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Heather Mac Donald writes on the new nationwide crime wave. With office holders like the president and the mayors of New York and Baltimore, we’re quickly seeing the fruits of left/liberal ideas.
The nation’s two-decades-long crime decline may be over. Gun violence in particular is spiraling upward in cities across America. In Baltimore, the most pressing question every morning is how many people were shot the previous night. Gun violence is up more than 60% compared with this time last year, according to Baltimore police, with 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend. May has been the most violent month the city has seen in 15 years.
In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over the same period the previous year. Through April, shootings in St. Louis were up 39%, robberies 43%, and homicides 25%. “Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said St. Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro at a May 7 City Hall hearing.
Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.
Those citywide statistics from law-enforcement officials mask even more startling neighborhood-level increases. Shooting incidents are up 500% in an East Harlem precinct compared with last year; in a South Central Los Angeles police division, shooting victims are up 100%.
By contrast, the first six months of 2014 continued a 20-year pattern of growing public safety. Violent crime in the first half of last year dropped 4.6% nationally and property crime was down 7.5%. Though comparable national figures for the first half of 2015 won’t be available for another year, the January through June 2014 crime decline is unlikely to be repeated.
The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months. …
… Contrary to the claims of the “black lives matter” movement, no government policy in the past quarter century has done more for urban reclamation than proactive policing. Data-driven enforcement, in conjunction with stricter penalties for criminals and “broken windows” policing, has saved thousands of black lives, brought lawful commerce and jobs to once drug-infested neighborhoods and allowed millions to go about their daily lives without fear.
To be sure, police officers need to treat everyone they encounter with courtesy and respect. Any fatal police shooting of an innocent person is a horrifying tragedy that police training must work incessantly to prevent. But unless the demonization of law enforcement ends, the liberating gains in urban safety over the past 20 years will be lost.
While a lot of the increased crime comes from policies of foolish mayors, the US Justice Dept. also bears much of the responsibility according to Thomas Sowell.
… The Department of Justice has threatened various local police departments with lawsuits unless they adopt the federal government’s ideas about how police work should be done.
The high cost of lawsuits virtually guarantees that the local police department is going to have to settle the case by bowing to the Justice Department’s demands — not on the merits, but because the federal government has a lot more money than a local police department, and can litigate the case until the local police department runs out of the money needed to do their work.
By and large, what the federal government imposes on local police departments may be summarized as kinder, gentler policing. This is not a new idea, nor an idea that has not been tested in practice.
It was tested in New York under Mayor David Dinkins more than 20 years ago. The opposite approach was also tested when Dinkins was succeeded as mayor by Rudolph Giuliani, who imposed tough policing policies — which brought the murder rate down to a fraction of what it had been under Dinkins.
Unfortunately, when some people experience years of safety, they assume that means that there are no dangers. That is why New York’s current mayor is moving back in the direction of Mayor Dinkins. It is also the politically expedient thing to do.
And innocent men, women and children — most of them black — will pay with their lives in New York, as they have in Baltimore and elsewhere.
And the lawlessness also extends to many prosecutors says Kevin Williamson.
The GOP should turn its attention to prosecutorial misconduct.
As the old Vulcan proverb has it, “Only Nixon can go to China.” And only Nixon’s political heirs can fix the persistent — and terrifying — problems that continue to plague this country’s law-enforcement agencies and prosecutors’ offices.
Exhibit A: Orange County, California.
The sunny Southern California county with a population surpassing that of nearly half the states has a Republican district attorney, Tony Rackauckas, and a big problem on its hands: Its entire prosecutorial apparatus — all 250 lawyers in the district attorney’s office — have been disqualified from participation in a high-profile capital-murder case following revelations that the office colluded with the Orange County sheriff’s department to systematically suppress potentially exculpatory evidence in at least three dozen cases, committing what legal scholars have characterized as perjury and obstruction of justice in the process.
One of the questions involves a secret database of jail records related to confessions obtained via informants. Sheriff’s officers denied the database even existed, and their deception was abetted by prosecutors, leading an exasperated judge to issue an order noting that they “have either intentionally lied or willfully withheld material evidence from this court during the course of their various testimonies. For this court’s current purposes, one is as bad as the other.” The judge unsubtly recommends prosecution. …
WSJ OpEd on our country’s betrayal of Iraqi friends.
As the fight to retake Ramadi from Islamic State, also known as ISIS, heats up, I can’t help thinking of my visit to the capital of Iraq’s Anbar province nearly eight years ago, and of America’s broken promises since then.
In September 2007, I was in Ramadi for a gathering of Iraqi and American military commanders, politicians and local tribal leaders who had joined forces with the U.S. to defeat al Qaeda in Iraq. Then-Sen. Joseph Biden was there. “These are difficult days,” he told our Iraqi allies. “But as you are proving, you can forge a future for Iraq that is much brighter than its past. If you continue, we will continue to send you our sons and our daughters, to shed their blood with you and for you.”
It was a noble promise, and Iraqis believed it. The surge in U.S. forces and the “Anbar Awakening” had succeeded beyond all hopes. U.S. troops patrolled casually where just a few months before Marines couldn’t fight their way in. There as a journalist, I walked through one village east of Ramadi where an old vegetable vendor waved to me and said, a grandson smiling on his knee, “Thank you coalition.” …
Mark Steyn posts on this week’s cover of the smug self-satisfied tiresome leftist New Yorker.
The New Yorker cover at right has attracted a lot of comment. It shows Hillary Rodham Clinton outside the locker room trying to get in. But the locker room is full of white Republican males – Walker, Paul, Bush, Cruz, Rubio… Okay, the last couple are Hispanic, but let’s not get hung up on details. And Bush identifies as Hispanic on voter registration forms, but let’s not get hung up on the paperwork…
But, in fact, the GOP has already let a female into the locker room – Carly Fiorina – plus a black guy – Ben Carson – and an Indian – Bobby Jindal. So nothing celebrates diversity like the locker room for the Republican primary debate: whites, blacks, browns, Hispanics, men, women, old, young… Over in the Dem locker room, there’s hardly anybody in there, and the few that are all white, and old: Hillary, Bernie, Elizabeth Warren.
By the way, is there a whiter cultural artifact than The New Yorker? Mark Ulriksen is the cartoonist, and a useful reminder of why I’ll take the Charlie Hebdo crowd any day. He should do a picture of Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Bobby Jindal banging to get in the door of his outmoded Republican stereotype.
Also by the way, I hate having to talk like this – to buy into the left’s hideous civilization-sapping trope that identity politics is the only thing that matters: We’ve got two Hispanics; where’s yours? Where’s your Indian? Where’s your transgender candidate? It’s pathetic, but what can you do with an artist who thinks “provocation” means “pandering to the delusion of upscale white liberal solipsists”? …