The Brennan Center’s Crime in 2015: A Final Analysis has helped push back on claims by FBI Director James Comey that less aggressive policing caused an increase in homicides. Comey has blamed this alleged new police posture on public scrutiny around videos of police confrontations, a dynamic he’s termed the “viral video effect.”
The New York Times editorialized it’s a “false notion that the country is entering a crime wave,” adding: “That idea was debunked last month in a study by the Brennan Center for Justice of 2015 crime data from the 30 largest cities. The study found that crime had remained the same as in 2014 and that two-thirds of the cities had actually had drops in crime.”
The data was also cited by The Washington Post.
There are year-to-year variations but no nationwide epidemic, and no factor that easily explains localized upticks, according to Ames Grawert who spoke to The Intercept.