Violence has spiked in cities nationwide following weeks-long anti-police protests over the death of George Floyd, according to government statistics and media reports.
Residents in Minneapolis have created patrol groups to protect themselves after the city’s crime spike, and shootings in Atlanta rose 265% compared to last year during an almost month-long period. Seattle’s “Capital Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) led to a 525% increase in crime, including the death of two teenagers.
As crime rates rose, activists have called to abolish the police, an idea that’s gained traction among liberals. Former Hillary Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon, singer John Legend and women’s soccer star Megan Rapinoe have all supported dismantling the police, and protesters have touted the idea during demonstrations.
Police departments have warned that getting rid of the police could have dire consequences. Sergeants Benevolent Association of New York Vice President and police veteran Vincent Vallelong told the Daily Caller that he doesn’t “see there being any winners” if the police were abolished, and that “the losers will probably be the future generations of kids and their kids.”
Vice president emeritus of the International Union of Police Associations and LAPD veteran Dennis Slocumb said that “if you don’t want the police to be in your neighborhood, then you better get used to the crooks being there.” Former presidential candidate and self-described Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders has also said he was against abolishing the police.
While the debate continues, many of the same cities who are calling to defund the police are seeing an unprecedented spike in crime. Here are some of America’s major cities that have been rocked by violence.
The city where George Floyd died saw weeks of protests and riots.
Residents began forming armed patrol groups following massive cuts to police forces, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Minneapolis city council voted Friday to permanently cut the police department’s budget by $10 million and put in place a hiring freeze after already voting to dismantle the department next May. At the same time, the city saw a spike in crime – compared to last year, shootings tripled in June. There were 43 shootings in the first half of July this year, while there were 29 during the entire month in 2019, according to the Wall Street Journal.
So many businesses have been damaged in Minneapolis – over 100 were vandalized in one night alone – that fundraisers have been set up to help rebuild. Rioters burned buildings to the ground across the city, including the third precinct building of the Minneapolis Police Department, which was set on fire three days after Floyd died. (RELATED: 15 People Died In The Protests And Riots Following George Floyd’s Death. Here’s Who They Are)
Atlanta has seen a rise in shootings and homicides this year, the Wall Street Journal reported. Shootings rose 265% compared to last year during a 28-day period in June and early July, and there have been more cumulative murders in the city than there were at this time in 2019, according to the report.
Meanwhile, rioters broke windows and set fire to police cars, spray-painted the CNN headquarters, and destroyed the College Football Hall of Fame.
The protests ramped up after Rayshard Brooks was shot June 12 at a Wendy’s by police after an altercation with an officer.
The Wendy’s where Brooks was shot was burned to the ground by rioters the day after the shooting occurred. Peaceful protests continued alongside violent ones, leading up to the death of an 8-year-old girl on Independence Day.
New York City
After coronavirus ravaged the city, New Yorkers took to the streets to riot and violent crime spiked across New York City.
The number of shootings increased by 130% in June compared to last year, NYPD crime statistics showed. Robberies increased by 118%, and murders rose by 30%.
Rioters attacked police stations and looted stores. The destruction was so bad in just the first week of protests that President Donald Trump criticized Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s response, saying that “New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum.”
Yesterday was a bad day for the Cuomo Brothers. New York was lost to the looters, thugs, Radical Left, and all others forms of Lowlife & Scum. The Governor refuses to accept my offer of a dominating National Guard. NYC was ripped to pieces. Likewise, Fredo’s ratings are down 50%!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 2, 2020
Cuomo said in early June that “what happened in New York City was inexcusable.”
Los Angeles, California
Four people were shot in just one night in Los Angeles last month. The homicide rate rose 250% and the number of shooting victims rose by 56% in the first week of June, according to The Hill.
Los Angeles is another city that has been rocked by looting, vandalism and destruction during the riots. The city set a curfew and arrested those who violated it and also deployed the National Guard to try and control the chaos.
Videos showed business owners facing off with looters who descended on the city during the protests.
(2/3) EXCLUSIVE: A group of alleged looters square-off against business owners in Van Nuys as police converge onto the scene. The tense moments were captured live in front of our FOX 11 news camera. https://t.co/KEbNy7SnKw pic.twitter.com/ruAjXGSeev
— FOX 11 Los Angeles (@FOXLA) June 2, 2020
Explosive audio leaked of Chicago aldermen and Mayor Lori Lightfoot talking about the destruction of the city after a week of rioting and violence.
Lightfoot called the city “fucking lawless” and said that “hundreds” of places were looted in just one day.
Alderman Susan Sadlowski Garza said “my ward is a shit show,” and Ald. Derrick Curtis said that he had been “crying all day.” Another said she had “over 10 videos of people shooting other people.”
President Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he is sending more than 200 federal agents to Chicago amidst a surge in crime. “The effort to shut down police in their own communities has led to a shocking explosion of shootings, killing, violence, murders,” the president said according to Fox News.
Crime statistics showed that murder and violent crime rates shot up in Chicago during the month of June, WGN-TV reported.
Compared to June of last year, murders increased by 34% and shootings increased by 45%.
Protesters in Seattle last month created CHAZ, a police-free area amid the ongoing demonstrations. However, the area saw a surge in violent crime. (RELATED: Seattle Police Start To Clear CHOP, Make 23 Arrests Following Mayor’s Executive Order To Disperse)
Because of CHAZ, the city saw a 525% increase in crime, Mayor Jenny Durkan said according to the New York Post.
The mayor put forward an emergency order July 1 to clear protesters out of the CHAZ, in which she cited the “narcotics use and violent crime, including rape, robbery, assault, and increased gang activity” in the area.
Victims of the violence include two teenage boys, ages 16 and 19, who died in two separate shootings.