Liberal leaders across the country are learning the tragic price of being soft on crime.
In Atlanta, a Christmas weekend shooting spree put the total for the year there at 155 murders, the most since 1998. Among the fatalities: a 7-year-old and a 16-year-old, both girls, both black.
Yet Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, whom Joe Biden reportedly considered for a Cabinet post, is at a loss for what to do: “If there are solutions that we have not explored and enacted, I welcome the suggestions,” she said.
Of course there are “solutions.” But first, as they say, you have to admit the problem.
For much of 2020, particularly after the death of George Floyd, the left couldn’t stop demonizing cops. Anti-cop protests across the nation dragged on day after day. Activists launched a #DefundThePolice movement that misguided and demagogic pols embraced, even as majorities of blacks and Hispanics opposed it.
At least some are beginning to get it: In Atlanta, city council member Howard Shook blamed the spike in violence on “the steady outflow of our officers.” In Minneapolis — where Floyd died and where violent crimes have soared to 5,164 this year, from 4,097 in 2019, Fox reports — city officials who once called for defunding and dismantling the police are backpedaling.
” ‘Defund’ is not the framework the council has ever chosen,” insisted Minneapolis city council members Steve Fletcher and Phillipe Cunningham. Yet both were among nine members who appeared with a “Defund Police” sign in June and vowed to dismantle the department.
“Dismantle does not mean dismantle into nothing,” Cunningham now says.
There is no secret to controlling the violence: Stop demonizing cops. Give them sufficient resources. Don’t free violent criminals. Prosecute low-level crimes.
New York showed it can be done: Murders fell nearly 90 percent from the early ’90s to recent years, before heading up in 2020. Mayors like Bottoms (and Bill de Blasio) don’t need suggestions; all they need to do is heed the lessons of history.
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