Policing the Police

Here is the new paper by Tanaya Devi and Roland Fryer, full title being “Policing the Police: The Impact of “Pattern-or-Practice” Investigations on Crime”:

This paper provides the first empirical examination of the impact of federal and state “Pattern-or-Practice” investigations on crime and policing. For investigations that were not preceded by “viral” incidents of deadly force, investigations, on average, led to a statistically significant reduction in homicides and total crime. In stark contrast, all investigations that were preceded by “viral” incidents of deadly force have led to a large and statistically significant increase in homicides and total crime. We estimate that these investigations caused almost 900 excess homicides and almost 34,000 excess felonies. The leading hypothesis for why these investigations increase homicides and total crime is an abrupt change in the quantity of policing activity. In Chicago, the number of police-civilian interactions decreased by almost 90% in the month after the investigation was announced. In Riverside CA, interactions decreased 54%. In St. Louis, self-initiated police activities declined by 46%. Other theories we test such as changes in community trust or the aggressiveness of consent decrees associated with investigations — all contradict the data in important ways.

Via Ilya.


This makes sense. Policing reform aimed at improving day to day policing, needs not to be "anti-police." Emotions generated by poor, militarized police responses to protests can de
distort reform initiatives.

In the absence of comprehensive federal data, databases such as Fatal Encounters, Mapping Police Violence and The Washington Post’s Fatal Force project have tracked these killings year after year. And the data produced by these projects suggests that police, at least on a national level, are killing people as often now as they were before Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked widespread protests in 2014.

But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. While the nationwide total of people killed by police nationwide has remained steady, the numbers have dropped significantly in America’s largest cities, likely due to reforms to use-of-force policies implemented in the wake of high-profile deaths. Those decreases, however, have been offset by increases in police killings in more suburban and rural areas. It seems that solutions that can reduce police killings exist, in other words — the issue may be whether an area has the political will to enact them.

Indeed, looking only at the 30 most populous cities in the country,1 you see a substantial decrease in the number of people killed by police in recent years.

Police departments in America’s 30 largest cities killed 30 percent fewer people in 2019 than in 2013, the year before the Ferguson protests began, according to the Mapping Police Violence database. Similarly, The Washington Post’s database shows 17 percent fewer killings by these agencies in 2019 compared to 2015, the earliest year it tracks. fivethirtyeight.com/features/police-are-killing-fewer-people-in-big-cities-but-more-in-suburban-and-rural-america/

Did anything happen to non-police killings in those big cities where the police checked out?

the baltimore murder rate is worse so we better not talk about it or we will get cancelled.

A good question. The article discusses various declines in police shootings, but generally does not provide much in the way of concrete dates for comparison. All the declines in police shooting deaths seem to come after revising use of force polices.

About the only example using a non-viral nationwide incident is Dallas in 2012. Murders in 2014 were at the lowest rate since 1930, according to Dallas News. Rates were declining however - "And the Dallas Police Department’s preliminary count of 116 murders last year — there is one unexplained death awaiting a ruling — would be the lowest yearly murder tally since 1965. It’s also a notable drop from the 143 murders in 2013 and it’s fewer than half the murders recorded in 2004."

Denver is only between 2017 and 2019, with the 2017 number being 56, and the 2019 number being 63 (2018 was 67).

As an additional point - the article looks at police shootings. No one keeps track of deaths in custody, meaning that Garner, Gray, Ellis, and Floyd are not part of the police shooting numbers at all.

Don't play dumb.

Baltimore, along with a couple of other cities with increases in homicides, was more than adequately detailed in the original article.

Stay dumb, Baltimore.

your dallas murder rate narrative looks sketchy
this source says 197 murders for 2019

Nothing sketchy at all - an incident in 2012 did not lead to an increase in 2013 or 2014. That Dallas, a large city with a Democratic mayor, has more of a problem with murder today than 7 years ago, cannot be surprising to an astute commenter such as yourself.

Dallas would seem to actually support the research, as its reforms did not involve a nationwide viral incident, and thus did not lead to the police doing a worse job in response. James Harper is so beneath the viral radar that his death only led to local reporting and local protests. And no increase in murders in the following two years.

LA's police shootings were at a 30 year low in 2019, but comparing the LA of 1989 to today would be meaningless, as murders have declined by 2/3 or so since the height of the crack epidemic.

lets review
you said -2019 dallas murders were 116
the dallas source says 197
Denver is good example of a city that has a big increase
in violent crime after mass unincarceration.
the leftist harvard sociologist scam is to
-compare current violent crime rates with high 1970s crime rates and not compare them with the lower crime rates of 6-7 years ago.
-redefine violent crimes as non violent crimes.
-and as always, pimp causality

Baltimore Homicides by Year

2011: 197
2012: 217
2013: 235
2014: 211
2015: 342 <--Riots
2016: 318
2017: 342
2018: 209
2019: 348
2020: 138 to date

Since the riots, there are roughly 100 to 150 extra deaths a year in Baltimore that the police had previously been preventing.


Police killings = # of people killed by police, justified or not. Overwhelmingly, when the cops pull the trigger, for every 100 justified killings (eg shoot or be shot) there is roughly one unjustified killing (cop shouldn't have shot).

Criminal killings = # of people killed by criminals. All are unjustified.

Optimizing to minimize police killings (justified or not) is foolish. We must seek to minimize the sum of (police killings + criminal killings). That sum is what terrorizes a neighborhood.

