News & Politics

Murder Rates Soaring Across the Country, FBI Says

(AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Robert Cohen)

After the riots in Ferguson, Mo., two years ago, in which the false meme “Hands up, don’t shoot” quickly went viral at the hands of leftist, anti-cop agitators, police warned that the inflamed rhetoric and actual violence against the police would make cops wary of patrolling the very neighborhoods where most of the crime occurs. And sure enough, it has:

More than 20 major cities, including Chicago, Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, have seen large increases in murders in recent months, a spike that the director of the F.B.I. linked to less aggressive policing stemming from a “viral video effect.” The new data released Friday showed clashing trend lines across the country, with many cities seeing a sharp increase in murders while rates in others — including New York and Miami — were down significantly from last year.

After receiving an advance look at the data, the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey Jr., expressed alarm Wednesday about the spike in murders in some major cities. Reigniting the debate over a “Ferguson effect,” he told reporters that he believed the trend could be linked to a “viral video effect” because officers were being less aggressive for fear of ending up on videos.

The White House distanced itself from Mr. Comey on the issue, named after Ferguson, Mo., where the 2014 shooting of an unarmed black man set off protests and rioting.

Of course it did. As the pace of “fundamental transformation” accelerates, and the Obama administration launches its final, all-out assault on the country as founded, the White House and the Department of Justice have become tools of the thugocracy, excusing any amount of bad behavior in the name of “racism.” They simply will not countenance what every junior police reporter knows after one week on the job: that most of the violence comes in minority communities, that most of it is black-on-black, and the “problem” of cops killing young black men is practically non-existent.

(Not entirely, however — the cop who shot and killed Walter Scott in South Carolina, already charged with murder, was indicted recently on federal civil-rights charges as well.)

Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, told reporters Thursday that “there still is no evidence to substantiate the claim that the increase in violent crime is related to an unwillingness of police officers to do their job.” Mr. Earnest said the president saw a false choice in any notion that police officers must decide between fighting crime and doing so in a fair way. “The truth is the vast majority of police officers do both,” Mr. Earnest said.

There’s that famous Obama false-choice again. The fact is, this administration has racialized law enforcement to an unprecedented degree, and has left no doubt that it is on the side of the criminals, as long as they are non-white.

The White House and the F.B.I. clashed over the issue last fall as well, when Mr. Comey made similar remarks about anecdotal reports he was receiving about less aggressive policing. He indicated that the latest data — which came from polling of more than 60 cities by the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association — left him even more concerned about some officers backing off from confronting suspects.

Chicago had the most dramatic numerical increase in homicides in the first three months of the year, with killings up to 141 from 83 over the same period a year ago. In Las Vegas, killings nearly doubled to 40 from 22, and Dallas saw an increase in homicides to 46 from 26. Other cities showing sharp increases included Jacksonville, Fla.; Los Angeles; Memphis; Nashville; Newark; Phoenix and San Antonio.

With the weather heating up, and the domestic political conflicts reach a full boil, expect more and worse this summer. This is shaping up as the second coming of 1968 and, speaking of one who lived through that, you don’t want to be there.