In 1989, Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry famously said, “Except for the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country.” Now, Democrats are claiming the same kind of nonsense amid a huge spike in murders in the nation’s largest cities.
Third Way, a Washington D.C.-based public policy think tank, released a report last week that claimed overall crimes decreased in 2020, NBC News reported, even though homicides increased 25%, which is undoubtedly a significant spike.
They called homicides an “outlier,” even though in some cities like Chicago, murders are up 60%. Most Americans are concerned about crime and feel it is a growing problem between economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and institutional changes in policing following the death of George Floyd last year.
The Washington Examiner made the point that the media firestorm surrounding Floyd’s death and the resulting backlash against law enforcement officers has had dramatic repercussions on police and the communities they serve.
Police staffing crisis
For one thing, a significant number of police officers have resigned in the wake of a new woke wave of anti-police sentiment. NPR reported that retirements increased 45% in 2020, and resignations increased 20%. Cities like Seattle are facing a law enforcement staffing crisis, resulting in situations where detectives are covering emergency calls and many crimes are going unsolved.
“Let’s be honest, the conversation nationally has really been very, very much questioning police authority, what they do, how they do it,” Police Executive Research Forum Director Chuck Wexler said. “So if you wake up every day and that’s what you hear, it takes its toll.”
To add to the ongoing staffing woes, evidence shows that police officers have reacted to the societal criticism of policing by backing off from confronting suspicious people and prosecuting less serious crimes.
Reuters reported that in Minneapolis, police encounters dropped 70% after Floyd, and stops dropped a staggering 76%. While such hands-off policing was thought to be necessary to protect people of color from being targeted, The Washington Examiner noted that the practice is actually costing more Black lives.
Black lives matter?
Here’s the reason: people of color are disproportionately victims of homicides. So, if murders spike 25%, that affects Black Americans more than other racial groups.
In fact, the Examiner pointed out, “In the name of keeping police away from [Black Americans], radical anti-police activists have created a situation in which nearly twice as many [B]lack people die every single year from homicide as were killed by lynching in the entire history of racist violence and terrorism known as Jim Crow.”
As usual, the radical left offered a solution that actually will significantly worsen the issue.
The only question now is: Can they realize their errors and provide new solutions to reverse the damage?