In Baltimore, you might draw a conclusion that in the rough and tumble world of policing at 3 in the morning, for every 100 deaths you prevent, there's an accidental death of someone that should not have been killed (Freddie Gray).

If Baltimore cops were even more aggressive (versus 2014 figure) maybe you see annual shootings drop to 100, but you'd expect another person would have accidentally died in the additional policing.

So you get the following scenarios:

Scenarios A: Aggressive police force--100 annual criminal killings, 3 accidental police killings

Scenarios B: Moderate police force: 200 annual criminal killings, 1.5 accidental police killings

Scenario C: Weak police force: 300 annual criminal killings, 0.75 accidental police killings.

Remember, the accidental police killings aren't generally people minding their own business. The person accidentally killed was 99% of the time doing something criminal. They just got a very disproportionate response.

Given that, I think most people would pick A in their city every time

I could not work out the sense of your irony.

In other words - "high profile" investigations led police to scale back their performance of their job as a way of reducing the chance that they would be put into the spotlight. Reduction of their performance leads to a substantial uptick in serious violent crime.

Yeah, no crap. It also demonstrates the uncomfortable truth about excessive police force: that even good cops are afraid of being harshly judged after the fact for their behavior during the course of interactions that we force them to have to maintain public order. Every time they get out of their patrol car and interact with people it has the potential to become violent, and they run the risk of either losing their temper and doing something wrong or of being the victim of public judgment.

Social “science”: Let’s bury the obvious under a mudslide of gobbledygook. Why should a cop stick his neck out when the prevailing mood is to chop it off?

Even good cops? No cop will testify against another cop, which eliminates the idea that there are, in fact, "good" cops. Every time they get out of their patrol car is saying something. While Americans spend an inordinate of time in automobiles, cops spend almost ALL of their time in automobiles except when they get out to confront a driver or suspect. Since etiquette and manners are non-existent on American highways, it's no surprise that cops have, like many others, a negative view of the human race. Many drivers would like to be able to do this.

"Since etiquette and manners are non-existent on American highways ..."

The explanation for so much is that Americans dislike each other.

Studies of fellow feeling towards in groups and out groups shows minimal animosity. Except the outlier is white liberals, who dislike themselves.

> No cop will testify against another cop, which eliminates the idea that there are, in fact, "good" cops.

This isn't true. Plenty of cops have spoke out about George Floyd. Both at the senior levels and and the rank and file. Ditto with Rodney King.

But when a killing isn't clear, cops will give other cops the benefit of the doubt. Just as I would when evaluating another engineers work. If there's no sign of incompetence, why would I assume they are incompetent?

Our normal citizens believe just about every police shooting is wrong. Even when the cop is fighting for their life against someone much larger.

"Why could they shoot them in the leg to stop them?"

I'll say it again: I'd love to see 5'10" protester put a 6'2" cop into cuffs by themselves. That would be excellent TV if run as a contest under very controlled situations. Let's hear the plans for subduing a criminal from the protesters AND THEN WATCH THEM PUT THE PLAN IN ACTION. Because if the protesters cannot make their plan work in a controlled setting, how can a cop make it work in a dark warehouse at 3 am?

I'm wouldn't characterize this phenomenon as fear of being judged harshly, but rather anger. I see it more as a strike in place action to push back against the viral criticism and lack of support.

+1 nice false dichotomy

Hard to read paper from the abstract. It seems to argue that deadly police encounters happen after "viral" incidents like riots. It could be mixing effect-and-cause or ergo propter hoc fallacy. Or it could be that police are more aggressive after "viral" incidents.

Much ado over nothing? Move along, nothing to see here... (and defund police, my property taxes are already too high, over $10k a year on what? Garbage collection and nightwatchman duties of dubious merit).

Ray, that's not what they mean by viral incidents. They are referring to incidents that catch the attention of the public in a big way, e.g. that go viral on social media. Here're two sentences from the paper: "Five cities had investigations that quickly succeeded a “viral” incident where law enforcement officials used deadly force against an African-American civilian. These incidents caught national media attention and the cities witnessed protests and riots soon after."

Yeah my reading was:

Investigation that came up as normal course of business -> good outcome on average.

Investigation that came up as a consequence of a Michael Brown event -> bad outcomes every time

I encouraged last week a computer science prof who has done work on locational distribution of transport services ala uber to look at police dispatch patterns and response times during periods of alleged slow downs following riots. I offered to do a data request under the state data practices act. It would be used to test some hypotheses about police whether police do slow downs and/or do not devote time to investigate pre and post a riot.

If you think of a police car as an uber car or taxi you get the idea, particularly if you are aware of the various uber studies looking at where uber goes and where taxis go. Go ahead and do some research and request data if want to do some writing. You can also look at dispatch patterns during riots and the types of responses that are not prioritized. I would guess not many domestic dispute visits or visits on suspicious persons spotted on the street visits.

Sometimes police do less policing to make their point and threaten elected officials. Whoda thought.

I also suggested that he contact the state since there would likely be a retrospective review of the handling of a protest and the allocation of resources, and see if a graduate student could assist and get a thesis out of this.

If other people want to pick up on this idea, go right ahead. Having people know that others are watching and can do sophisticated oversight is good, and may have deterrence value in itself.

Major departments can currently track police. With all respect, your idea would be a waste of time. It is illegal to have quotas for ticket writing and citations. Police can just tell the judge they wrote the ticket out of an obligation to write tickets and it will be dismissed. They can have incomplete reports that make cases go away. If you complain they will tell the judge that they were required to fill in facts they didn't remember. Plus they earn court overtime. Police can take extra time writing reports after they are slow to respond. They can do community policing by spending time with a local merchant. They don't inteview witnesses. They look for a suspect but after searching he area for eight hours they just couldn't find them. etc

I don't understand how you can read what I said as establishing quotas for ticket writing and citations.

