Richard Rosenfeld, Ph.D.

Distinguished Speaker Series:
Richard Rosenfeld, Ph.D.

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Richard Rosenfeld2015 Homicide Rise and the ‘Ferguson Effect’

Dr. Richard Rosenfeld
Founders Professor of Criminology, University of Missouri – St. Louis, Missouri

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.
Tuscawilla Country Club
1500 Winter Springs Blvd.,
Winter Springs, FL 32708

This talk will discuss the recent homicide rise in the United States and its possible relationship with the “Ferguson Effect”. The Ferguson Effect can work in one or both of two ways: (1) Crime rates spike because the police are holding back, afraid they’ll be criticized later for what they see as doing their jobs. Or, (2) as community members lose faith in the police to protect and serve them effectively and fairly, they are more likely to carry weapons and settle disputes with violence. Neither version of the Ferguson Effect has been systematically evaluated. Dr. Rosenfeld calls for the more timely release of nationwide crime statistics to address crime problems as they arise.

About Dr. Richard Rosenfeld:

Dr. Rosenfeld has been a Curators Professor at UMSL, and has won the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research, The Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Service.  He recently served as the President of the American Society of Criminology, which is the flagship professional organization in Criminology.  He has published over 80 refereed journal articles and 8 books.  He is a member of the National Research Council.

He is emerging as an expert in the newly identified phenomena, the Ferguson Effect.  This effect typically causes an increase in violent crime, particularly homicide.  It can work in one of two ways: 1) the violent crime rate spikes after a police shooting because the police are holding back, afraid they’ll be criticized later for what they see as doing their jobs.  Or, 2) it would be a matter of citizens – especially in black communities – losing faith in the local cops.  When the perceived legitimacy of the police is in decline, community members take matters into their own hands because they perceive that the police are simply not going to provide the kind of protection the community desires.  In order to truly test this phenomena, Dr. Rosenfeld itis advocating for a national database on police violence.