Is the ‘Ferguson effect’ real? Researcher has second thoughts | US news | The Guardian
Looking at data from 56 large cities across the country, Rosenfeld found a 17% increase in homicide in 2015. Much of that increase came from only 10 cities, which saw an average 33% increase in homicide.
“These aren’t flukes or blips, this is a real increase,” he said. “It was worrisome. We need to figure out why it happened.”
All 10 cities that saw sudden increases in homicide had large African American populations, he said. While it’s not clear what drove the increases, he said, he believes there is some connection between high-profile protests over police killings of unarmed black men, a further breakdown in black citizens’ trust of the police, and an increase in community violence.
“The only explanation that gets the timing right is a version of the Ferguson effect,” Rosenfeld said. Now, he said, that’s his “leading hypothesis”.
Other experts have argued that it’s still hard to know whether 2015’s increase in murders was significant, much less what might have caused the trend. The liberal Brennan Center found that increases in homicide last year were localized in only a few cities, and that “community conditions” were likely to blame, rather than “a national pandemic”.