Why does does this have to do with the Ferguson (or "Viral Video") Effect? Well, if you're looking for an example of how fear or negative publicity can impact policing and create disorder and crime, this is a good example.
I mean, unless you're in Chicago, you probably haven't seen this video because there are no police to be seen. I hate to think this is future of policing. But in terms of limited bad policing, lack of police really does completely solve the problem.
But there should have been police here. I used to bike by here quite frequently as a kid. There was always a phalanx of cops hanging around the beach areas, flirting and keeping order. Had there been, maybe the fight never would have happened. Maybe it never would have gotten out of hand. Or maybe a half-dozen cops would have entered the fray and physically restored order -- fists, pepper spray, maybe a billy club -- and a few idiots would be led off in cuffs. But then we would have criticism of police excessive force -- maybe a lawsuit by the ACLU, definite discourtesy, somebody would say police were the instigator, "stop" paperwork would not have been filled out -- and the focus wouldn't be on the idiots fighting but on the nature of the police response. But what if there is no police response and nobody calls 911? Problem solved, at least from a viral police video perspective. Like it never happened:
CPD says they did have officers in the area, but did not get any reports of fights on the beach. No arrests were made.Crime even goes down (at least by the official stats). That's what happens when you don't have proactive policing. See, officially, this never happened. No arrests were made. (Though later reports do say a few arrests were made along with a few going to the hospital.) Luckily, nobody had a gun and started shooting.
And, best of all, nobody can fault the police.
If you want police, just call 911. An officer will be with you shortly. Crime is up. Boy, is it up in Chicago. But of course, say some, we really have no idea why. No clue. Meanwhile... Chicago police are understaffed. Recruitment is down. Chicago police fear lawsuits from the ACLU. Paperwork requirements tell cops never to "stop" people unless absolutely necessary. Chicago police officers don't want to be in the next viral video. Police are not being proactive. Chaos ensues.
But really, who can say for sure?