Cities across the country that are seeing spikes in violent crime have all passed the same handful of police reform bills, Washington, D.C., police union chairman Gregg Pemberton said Monday on the Vince Coglianese Show.
Pemberton argues that mayors and city councils across the country have made decisions on police reform while only consulting activists, leaving local police without a seat at the table. The result, Pemberton said, is the wave of violent crime seen in cities across the country over the past three years. (RELATED: ‘Subverts The Right And Duty Of Parents’: Bowser, DC Sued For Allowing Children To Get Vaccinated Without Parental Consent)
“The city council here in the District of Columbia has been legislating away all of the tools–the responsible, professional, constitutional tools–that police officers use to keep this kind of violence out of our city,” Pemberton said. “We all need to sit down in the same room and talk about how [reforms] will be implemented in real life and how they’re gonna affect crime. What they’ve done is they’ve just run off on their own with academia and with activists to say, ‘Well this is what we think policing should look like.'”
Welcome to Washington, D.C. Where violent crime permeates everything.
It is a tragedy that elected officials won’t let us do our jobs. https://t.co/IA5N5qHv5P
— DC Police Union (@DCPoliceUnion) July 18, 2021
“In 2012 we only had 88 homicides for the entire year, and for the following five years after that we barely even broke 100 homicides,” Pemberton continued. “But get to 2015 when all of these policies started to change, and we started to see this idea of police reforms, and in particularly this past year, the numbers shot back up: 150, 160, 180, now we’re approaching 200.”
D.C. reached 101 homicides for 2021 on July 16, the exact same date as 2020. D.C. ultimately saw 198 homicides in 2020, and 2021 is on track to reach a similar number. The city hasn’t seen such high numbers of homicides since 2005, when it suffered 196 homicides, according to the city’s data.
The D.C. Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety cut more than $9.5 million from Bowser’s proposed $578 million police budget for the 2021 fiscal year, WUSA reported. In 2020, D.C. defunded the police department by $15 million following Black Lives Matter protests, according to The Washington Post.
“It all can be traced back to the same thing, and if you don’t want to take my word for it, there’s plenty of evidence out there because they’ve passed the same exact bills in Chicago, Seattle and Portland and San Francisco,” Pemberton said. ” You name it, anywhere where there’s huge crime spikes you’ll find a city council passing the exact same bills. So I don’t know how much empirical that you need to see that these are bad ideas.”