"Experts Say...."

This genre of expert opinion is less impressive than one might hope.
The spike defies easy explanation, experts say, pointing to the toxic mix of issues facing America in 2020: an unemployment rate not seen in a generation, a pandemic that has killed more than 130,000 people, stay-at-home orders, rising anger over police brutality, intense stress, even the weather.... Jerry Ratcliffe, a Temple University criminal justice professor and host of the “Reducing Crime” podcast, put it more bluntly: “Anybody who thinks they can disentangle all of this probably doesn’t know what they’re talking about.”
So actually your experts know exactly what is going on, but for some reason want to describe it as a mysterious tangle rather than a problem with a fairly clear set of solutions. Why might that be? The very next line in the story explains:
President Donald Trump has seized on the violence for political gain, accusing Democrats of being weak and suggesting the crime wave is being driven by recent protests calling for racial justice, police reform and drastic cuts in law enforcement funding.

Look, you can't do anything about the weather. We are already doing everything we know to do about the pandemic, though we can make adjustments as better information becomes available. So really, expressed in terms of what we can change, the issue is just police and their relationship to the community. The spike in violence is merely about the police withdrawing from their duties in fear that pursuing those duties may lead to their aggressive prosecution (as in Atlanta) or physical attack (as in many places).

New York City dissolved its plainclothes gun crime unit; gun crime is suddenly way up. Correlation doesn't establish causation, but since the whole argument for having a gun crime unit was that it would cut down on gun crime, there's a pretty good case to be made that there might be some causation going on here. Atlanta police withdrew from policing after one of them was charged with capital murder for killing someone who was actively resisting arrest. Crime is suddenly way up as police are withdrawn from the city. Correlation; causation? Well, that was the whole argument for the police existing in the first place. Either we were always wrong about what police accomplish, or the obvious problem is that policing is not going on.

So, the issue is just this: can we arrive at a solution at which police perform their duties in a way the community can accept as fair and equitable, in return for lower violent crime rates; or can we not, such that we must accept either more brutality from police or else more crime? Cities will survive and prosper if the first is true; they will wither if either of the secondary set is true. People will leave, taking their tax base with them.

Oddly enough, Blue America's fate is in its own hands here. All they have to do is make an accord with the police that both sides will respect. It's not an issue out my way.


J Melcher said...

One modern policing philosophy -- merely a belief more than a policy or strategy -- is identified with two slogans: "Broken Windows" and "Stop-and-Frisk". The slogans reduce the overall concept to a battlefield and a tactic. Not the same thing, not representative of the whole, and not even useful. But here we are.

We could be having a conversation about how one idea leads into the other. About the levels of the system or structure where each aspect is in use. And we could, then, see if there are biases or even racism in how ideas are implemented.

We aren't doing it.

Christopher B said...

I remember reading an explanation that seemed to indicate "Broken Windows" was mostly a catch-phrase, and it really encompassed a significant amount of community involvement by the policing force, not just a focus on nabbing turnstile jumpers or vandals. By contrast, "Stop-and-Frisk" was an attempt to get the same effect at a reduced cost by substituting random stops of likely suspects for community efforts, adopted as the NYPD budget was squeezed by other priorities post-9/11.

J Melcher said...

Both are catch phrases.

"Stop-and-Frisk" sort of evolved as a street-level (or subway under-level) tactic under "Broken Windows". BW more or less assigned 80% of the cops to 20% of the city neighborhoods. Arrests for small crimes (notably jumping turnstiles) often accidentally and incidentally picked up wanted felons, carrying weapons. BIG HEADLINES, yeah? Soon the goalposts shifted, and cops in the 20% bad neighborhoods were less interested in small crimes, and more in using their "blue sense" and "body language detectors" to figure out specifically who was carrying. Actual arrests for actual (if minor) crimes decreased and pretextual "stops" skyrocketed.

raven said...

Normally my standard rant is about police overreach...

On the other hand, spend the last 50 years teaching kids to be self victimized brats,encouraging multiple births to single mothers, sending jobs over the border and importing millions from the third world, and it is no surprise it it takes a militarized police force to handle it.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

In science we have what is called the A-B-A experiment. Right now we have A, we have B...

J Melcher is correct, but i would add that these strategies do catch criminals, but they can turn bad quickly in terms of the police thinking they are magic an entitled to intrude. It's a case of picking the low-hanging fruit, then doing the same thing again and expecting similar results.

ymarsakar said...

Just watch sky. 2020 was obvious.

ymarsakar said...

The Deep State or government pulls the same tricks. When LEOs SWAT and blow up a house or a pet, and it wasn't even the right location, who defends the LEOs from justice and the law? The Leftist/Demoncrats do.

When Antifa/BLM destroys the rule of law, who protects them? Demoncrats/Leftists do.

Both create the kind of "over reach" that is not what American patriots expect to see in their country.

This is a Service to Self, dominion system, where those at the top gain power from the serfs/slaves/workers at the bottom, and those at the bottom also benefit selfishly because they are protected by the power, as they use their power to help split the loot to make the dominion more powerful.

These types of systems, unless cleansed with blood and war, will spread until it reaches world domination.