Amid skyrocketing crime rates and a disturbing increase in homicides, members of the hard left are having a difficult time defending their “defund the police” initiative that began shortly after the murder of George Floyd in May of last year. Nevertheless, they are spinning the issue in every way possible to deflect from the damage to which their anti-police endeavor contributed.
New York Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Jamaal Bowman, and others are still trying to convince the nation that operating with less funding and fewer law enforcement officers is the most effective way to safeguard black lives. But will the American public buy what the hard left is selling?
Democrats Defend the Defunding
During a recent video event, Ocasio-Cortez characterized the concerns of citizens as “hysteria.” Hard numbers demonstrate that crime is on the rise in the United States, however. The New York Times reported: “A sample of 37 cities with data available for the first three months of this year shows murder up 18 percent relative to the same period last year.”
The Daily Caller also noted:
“Black people have represented a massive share of murder victims in six major cities through the first six months of 2021 compared to last year, which itself saw a large crime surge, according to data analyzed by the Daily Caller News Foundation. The DCNF analyzed both police department data and homicide reports compiled by local news outlets to determine how black people have been victimized in the wake of the 2020 crime spike.”
Those on the hard left remain unfazed by these numbers. “We are seeing these headlines about percentage increases,” Ocasio-Cortez remarked. “Now, I want to say that any amount of harm is unacceptable and too much. But I also want to make sure that this hysteria, you know, that this doesn’t drive a hysteria and that we look at these numbers in context so that we can make responsible decisions about what to allocate in that context.”
She continued, expressing solidarity with Bowman, who also spoke at the event and pushed for defunding the police: “I agree with Representative Bowman, that I do believe that we need to reallocate resources away and that a big, you know, major causes of this — and by the way, I also think it’s important context because we hear on the news and media, they perpetuate this idea of crime wave, crime wave, crime wave, right? And so this idea that a lot of us are panicked thinking that we are at some unprecedented level that we’ve never seen before.”
With a continued push to minimize the role of police, what solutions have been proposed to curb violence? President Joe Biden has taken the opportunity to push a radical anti-gun agenda, though he has yet to explain how making it more difficult for law-abiding Americans to obtain firearms will address the problem.
During an appearance on Fox News Sunday, White House Senior Advisor Cedric Richmond insisted the cause of the increase in homicides is due to people owning assault weapons. “But look, crime was down in the ’90s when we banned assault weapons,” he said. “And so, it’s time to ban assault weapons again. The president supports that, he’s asked Congress to do that. And you have to look at access to guns when you talk about fighting violent crime.”
The Real Problem
There are undoubtedly multiple factors contributing to the heightened rates of illegal activity. But it is difficult to believe that reducing the number of police officers on the street isn’t influencing this outcome. Major cities whose governments have slashed funding are experiencing severe – and predictable – staffing shortages which make it more difficult for law enforcement to do its job.
Perhaps Democrats don’t want to confront the possibility that the “Defund the Police” initiative, which was ostensibly started to protect black Americans from police brutality, is doing far more harm than good in that very community. Indeed, there is a reason why a Gallup poll conducted last year revealed that 81% of black Americans do not want fewer police officers in their neighborhoods.
When law enforcement is impaired, it gives violent criminals license to continue committing crimes. Moreover, Democratic officials in cities like Minneapolis openly proclaimed they would be defunding their police departments, essentially extending an invitation to bad actors who wish to engage in illegal activity. Could it be that those claiming that black lives matter don’t actually believe their own slogan?
Read more from Jeff Charles.