Between the lingering menace of riots and a spike in street crime, cities like Minneapolis have come to learn what a world without police might look like.
Since the “defund the police” movement kicked off last summer, Minneapolis has seen an uptick of murders by more than 60%, and other cities have seen similar trends, according to a new analysis by the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) cited by the Washington Examiner.
The data tells all
The new report compares crime data from June 2020 to February 2021. The LELDF discovered that cities that defunded or otherwise hamstrung police tended to see a rise in murders.
“Since June 2020, local leaders and activists’ increasing attacks demoralized, debilitated and, in some cases, defunded law enforcement. As police stepped back, violence surged,” the group’s report states.
Minneapolis, the epicenter of the summer’s unrest, marked a 42% drop in police activity accompanied by a 64% rise in murders. Across 10 major cities that embraced the anti-police movement, murders rose 56% as police activity went down, the Examiner reported.
In Chicago, murders spiked 65%; New York, 58%; and in Los Angeles, 51%, the LELDF said.
The deadliest city in America was St. Louis, where 87 out of every 100,000 residents were killed, according to a report from Fox News. Portland, meanwhile, saw a shocking spike of 255% in murders, according to the LELDF’s data.
A deadly year
LELDF President Jason Johnson suggested in a statement that police took a more “passive approach” in response to anti-police sentiment that led to higher crime.
“Progressive prosecutors made it clear that making arrests for drug and weapons crimes that will go unprosecuted only exposes officers to the risk of disciplinary action, lawsuits, and criminal prosecution. So, to mitigate that risk, police took a more passive approach,” he said, according to the Examiner.
The “defund the police” movement took off in response to the death of 46-year-old George Floyd in Minneapolis last May, which led to a nationwide wave of violent riots and looting.
Critics warned at the time that the anti-police sentiment embraced by many political leaders would embolden criminals and demoralize cops. Reporting has borne that out: the Washington Examiner recently found that the murder rate nationwide was at its highest in 20 years in 2020.
The LELDF, for its part, found that 2020 had 20,000 murders nationwide — the highest rate since 1995, according to Fox — and that cops have retired in large numbers amid the hostile climate.