In the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in 2020, Black Lives Matter, antifa and other Marxist organizations demanded law enforcement agencies be defunded. In an astonishing display of progressive Democrat solidarity, scores of mayors, city councils and county boards of supervisors in cities and counties across our country capitulated to the far left’s demands and sided with rioters, looters, anarchists and arsonists in destroying American cities.
The places most affected by the “defund the police” movement include Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Indianapolis, New York and Minneapolis. As law enforcement budgets in these cities were being cut and experienced officers retired and resigned, the obvious happened: Crime skyrocketed. Worse yet, the people most adversely affected are minority citizens — the very people BLM and other radical groups claim need protection not by the police but from the police.
The toll on Black Americans is staggering. In 2020, the percentage of Black murder victims in Chicago was over 70%. After the police budget was cut, that percentage rose to more than 80%. At the same time in Milwaukee, the percentage of Black murder victims rose from about 60% to nearly 90%. Other “defund the cops” jurisdictions across America have suffered similar results.
Only the ideologically blinded were surprised by the rapid upswing in violent crime resulting from defunding the police. To paraphrase a comment from Alexander Hamilton and James Madison in Federalist No. 51: If men were angels, police wouldn’t be necessary.
But, alas, men are not angels, a fact causing serious concerns for congressional Democrats who must run in 2022. Having already lost seats over this issue to Republicans in the 2020 elections, Democrats are now desperate to distance themselves from the movement.
On July 1, 2021, Hennepin County District Judge Jamie Anderson issued a writ of mandamus ordering Minneapolis to hire more than 700 new police officers no later than June 30, 2022. The plight of incumbent and aspiring Democrats instantly worsened. The judge’s order came as a consequence of the sharp uptick in crime experienced in Minneapolis because of the failure of city leaders to support the police. This slap in the face to the Democrats who govern Minneapolis was felt by Democrats nationwide, especially those intending to run for office in 2022.
With public opinion polls placing blame for the rise in crime squarely in the lap of their party, Democrats are frantic to find a way out of the mess they created. Should they defend defunding the police? That won’t work. How can they defend an increase in violent crime? Should they be honest and admit their mistake, hoping the American public will forgive and forget? No. Leftist Democrats are masters of deception, distortion and hypocritical finger pointing to avoid telling the truth.
As is their penchant, they decided to lie and blame defunding the police on Republicans. Cedric Richmond of the Biden administration was dispatched to talk shows to advance the absurd notion that Republicans defunded the police by voting against the Democrat’s turkey-riddled $350 billion aid-to-cities legislation. Richmond’s nose grew by the second throughout his interviews.
Among the many problems with this pathetic attempt at blame-shifting is the legislation in question contained no funding earmarked for police. Rather, it is a federal bailout of poorly governed Democrat-run cities — the very places defunding their police. The cities with the largest spikes in crime are all controlled by Democrats. Defunding the police remains a bad idea birthed by Democrats, a fact Americans grasp no matter how hard Democrats and their media allies try to deny it. Even The Washington Post gave the Democrats three “Pinocchios” on the issue, which indicates “significant factual errors,” according to the Post’s fact-checking method.
Oliver L. North is a combat-decorated U.S. Marine, No.1 bestselling author and founder and CEO of Fidelis Publishing LLC and Fidelis Media LLC. Find out more about him at www.olivernorth.com. David Goetsch is a Marine Corps veteran, member of the Florida Veteran’s Hall of Fame, professor of business, Christian counselor, and author of 77 books. Find out more about him at www.david-goetsch.com. Pre-order their new book, “We Didn’t Fight for Socialism,” at Unisonbooks.com or Amazon.com.