The party of science and reason is at it again, this time fighting back against the facts and data of skyrocketing violent crime rates in New York City. Rational people can take a look at the massive spike in violent crime in that city and blame the sweltering summer heat, public outcry against the police, and lack of law enforcement presence as factors. The radical left prefers to blame a lack of bread. Just this week, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) blamed the skyrocketing crime in New York City on families needing to “shoplift some bread.”
In even more baffling and nonsensical statements, Ocasio-Cortez blamed mass unemployment, rent freezes, and a lack of stimulus check arrivals for the lawless behavior occurring in the city. Ironically, Democrats’ success in paying workers more to stay unemployed encourages unemployment, and rent freezes only harmed the landlords that Ocasio-Cortez despises in the first place. The first-term congresswoman is unwilling to face the facts regarding the spike in New York’s crime rate.
Over the last few decades, New York City had prided itself on its turnaround from being one of the most dangerous major cities in the world in the early 90s to a 75% drop in violent crime by 2010. Responsible public officials would immediately be concerned with such a reversal in law enforcement capabilities and correct the problem at hand. Unfortunately, Mayor Bill de Blasio is not a responsible public official, more intent on protecting the life of yellow “Black Lives Matter” street murals from vandals than the lives of his residents.
Mayor de Blasio refuses to accept that his efforts to defund and delegitimize the NYPD have allowed criminals to murder children in broad daylight without fear of repercussions. His decision to release thousands of convicted criminals on the streets to limit the spread of coronavirus in prisons is remarkably tone-deaf considering his prior inaction in condemning elderly COVID patients to death by forcing them into nursing homes. The commissioner’s decision to disband plainclothes units of officers targeting illegal gun ownership and violent crimes was also an abdication of duty. The “shift in police culture” he found necessary to implement in one of the city’s bloodiest years in recent memory is also to blame for this spike in crime. Arrests thus far have fallen 62% across the board compared to last year’s data, narcotics arrests decreased 85%, and 90% fewer arrests were made by the city’s gang unit. It has become clear that city officials have abandoned their responsibilities and found a better use of their time currying favor with the progressive left.
The “Ferguson Effect” Rears its Ugly Head
In 2014, the Ferguson, MO, unrest following the shooting of Michael Brown Jr. sparked a period of debate and activism focused on the role of law enforcement throughout America. Immediately following the uprising, police in Ferguson and other major cities in America became less proactive in their policing, and violent crime shot up. This phenomenon was called the “Ferguson Effect” by St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, following the spike in crime. Police officers pulled back from major urban areas dealing with racial unrest and anger at law enforcement, observable in cities like Baltimore, following the death of Freddie Gray – and more broadly in Chicago.
With these case studies of the Ferguson Effect proving accurate, it’s undeniable that New York City is going through its own phase of the Ferguson Effect. Police officers have been attacked, harassed, and intimidated by the politicians in charge, especially in New York. They’re pulling away from proactive policing to implement “police culture changes” desired by bureaucrats while being blamed for following these demands in the first place. Police officers are quite literally at war with the state bureaucracy who want the safety of active policing without the actual policing required. Whether society wants to call it a “Blue Flu,” like Atlanta, or the Ferguson Effect from recent case studies, it’s clear that, regardless of what politicians like to say, their rhetoric and attacks on the police are what’s causing the spike in crime within their cities, not a lack of bread.
Read more from Jose Backer.