Acting head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said Wednesday that he agrees with FBI Director James Comey that the so-called "Ferguson effect" is making police reluctant to do their jobs.
The Hill reported that DEA acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg told reporters Wednesday that Comey was "spot on" when he suggested recently that the divide between law enforcement and anti-police activists is causing police to be reluctant to do their jobs and leading to a spike in violence.
Rosenberg said that he believes "there’s something to" the so-called "Ferguson effect."
"I rely on the chiefs and the sheriffs who are saying that they have seen or heard behavioral changes among the men and women of their forces. The manifestation of it may be a reluctance to engage [with suspects]," the DEA head stated.
He also added that he is "not entirely sure what’s going on and we ought to try and figure it out."
Comey in two recent speeches made references to the divide between law enforcement and anti-police activists, drawing criticism from President Obama.
"Each incident that involves perceived or actual misconduct by police that’s captured on video and spreads around the world bends this line this way," Comey said during remarks at the convention of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in Chicago last Monday. "Each incident that involves an attack on a member of law enforcement bends our line that way."
He said the lines are "continuing to arc away and maybe accelerating incident by incident" and possibly causing "a crisis of violent crime in some of our major cities in this country." Comey made similar comments during a speech at the University of Chicago Law School the previous Friday.
Obama appeared to dismiss Comey’s suggestions during his own remarks at the convention of police chiefs in Chicago last Tuesday.
"We do have to stick with the facts," Obama said. "What we can’t do is cherry-pick data or use anecdotal evidence to drive policy or to feed political agendas."
The two reportedly met last week at the White House following Obama’s comments.