Violence in Chicago is reaching epidemic proportions. In the first five months of 2016, someone was shot every 2¹/₂ hours and someone murdered every 14 hours, for a total of nearly 1,400 nonfatal shooting victims and 240 fatalities.

Over Memorial Day weekend, 69 people were shot, nearly one per hour, dwarfing the previous year’s tally of 53 shootings over the same period. The violence is spilling over from the city’s gang-infested South and West sides into the downtown business district; even Lake Shore Drive has seen drive-by shootings and robberies.

The growing mayhem is the result of Chicago police officers’ withdrawal from proactive enforcement, making the city a dramatic example of what I have called the “Ferguson effect.”

Since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown inFerguson, Mo., in August 2014, the conceit that American policing is lethally racist has dominated the national airwaves and political discourse, from the White House on down.

In fact, this sentiment appears to be what fueled the slaying of five officers in Dallas after white cops shot black men in Baton Rouge, La., and Minnesota last week.

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