Heather Mac Donald appeared on Fox News Monday morning to discuss the controversial Ferguson Effect.
After showing a graphic indicating that homicide was up 9% in America’s 63 largest cities, the host asked Mac Donald to explain the Ferguson Effect. Mac Donald replied, “The Ferguson Effect refers to…officers backing off of proactive policing in inner city neighborhoods and, as a result, criminals becoming emboldened.” She continued, “No only are we seeing a crime increase this year, last year there was a 17% homicide increase in the 56 largest cities. And in cities with large black populations 50% more increase in homicides. Black lives are being taken at an enormous rate to not a word of protest from the Black Lives Matter protesters.”
Mac Donald continued her attack on the BLM movement saying, “We need officers to act courteously, responsibly, within the confines of the law but the Black Lives Matter movement is a fraud. It is based on a lie, that the biggest threat facing young, black men today is the police. That’s simply not true.”
Asked by the Fox News host to expound on “the lie” Mac Donald appeared to jumble her words a bit. Having just said the lie was the claim, made by BLM, that police officers were the biggest threat to young, black men, Mac Donald said, “The lie is that the biggest threat facing young, black men is black on black crime. Blacks die at a homicide rate six times that of whites and Hispanics combined, that’s because they commit homicide at eight times higher than whites and Hispanics combined.
“And if you look at just whites alone, it’s an eleven times disparity. And that is what brings officers into inner city neighborhoods, trying to protect the many law-abiding residents there who demand more policing. The want cops to get out of their car at 1 a.m. and make that stop. But when President Obama, the Attorney General, the entire media besides Fox is saying that’s a racist activity, cops are backing off and as a result, again, crime is going up.”
The Ferguson Effect continues to be controversial. President Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder have disputed its existence despite FBI Director Comey saying it might explain the recent rise of crime in some cities.
The Ferguson Effect gained some credibility recently when a crime researcher who had previously suggested it did not exist reversed himself. University of Missouri-St. Louis criminologist Richard Rosenfeld announced last month, “The only explanation that gets the timing right is a version of the Ferguson effect.”