Muriel Bowser has a problem. Crime in the city she was elected to run, Washington, DC, is spinning out of control. And Mayor Bowser has no one but her fellow Democrats to blame. After all — and despite their ridiculous attempt to shift the blame — they’re the ones who drank the “Defund the Police” Kool-Aid.
“A pair of headline-grabbing shootings dragged the district into the spotlight over the weekend,” reports the Washington Examiner, “renewing focus over the city’s decision to cut millions of dollars from its police budget in response to pressure from activists.”
One of those shootings resulted in the tragic and all-too-common death of an innocent child — in this case, six-year-old Nyiah Courtney, who was riding her scooter during a drive-by that left five adults injured.
The other shooting got a lot more attention, because it no doubt frightened some wealthy, white, privileged progressives out to catch a Saturday night ballgame at Nationals Park. Gunshots rang out just outside the park, and the ensuing chaos caused league officials to call the game.
Bowser no doubt got an earful for the latter incident, but in a few days she and her fellow city leaders will likely have forgotten the name of Nyiah Courtney.
So it goes.
Tom Cotton recognizes the injustice of this. Last month, the Arkansas Republican senator addressed our current crime wave at the National Press Club. He began:
Five years ago, I spoke at some length on the subject of crime and violence in our streets. At the time, our nation was in the grips of the Obama crime wave of 2015-2016. We experienced the steepest two-year increase in murder in half a century and a significant rise in violent crime. That crime wave resulted directly from the Obama administration’s pro-criminal and anti-police policies. Federal malfeasance compounded the harm inflicted by the “Ferguson Effect,” itself the acute consequence of heightened anti-police activism and anti-enforcement policies at the local level.
I warned at the time that the criminal-leniency proposals being adopted across the nation are not merely wrong. They are dangerous. They threaten a return to the worst days of the 1990s, when law-abiding citizens lived in fear of their lives. Based on the number of unsolved murders, rapes, and other serious crimes, I contended that, far from the fabled “over-incarceration problem,” America had an under-incarceration problem. Woolly-headed critics across the political spectrum condemned me for saying this.
Cotton then said, “I was right then, and I’m right now.”
The senator rattled off some sobering statistics about the current crime wave, including last year’s largest single-year increase in murder on record, with murder rising nationwide by an astonishing 25%. He continued: “This violent crime wave surprised many people. After all, starting in 2017, our nation got a reprieve from the criminal-leniency policies of the Obama administration. Violent-crime rates turned around and began declining in the first three years of the Trump administration, largely because of increased federal prosecutions of drug trafficking, gun offenses, and other violent crime. A 46 percent increase in federal funding to local and state law enforcement and a crackdown on illegal immigration also helped matters.”
Cotton then noted that hard-left prosecutors, many with campaigns funded by George Soros, won elections in cities like Chicago, Philly, and San Francisco, and they adopted far more lenient criminal justice policies. All of a sudden, district attorneys stopped prosecuting shoplifters and other petty criminals, and entire categories of misdemeanors.
Once again, the theory of broken-window policing was put to the test. And again it proved true. “Leading Democrats called to ‘defund the police,’” he said, “and at least 20 major cities agreed, slashing their police departments to the tune of $840 million. New York City alone shifted nearly $1 billion from the NYPD, and Los Angeles cut funding to its police department by $150 million.”
What did these people think would happen?
Cotton calls this attack on law enforcement “nothing less than the gravest assault on the rule of law in modern times. The simple fact is that today’s Democrat Party is pro-riot, anti-cop, and anti-prosecutor. Democrats today have more sympathy for violent criminals than for innocent victims.” And he rightly blames the gated-community elitists for it — elitists who always seem to escape the consequences of their ruinous policies.
“Policing is one of the greatest civil rights issues of our time,” Cotton said. “Weak policing, weak prosecuting, and weak sentencing hurts blacks more than any other group of American citizens. African Americans tragically constitute approximately half of all murder victims and regularly suffer the brunt of damage resulting from riots.”
As for solutions, Cotton boiled it down to the Three Ps of law enforcement: police, prosecutors, and prisons. If, as the Left likes to say, we don’t “reimagine” our current approach in these three critical areas, our current crime surge will become commonplace, and regular folks will continue to bear the brunt of it.