Here’s a bill the #BlackLivesMatter crowd will hate…Ever since the acquittal of officer Warren Wilson and the unrest that followed in Ferguson, there’s been debate over whether or not this has resulted in what’s been dubbed the “Ferguson Effect.”
According to the theory, due to the backlash and riots that resulted from the shooting of Michael Brown (and similar cases), police are becoming increasingly hesitant to do their jobs – as they don’t want to wind up as the next viral sensation online. In 56 large U.S. cities last year, murders spiked 17 percent (against citizens), and FBI director James Comey partially blames this “Effect.”It’s also argued that such backlash has created hostility towards the police, which has fostered violence against them. Remember the “revenge” killings of two NYPD officers at the end of 2014, for instance. Anecdotes aside, killings of police offers are at the highest levels in two decades.
Louisiana wants to change that – and if their Governor doesn’t veto it, they may be the first State to make the killing of police a hate crime. As NOLA reports: The Louisiana legislation has been referred to as “Blue Lives Matter” – a phrase popularized in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, which exploded following the fatal 2014 police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Mo.
Black Lives Matter activists have protested what they deem as excessive force by police, and they have called attention to specific instances in which police shot unarmed civilians.But those who respond with “Blue Lives Matter” argue it’s officers who are under assault – that criticism of police fosters animosity toward law enforcement.
Louisiana House Bill 953 faced little opposition from lawmakers; the House passed it 91 -0, and the state Senate approved it 33-3. The bill now heads to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards (D).
Some states have floated proposals similar to the Louisiana legislation, and a bill proposed in Congress would amend federal hate-crime law to include officers as a protected class.
Edwards, the Louisiana governor, is expected to sign the “Blue Lives Matter” bill into law as early as next week.
Whether or not this will help alleviate the Ferguson effect is questionable. As Kelly Riddell of the Washington Times argues, this has the potential of further complicating the law, and doesn’t combat the root cause of the Ferguson Effect – fear of doing one’s job without blow-back from the race hustlers of today.
Still, it’s worth testing in a single State to see its effects – and to watch liberals go nuts.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]