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Assaulted female Chicago cop experienced the Ferguson effect

Saturday, October 8, 2016 6:18
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A female Chicago police officer said she allowed herself to be severely beaten because she didn’t want to use her gun and be placed under the media microscope, according to ABC News 7 in Chicago.

The policewoman was responding to a car crash on the city’s West Side “where officers encountered a man that police allege was violent and under the influence of drugs.” Three officers were hospitalized after the incident.

“One officer who was severely beaten told [Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson] she was afraid for her life and afraid to use lethal force with all of the attention on the police department’s previous actions and fatal incidents.”

“She thought she was going to die. She knew that she should shoot this guy, but she chose not to, because she didn’t want her family or the department to have to go through the scrutiny the next day on national news,” Johnson said.

The identity and race of the officer were not released so it is unclear if race played any role in the incident.

But cops’ reluctance to properly defend themselves is what has come to be called the “Ferguson effect.” Police officers are becoming increasingly reluctant to do their jobs and follow proper police procedure because they fear their actions will be characterized as examples of police brutality.

Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald wrote this summer that the Ferguson effect is destroying Chicago.

Violence in Chicago is reaching epidemic proportions. In the first five months of 2016, someone was shot every 2¹/₂ hours and someone murdered every 14 hours, for a total of nearly 1,400 nonfatal shooting victims and 240 fatalities.

Over Memorial Day weekend, 69 people were shot, nearly one per hour, dwarfing the previous year’s tally of 53 shootings over the same period. The violence is spilling over from the city’s gang-infested South and West sides into the downtown business district; even Lake Shore Drive has seen drive-by shootings and robberies.

The growing mayhem is the result of Chicago police officers’ withdrawal from proactive enforcement, making the city a dramatic example of what I have called the “Ferguson effect.” […]

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