Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

America’s Legal Order Begins to Fray

Murder and other violent crime has been on a long-term decline. Or it was until last year, when the when the Obama administration and its Democrat supporters put out the false story that white cops in Ferguson Mo and elsewhere went around killing innocent black men with no provocation. Now police work has been scaled back, and murders are back up.

Heather MacDonald writes in the WSJ:
After two decades of the most remarkable crime drop in U.S. history, law enforcement has come to this: “I’m deliberately not getting involved in things I would have in the 1990s and 2000s,” an emergency-services officer in New York City tells me. “I won’t get out of my car for a reasonable-suspicion stop; I will if there’s a violent felony committed in my presence.”

A virulent antipolice campaign over the past year—initially fueled by a since-discredited narrative about a police shooting in Ferguson, Mo.—has made police officers reluctant to do their jobs. The Black Lives Matter movement proclaims that the police are a lethal threat to blacks and that the criminal-justice system is pervaded by racial bias. The media amplify that message on an almost daily basis. Officers now worry about becoming the latest racist cop of the week, losing their job or being indicted if a good-faith encounter with a suspect goes awry or is merely distorted by an incomplete cellphone video.

With police so discouraged, violent crime has surged in at least 35 American cities this year. The alarming murder increase prompted an emergency meeting of the Major Cities Chiefs Association last month. Homicides were up 76% in Milwaukee, 60% in St. Louis, and 56% in Baltimore through mid-August, compared with the same period in 2014; murder was up 47% in Minneapolis and 36% in Houston through mid-July. ...

The irony is that the historic reduction of U.S. crime since the 1990s was predicated on police singling out African-Americans—for protection. Using victims’ crime reports, cops focused on violent hot spots; since black Americans are disproportionately the victims of crime, just as blacks are disproportionately its perpetrators, effective policing was heaviest in minority neighborhoods. The cops were there because they believe that black lives matter.

Thousands of African-Americans are alive today because of a law-enforcement achievement that now is in danger of being squandered. In the current eruption of violent crime, the overwhelming majority of victims have been black. The Baltimore Sun reported that July was the bloodiest month in the city since 1972, with 45 people killed in 30 days. All but two were black.

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