Crime has fallen in half over the past 25 years. But after the deaths of Eric Garner in New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, sparked widespread protests against police use of force last summer, some law enforcement officers and conservative critics warned that the "war on police" would undo the progress the US has made in fighting violent crime.
Looks like those warnings were premature.
The FBI just put out its Uniform Crime Report for 2014, based on local and state law enforcement reports of crime rates, and it turns out that — drumroll, please — violent crime is still going down. The violent crime rate is only slightly lower in 2014 (365.5 violent crimes per 100,000 people) than it was in 2013 (369.1), but it's still less than half of the 758.2 violent crimes committed per 100,000 people in 1991.
Unfortunately, the 2014 crime data doesn't tell us much about 2015. Murder rates are up in a few major cities, which has sparked fears that the "Ferguson effect" is finally catching on. Because it takes the FBI so long to collate and analyze crime stats, we won't know for sure whether that's the case until fall 2016. But this FBI data does indicate that — despite early fears — simply criticizing police wasn't enough to embolden violent criminals to start a new crime wave.