At the end of last year we discussed 'Terrorism, thug culture and the entitlement society'. In that and other articles we mentioned the so-called 'Ferguson Effect' - the chilling effect on police and policing of the largely unwarranted (you should pardon the expression) accusations of deliberate police brutality against the black community.
PJ Media claims that the 'Ferguson Effect' is getting worse by the day.
As crime soars in Chicago, the city’s police officers are burdened with further disincentives to respond. An Illinois state law that took effect this year requires all police officers to complete a report on every person stopped for any reason and to give the person a receipt. In Chicago, the requirement is even more onerous: the form used by Chicago P.D. is two full pages, this owing to an agreement between the city and the ACLU. And now Rahm Emanuel claims to be surprised that his officers are making fewer stops. If you want cops to do less of something, make them write more paper about it.
There are similar developments in Los Angeles, where as of March 6, murders were up 27 percent and arrests down 10 percent when compared to the same period last year. The LAPD’s rank and file had already lost faith in the department’s command, and a decision by the police commission on Tuesday will only worsen matters. In a unanimous vote, the five commissioners adopted a recommendation to change the LAPD’s use-of-force guidelines in such a way that officers involved in shootings will be judged on whether or not they did enough to avoid using deadly force.
. . .
... the result will be higher crime when officers choose to disengage rather than take action that will be judged according to the naïve, utopian standards of the police commission’s social justice warriors. There is the further danger ... that cops will end up dead or wounded when, rather than defend themselves, they pause for the type of reflection these proposed changes would seem to require.
Already this year, twelve police officers have been shot to death in the United States, including one on her very first day on patrol. That’s three times as many as at this time in 2015. Yes, there is a violence problem in this country, but it’s not the police that are causing it. Things will get much worse before they get better.
There's more at the link.
I've already pointed out that police misconduct is a very real issue, and sometimes justifies distrust of, greater scrutiny over and more stringent restrictions on actions by law enforcement personnel. Nevertheless, when such distrust, scrutiny and restrictions actually impede normal policing to the point that public safety is impaired, they become a liability rather than an asset. There has to be a balance, but at the moment there appears to be little or no effort being made to find one. The pendulum isn't just swinging from side to side: it's being pushed - sometimes violently - from one extreme to the other. This makes for very unstable policing, which contributes to the worsening instability in society.
The article mentions the Los Angeles "police commission's social justice warriors". The same naivety is visible in many other centers. I encountered it in Nashville not long ago, when Black Lives Matter protesters shut down a major interstate highway running through the city center. Instead of clearing them out of the way, as happened yesterday in Arizona, Metro PD provided them with water and portable toilets while they 'negotiated' with them. Many, including myself, were outraged at such over-the-top, bending-over-backwards political correctness. I don't believe that law and order can survive such pandering, and I believe it's almost always out of place. If I were a typical Nashville police officer, I'd have been disgusted at the moral spinelessness of my leaders . . . but I'd also have received and understood the message, loud and clear, that if I enforced the law no matter what (even if I did so impartially and fairly), those leaders would not 'have my back'. They'd hang me out to dry in a skinny minute if it benefited their department and themselves to do so.
That's a very uncomfortable place for any police officer to be.