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Crime, police, and trust

July 19, 2016

For a few decades, Americans have enjoyed long-term declines in crime and homicides. Some large cities may see a bump up this year — we won’t know for certain until next year. If there is a “Ferguson effect,” though, it may have more to do with a breakdown in trust between people and police, than with police withdrawing enforcement. One of the things that breaks that trust is when policing is run as a revenue center, in a fashion than indentures the poor. That previous link is from last year, but well worth reading.

Slate discusses the difficulty of sussing out evidence of racial bias in law enforcement. But as that Mother Jones article suggests, those researchers may be looking in the wrong place. It might be the larger problems are systemic, rather than with how police act in the field.

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