either in general willingness or in which scenarios it’s the go-to.

                      Well, I agree. It’s not established at all. Which is not at all the same as concluding that some other rate or some other policy is better.

                      And then there are the cultural issues. Plenty of videos of what appear to be police tantrums…via force…against nonviolent demonstrators. A culture of entitlement by those charged with using deadly force is not a good way to be.

                      Yes, well. I would guess that over the course of my life I’ve come across – at work – about half a dozen people who I disliked so much, or who irritated me so much, that the fantasy of punching them in the face brought a small smile to my lips. So, on average, about one every six or seven years. So I have a very liberal and relaxed view of humanity. I’d guess the average police officer comes across the sort of person they’d like to punch in the face roughly, what – half a dozen times a day ? And not because they are naturally more belligerent than I – merely because they have a different job.

                      How could you not develop a rather jaundiced view of humanity if your job entails meeting, in circumstances not necessarily to your advantage, the sort of clientele that a police officer gets to meet ? Of course even a police officer is likely to meet far more nice people than nasty people. But they can’t assume – as you and I can – that virtually everybody they meet is going to be either fun, or at worst safely ignorable. So it has always seemed to me to be unreasonable to complain that police officers do not have a permanently sunny disposition.

                      As for protests and demonstrations, I have no doubt that police officers sometimes become antzy with peaceful demonstrators. But generally not if they are policing a peaceful demonstration. They get antzy with peaceful demonstrators when they are policing a violent demonstration, and the peaceful demonstrators are hindering their ability to deal with the violent folk.

                      There are also several different values of “peaceful” which have been offered this summer. (Quite apart from this year’s more egregious notions that trying to dismantle security fences and even arson are “peaceful” it’s long been an article of faith on the left that “mere” obstruction is peaceful. It’s not – it’s force. Which even lefties understand when it’s an abortion clinic being obstructed.)

                      The fact is that when they are policing a crowd, it is much harder for the police to tailor their use of force, unless everyone in the crowd is behaving peacefully. When they are arresting a suspect, they usually outnumber him four to one. They can take a lot of care with that kind of force superiority. With a crowd, they’re usually in a small minority.

                      And – see above – when a police officer has spent an hour having missiles thrown at him, it is hardly surprising if he occasionally over-reacts to some one merely yelling in his face that he is a “fucking fascist pig.”

              2. BLM advocates for reforms that will help everyone of all races

                So you say.

                Any kind of reform directed at the quantity of police violence – if it has any effect at all – will :

                (a) reduce violence by police, and reduce crime
                (b) reduce violence by police, and increase crime
                (c) increase violence by police, and reduce crime
                (d) increase violence by police, and increase crime

                To keep life simple we will assume that the status quo, and each of (a) to (d) are otherwise equivalent, eg no budgetary effect.

                It’s hard to imagine any reasonable person opposing (a) or applauding (d)

                Which leaves (b) and (c) which present trade offs, and to which different people will apply their own subjective valuations.

                I submit that examples of (a) may be found from time to time, but that at any particular time examples of (b) are much more likely to be found than examples of (a) – since (a)s should be much easier to implement politically as soon as they are found. Thus, at any time, eg at present, the stock of unimplemented (b)s is likely to be much higher than the stock of unimplemented (a)s.

                To date there is quite a good track record of correlation which associates withdrawal of policing with increase of crime, and a paucity of correlation between withdrawal of policing and a fall in crime. (When we compare apples and apples.) Including this summer.

                The evidence of this summer does not lead one to suspect that there is an undiscovered goldmine of (a)s, least of all in the filing cabinets of BLM. Which is not to say that we should not look for them, while continuing to cast a wary eye on the likelier reform candidates – (b)s and (c)s.

                1. This is pretty reductive. It also assumes economic rationality in police policy which I don’t think is in evidence.

                  I don’t think BLM and these protests will result in reform. It’s moved the needle a lot, but not enough. But it has moved the needle. This is a marathon, not a sprint.
                  So the tactical thing would be to stop protesting, and wait for another outrageous incident.

                  But the protesters want results now. Can’t blame them; I just don’t think it’s practical. Change does not come through protest alone.

