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The consequences of soft-on-crime policies, after many legislators, prosecutors and authorities knelt to the demands of the Marxist movement “Black Lives Matter”, are beginning to be felt in several cities in the United States as violence increases rapidlyy.
Physical assaults, shootings, homicides and a general increase in crime is a reality. The country is going through an unmistakably violent time from last summer, when the streets went up in flames in the name of “systemic racism”, to the present day, when various police departments are working with far fewer resources and the main authorities against them.
LA County District Attorney George Gascón serves as a prime example of a real and troubling pattern in the U.S.
Gascón has decided that law enforcement’s budget must be reduced and units that investigate “hard gangs” must be eliminated. His efforts ignore the fact that homicides and shootings are increasing in Los Angeles.
Homicides in Los Angeles increased by 36.2 % and the number of shooting victims also registered a significant increase of 41.4 % in comparison to 2019, a year when the fatalities from shootings were 253. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said that 55% of the murders were related to street gangs.
Despite this, District Attorney Gascón is dismantling the main unit that handles gang-related crimes, a decision that coincides with his promise to make the system more flexible.
New York lets the violent offenders off the hook
New York is another similar case, as state legislators have been promoting, since December of last year, a parole project for New Yorkers who are over 55 years old and have been in prison for more than 15 years. This regardless of the crime they have committed.
The Daily Wire published an analysis on the matter entitled New York frees violent criminals who then commit more violence. The news outlet reviewed several cases of criminals released from prison who in recent weeks committed various physical assaults such as hate violence against Asian-Americans and Jews.
“In December 2020, roughly 20 New York legislators pushed for a package they dubbed ‘Justice Roadmap 2021,’ which included the so-called ‘Elder Parole Bill,’ which would require that ‘incarcerated New Yorkers over age 55 who have served 15 or more consecutive years be considered for parole regardless of their crime or sentence,” the media outlet explained. “That same month, it was reported that ‘New York City has released almost all its inmates arrested on gun charges this year, which police say has led to the city’s soaring rates of gun crime.'”
The result of soft-on-crime policies in New York is plain to see: violence increased and with it came landmark cases such as Brandon Elliot, a man who stabbed his mother to death in 2002 and was paroled according to the Daily Wire. Elliot carried out one of the attacks on an Asian-American woman in Manhattan.
Another case is Darryl Jones, who “attacked a Jewish family a month after being released from prison after pleading guilty to attempted murder,” the Daily said in its analysis.
The New York Post reported on this event by reviewing it as follows: “A knife-wielding man on parole for attempted murder randomly attacked a Hassidic couple walking with their 1-year-old in Lower Manhattan on Wednesday — slashing all three family members, cops and police sources said.”
But it doesn’t end there. The Daily Mail also reported that a 68-year-old Asian man was “violently assaulted on the New York subway by an assailant shouting racist slurs.” The media outlet said the alleged assailant, Marc Mathieu, boasts nine arrests on his criminal record and “randomly attacked Bodhi while shouting ‘You Asian motherf***er!’ according to witness George Okrepkie, who aided the victim until police arrived.”
While cases of physical assaults against Asian-Americans or Jews fall into the category of “hate crime,” there is no denying that the rise in violence in New York is across the board. “On top of a pandemic that took more than 25,000 lives, New York City endured a soul-crushing crime surge in 2020 — a 97% jump in shootings and a 45% surge in murders,” the NY Daily News reported. These figures are alarming, as the city has not seen such a spate of violence for 14 years.
“When the ball fell in near-empty Times Square, the NYPD counted 462 murders across the city in 2020 — 143 more than in 2019. Shootings were also up — cops counted 1,531 shooting incidents across the five boroughs, 754 more than in 2019, officials said. In those incidents, bullets hit 1,868 people,” they added in the report.
Other cities affected by the increase in violence and soft-on-crime policies
This phenomenon does not only occur in New York City and Los Angeles. Other large cities in the country have implemented soft-on-crime policies and have also defunded police departments to redirect funds to grants and social programs. The result has been an increase in violence.
According to Fox News, several cities across the country were affected by an increase in various crimes, such as murders, after police were stripped of financial resources.
“As police departments were left to make do with shrunken budgets and less support, some big cities have seen sometimes drastic upticks in murders and other violent crimes, a Fox News crime analysis found,” the news outlet reviewed in a data analysis with help from The Associated Press.
Minneapolis was one of the cities hit the hardest by the rise in crime and murders following the George Floyd case in May 2020. Between Dec. 11, 2020, and March 28 of this year, “murders in the city rose 46%, to 19, compared with the 13 reported during the same period last year,” Fox reviewed. “And going back further, there have been 49% more homicides since the initial budget cut in July 2020 — 58 murders between July 22, 2020, and March 28, compared to the 39 reported year-over-year.”
Minneapolis is the city where the increase in crime is most reflected according to violent crime policies statistics. Between July 22, 2020, and March 28, crimes of this type grew by a 22% year-over-year rate, which equates to 3,692 cases compared to 3,025 cases last year.
Last December, the Minneapolis City Council approved the reduction of $8 million from the police budget. But that reduction of funds still falls far short of the opinion of city council members who, last June, showed their support for “defunding the police department,” Fox News said.
Another city that was tremendously affected by the increase in violence was Portland, one of the cities that bore the brunt of last summer’s violent protests. The data reflects that murders in shootings increased almost threefold, with an increase of 270.6%. Between July 2020 and February 2021 the homicides registered were 63, while from July 2019 and February 2020 there were 17.
Between January and February of this year, Portland recorded 17 homicides, representing a 1,600 % growth compared to 2020 data provided by the city police.
According to Fox News, “city commissioners voted in mid-June to cut nearly $16 million from the police budget in response to concerns about use of force and racial injustice.” Just 2020 was the deadliest in the city in the entire 21st century.
Austin, Texas and soft-on-crime policies
The capital of Texas is also seeing its crime and violence rates rise. So far this year, Austin has already recorded 11 homicides, one more than in the same period of time in 2020; however, where a more profuse increase was recorded is in aggravated robberies, which have already reached 524 compared to the 415 reported last year.
The Austin council was one of the largest cutters of the police budget by more than $150 million, representing a third of the $434 million allocated to the police. Crime could potentially increase because of the soft-on-crime policies.
Record violence in the country with the complicity of the authorities
Last year was especially terrifying across the country, being one of the most violent in decades.
“Gun violence and gun crime has, in particular, risen drastically, with over 19,000 people killed in shootings and firearm-related incidents in 2020. That’s the highest death toll in over 20 years, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive (GVA).” Time reviewed.
This comes as no surprise, considering that the pandemic has increased poverty and unemployment rates, which has reduced the quality of life in many areas of the country, affected the economy and, therefore, the lower classes. The reality is that the increase in violence is related to the context.
It is important to highlight that there are currently more than 20 major cities that reduced the budgets of police departments in some way, according to The Guardian.
Among the cities that reduced their budgets are New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Milwaukee and Philadelphia; and the common denominator among them is the increase in violence, crime and murder rates.
The soft-on-crime policies and the reduction of resources for the police, according to the data and the wave of violence recorded, far from helping to solve problems, exacerbates them. It is necessary to find more effective and practical solutions.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
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