FBI Director: Crime Spike Due to “YouTube World”

FBI Director James Comey ruffled some feathers Friday when he said that viral videos could be to blame for a recent surge in violent crime. According to Comey, crime spikes in Chicago, Baltimore, Cleveland, and elsewhere may be explained by police officers who are suddenly hesitant to get involved.

“Maybe something in policing has changed,” Comey said. “In today’s YouTube world, are officers reluctant to get out of their cars and do the work that controls violent crime? Are officers answering 911 calls but avoiding the informal contact that keeps bad guys from standing around, especially with guns?”

Comey isn’t the first person to suggest such a thing, but he is at odds with his masters in the Obama administration. To them, the Black Lives Matter movement has been a positive force in American society, drawing attention to police racism and brutality that is long overdo. They don’t see how this constant drum beat might make good police officers think twice about how they carry out their duties. In fact, they probably see that as a feature, not a bug.

In the New York Times story reporting on Comey’s comments, the writer said:

With his remarks, Mr. Comey lent the prestige of the F.B.I., the nation’s most prominent law enforcement agency, to a theory that is far from settled: that the increased attention on the police has made officers less aggressive and emboldened criminals. But he acknowledged that there is so far no data to back up his assertion and that it may be just one of many factors that are contributing to the rise in crime, like cheaper drugs and an increase in criminals who are being released from prison.

Wait, we need data now to back up our criminal justice theories? When did this start? Where is the data that proves racist police are out there murdering unarmed black men on a daily basis? Oh, that’s different. Because of feelings or something.

But turning it around to make it seem like citizens are causing a spike in crime by filming police officers is not the answer either. The problem isn’t the camera; the problem is the way the media takes these videos and turns them into something they aren’t. And no matter what kind of evidence comes out later, they ride their original narrative right out into the sunset. With a modicum of responsible journalism, this wouldn’t be such an issue.

The point of all of this, according to Obama and the black leaders, is to improve the relationship between police and minority communities. One question, though: What are the communities doing to improve this relationship? Has there been any talk of committing less crime? Resisting arrest less often? Just wondering.

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