(William Haupt III, The Center Square) In the wake of last year’s civil unrest riots and violent public protests, local and federal progressives orchestrated a year long anti-police campaign. Morbid hostility toward police left law enforcement demoralized, debilitated, and many defunded. Even the most virtuous officers now feel pressure to “pull back” since doing their job or defending themselves could get them sued, jailed, fired or killed.
Throughout America, liberal prosecutors sent petulant messages to police. If you make an arrest for a violent crime that is plea bargained down, or thrown out of court, those officers involved will face disciplinary action, including criminal prosecution. To mitigate these risks, police officers have gone into self-protect mode. This has resulted in the largest increase in violent crime in American history.
The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data project (ACLED) is a non-partisan monitor of protests and violence in the Middle East, Asia, Europe and Latin America. In July last year, they launched a U.S. Crisis Monitor to track the rapid increase in the U.S. hate crimes and violent political protests.
Last years BLM and Antifa protests resulted in 574 riots with $2 billion in arson and looting. At least 25 people died and 2,500 police officers were injured. When liberal prosecutors in Portland and New York City dismissed most charges against rioters and looters, other liberal states followed. After years of declining crime, the U.S. is headed back to the 1970s when a crime wave gripped the nation for three decades.
“Why the cops play by the rules when we criminals don’t is so stupid.” – Charles Manson
After the George Floyd violent protests and resulting riots, Minneapolis shifted $8 million of the police budget to programs focused on community mental health and violence prevention. Soon afterward, an unprecedented number of officers retired, quit or went on extended medical leave.
According to data released by the state Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, by the end of last year, violent crime surged over 17% across the state of Minnesota. That state recorded 185 murders, up 58% from the previous year. They saw a 55% increase in arson over the previous year. And amid a surge in violent car-jackings, motor vehicle thefts rose over 20% to 13,662 – the most since 2005.
In response to violent anti-police riots and looting, Portland, Oregon, cut their police budget by 4%. They ordered police to avoid conflicts with activists and not to respond to any misdemeanor crimes. Last year Portland, police records show homicides increased 530% and crime skyrocketed 680%.
In 2021, St. Louis hit a 50-year homicide high rate of 87 per 100,000 residents. That is three times higher than any nation in Central America. When Milwaukee slashed 120 officers from its force, the city saw a 98% increase in killings. After the ACLU convinced a Chicago judge to limit the police’s ability to stop suspects for reasonable cause, killings jumped 58% when routine street stops fell 82%.
“This was not a crime wave. This was a tsunami of lethal violence!” – Philip Cook, Duke criminologist
According to the National Crime Data Base, the rapid increase in crime across America correlates precisely with the violent George Floyd protests. Violent crime continued to mushroom with police trying to control the largest violent protests in American history. They were forced to curtail normal policing also in response to liberal political pressure, which empowered criminals across the U.S.
Late last month, the National Fraternal Order of Police revealed a graphic showing that the largest increases in the homicide rate in 2021 were in Portland, Oregon, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. – all cities currently led by progressive Democrats.
“Leadership in these cities turned the keys over to the ‘Defund the Police’ mob.” – Lt. Allen Logan
The intersection where George Floyd met his demise has become an enclave for mayhem. Many delivery drivers, postal workers and service workers refuse to go there due to regular gun battles.
On the anniversary of the death of George Floyd, dozens of gunshots rang out in the middle of the day at “George Floyd Square” in Minneapolis, forcing reporters and bystanders to duck for cover.
Donald Trump made law and order a defining issue in 2020. But progressive politicians denounced his efforts and exploited the violent George Floyd rioting for political gain. By Election Day, 13 members on Biden’s staff and running mate Kamala Harris had donated money to bail rioters and looters out of jail.
“If you can chip in to help bail these people out, please do so now.” – Kamala Harris
After a year of increased violent crime, Democrats can no longer blame Donald Trump for violence in Democratic-run cities. They can’t blame him for defunding police forces and the low moral and cutbacks on policing caused by continual activist and progressive criticism of law enforcement.
Recently when asked what Biden is doing to address this epic increase in violent crime, Press Secretary Jen Psaki evasively responded: “We are looking into better federal gun control now.”
With midterms around the corner, Democrats will be facing a problem they created themselves by allying with leftist activists and radical members of ethnic identity groups who blame their failure to succeed on systematic racism. These are the same people that demanded they defund the police.
“Suck it up! Defunding the police has to happen. Let’s defund the police now!” – Cori Bysh, D-MO
Attorney Robert Zoellick told us, “Our biggest sin is not learning from our mistakes.” Progressives fueled this crime wave from government soapboxes and many are still chastising the police while their own districts are riddled with violent crime. Sticking with this toxic agenda will be a hard-sell to Americans who enjoyed decades of declining crime and were safe in their streets and their towns.
Black Lives Matter is rapidly losing support, and trust in the police is increasing.