Pavlich: Biden can’t ignore defund the police contributions to violent crime spike
As summer 2021 kicks off with an explosion of violent crime around the country, President Biden is set to address the nation this week on the issue.
“As we’ve seen around the country, it is a concern of many Americans, Republicans but also Democrats too, not necessarily through a partisan lens. It was something the President felt was appropriate to speak to and tell the American people what he’s doing to help address,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday.
The statistics are disturbing. Behind each crime is another victim.
“In Chicago, homicides are up 33% in the first three months of the year compared to 2020, while shootings are up nearly 40% for the same period year-over-year. In New York City, the NYPD data shows murders jumped by nearly 14% through March 28, the latest numbers the department has made public, while shootings were up nearly 50%,” CNN reports. “In Los Angeles, homicides have increased nearly 36% from 67 to 91 through March 30,” LAPD officer Rosario Cervantes told CNN. “Those three cities — the nation’s largest — all saw significant increases last year over 2019. The homicide uptick in the three cities comes as Chicago, Houston, and Memphis saw some of the largest surges in homicides last year, with an increase of 100 or more killings compared to 2019.”
While the White House plans to pin the problem on “gun violence,” conveniently pushing its gun control agenda for law abiding Americans, an increase in violent crime throughout 2020 and into 2021 can be directly attributed to the left’s agenda to defund the police.
In Minneapolis, the city council voted to strip the police department of $8 million. Shortly afterward, violent crime went up 21 percent. This includes rape, homicide, aggravated assault and robbery. When crime skyrocketed, council members used taxpayer funds to pay for private security, while allowing vulnerable communities to be held hostage by violent criminals. In a panic, they’ve reversed their decision, spending $6.4 million to hire more officers and are desperately trying to keep veterans from retiring early.
Throughout 2020, Democrats and the left justified violent riots as “social justice.” Instead of being held accountable, hundreds of valid charges for rioting, looting and other violent acts, are being dropped.
“Hundreds of alleged looters and rioters busted last year in protests over George Floyd’s murder by police have had their charges dropped, according to NYPD data — figures ripped as ‘disgusting’ by a local business owner. In The Bronx — which saw fires in the street and mass looting in June 2020 — more than 60 percent of arrestees have had charges dropped, according to the investigation by NBC New York,” the New York Post reports. “Seventy-three of the 118 people arrested in the borough had their cases shelved altogether, another 19 were convicted on lesser counts like trespassing, which carries no jail time.”
Further, no cash bail policies and far left prosecutors are allowing violent criminals to go free, with some recommitting crimes within hours of being released. Criminals who use firearms to carry out crimes aren’t being heavily prosecuted, or in some cases, held accountable at all. Dozens of laws already on the books to prevent crime with firearms, at the state and federal level, aren’t being enforced. Without deterrence or consequences, criminals are gaming the system.
Over at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke — nominated by President Biden and confirmed by Democrats in the U.S. Senate — is in charge of the Civil Rights Division. In June 2020, Clarke wrote an op-ed calling for the defunding of the police.
To reduce violent crime, President Biden should encourage prosecutors around the country to heavily charge criminals and call on local leaders to rethink no cash bail policies. In July, then-President Trump and Attorney General William Barr launched Operation Legend and worked with local law enforcement agencies to solve violent crimes.
“Operation Legend removed violent criminals, domestic abusers, carjackers and drug traffickers from nine cities which were experiencing stubbornly high crime and took illegal firearms, illegal narcotics and illicit monies off the streets. By most standards, many would consider these results as a resounding success — amid a global pandemic, the results are extraordinary. I commend our federal law enforcement and prosecutors for seamlessly executing this operation in partnership with state and local law enforcement,” Barr said in December about the results of the operation. “When we launched Operation Legend, our goal was to disrupt and reduce violent crime, hold violent offenders accountable and give these communities the safety they deserve in memory of LeGend Taliferro, whose young life was claimed by violent crime, undoubtedly, we achieved it.”
According to the Department of Justice, Operation Legend resulted in “6,000 arrests — including approximately 467 for homicide” with “more than 2600 firearms were seized; and more than 32 kilos of heroin, more than 17 kilos of fentanyl, more than 300 kilos of methamphetamine, more than 135 kilos of cocaine, and more than $11 million in drug and other illicit proceeds.”
President Biden should direct Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch a similar initiative. He should also call on the Democrat Party to back away from calls to defund the police and return to law and order polices that keep communities safe.
Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.