Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Philadelphia and other liberal cities are facing a dramatic rise in violence which has forced the city leaders to reevaluate their stance on defunding the police, a Sunday report says.
Protesters that engulfed the nation’s streets in summer 2020 following George Floyd‘s death clamored for taking funds away from police departments in favor of other community servies. As a result, a number of police departments across the U.S. had their budgets reduced, The New York Times (NYT) reported.
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) lost $150 million, or 8% of its budget in 2020, The NYT reported. The Minneapolis Police Department’s and the Metropolitan Police Department’s budgets were cut by $7.7 million and $15 million, respectively.
Homicides grew by 45% in New York and 36% in Los Angeles last year, according to The NYT.
The trend can be observed in smaller cities, too. Louisville, for instance, saw a record-high number of murders at 173 homicides last year. The city is expected to exceed this number in 2021, according to The NYT.
A year after the murder of George Floyd, Los Angeles and other American cities are facing a surge in violent crime, forcing cities whose leaders embraced the idea of police reform to reassess how far they are willing to go to reimagine public safety. https://t.co/RMzadl6Pib
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 23, 2021
Los Angeles City Council reversed its 2020 decision mid-May 2021, when it approved a boost in LAPD’s funding, essentially restoring the department’s original budget. The LAPD is planning to use its increased budget for hiring additional 250 officers in 2021, the report says.
Los Angeles and other cities that became part of the upward trend in violent crimes are likely to have a hard time going back to the pre-pandemic crime rates, given that the nation also witnessed a historic increase in firearm purchases in 2020, according to the report. (RELATED: Progressive Philly DA Larry Krasner Wins Primary Despite Record High Homicide Rates)
“We’ve lost more than a decade of progress,” Chief of the LAPD Michel Moore said, referring to 350 murders recorded in Los Angeles in 2020, the highest in the past ten years.
“I won’t argue that there is substandard housing, education, broken families, substance abuse, the systems that are racist and have systemic issues that have gone on for generations,” Moore said when asked about the “Defund The Police” movement. “But the fix of that is not to eliminate policing.”