Democrats welcomed crime last summer when cities burned following the death of George Floyd. Defund the police activists encouraged officials to adopt soft-on-crime policies, and the cities that did so are now being forced to deal with record-high violence and lawlessness.
As cities burned during the summer of 2020, Democrats downplayed, dismissed, or outright encouraged the violence. Businesses were forced to place boards on the windows to prevent looting and vandalism. Ultimately, the protests and riots cost upwards of $1 billion in damage.
The Democrats also caved to demands from anti-police advocates who called for slashing police budgets in favor of “community alternatives.” Austin, Texas, cut its police department’s budget by $150 million; Washington, D.C., slashed $15 million from the Metropolitan Police Department budget; Chicago, Illinois, quietly cut 400 police positions; officials in San Francisco, California, promised to cut $120 million from the police budget over two years; New York City cut $1 billion from its police budget in 2021.
Overall, 25 major cities have slashed their police budgets or proposed major cuts, according to a Forbes report. At the same time, Democratic mayors spent millions of taxpayer dollars on personal protection, allowing them to enjoy the security that they have denied their constituents, Forbes reported.
Cities have also adopted soft-on-crime policies that have lead to brazen lawlessness. In 2014, California voters adopted Proposition 47, which reclassified nonviolent theft as a misdemeanor if the thief steals less than $950 items worth of goods. Videos have emerged since then showing thieves stealing items from stores right in front of security guards who are powerless to stop them. In one case, a man was seen at a San Francisco Walgreens shoving items into a large black bag right as a security guard stands and watched him.
— Lyanne Melendez (@LyanneMelendez) June 14, 2021
A summer of rioting, the implementation of soft-on-crime policies and defunding the police created a perfect storm for a rise in violent crime. In 2020, murders alone increased 36.7% compared to the year before, according to public information compiled by data analytics reporter Jeff Asher.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the city where George Floyd died, violent crime rose by as much as 36% in some neighborhoods, according to the Star Tribune. In New York City, shootings rose by 140% and murders rose by 51% between May and August of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, according to a New York Times report. Chicago saw a 55% increase in murders in 2020 compared to 2019, according to Asher’s data. In 2020, Washington, D.C., had the highest number of murders since 2005, the Washingtonian reported. Atlanta had a 58% increase in murders from 2019 to 2020 and had its deadliest year in more than two decades, The Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported.
Crime spikes forced Democrats to change their tune about police reform. Defunding the police became so unpopular that they eventually began saying that Republicans were the ones who wanted to defund the police, despite multiple Democrats – including New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar – pushing for the policy.