Instead, she lays out a case that such violence is caused by the breakdown of the black family where children are raised in single parent households with absentee fathers. "Until society is willing to address the family breakdown that generates such violence, the police provide the social control" a father would otherwise give, she writes. She uses the city of Chicago as an example, where "about 80% of black children are born to single mothers."
She identifies another facet of the problem as the media who add "legitimacy and notoriety" to race-based allegations with reality show-style reporting before facts are known. She questions if protests and rioting would even occur without news cameras and media attention.
Part one of her four-part book features the shooting of Michael Brown by Darren Wilson that resulted in two commonly accepted myths and what Mac Donald would later call the "Ferguson effect." Extensive investigations would prove Brown was not shot with his hands raised in the surrender position and the American criminal-justice system is not rigged against blacks as reported.
However the lack of trust between citizens and law enforcement may be a lasting residual effect Mac Donald describes as the "Ferguson effect." Where officers use less enforcement in situations with potential for racism charges. Whether the "Ferguson effect" is real or not crime and murder are on the rise and it could be due to the microscopic scrutiny and "data-driven accountability" police officers endure.
All concerned citizens should read Mac Donald's well-researched, fact based book that makes no excuses for officers who don't follow their training. However, research does not support charges of police racism or deadly force used in excess against blacks. Instead, she writes, "race-based attacks on the criminal-justice system" and the police, erodes the "authority of law and puts lives at risk."
'The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe,' by Heather Mac Donald, Encounter Books, 2016, 248 Pages, 978-1594038754, $23.99
Midwest Book Reviews: "Gail's Bookshelf" July 2016
FaceBook: Gail Welborn