Please explain below how you infer that this is a quota plan and illegal. This would make today's post illegal as well.

Think of it this way: if you wanted to find what elements of practice led to more arrests AND convictions (arrests without convictions would also be an important study), you would want to regress practices against convictions, and look at how you allocate resources for certain activities and discard them for others.

What you are saying is way overboard, and would mean that any of the statistical modeling in criminology and criminological research would be illegal.

Ways the police can game the system......

New York tried models with mixed results. Chicago tried it too. I think it was called Compustat or something. Didn't work well. The University of Chicago has worked with Chicago police on various ideas. Most unproductive at best, counterproductive at worst. None can overcome a lack of cooperation on the part of the community.

How did Chicago overcome a previous period of high murders and gang activity? Sadly they took the gloves off and did what was needed until the gangs changed. Now people just prefer to leave Chicago.

Yeah, I'll just tell the folks at the U of Chicago that their work with the police department on predictive policing is worthless and should be stopped because I heard from someone from the internet that it had mixed results.

In case anyone wants to follow up, here is some information:

Wednesday morning Griffin joined Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson to get a firsthand look at the technology his donation will help pay for. The Strategic Decision Support Centers (SDSC)," which are already in six police districts, will be doubled this year, starting in the 25th district in the Belmont Cragin neighborhood on the west side.

THe SDSC's are part of a collaborative effort with the University of Chicago Crime Lab to use crime data to better predict crime patterns so police can more effectively deploy resources.

"We can always sometimes in this moment in time get enamored with technology, it's what it enhances for the officers in real time in capacity to do good policing work," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel

"The business community in Chicago has a long history of civil engagement. And I hope the impact of this initiative will inspire my fellow entrepreneurs and business leaders to focus more resources, more time and more energy on making our city safer for all," said Ken Griffin, Citadel CEO.

The technology combines gunshot detection systems, digital cameras and software that helps police track areas in communities that are at the risk for violence. The use of the technology in Englewood has helped reduce shootings there by 67% compared to 2016.

Here is a link:https://abc7chicago.com/chicago-given-$10m-to-expand-predictive-policing-officer-training/3327651/

Here is some more information on the subject from RAND: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR200/RR233/RAND_RR233.pdf

Gunshot detection is a failure. People set off firecrackers, tie up the police as they investgate. It didn't take long to find ways to defeat it.

Cameras? The mayor just announced that she is hiring private unarmed security to patrol the streets as eyes and ears. Guess those cameras didn't do so well.

The people at the University of Chicago know it has mixed results. Look at the murder rate and the unsolved murder rate. Talk to the police who deal with it.

I think they had a short-lived TV show that kind of made fun of Griffin and his whiizbang approach to police work.

Englewood remains one of the most violent and crime-ridden communities in America. I strongly suggest you not visit.

Please try to do better than quote press releases from the master of spin Rahm Emanuel

All readers of this comment section should read the materials that I posted, and they will see that gunshot detection, cameras are not part of the U Chicago materials I cited.

Dan, however, missed research on traffic citations, evidence of police taking longer donut breaks, the effect of horses rather than police cars...

In other words, Dan created a universe he wanted to drag you into, rather than looking at the specific programs I cited. And, he tied it up with a reference to Rahm Emanual would excite the lizard brain so you would not look further as to the predictive policing project and work at the U of Chicago.

Deflection and diversion. Particularly given that I identified specifically the programs I was talking about.

You quote a long PR piece from Rahm Emanuel and then attack me for commenting on it.

And the crazy part is you are serious.


The thing you call a PR piece from Rahm Immaneul is a news report from a local ABC television station.

Please provide a link to the PR piece you have in your mind. I realize that if it is in your mind, it might be hard to access, but try anyway. Post link below.

Really you don't think the press helps the mayor with PR pieces in Chicago? Especially the TV news. You are funny.... peculiar

I know Fox does.

Admit it: you were caught.


You might also want to look at the US Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics statistics on police conduct, including interactions with the public, including a national survey conducted since 1996 police public contact. https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=tp&tid=84

Will notify DOJ that their collections and analyses are illegal and suggest they contact you.

I didn't say it was illegal to have crime statistics. Where did that come from? I said police can game the system. Most of the real damage comes from Soros backed State's Attorneys and DA's. Or idiots backing bail reform. They create disrespect for the law by police and criminals. It all becomes a crooked game.

Lord you can be tiring

Don't use Soro's name that way. He pays me to comment on this site.

Here is what you said: "Major departments can currently track police. With all respect, your idea would be a waste of time. It is illegal to have quotas for ticket writing and citations."

My idea was to use police statistics to test whether police changed behavior and engaged in slowdowns or altered enforcement. You can read my comment above and not rely on this summary, as you can read Dan C's response to it and form your own opinion.

Police can easily game your tracking system. Attempts to force compliance with "data" driven police work can quickly lead to unintended consequences. Outside top-down without buy-in from the police fail. Not that complex. But others can judge

Since you have knowledge on this subject, please tell me how they can game arrests and convictions? Tell me how they can game the time of dispatch to the time of arrival. Tell me specifically which variables they can game and which they cannot, and identify any literature on gaming, efforts to eliminate it and unsuccessful efforts to prevent it. Post below.

