In the wake of the violent protests that left Baltimore in ashes at the end of April, US race relations and police misconduct are now the subject of intense debate in America.
One theory — dubbed the “Ferguson Effect” — claims police are now reluctant to engage in “discretionary enforcement” for fear of prosecution. “Discretionary enforcement” of course refers to the use of lethal force in the line of duty and the implication seems to be that in light of recent events, law enforcement officers are afraid that their actions will be scrutinized by the public. In extreme cases, such scrutiny could culminate in social unrest, something no one individual wishes to be blamed for.
Casting doubt on the so-called Ferguson Effect is a report from The Washington Post which shows that US police are shooting and killing “suspects” at twice the rate seen in the past. More…
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