For his second segment after returning from a weeklong break on Monday night, The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah decided to tackle the so-called “Ferguson effect.” It’s a term made popular last week by FBI Director James Comey, who suggested in a speech that police officers have told him, “We feel like we’re under siege, and we don’t feel much like getting out of our cars.” Chris Christie used these words as an anti-Barack Obama talking point at the recent CNBC debate.
But according to Noah, if one “deals in facts,” then this “Ferguson effect” is not the problem law enforcement and Republican candidates for president have made it out to be. He cited an article from the American Psychological Association that found it’s “too soon to blame” the police shooting that took Michael Brown’s life and the subsequent protests for a change in police behavior.
“The police are just trying to make a basic point: People are treating them unfairly just because of who they are and how they look,” Noah said, drawing out a familiar analogy. “People keep following them around with cameras, watching everything they do, suspicious that they’re always about to break the law, leaving police afraid to even get out of their cars for fear that someone might whip out a phone and brutally film them.”
“Who can imagine how that must feel?” he asked. “And if you listen carefully, all the police are saying is “phones down, don’t shoot.”