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Police Violence Leads to Far Fewer 911 Calls

Especially in black neighborhoods
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2016 5:34 PM CDT
Police Violence Leads to Far Fewer 911 Calls

The so-called "Ferguson Effect" says homicides go up after high-profile police-on-citizen violence because police become too worried about being investigated for use of force. But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports a new study published Thursday has another explanation. Researchers found that 911 calls related to crime dropped 20% in Milwaukee following the horrific beating of unarmed black man Frank Jude by off-duty cops in 2004. The effect lasted for more than a year, totaling more than 22,000 fewer crime-related 911 calls, according to the Atlantic. And 56% of the decrease occurred in black neighborhoods, despite black neighborhoods making up only 31% of Milwaukee. Researchers are calling it the "Jude effect."

Researchers found similar declines after police killed Sean Bell in 2006 in New York City and assaulted Danyall Simpson in 2007 in Milwaukee. Police violence "de-legitimizes the criminal justice system in the eyes of the African-American community," researcher Matthew Desmond tells the Journal Sentinel. The study concludes that incidents of police violence "make the city as a whole...less safe," the Christian Science Monitor reports. Jude's beating was followed by a 32% increase in murders in Milwaukee. The spike in homicides can potentially be attributed to the drop in 911 calls, which are used by police for all sorts of crime fighting. "No act of police violence is an isolated incident, in both cause and consequence." the Atlantic quotes researcher Andrew Papachristos as saying. (Man dies three days after calling police for help.)

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