Also, would you please identify specifically any U of Chicago work with the police department that was a failure. Identify any gunshot study or camera study, since you referred to that above.

Thanks. Always eager to learn.

You can't force police to make arrests. ACLU will sue the city. Especially if it impacts minorities.

You can't force the police to force the courts to convict. Ask George Soros

They don't respond as quickly because they drive slowly to ensure civilian safety.

They are unavailable because .... Do you know how often cars are unavailable on a weekend night in Chicago?

Paperwork can take time. A lot of time.

They no longer see suspicious people. Drug deals. Just two guys talking, I had no probable cause.

Witness told you something. The witness wasn't credible and I didn't want take action based on weak information.

Went to address. Didn't notice anything unusual.

Roll call: I want you people to increase your X.
Sir, are you saying that we must meet a numerical total for x? Isn't that a violation of the law sir? Doesn't that risk profiling? Must we do x while maintaining racial balance?

Looked for the suspect. Nobody answered the door. Went away.

The suspect fled in a car. I could not safely pursue the suspect without endangering the public.

If you don't think police can go fetal, you really are an idiot.

The information isn't hard to find. But you aren't really interested.

Actually I know quite a few cops. Two cousins with FBI. One with DEA. Five with police departments. Three Lieutenants. One uncle was a Bureau Chief. (Big family 68 cousins) I even knew Larry Hoover when I was a kid to balance things out. We grew up in the same neighborhood. Read a couple of the University of Chicago reports. Useless. Not worth remembering. Why read others? You tell me what wonderful idea they came up with. I'm at a loss.

But you can do what you want.

It’s Bill, he doesn’t wish to rethink his priors not even at the edges where the fraying is worst.

I guess you haven't changed your mind, either. But, at least I cited data and articles, and all I've seen so far in reply is opinion and anecdote. Maybe you take opinion over identified sources and links to studies. That would be a sign of how you rethink priors. But, don't worry, I won't give up on you.


You made a startling admission: you can't game arrest statistic, you can't game convictions. Very good.

And, you identified that fact that two people talking wasn't sufficient for a drug arrest based on probable cause.

Here is what happened in Baltimore after the riots:

Where once it was common for officers to conduct hundreds of car stops, drug stops and street encounters every day, on May 4, 2015, three days after city prosecutors announced that they had filed charges against six officers over Gray’s death, the number fell to just 79. The average number of incidents police reported themselves dropped from an average of 460 a day in March to 225 a day in June of that year, even though summer weather typically brings higher crime. By the end of last year, it was lower still....

Criminologists who reviewed the records say it’s impossible to determine whether that rapid change played a role in the city’s rising crime, but some found the pattern troubling.

“The cops are being less proactive at the same time violence is going up,” says Peter Moskos, a John Jay College of Criminal Justice professor and former Baltimore officer who reviewed USA TODAY’s data and analysis. “Cops are doing as requested: lessening racial disparity, lessening complaints, lessening police-involved shootings. All those numbers are just great right now, and if those are your metrics of success, we’re winning. The message has clearly gotten out to not commit unnecessary policing.”

I thought this was posted earlier, but apparently the post was not; Here is the link: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/07/12/baltimore-police-not-noticing-crime-after-freddie-gray-wave-killings-followed/744741002/

You are clueless or perhaps off your meds. This is worthless

What a convincing rebutal argument!

As a young man I was somewhat shocked to read the description in Still Life with Woodpecker. The protagonist said that Hawaii had a problem with an invasive species, so they got a second invasive species to deal with it, and then they had a problem with the second species(*).

The next line in the book was we used to have a problem with crime, and so we got cops, ..

That is obviously the fully cynical view, but I think there's a truth in it that we forever have to balance the crime problem with the cop problem.

You don't want to crime state, and you don't want a police state, so you have to split an imperfect difference.

* - I forget the species involved

That might tie into some interesting questions, like could a surveillance state actually be used to reduce the need for a police state?

If everyone had DNA on file it might feel invasive, but we might need fewer cops and have fewer crimes.

lol, I won't suggest we go further and have everyone chipped.


If you think these riots are bad, wait until you tell the black and Hispanic community you’re going to go door to door in their neighborhood to collect blood samples “in order to reduce crime”

You can’t be this stupid

If riots weren't so fun and profitable, they might not happen.

You can just collect their DNA when you book them for the first time. Isn't a large proportion of crime committed by repeat offenders? No need to go door to door.

I think people are resisting that, but I could see this on a much shorter time horizon. Especially as DNA database start to feel ubiquitous anyway.

Especially since much criminality comes from a small number of families.

"wait until you tell the black and Hispanic community"

Are they famous libertarians? Or are you just telling us who you are?

For the record, I am under no illusion that a federal DNA database or chipping citizens would be attractive to Americans in the early 21st century.

So it's just an idea to play with, especially at longer time horizons.

As DNA collection and surveillance become more functionally universal, how will future generations react? Will they demand that the genie be put back into the bottle, and databases be expunged? Or will they embrace it in a cost-benefit way?

I could see it going either way, which makes it interesting. Cue little science fiction stories about China and the US 100 years from now.

Since it has existed for more than 20 years. 'The U.S. national DNA database system allows law enforcement officers around the country to compare forensic evidence to a central repository of DNA information. In this way, officers can better determine the identity of a suspect based on biological crime scene evidence. This is especially helpful when suspects cross state lines.

