Is the “Ferguson Effect” crime wive real or overstatement of a statistical blip? Seven experts explore the question in the New York Times’ Room for Debate feature. A rise in gun violence in New York, Baltimore and other cities after months of angry protests over police killings of unarmed black men have led some to theorize that police, spooked by criticism of aggressive tactics, have pulled back, making fewer arrests and fewer searches for weapons.
But has a wave of murders and shootings brought an end to the long drop in crime? And do police have legitimate concerns that have made them less proactive? The Times commentators are Heather McDonald of the Manhattan Institute, Eugene O’Donnell of John Jay College, criminologist James Alan Fox, author Peter Moskos, law professor Tracey L. Meares, ex-police officer Marq Claxton and public policy professor Dennis C. Smith.