“Sadly, I’ve dedicated my life to using facts and data to influence crime policy. I don’t think we’re any better at it than we were 30 years ago,” Butts said. He has seen both Democrats and Republicans try to use crime stats to scare voters. It’s hard to stop them because “politics was way out ahead of information and the facts.”
Investing in policing may reduce rates of victimization. But it does so at a price not captured in any fiscal budget: the needless deaths caused by trigger-happy officers; young Black men’s routine experience of harassment, discrimination, and/or nonlethal forms of police violence, and the physical and emotional toll of those experiences.