The lingering effects of now-famous shootings in this country are definitely being felt. In St. Louis, after Ferguson’s Mike Brown shooting, crime is running rampant. Some say that crime was already on the rise in St. Louis before the Michael Brown incident, but even so, the Brown shooting seems to have started something.
Police all over the country do their jobs differently after the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson and the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore. And now, Rahm Emanuel, Mayor of Chicago, is blaming the higher crime numbers in his city on these incidents.
The Chicago Trimbune said this:
“Officers themselves are telling me about how the news over the last 15 months impacted their instincts: Do they stop or do they keep driving?” Emanuel said at an unrelated news conference. “When I stop here, is it going to be my career on the line? And that’s an honest conversation. And all of us who want officers to be proactive, to be able to do community policing in a proactive way, have to encourage them, so it’s not their job on the line or that judgment call all the time that if they stop, this could be a career-ender.”
The president of the union representing rank-and-file Chicago officers said police are concerned about increasingly being under the microscope, but he denied officers are laying down on the job.
“They don’t stop policing. They’re a very resilient group,” said Dean Angelo, president of Lodge 7 of the Fraternal Order of Police. “They’re out there working their buns off, and they’re looking for a fair shake. They go to work and positively impact people in their everyday lives.”
Rahm Emanuel may be just a mayor looking for a place to lay blame for an issue that his city expects him to have handled. But there is also some truth to his claim. It is hard to believe anyone in this country would argue with the idea that police work has changed since these racially charged shootings took place. However, the problem lies with the people in these situations, not the guns they used to commit the crimes.