Just a year following the controversial death of George Floyd, liberal officials in major cities are walking back their former commitments to cut police funding in response to rapidly climbing crime rates.
Elected leaders in places such a Minneapolis, New York City, and Los Angeles are now pushing instead to increase funding to police departments after months of budget cuts and low morale have gutted law enforcement ranks. These once promised cuts have also encouraged criminals to wreak havoc on their cities knowing that their consequences will not be as severe as once possible.
“The violence needs to stop, its unacceptable. People deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood, they deserve to be able to send their kids out to the sidewalk to play and to recreate without bullets flying by. That’s unacceptable. We should be holding these perpetrators accountable,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, a Democrat, said at a May 7 news conference addressing a spate of violence that ripped through the city.
The far-left Mayor Frey put much of the blame of rising crime rates on activists’ calls to defund the police in the wake of George Floyd’s death.
Floyd’s death last year kicked off massive riots and calls to redirect police funding toward social programs. Violent crime surged 21% in Minneapolis last year, and the trend is threatening to continue through 2021.
“When you make big, overarching statements that we’re going to defund or abolish and dismantle the police department and get rid of all the officers, there’s an impact to that,” Frey said.
At a news conference earlier this week, Frey said he is requesting federal and state help to curb crime in his city, citing Minneapolis’ dearth of cops.
In Los Angeles, the spike in crime has been made even more evident. Last year, violent crime in the city rose 36% as elected officials stripped the local police department of a staggering $150 million, roughly 8% of the department’s funding.
The number of murders across the city surged to a decade-high of 350.
Despite Democratic Mayor Eric Garcetti’s and the L.A. city council’s earlier commitment to cut back police funding, city leaders reversed course last week.
The city council approved additional funding for the police department to hire 250 officers, essentially restoring the cuts that the city council approved last year, according to The New York Times.
New York City, too, has been hit hard by the cuts. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio previously pledged to eliminate $1 billion from the New York City Police Department’s budget. From January to April, New York City experienced a more than 50% jump in the number of shootings over the same time last year. The spike comes after last year when shootings jumped 97% and the murders across the city increased 45% in 2019.
Now, the mayor has been left no choice but to bring in more officers. Earlier this month he announced that the city is building a new police precinct in Southeast Queens to combat rising crime.
Author: Andrew Weathers