According to CNN, the impact of cell phone video has struck a nerve with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who referenced “the chilling effects of high-profile protests against police brutality and officers’ fear of cell phone videos of their actions going viral” as the reason behind his city’s increasing murder rate.
To hear him tell it, cell phone footage has reduced the Chicago PD to a shell of its former self.
“We have allowed our police department to get fetal and it is having a direct consequence,” The Washington Post reported Emanuel saying during a meeting with the country’s top law enforcement officers and elected officials last week.
“They have pulled back from the ability to interdict … they don’t want to be a news story themselves, they don’t want their career ended early, and it’s having an impact.”
Emanuel’s comments come amid a string of high-profile incidents involving police and unarmed black people that produced fatal results for those encountering authorities. The deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., and Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., whose death was captured on a viral cellphone video, are among the situations that gave way to nationwide outrage regarding police violence.
With his remarks, the Post noted that Emanuel joins a various leaders who feel officers are under siege as protest against police violence have resulted in crime in American cities being driven by a “torrent of anti-police rhetoric and a string of deadly attacks against officers.”
Despite his feelings on phone videos and police, TheRoot.com points out that Emanuel didn’t touch on facts related to crime in Chicago. Long before protests being triggered over police violence, the city was labeled the “murder capital” of the United States in 2012.
Fast forward to 2014 and Chicago tops New York and Los Angeles with 411 killings, CNN revealed via FBI statistics, adding that Chicago boasted a smaller population than those bigger cities. New York had 333 murders that year, while 260 murders took place in Los Angeles.