Anyone who thinks defunding police is a good idea or a concept to experiment with would be wise to take a long look at what’s happening in two American cities where myopic politicians have latched onto this grossly defective concept. Crime is out of control in Minneapolis and New York City.
Violent outbreaks are so frequent in the Minnesota city that a group of residents there are actually suing the mayor and city council for failing to protect them and all other residents. In New York City, a veteran detective is bemoaning the fact that criminals have taken over the streets. Police budgets have been cut and the ranks of law enforcement reduced in both municipalities.
Minneapolis residents behind the lawsuit acknowledge change is called for in the city’s police department. The nation is unlikely to forget the horrible death of George Floyd a year ago. But the violence occurring in its wake has not stopped, and there’s no excuse for it. Businesses are closing and bystanders are getting hurt, many of them seriously.
Even children are caught in the crossfire between criminal factions. Among the victims was a 6-year-old girl who was killed by a stray bullet during a shootout unrelated to police. Others have been wounded by bullets supposedly intended for other targets in shootouts between criminals, including two girls, a 13-year-old and a 9-year-old.
It’s a crying shame citizens have to resort to lawsuits to force elected officials to do their job, but it happens when poorly thought-out movements dull the senses of unthinking politicians. The courts should not have to tell them to rectify what is visible to their eyes and audible to their ears. The sound of gunfire is practically commonplace in certain commercial districts of the city.
It’s just as bad in New York City. Violent crime in the Big Apple is rising as fast as an incoming high tide on a Glynn County beach. Homicides occurring in the city since Jan. 1 are 23% higher than during the same time period in 2019.
Everyone remembers the arson and upsurge in violence in Atlanta when the city’s mayor diverted police funds to other causes. Fortunately for Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp and the General Assembly have headed off future problems by making it difficult for local governments to defund law enforcement.
Elsewhere across the nation, law-abiding citizens look forward to the day when the men and women elected to office begin showing at least a modicum of common sense.