2015 October 23

FBI Director James Comey Blames Criticisms of the Police For Recent Rise in Violent Crime


FBI Director James Comey on this day claimed that criticisms of the police were responsible for the recent rise in violent crime in some cities. He promptly admitted, however, that he had not specific evidence to support this claim. Comey’s speech at the University of Chicago was widely criticized, and the White House issued a statement distancing itself from his remarks.

Comey’s remarks occurred in the context of more than a year of continuing criticisms of the police for shooting and killing unarmed African-American men that began with the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, on August 9, 2014. The shooting of Brown was followed by protests in the town, some of which escalated to the major destruction of property, and sympathy protests across the country. These events were followed by the death in custody of an African-American man at the hands of the Baltimore, Maryland, police in the spring of 2015. Protests of his death also escalated into civil disorders.

In response to the wave of police violence in late 2014 and the resulting protests, President Barack Obama established the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The Task Force released its Interim Report on March 4, 2015.

Read Samuel Walker’s criticisms of FBI Director Comey: http://samuelwalker.net/2015/11/fbi-director-comey-blames-police-critics-for-crime-increase-disgraceful-and-wrong-charges-sam-walker/

Don’t miss: Wesley Lowery, “They Can’t Kill Us All:” Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement (2016)

Read the definitive new book on police shootings: Franklin Zimring, When Police Kill (2017)

Read the President’s Task Force Final Report: http://www.cops.usdoj.gov/pdf/taskforce/taskforce_finalreport.pdf


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