WAS THERE A FERGUSON EFFECT ON CRIME RATES IN LARGE U.S. CITIES?David C. Pyrooz*Scott H. DeckerScott E. WolfeABSTRACTPurpose: There has been widespread speculation that the events surrounding the shooting death of an unarmed young black man by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri—and a string of similar incidents across the country—have led to increases in crime in the United States. This study tested for the “Ferguson Effect”on crime rates in large U.S. cities.Methods: Aggregate and disaggregate monthly Part I criminal offense data were gathered 12 months before and after August 2014 from police department data requests and websites in 81 large U.S. cities. …Results: No evidence was found to support a systematic post-Ferguson change in overall, violent, and property crime trends; however, the disaggregated analyses revealed that robbery rates, declining before Ferguson, increased in the months after Ferguson. Also, there was much greater variation in crime trends in the post-Ferguson era, and select cities did experience increases in homicide. Overall, any Ferguson Effect is constrained largely to cities with historically high levels of violence, a large composition of black residents, and socioeconomic disadvantages.
Reported robbery had been falling steadily (mugging is so 1973), so the post-Ferguson rise in robbery was kind of bad relative to the pre-Ferguson trend line:
And then there’s homicide. The researchers broke their sample of 81 cities up into 27 cities where homicide rates declined after Ferguson, 27 where they went up modestly, and 27 where they went up alarmingly:
One interesting aspect is that Hispanics don’t seem to have paid any attention whatsoever to the Black Lives Matter agitation. The lowest % Hispanic populations are found, on average, in the cities with the big increases in homicide. A year ago the news media tried to launch a Latino Ferguson involving a police shooting in remote Pasco, WA. From the NYT:
Killing in Washington State Offers ‘Ferguson’ Moment for HispanicsPasco Police’s Shooting of Rock Thrower Draws Comparisons to Michael Brown CaseBy JULIE TURKEWITZ and RICHARD A. OPPEL Jr. FEB. 16, 2015But, unlike how Ferguson has gotten blacks to shoot blacks in some cities, Pasco fizzled in terms of agitating Hispanics to shoot each other.