The disturbing news about Ferguson PD just keeps growing and growing. A few weeks ago, I learned that Michael Brown’s shooting was the first murder of the year in Ferguson (see my previous post to understand why I’m justified in referring to it as murder). When I read that, I naturally got to fact checking. I got some crime statistics for 2000 – 2012. Here are the total number of murders for those years:
- 2000 – 3 murders
- 2001 – 1 murder
- 2002 – 1 murder
- 2003 – 1 murder
- 2004 – 1 murder
- 2005 – 1 murder
- 2006 – 1 murder
- 2007 – 1 murder
- 2008 – 1 murder
- 2009 – 3 murders
- 2010 – 0 murders
- 2011 – 5 murders
- 2012 – 2 murders
I know that sounds like Ferguson is a really safe place to live, but that’s misleading. You have to remember that Ferguson only has a population of 21,000 people so it’s a tiny place. If you calculate those murders in the context of the national average murder rate per 100,000 people, it’s not good. Ferguson is not a particularly safe place to live.
I bring up this data so that you have the context you need to get to where I got when evaluating the situation in Ferguson. Ferguson has 2.54 officers per 1,000 residents, compared to Missouri’s average of 2.45.
Here’s the big bombshell that makes reading all of that context pay off; five people (including Michael Brown) have been killed by Ferguson PD so far this year. They have shot at sixteen people so far this year.
We’ve still got 1/3 of the year left to go.
That link contains a whole lot of information that I’m not going to go into for the purpose of this post, but you should definitely read it. I want to focus in on murders. In a community that has an average of 1.61 murders per year (over the span I have data for), also has 6.66 police officer killings per year (assuming they keep up their average for the rest of the year).
Be honest; if you lived in Ferguson, would you be more afraid of your neighbor, or the police officer hanging out in front of the doughnut shop?