                  1. But, just out of interest and as you have read their proposals and I have not, can you offer an example of one of their proposals which you think will :

                    (a) reduce unnecessary shooting by police, without
                    (b) increasing risks to police officers and/ or third parties, including the risk that violent offenders may escape to offend again

                  2. At least we agree many should not have been shot, but as long as we are running around with this stupid racial crap we will make little progress in reform — and more innocent people will suffer!

                    Crime is down because with have an immense prison population. While they are rightly incarcerated those committing the crimes, the system has performed as a sledgehammer, not a scalpel. Too many young lives have been ruined by the drug war and the aggressive lock em up policing.

                    Democrat policy has exacerbated family breakdown and especially among black folk, have inserted social workers and cops into the black man’s rightful place — running his family. Government makes a poor father.

                  3. Lee – There is, of course, a hodge-podge of recommendations all over the spectrum of radical or status-quo conforming. The left is not actually some well-organized machine.

                    The one I like has law enforcement separated from having a gun.
                    So if you’re dealing with mental health issues you don’t get a gun. Also traffic. And dealing with the homeless.
                    Different branches, different training and cultures. Joke about social workers, but there are plenty of situations we send the cops to that we should send social workers to.

                    Another thing I like is firing everyone and rehiring via a broad announcement. There’s a pretty evident entitlement mentality and culture that has built up in a bunch of places that needs to be slapped down. Might mean going to war with some police unions.

                    1. The one I like has law enforcement separated from having a gun.
                      So if you’re dealing with mental health issues you don’t get a gun. Also traffic. And dealing with the homeless. Different branches, different training and cultures. Joke about social workers, but there are plenty of situations we send the cops to that we should send social workers to.

                      No doubt the actual proposal you are referring to is a little more detailed. But if I have understood you correctly, it’s a proposal for division of law enforcement functions into separate Police A, Police B, Police C etc groups; each trained for its speciality and only some of which would have armed officers. Obviously specialisation is good, except where it’s bad. The bad being loss of flexibility, expense and the difficulty, sometimes, in predicting which specialty is required. In the cases where police shoot someone on the street, rather than in a raid, the police are not always given a full advance briefing on what’s likely to be going down.

                      I assume that “so if you’re dealing with mental health issues you don’t get a gun” is not intended to suggest that police approaching someone with mental health problems (or drug induced mental erracticity) can be reliably confident that the suspect presents no threat to them or to third parties. Ditto traffic stops. There is also the question of how the police are to know in advance whether someone has mental health problems or is a little crazy on drugs. Sometimes they’ll know, sometimes they won’t. But if you simply mean that police officers with mental health problems should perhaps stay in the station house and not patrol the streets with guns I would be inclined to agree.

                      Another thing I like is firing everyone and rehiring via a broad announcement.

                      Presumably you mean rehiring only some, having made some determination as to which ones to let go ? Well who could be against getting rid of bad cops ? (Except as you say, police unions.)

                      This seems like a remove-the-milk-not-the-cat-from-the-dairy solution. But I am happy to say that I agree with the remove-the-cat version – at will employment. A solution to all sorts of rot within the police. And across the government as a whole. I believe it’s quite common in the private sector already.

                      I’m guessing it that as an employment matter it would be OK under current understandings of the Commerce Clause. Do you think we could get Nancy onside, and sixty votes in the Senate ? I’m pretty sure The Orange One would be OK with it.

                      I’m not against the remove-the-milk version, other than that it seems unnecessarily clumsy. A “Fire ’em all and Hire back the ones you like” law is the same as At Will – except for the extra paperwork.

                    2. So the cop that shot the apparently mentally ill man running at him with a large knife in Lancaster, PA would have been unarmed in your ideal world? I can see how that would benefit the violently mentally ill man but the possibly dead cop but have an issue with you.

                  4. DWB, I have no interest talking about racial issues with you and will continue to avoid doing so. Not going to have much of ameeting of the minds on this with someone who thinks BLM are terrorists and calls them the Klan with a Tan.

                    Considering how many people are in prison for nonviolent offenses, I don’t think I buy your prisons correlated to lower crime rates. I myself like the lead hypothesis.

