BLM and interesting Crime Stats

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Black Lives Matter (BLM) organizations are flexing their new political muscles.

They  are pressuring the incoming Biden administration as well as state and  local lawmakers to fulfill their personnel and policy demands.

However,  their radical ideas could be devastating to the black community leaving  minority neighborhoods more lawless and dangerous.

The BLM  protests that began in response to the death of George Floyd in  Minneapolis, Minnesota earlier this year, triggered a lengthy period of  civil unrest.

Many Americans thought they were embracing progress toward greater equality as they chanted or posted #blacklivesmatter.

They  were actually supporting organizations that advocated for far-left  policies, the cornerstone being to defund police in America.

The  constellation of organizations that comprise the BLM movement also have a  host of other demands that would undermine public safety in the Black  community.

After the November election, BLM has the megaphone, the manpower, and the political might to get it done.

BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors made clear in a letter recently that she wants a meeting with Joe Biden to express  their demands: “We want something for our vote. We are requesting a  meeting with you both to discuss the expectations that we have for your  administration and the commitments that must be made to Black people.”

Local  BLM chapters are pushing for their police forces to be defunded among  sundry other priorities including removing resource officers from  schools, legalizing sex work, and even reparations.

Nationally, BLM movement has drafted a comprehensive federal policing and justice reform bill, the BREATHE Act.

The BREATHE Act would starve law enforcement of significant federal infusions of cash and reshape our criminal justice system.

Championed  by members of The Squad, U.S. Reps. Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., and  Rashida Tlaib. D-Mich., this bill would strip federal resources from  incarceration and policing, reduce immigration enforcement, close  prisons and immigration and youth detention centers, pilot universal  basic income programs, and give voting rights to incarcerated  individuals and illegal immigrants (in local and states laws.)

Conservatives  may find a few areas of common ground in the BREATHE Act, such as  ending mandatory minimum sentences and civil asset forfeiture, but  little else.

While the emphasis for BLM is on defunding the  police, there are those who would dismantle police forces entirely. This  is farther left than most Democrats would go.

Republicans and  Democrats introduced policing reform legislation in Congress this  summer, but neither included defunding the police, because they know  that can lead to dangerous unintended consequences.

In a world  where police departments have been defunded or “reimagined” (as it’s now  also called), mediators are called in for domestic-violence situations  and mental-health experts for situations involving behavioral health  crises.

Defund advocates claim officers mostly respond to nonviolent 911calls such as vagrancy  and domestic squabbles rather than handling violent crime.

Police officers do respond to a variety of non-emergencies outside of traditional police functions. We know from data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics that the most common  reason individuals called for police assistance in 2011 was to report a  crime, suspicious activity, or neighborhood disturbance (19.7 million  persons). Noncrime emergencies such as a medical issue or traffic  accident came in second (12.6 million).

Other reasons, such as  having a problem with an animal, returning a lost item, or nonemergency  matters (3.9 million persons), were a distant third. However, there is conflicting data on just how much of an officer’s job could be fielded by social  workers, crisis counselors, mediators, substance-abuse counselors, and  even clergy.

Simply thinking that if lawmakers shift most police  funding and functions to these other services, communities will be  better off ignores the reality that nonviolent or routine incidents can  escalate quickly.

Furthermore, when criminals know that there are  fewer police patrolling or likely to respond and investigate crime, they  may feel emboldened.

This summer violent crime in cities spiked across the nation after months of lockdowns, rising unemployment, police funding cuts, and mass protests.

In the nation’s 50 largest cities, reported homicides increased by 24% this year according to a Wall Street Journal analysis in August. Minneapolis, Minnesota, which is on the path to  dismantle its police force, shifted $1 million from its police force to  hire violence interrupters.

Instead of more peace, the city experienced a spike in the number of reported violent crimes such as assaults, robberies and homicides compared to 2019.

Startlingly,  more people have been killed in the city in the first nine months of  2020 than were slain in all of last year. Burglaries, auto thefts, and  arson have also all increased.

Black Americans recognize the recklessness of defunding police, which is why 81 percent of them want the same or more police presence in their neighborhoods.

BLM’s  defund-the-police movement employs dehumanizing rhetoric to encourage  disrespect, disobedience, and even violence against officers.

Not only do police officers believe that their jobs have become more difficult, but police forces face significant retention and recruitment challenges.

We  all support policing reform and there are bipartisan ideas that can  bring positive change, but lawmakers would be wise not to give in to  demands to defund the police if they truly want safer communities.

Patrice  Lee Onwuka is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum  and a senior fellow with the Alliance for Charitable Excellence, a  project of The Philanthropy Roundtable. She is also a Tony Blankley  Fellow at The Steamboat Institute. She has worked in policy, advocacy,  and communications roles in Washington, D.C. for more than a decade on  issues related to the economy, employment, technology, and the criminal  justice system. Prior to moving to Washington, Patrice served as a  speechwriter for a United Nations spokesman. Onwuka is a regular guest  on Fox News, Fox Business News, MSNBC, and PBS programs. Her writing has  appeared in The Washington Post, The Hill, Bloomberg, The Washington  Times, the New York Post, the Christian Science Monitor, and other  outlets. She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political  science from Tufts University and a master’s degree in international  relations from Boston College. Follow her on Twitter @PatricePinkFile.  Read Patrice Lee Onwuka’s Reports — More Here.

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