Various progressive Democrats have expressed vocal opposition to law enforcement over the last year, and many activists have even called for defunding police agencies across the nation.
While the message still resonates among many in the party’s far-left wing, it appears to be causing some anxiety among more moderate Democrats dealing with a rapid rise in violent crime rates.
“The next generation of officers”
In a recent piece published by the Washington Examiner, the editorial board concluded that the Democratic push to defund police “has come to a very bitter end.”
The editorial cited a “surge in violent crime that has produced a massive public backlash that threatens the careers of elected Democrats throughout the nation” as a major factor in the apparent change of heart among party leaders.
Violent crime rates are rising in cities like Portland, Seattle, and Chicago, which each cut their respective police budgets last year and have subsequently reconsidered that move.
For her part, Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to a massive spike in homicides by offering her desire “to recruit the next generation of officers.”
Despite the newfound push to hire police officers, evidence shows that cops are leaving the force in droves — particularly in cities led by progressive Democrats.
“Defunding the police has to happen”
A Pew Research survey conducted about a year ago showed that relatively few ordinary Americans favor a reduction in the number of officers in their neighborhoods. Notably, that sentiment cuts across racial lines.
More than 6 in 10 Black respondents said they want to see police numbers stay the same and another 20% said they would like more cops to be on the beat. Just 19% want to see fewer officers.
Hispanics expressed similar feelings with 17% expressing a desire for a smaller police presence compared to 24% who favored a larger one.
Of course, those findings have not dissuaded the likes of U.S. Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO) who insisted earlier this month that cutting police budges should remain a priority for her party.
She told critics to “suck it up” before insisting that “defunding the police has to happen” and defending her own use of private security services because her “body is worth being on this planet right now.”