Former NYC Police Chief Claims There’s A “Ferguson Effect” Hurting Police Work

Earlier this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” television program, former New York police chief Ray Kelly said that New York City was in danger of slipping back to a period of high crime and that police officers were scared of properly doing their jobs because of a “Ferguson effect”.

The comments came during a conversation with Kelly over Mayor Bill DeBlasio’s policies.

Joe Scarborough, a former republican Congressman and host of the show asked Kelly if he believed there to be a “Ferguson effect”, referencing the fallout from the killing of an unarmed black teenager in a St. Louis suburb.

“Absolutely,” Kelly said in response to Scarborough’s question. “Ironically of course, Daryl Wilson was totally exonerated by the Justice Department. We talk about Ferguson but a lot of people forget that fact.”

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Kelly went on to explain his reasoning.

“The Ferguson effect is that police officers… are thinking twice before they engage. And with the advent of [body] cameras, which I ultimately support cameras are going to make officers hesitate somewhat. In some people’s minds that’s good, in some people’s minds that’s bad. But I think you’re experiencing now reluctance for police to do what they’ve done in the last 20 years. Crime is down dramatically in other parts of the country, I attribute it to smarter policing proactive policing. You’re seeing a backing off from that for a variety of reasons.

“I think everybody has to be concerned of that possibility,” Kelly said when asked if he feared if the city would slide back to a period of high crime associated with the late 1980’s. “Bill Bratton is a top flight professional but the mayor sets the tone.”

Kelly refused to slam the door on a possible mayoral run when asked by show host.

“I’m happy right now with what I’m doing,” Kelly said.

Cover Photo Credit: Vincent/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Body Photo Credit: MarineCorps NewYork/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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