The database originally tracked only sex offenders, but has expanded to include all people convicted of a qualifying federal offense. Some states and the federal government have also begun collecting DNA samples from people who have been arrested for a crime but have not yet been convicted, as well as from detained immigrants.

This program began as a pilot project of the FBI after the DNA Identification Act of 1994 funded federal DNA labs and authorized the FBI to begin compiling genetic information into a central database. The Justice for All Act of 2004 expanded the number of crimes that qualified for inclusion in the database and required public labs to receive accreditation before the national database would accept their DNA profiles.' criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/the-national-dna-database-system.html

I am talking about the universal version of that.

But yes, what you describe is creeping toward a .. broader conclusion.

Fingerprinting is ubiquitous and accepted. In the armed forces? Booked for a crime? You're in the database.

I might have missed the outcome on this California case:


So here at least it is deemed not a privacy violation to collect DNA on arrest.

The DNA thing has always been malarkey and then there's this.

An interesting take on public surveillance and COVID in South Korea,


Oh, interesting. A bit of that happening in the US.


It might be that we find it more acceptable for kids.

Not a cynical view so much as a recognition that this is a hard problem to solve, particularly for large, multicultural societies like the USA and Brazil.

And particularly for societies that absolutely refuse to put anyone in prison, and keep them there, until they have committed at least a dozen crimes.

(Never mind letting them all out when flu season rolls around.)

Since politicians and their phony intellectuals (including professors, journalists, columnists, and Twitter-bound intellectuals) pretend to police the police --that is, to guard us against the police that is the front line for protecting our life and property threatened by criminals-- the research's conclusions are not surprising.

I copy the paper's final section so at least MR readers have a better idea of the conclusions:

"Rooting out bias and ensuring constitutional policing is one of the most important issues of our time. Pattern-or-practice investigations --a way to police the police-- are a key tool to accomplish this. On average these investigations have negligible impacts on subsequent homicide or total crime rates. But, as we have illustrated throughout, this aggregate number masks important heterogeneity.

The incident that sparks an investigation into a police department is an important determinant of how the investigation will impact policing and crime. For investigations that are sparked by mostly civilian complaints, allegations, lawsuits or media reports of excessive force, investigations
caused a statistically significant decline in homicide and total crime rates. These investigations saved lives --61 per investigation, in the 24 months following investigations.

For the five investigations that were sparked by nationally visible incidents of deadly use of force --Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Ferguson and Riverside-- investigations cause statistically significant increases in both homicide and total crime. Contrary to other investigations, investigations during this time lost lives --179 of them, per investigation, in the 24 months following the start of the investigation. That's 893 total. Almost 900 individuals whose potential may not have been realized. And, we are still counting. A back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests that these five cities converge to pre-investigation levels 51 months after the investigation and, by that time, almost 1214 excess homicides will have occurred.

The leading theory for why some investigations have led to an increase in crimes is a striking decrease in the quantity of police activity --which is evident in all cities we were able to collect data. All other theories considered contradict the data in important ways, though lack of complete data makes definitive conclusions illusive.

It is important to emphasize, however, that neither our data nor our analysis makes any claim regarding the net social cost or benefit of pattern-or-practice investigations. That's well beyond the scope of this paper. Indeed, many argue that the federal government has been an important catalyst for greater equality in housing, labor markets, marriage, and voting rights.

Despite the lack of welfare analysis, we hope these results encourage introspection on the trade-offs involved when we increase scrutiny on police departments, particularly in the midst of civil unrest. The social objective is to eliminate bias without causing police to retreat from activities that suppress crime, and save lives. A troubling possibility is that the types of police activities that keep crime rates low are inherently unconstitutional and hence we face a tradeoff between allowing uncomfortable amounts of police bias and reducing crime in the very communities which are most impacted by that bias.

One way forward is to design a set of incentives such that we increase the penalties of unconstitutional policing and, simultaneously, lower the probability of being wrongfully accused when controversial interactions occur. In this sense, we might keep the expected price of policing constant for others. There is no free lunch. If the price of policing increases, officers are rational to retreat. And retreating disproportionately costs black lives."

But it does not matter if another 900 mainly young Black men were killed - at least not to the people who count. The point is that they were not killed by Whites and especially not by White policemen. Black-on-Black crime is hardly worth commenting on.

And everyone knows the end result is more dead young Black men. We know this from Baltimore where the police stopped policing. We know this from Detroit that took Affirmative Action to its logical conclusion. There are studies that show the more under-qualified police officers are hired due to AA, the more police beatings, shootings and so on.

But it doesn't matter as it is Black-on-Black or more importantly Blue-on-Blue. The media does not care about that. They will go on ignoring it if it makes the Democrats look bad.

The only reason this is getting any play is that it is an election year.

Yup, it is an election year.

Would be like 1968, democrats backing insurrection but Biden is not as "popular' as Hubert Humphrey.

"Police brutality" is a cop not backing down when an insurgent tries to keep him from protecting life and property. "White privilege" is anything some kid who has no mind calls "racist".

US is same as 1968, twitter spreads the insanity much faster than when LBJ decided not to run again.

"Police brutality" is a cop not backing down when an insurgent tries to keep him from protecting life..."

Hmm... so not like kneeling on some prone, handcuffed guy's neck until he is dead... and then three minute more?

So 31 people shot, 3 dead, this weekend in Chicago - none of them by the police. Sort of a typical weekend.

I’m sure BLM, Inc. will get right on it. Will be looking for the London solidarity protest marches as well. Or is there no political opportunity in that?