                    1. A fish swimming in water does not know it is wet, but you have been told about your racism — the fish still has an excuse. BLM has committed more violence and caused as much destruction in just 5 years as the Klan did in 100 years.

                      Racism SUCKS — let it go.

                    2. Fear of reprisal makes police more reluctant to shoot black people.

                      Researchers have hypothesized in an article for Criminology & Public Policy that the apparent “reverse racism” bias of police shootings reflects law enforcement fear of the consequences of a minority death, “the underlying causes of the reverse racism effect is rooted in people’s concerns about the social and legal consequences of shooting a member of a historically oppressed racial group. We believe that this, paired with the awareness of media backlash that follows an officer shooting a minority suspect, is the most plausible explanation.” The study on police shootings published by the National Academies of Sciences includes another finding that may make sense in this light—black police officers are more likely to shoot black suspects than white police officers are, perhaps because white officers will be subject to increased scrutiny following a fatality. The authors of the study conjecture, “The disparities in our data are consistent with selective de-policing, where officers are less likely to fatally shoot Black civilians for fear of public and legal reprisals.”

                      Source: Matthew Blackwell, “Black Lives Matter and the Mechanics of Conformity” (I’d link, but that puts the response in moderation hell.)
                      Cited study: Lois James, Stephen M. James, and Bryan J. Vila, “The Reverse Racism Effect: Are Cops More Hesitant to Shoot Black Than White Suspects?”

                2. Between (a) and (b) there’s a category of “reduces police violence, and doesn’t have an effect on crime”. A lot of the problems we see with police violence happen after a crime has already been committed and the police are responding. Implementing rules that focus on deescalation or, e.g. not shooting at moving cars aren’t likely to have any effect on crime rates overall but tend to decrease the people that get killed by police.

                  A more valid concern might be whether there’s a tradeoff between the police getting injured or killed as a result of being less violent in their responses. If you look at e.g., the “Eight Can’t Wait” proposals there seems to be reasonable evidence that they decrease the number of people killed by police but don’t increase risk for the police.

                  1. Sure. I excluded the “equal to” cateories to save space. But for the purposes of this discussion “equal to” carries the same value as “reduces” – ie reducing police violence and having no effect on crime is unarguably good, even if it’s not quite as good as reducing police violence and reducing crime.

                    However the question is whether there are any items in that category. Thus “A lot of the problems we see with police violence happen after a crime has already been committed and the police are responding” is true but irrelevant. The fact that A crime has been committed doesn’t mean that ANOTHER crime can be ruled out. The suspect may shoot, or take a hostage, or may escape and carry on doing nasty things.

                    Having looked at the “Eight Can’t Wait” list, all of them carry risks of more crime. Even the more paperwork one. The more time the police spend on paperwork, the less time they can spend actually policing.

                    There may be some (a)s – the difficulty is in identifying them. But practically if we wish to be serious, we need to examine (b)s and (c)s. For example the one that even Sarcastro and I seem to be in agreement on – making it easier to get rid of bad cops – doesn’t quite make it into (a). It’s still a (b). If it becomes very easy to get rid of cops, and there’s heavy political pressure to get rid of cops who use violence that turns out to be unnecessary, that will inevitably discourage good cops from using violence even when it is necessary. No doubt some happy medium is available, or at least happier than now, but it’s best not to imagine that nice things don’t cost. Wiser to look for cheap lunches than free ones.

                    Free ones look great – fine looking horses, with a splendid straight horn sticking out from the forehead, but damn hard to find.

                    1. “Having looked at the “Eight Can’t Wait” list, all of them carry risks of more crime.”

                      How does training cops in deescalation risk more crime? It seems just as likely that it would decrease crime if a volatile situation can be brought under control without anyone participating in more violence.

                      Similarly, a duty to intervene when another cop is doing something illegal seems like it would strictly reduce crime if you count crimes committed by cops in the total.

                      More generally, I think you have to do better than say there’s some hypothetical scenario in which these policies COULD increase crime. They’ve been implemented in a bunch of places. Does that actually happen in practice? The evidence that they are effective at reducing the number of people killed by police is pretty good from a correlation perspective, even if not iron-clad.

