Sharp increase in black lives lost as police withdraw
Now, a “Minneapolis Effect” already is evident following the demands to defund police in the wake of the death of George Floyd, Mac Donald points out in a column for her think tank.
She cited a a Minneapolis Star Tribune analysis showing shootings in Minneapolis have more than doubled this year compared to last. Nearly half of all those shootings have occurred since George Floyd’s death on Memorial Day, May 25.
“Today’s violent-crime increase – call it Ferguson Effect 2.0 or the Minneapolis Effect – has come on with a speed and magnitude that make Ferguson 1.0 seem tranquil,” she wrote.
“George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police in late May was justly condemned — but the event has now spurred an outpouring of contempt against the pillars of law and order that has no precedent in American history,” said Mac Donald. “Every day, another mainstream institution – from McDonald’s to Harvard – denounces the police, claiming without evidence that law enforcement is a threat to black lives.”
She explained that Brown’s death in August 2014 — which was found by a jury and by Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s Justice Department to be the fault of the black teen — triggered local riots and “a national narrative about lethally racist police.”
“Officers backed off proactive policing in minority neighborhoods, having been told that such discretionary enforcement was racially oppressive,” she said. “By early 2015, the resulting spike in shootings and homicides had become patent and would lead to an additional 2,000 black homicide victims in 2015 and 2016, compared with 2014 numbers.”
In Chicago, 18 people were killed and 47 wounded in shootings last weekend, Mac Donald pointed out. Through the first six months of the year, 329 people have been killed in the city, an increase of about 34% during the same period last year. Some 78% of the victims were black while blacks comprise less than a third of the population.
In Baltimore, which experienced depolicing after the death of Freddy Gray, the homicide rate is ahead of last year’s pace, which ended with a record high. New York City’s homicide rate is at a five-year high, with the number of shooting victims up more than 42% through June 21 compared with the same period in 2019. Homicides in Milwaukee have increased 132%.
“In 25 years, I’ve never seen it like this,” a Milwaukee police inspector told the Police Executive Research Forum.
Indianapolis shows similar increases, and other cities are likely to show the same when their data is published, Mac Donald said.
She warned that the spikes in violent crimes “are no longer the warning signs of a possible breakdown of civilized life.”
“That breakdown is upon us. If local and national leaders are unable to summon the will to defend our most basic institutions from false and inflammatory charges of racism, they have forfeited their right to govern,” she said. “Unless new leaders come forth who understand their duty to maintain the rule of law, the country will not pull back from disaster.”
Abandoned and betrayed
Organizations that avocate for policy safety and their well-being say that amid the calls to defund police, officers are feeling “abandoned” and “betrayed,” and their stress levels are “going through the roof.”
Randy Sutton, a former Las Vegas police lieutenant who now leads the organization The Wounded Blue, told Fox News officers are suffering from the “atmosphere of hate, distrust, having their own political leadership turn against them, the calls for defunding, the calls for dismantling.”
“They are feeling more under siege now than I think any time in history,” he said.
New York City, under pressure from defund-police activists, slashed $1 billion from its 2021 police budget late Tuesday night.
The 2020 budget for the New York City Police Department, the nation’s largest, was nearly $6 billion. Despite the deep cut, some city lawmakers and allied protesters still weren’t happy, CNN reported.
In Los Angeles on Wednesday, School Police Chief Todd Chamberlain announced his resignation, one day after the district school board approved a 35% cut to its school police force.
“After humbly serving my communities, departments and personnel over 35 years in law enforcement, I have been placed in a position that makes my ability to effectively, professionally and safely impact those groups unachievable,” Chamberlain said in written a statement.
He said he could not “support modifications to my position, the organization and most importantly, the community – students, staff and families – that I believe will be detrimental and potentially life-threatening.”
The LAUSD Board of Education’s vote shifted $25 million from the police budget to staffing that specially serves the needs of black students and a task force to study campus safety, reported KABC-TV in Los Angeles.