Yes, a typical weekend for at least the past 50 years (the first time I visited Chicago was in 1969, and a friend studying at UC explained to me how different weekends were). And the typical non-response from politicians and the phone intellectuals.

In a decades-run Democrat city -getting close to a century- in which black citizens vote overwhelmingly democrat.

More money will not solve this. The old poverty pimps and misery merchants are dying. All this money is going to do is elevate the young poverty pimps/misery merchants who will be around for another 50-60 years milking the system. It’ll improve around the edges. That’s it.

Watch who this money goes to. The salaries, the connections. There’s a whole new pot of graft.

Start by changing the incentives. Go back to the article posted that the average spent on the poor is $50k/per.

Get more money directly into those pockets. Change the incentive. Children need their fathers. It was not a good idea to pay a woman more if there was no man in the house. Too much poverty among single mothers.

The study is out there on what gives one a better chance of not being poor.

Putting out stats about numbers of persons shot in Chicago probably is a gauge of a social problem, wouldn't you think? It is also probably not very relevant in a discussion about how to reform police departments that have gone out of control. That is: of those 31 shootings in Chicago, how many were a situation where a cop could/would have stepped in to prevent it? At how many were cops even present? Do they originate in street culture, drug situations, bar fights, turf wars, petty rivalries... what?
Cops acting macho after the fact isn't a deterrent, it's almost more a sort of virtue-signalling by cops.

OK get rid of cops. Sell that to the public.

It's all such obvious theater. But Tyler just plays right along.

Tyler just posts. You and I play along.

I wonder how the Buffalo 57 fits into this type of discussion.
Its a sad situation and disturbing video, but I suspect police everywhere might look at it as
" for better or worse we were asked to enforce a curfew. Likely the injured man had warning to disband but yet approached and reached towards an officer. He was pushed aggressively (not beaten or shot) and fell awkwardly. Looks like a paramedic was helping him at the tail end of the video 20 seconds after he fell. "
If I'm a police office I'm thinking its called en"forcing" the law because sometimes it requires force. If a push is too much...then maybe there is no way for me to do my job. Could the resigning of the Buffalo 57 be the beginning of not just more police "slow downs" but more outright refusal to enforce laws.

The 'Buffalo 57' resigned because that clumsy, 75 year old miscreant is part of the "enemy" attempted to use common tactics to confront officers, impede their movement, and provoke a negative response on TV. He was attempting to disrupt a police formation moving out to protect life and property.

I would do the same as the officers. There are decades of examples of the negative impact of letting sympathy insurgents and criminals neuter police power. None of them suggest the Buffalo 57 wrong.

Police brutality today is any action where a police do his job despite what the insurgents attempt.

"He was attempting to disrupt a police formation moving out to protect life and property. "
And the response was deliberately aggressive out of all proportion to the 'offense'. That's the root of much of the problem with cops - the belief that any crime is worth the death penalty immediately administered... even, in some cases, after the crime has ended, and all threat is gone.

Seems to be in a bit of tension with Alex's post Revisiting Camden

Yes, I thought so too. some parts are perfectly compatible, others are not.

Fryer's conclusion should be stronger if based on more independent observations, right?

How so? The paper says more police, less crime. Alex said more police, less crime.

That is, the original police report said he tripped. It was only after the video came out, and two officers suspended, that those police decided it was time to quit. Apparently, they were disturbed at the idea that someone would challenge any account of their actions with actual evidence.

And you have to love the way that the false report was explained by a Buffalo PD spokesperson - "Rinaldo said the claim that the man “tripped” came from officers who were not directly involved and were standing behind the two officers who shoved the man. Rinaldo said that once the video surfaced, it was brought to Lockwood’s attention, leading to the officers’ immediate suspension without pay."

An alternative explanation was that the officer gave a mild push to the gentleman who lost his balance and fell backward. To another observer, from another location, his loss of balance and falling backward looked like he tripped over his own feet. He wasn't shoved to the ground. He wasn't hit with a nightstick. He was an old man who kept placing himself in front of the police, confronting them. A sad unfortunate event.

Is that the guy who was scanning the police comm gear with his phone to clone them and listen in?

It does look like there is something in his hand.
This is the second time I've seen it mentioned "he was trying to clone comms ". What is your source for that info??

I saw a slow motion video on twitter of him during the interaction with the police. It certainly looked to me like he was attempting something like this. The guy who posted the video thought the same thing (random person retweeted by others), so maybe I was just influenced, but it certainly seemed odd. Of course, maybe the police did not catch on to what he was doing and pushed him off because of how in their face he was.

There is actual video. And it was two police officers. As the police were observing social distancing, it is obvious that no one's view was 'obscured' in the crush of a crowd.

It is fascinating how many people still refuse to believe their lying eyes.

I'm sorry but when I first looked at it I thought he had lost his balance and tripped over his own feet. Only after seeing it a second time at a slower speed, when I looked at his feet did I see another perspective.

The baton was not obvious? How about the hand of the other officer? And honestly, there is no way anyone who sees that video could give any credence to your opinion compared to their lying eyes.

At least keep your story straight - first you write it was a mild push, and then you say it looked like he lost his balance and tripped over his own feet. Do you have experience writing police reports before video became common?

What I said
the officer gave a mild push to the gentleman who lost his balance and fell backward. To another observer, from another location, his loss of balance and falling backward looked like he tripped over his own feet.

Fine, you saw two vicious cops with blood in their eyes seek out an old man who was just out for a walk when these goosestepping cops thrust a club deep into his chest nearly impaling him sending him flying backward until he smashed his head and blood ran like a river from his cracked skull. These beasts then laughed at him as they refused medical care and left him to die. Happy now.

