The Trump administration should try to change the “elite-driven narrative about the criminal-justice system” arguing that “policing is lethally racist,” Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute writes in City Journal. Mac Donald is a proponent of the “Ferguson effect,” the contention that since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson in 2014, police are “backing off of proactive policing, and violent crime is rising fast.” She says the violent-crime increase has continued through last year and into the early months of this year.
Mac Donald says that Attorney General Jeff Sessions or Trump himself should publicly address the question of what we expect from police officers. “Do we want them to be proactive and to try to stop crime before it happens? Or do we want them to be purely reactive, responding to crime only after someone has been victimized?” Mac Donald asks. Data-driven, proactive policing made possible the country’s 20-year, 50 percent violent-crime decline that began in the mid-1990s, she says. Among a long list of suggestions for federal criminal justice reform, Mac Donald says that federal law-enforcement agencies should adopt a CompStat system for information-sharing and analysis. CompStat, she says, “holds commanders ruthlessly accountable for measurable results. A White House allegedly informed by business acumen should welcome such a proven system for bottom-line accountability.”