FBI Director Discusses ‘Viral Video Effect’ In Police Slowdown

The FBI Director, James Comey, has once again raised the specter of the impact viral videos of police have in regards to them doing proactive police work. He made the comments suggesting that a spike in violent crime in some cities may be correlated to officers’ fear of doing their jobs because of community hostility and the growing popularity of cop watching.

“What I’m talking about is sort of the viral video effect,” Comey told reporters. “Changes in the way police may be acting and in the way communities may be acting in terms of how much information they share with police could well be at the heart of this or could well be an important factor in this.”

Comey said yesterday he “resists” calling the phenomenon the Ferguson effect, though his message echoed his earlier stance. “The reason I resist Ferguson effect is, Ferguson at least to my recollection wasn’t about videos.” “I think it is the potential effect of marginal pullbacks by lots and lots of police officers that is changing some cities. I continue to hear that privately,” he said. “I’ve heard it in lots of conversations privately with police leaders.”

“I don’t know for sure,” he said.  “Something has happened.”

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