To clarify. He was pushed. He lost his balance. He stepped backward. When he stepped backward he looked like he tripped over his own feet and fell. That was the first impression.

Not a lying cop. A cop who say it differently. Eyewitnesses often make mistakes. Not evidence of some plot.

The "tripped" explanation could indeed by an effort by the press liaison to cover-up/diffuse the incident or .... an honest misunderstanding. Possibly somewhere in-between.

However, its seems to me that there is more to the core story which could be a big part of the reason the 57 resigned. More generally there are two sides to every incident. People (especially politicians) jumping too conclusions without both sides of the story seems like it will lead to not just an incomplete public perception but also police reluctance to enforce laws.

He was holding a helmet (motorcycle) his left hand and a cellphone in his right. He tries to impede the first officer with his left and helmet and then tries to impeded the second officer with his right hand and cellphone. The police push him back. The reason he falls awkwardly is that he has stuff in his hands and he doesn't break his fall and hits his head. When people fall they almost always use their hands to break the fall.

isn't this just basic risk management. If the police are facing higher legal and financial risk, they will become more risk adverse. That will mean instead of trying to prevent crimes, they could easily become report takers for statistics/insurance principles.

In looking at what Minneapolis is proposing, turning the police into a report taking agency seems to be top of the list.

They seem to hold Antifa in high regard so perhaps they will lead the new "police" social agency

It seems a bit early to have an analysis of 'what Minneapolis is proposing' since Minneapolis has not yet proposed anything.
But since a significant part of that city was destroyed - an event triggered by a cop's behavior - you certainly hope they'd propose something. It would be insanity not to.
But why would you already be framing an argument in advance of the facts? What agenda would prompt that?

It's a logical conclusion. So what agenda is prompting you to question it?

You seem to be agreeing with the other part of the proposal: restorative justice or better know as let the bully have whatever he wants.

As I suggested or hinted over the weekend: one good way to reduce at least some high-profile police-citizen interactions would be to deputize members of our intrepid environmentalist communities. Charge these enviroscouts with far-reaching police powers to permit them to strictly enforce municipal anti-arson codes.

Arson clearly qualifies as "environmental crime". Has BLM, Inc., yet formally and officially disowned arson committed in its name or on its behalf? (If not, why not?)

Why are arsonists not being held (or even cited) for environmental crimes?

Here is an interesting article that supplements the post on what happened in Baltimore: police cut down on stopping people for "suspicious activities" and questioning them, reacted more to 911 calls. Drug dealing and dealers increased because residents did report them to the police. I would be interested in finding out if part of a murder increase is from drug dealers fighting over territory now that the territory is safer for them. Here is the article: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2018/07/12/baltimore-police-not-noticing-crime-after-freddie-gray-wave-killings-followed/744741002/

From the article: " Police officers reported seeing fewer drug dealers on street corners. They encountered fewer people who had open arrest warrants.

Police questioned fewer people on the street. They stopped fewer cars."

"Millions of police records show officers in Baltimore respond to calls as quickly as ever. But they now begin far fewer encounters themselves. From 2014 to 2017, dispatch records show the number of suspected narcotics offenses police reported themselves dropped 30 percent; the number of people they reported seeing with outstanding warrants dropped by half. The number of field interviews – instances in which the police approach someone for questioning – dropped 70 percent."

The Justice Department under Holder sent a form that they want every police officer to fill every time they stop and speak with a civilian in order to track racial bias. In Chicago, it was mandated. That can easily take up half a shift if you are so inclined.

There's probably an app for that or you could develop one. Go ahead. You could add a locationally aware feature and use natural language processing so the officer could simply dictate the encounter.

Thanks for raising the need for an app.

Go Developers, Go!

By the way, what evidence do you have that this requirement could easily take up half a shift.

Post below.

Go to the blog Second City Cop and search for the topic.

It was designed by ACLU layers and the Justice Department so you can be sure it is brief and to the point. You can be funny some days.

Post it below. Share your knowledge. I provide links.

Don't trust, verify.

For all you researchers out there, Second City Cop is a blog, whose title is:


If you were writing a college term paper, would you cite a website blog as proof of a proposition?

This reminds me of an interesting story:

My wife, a retired reference librarian, had a college student ask her a question about how to cite a web page for her report on Impressionism.

The college students paper relied also exclusively on a .edu site, and the student assumed that .edu meant educational institution, like a college.

Well, when they searched further with the college student, they found that indeed it was an educational institution, a fourth grade teachers posting of her fourth grade students papers on Impressionism.

Second City Cop is a blog by Chicago Police for Chicago Police. If you want to know what they say about the job they do you can read it. Or be like Bill.

So, fair and balanced, like a Fox. If you use it as a source, be sure to cite the Title: SECOND CITY COP

officer bill
leftist harvard sociologists told us narcotic dealing is a nonviolent crime


officer bill
leftist harvard sociologists have told us eye rolling is violent
and selling narcotics to minors is nonviolent
isn't it possible their violence narrative is mostly b.s.?

Are you a sock puppy or not.

Oops, I should have proceeded that with a Miranda warning.

Theoretically, what would happen if black people just behaved better in general? Wouldn't all of these seemingly intractable problems fade into insignificance? Is anyone anywhere considering putting considerable resources into convincing black people to behave better?

The fewer interactions you have with the police the less likely it is that you will have a bad interaction, where your neck is knelled on or whatever.

