FBI Director James Comey is blaming the increase in violent crime in some cities on the scrutiny and criticism of law enforcement officials.
According to The New York Times:
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.
CNN reported Comey made the following remarks during a speech on Friday and reiterated the same or similar sentiment on Sunday:
“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?”
“I don’t know whether this explains it entirely, but I do have a strong sense that some part of the explanation is a chill wind blowing through American law enforcement over the last year. And that wind is surely changing behavior.”
On Tuesday, Roland Martin, former Virginia Governor L. Douglas Wilder, and the NewsOne Now panel discussed Comey’s comments and his explanation that increasing crime rates are a result of cops being afraid to do their jobs because they don’t want to be video taped.
Martin told the panel, “This is Comey making excuses.” He added, “What he (James Comey) is essentially saying is, ‘Hey, we’re afraid we might get busted on video, so we don’t want to police’” the streets of America.
Martin then referenced the brutal slamming and dragging of an African-American teenage girl at Spring Valley High School in South Carolina when he suggested law enforcement officials are deciding not to do their jobs, “as if the only option you have is to do what Officer [Ben] Fields did to this girl, and that is somehow get aggressive.”
Former Gov. Wilder told Martin, “One of the problems here is the law.”
“What is happening in America today is that there is a presumption of guilt on behalf of the people who are being offended and a presumption of innocence on behalf of the officers. It is a total reversal of what the presumption is. The presumption is innocence of all persons until some proof is offered and in these instances, you have the presumption so far ahead, that action is taking place and it puts everybody on the defensive — it has to change,” Douglas said.
“The American attitude towards how people are treated has to change, period,” he continued.
Later Martin said, “What they (police officers) have been doing for years is now being chronicled and they can’t handle the fact America is now seeing their actions.”
“Now they can’t lie on police reports anymore because folks have proof,” Martin said.
Watch Roland Martin and the NewsOne Now panel discuss James Comey’s remarks and fallout from the assault at Spring Valley High School in the video clip above.
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