                    2. More generally, I think you have to do better than say there’s some hypothetical scenario in which these policies COULD increase crime.

                      Not really – so long as the “could” is not fanciful. What I’m describing in my (a) to (d) is to do with evaluating changes that don’t rely on subjective value judgements (so long as we all start by agreeing that less police violence and less crime are each better than more.)

                      Thus any case which is less police violence and more crime (even a little) does rely on a subjective value judgement – how much less police violence should be traded for how much more crime ?

                      How does training cops in deescalation risk more crime?

                      There’s an opportunity cost of this training. Either it’s less actual policing, or less some other kind of training. Whether, and what type of, deescalation training offers a good trade off depends on the details. You can’t just cry “deescalation training good, two legs bad !”

                      Or rather you can, but it’s not serious. To govern is to choose. What does more de-escalation training cost – not just in money and time, but in extra crime. So, for example, de-escalation as a tactic probably increases the risk of the suspect escaping. It probably means the police will take more time to resolve the situation – time during which innocent folk may continue to be at risk for longer, and time during which those police officers are not going to be available to deal with other crimes.

                      Maybe it’s a good trade, maybe it isn’t. But the slogan doesn’t get you to the answer.

              3. Idiot fucking racist covers his own racism by accusing others of racism, film at 11.

          2. BLM is advocating for a general change in use-of-force policy

            Now that’s how you do a fucking motte and bailey, boys and girls.

  11. So according to the article’s data (from the WSJ), the top 5 cities seeing the greatest increase in homicide rates compared to the previous year are: 1) Austin, 2) Chicago, 3) Fort Worth, 4) San Antonio, and 5) Phoenix. However, the author focuses the paper on these 5 cities: Minneapolis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, and New York. Philadelphia was #6 and New York #8 on the WSJ chart, and neither Minneapolis or Milwaukee were on the list of rates compared to the previous year.

    If you’re going to look at how changes in policing policies affects homicides, why would you not select Austin, Fort Worth, San Antonio, or Phoenix? Why leave those out and skip right to New York and Philadelphia? The author says Chicago, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee were selected because they were identified in the Rosenfeld-Lopez report, specifically this one line in the report: “The rise in homicide was led by three cities: Chicago, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.” Minneapolis was selected because that’s where the protests started, and New York because it’s the largest city.

    However, the Rosenfeld report lists the homicide rate per 100,000, and therefore selecting those cities based on the Rosenfeld report is basing them on the raw rate per 100,000, not on the % change from previous years. If you’re going to be looking at police policy changes as being a causal factor, isn’t it more important to select areas with the greatest % change in homicide rates from previous years, before the policy change, rather than focusing on those areas with already high homicide rates? If your theory is that de-policing efforts lead to increased homicide rates, wouldn’t you want to look at those areas with the greatest change in homicide rate? If Austin has a 60% increase in homicides since the previous year, but did not have the same de-policing policies of other cities, doesn’t that go against your theory that de-policing causes increased homicide rates? I’d also like to see data from a location where “de-policing” has not occurred, and see if there has been any changes in homicide rates.

    Also, the article regularly mixes homicide and gun shooting or gun violence data together. If the cities selected were based solely on homicide rates, it seems inappropriate to include gun violence with homicide rates in the analysis, especially because the Rosenfeld report showed no significant change in gun assaults.

    1. Similarly, there are a few cities that haven’t seen significant increases in shootings/murders. It would be interesting to see if there was evidence of de-policing in those places as well.

      One can’t help but come away with the idea that there’s some amount of “p-hacking” going on (not literally in this case, but maybe worse if the authors are selectively choosing the cases that support their hypothesis).

  12. Not sure I see the difference between the “Ferguson effect” and the “Minneapolis Effect.”

  13. It does not surprise me that there is now so much gun violence. People are excited and nervous just the same because of understandable events, in addition, you need to understand that a lot of guns in people who do not correspond to the normal state, so this will happen all the time. Even scientific materials about it have been written and there is more than one treatise, to whom you can read , at the university we were also given information for study and reflection. It is necessary not only to understand it, but also to draw conclusions about the danger of weapons in the hands of ordinary citizens in general. There are many advantages, but also many disadvantages.

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