That is true. Next question: of those total interactions, does one race experience a higher percentage of 'bad' interactions than another? Or more interactions for minor behavior (such as, say, driving a car)? As you might guess, there are answers to those questions.

> "Theoretically, what would happen if black people just behaved better in general?"

1. Yes, most of the problems would go away. Black people do not even need to behave the way Whites do. Just behave the way similarly situated low-income socioeconomic Asians behave.

2. But the people who would make this as a suggestion would lose their job, friends and livelihood. So there's that.

Reform of the police is not being held out as the cure for social, economic, education or other problems. It is being done to reduce police-induced violence. The other problems still need to be addressed.
Some people seems to take the 'reform police' idea as an attack on their whole world-view... social, racial, everything. It isn't.

Has anyone suggesting "reforming" the police been honest about the likely increases in crime that will follow or do people seriously think there are 100 dollar Bill's on the sidewalk?

Do you remember the 60's and 70's? After the 68 riots, they decided that they needed to put more money into social programs. Even Nixon sent money to the street gangs in Chicago for social and education programs. It helped fund and grow the street gangs into what they are today. (On the plus side some gang members went to jail for the first time for stealing from the programs). By the end, it was an expensive waste of resources that did nothing but make a few people rich. So here we go again.

Yes Asians have about 1/7 the lifetime risk of blacks of being killed by police.

Yes, about 1/6 to 1/7.

Take incarceration rate in 2019 from Wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States), and male death rate from use of force from Edwards 2019 (previously linked by Zaua - https://www.pnas.org/content/116/34/16793).

There is an r2 of 0.96 between them and African-American male death rate from use of force is predicted within 1/100,000 from applying a linear (absolutely braindead basic) regression equation conditioned on other ethnicities to their incarceration rate - https://imgur.com/a/nM0NUdv

I just can't see how anyone can really see much strong evidence that African-Americans are killed by use of force at a higher rate than offending would predict, and the vast majority of incidents involve attacking and weapon using offenders.

So yet another study that seems to essentially confirm the Ferguson effect thesis. Steve Sailer, Heather McDonald were essentially right.

Also the excess 900 homicides due to these viral incidents leading to under-policing? That's almost 90% of the average number (~1100) of people killed by police in an entire year both armed and unarmed both justified and unjustifiably.

Good work Leftist blob (mainstream media, Democratic politicians, academia, all leftists of all stripes PMC to DSA types). Good work all around. You've caused more deaths than a doubling of racist homicidal cops could have.

Seems Tyler's hysteria about the coronavirus is starting to wane and his new focus is "police brutality."

As when Tyler linked it before, the conclusion here seems true, but of course not something that many people would want to be true. Massive protests against government bodies and scapegoating of officials lead to institution retrenchment, avoidance and paralysis. Seems perfectly likely to me. Seems like it would be plausible to the protesters too if you told them it was about any other branch of government and that the populist faction in question were right wing ("Openly attacking the CDC / WHO is counterproductive!" Etc).

Question: Might Fryer's conclusion further generalize? These protests are leading to a widespread viral incident aimed at race in all government bodies as a whole, not just police. That seems like it will lead to all parts of gov engaging less with Black folks to avoid being part of the next viral incident. Or, put it like this, what schoolteacher wants to risk being filmed by her students and become the next viral phenom about "racism in education" or somesuch? How much are Wokism's "human search engine" esque outrage explosions generally going to smash "state capacity" more generally? Accountability matters, but we do it through parliamentary institutions and not Woke mobs for a reason.

I like this study, but it doesn’t address all our questions on the defund the police movement or, especially, the movement to have other agencies take on some of these roles because that didn’t happen in these cases. It’s not like the viral investigations also led to some new arrangements where other agencies stated taking on some of the roles that police currently take on. This isn’t the home run that the pro-current policing side thinks it is. Also, what’s the mechanism that leads to more crime here? Less policing in general or officers purposely letting crime happen on their watch as retribution and to put pressure on politicians to not reform union contracts that make investigations difficult? These have different implications for policy reform.

I want to see a Tyler vs. Alex debate on this!!!! Please!!!!!!!!! Add Bryan Callan to the mix and maybe a more traditional, social/law and order conservative.

Careful cops cost a lot more. I think that will be the conclusion.

Give me the money and I will flood Watts with an army of Mother Theresa's.

Why do the extremely well paid, highly trained cops reduce crime? They arbitrate, the parent, soothe. Think of hiring a thousand Danzel Washingtons for each neighborhood.

+1 Training Day is a great film.

I applaud this research coming out with such a strong conclusion. I fear that this will get prominent African-American scholar Roland Fryer cancelled for his crimethink.

I hope Tyler takes the time to engage with the many critiques of Fryer's last controversial paper on policing, "An Empirical Analysis of Racial Differences in Police Use of Force". That paper has since been debunked for its dodgy data and failure to engage with a rather fundamental selection problem that somehow managed to elude all the smart editors and referees at a top economics journal. One wonders if those reviewers may have been subject to some sort of mood affiliation...

I have no idea whether the latest paper is of similarly questionable quality, but given how egregious the problem was in the last one I'd be very very wary of taking it seriously until it goes through peer review (hopefully at a less corrupt journal than the JPE).

Sb: can you point me to the references that debunk Fryer’s JPE paper on policing? I am not familiar with them and I would like to read them.

This is an opportunity to reform the schools.

Time for year-round.

The teachers will be there since the colleges will also be going through their own upheaval. Reform schools and a lot of tutors.

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