MAC DONALD: GOP Candidates Can Make Democrats Sweat With These Four Questions On Crime

Posted on October 9, 2022

The FBI confirmed what millions of Americans already knew: the Democrat-fueled, post-George Floyd crime surge continued into 2021.

Homicides rose another estimated 4.3% last year, on top of 2020’s 29% increase, according to the FBI’s newly released 2021 crime report. Aggravated assaults, which include the drive-by shootings that terrorize urban neighborhoods, rose 4%, although violent crime overall fell one percent, thanks to a reduction in robberies.

In the first six months of 2022, aggravated assault rose another 4%, and robberies fell 19%, according to a non-government study of nearly three dozen representative cities.

Theft has risen by 20% to June 2022, and car theft by 15%, according to analysis by the Criminal Justice Council.

Social order, in other words, continues to break down as a result of the Democrats’ glorification of the 2020 George Floyd riots and of the elite establishment’s vilification of the police. At least 12 major U.S. cities hit their highest homicide rates ever in 2021.

Corporate media spins FBI’s 2021 crime report as good news: “The 2020 homicide surge is up!” “That boom was really about pandemic lockdowns, just like we’ve always maintained!”

This turn is fancy. The chance of a repeat of 2020’s 29% homicide peak was minimal. By June 2022, murders were still 39% higher compared to June 2019.

And international data undermines the COVID explanation for the post-George Floyd massacre. Nations with more severe lockdowns and a higher death toll than the US have experienced sharp drops in violent crime; only the US has seen an epidemic of gun violence, starting only after the Floyd riots.

However, the FBI’s 2021 crime report comes with a major caveat: It’s based on crime numbers from just over half of the nation’s police departments. For the first time, the bureau required police agencies to use a more labor-intensive, if more comprehensive, data reporting system than in the past.

Only 52% of all police agencies, covering a little more than half the nation’s population, actually submitted a full year’s worth of data. Some of the largest police and sheriff’s agencies, including in New York, Los Angeles and Phoenix, have withdrawn from the voluntary program. The FBI arrived at its 2021 national numbers through an unusually large amount of estimation; those estimates are nevertheless more or less consistent with those of non-governmental entities.

In the midterms, most Democrats tried to stave off a crime backlash, and stopped denying the police rhetoric. President Joe Biden proposed throwing a bunch of federal dollars at police departments in his July 2022 Safer America Plan. Biden even had the gall to claim that it was Republicans which was anti-law enforcement.

The Dems should not be allowed to get away with this revisionist history. Democratic lies about systemic police racism have fueled the tumultuous situation inner-city police now face when trying to arrest criminals; Democratic lies have led police to back away from essential proactive enforcement and created a recruitment and retention crisis in police departments across the country.

Leftist prosecutors have stopped prosecuting a host of offenses — from theft to resisting arrest — on the theory that punishing minority criminals for such crimes is racist.

The Republican challenge to every Democratic candidate should be:

  • If a criminal robs a store, should he be arrested and prosecuted?
  • Do you support the de-facto decriminalization of shoplifting, turnstile jumping, extortion, trespassing, burglary, and illegal gun possession—just some of the crimes that leftist district attorneys refuse to prosecute on the grounds of racial justice.
  • Should race play a role in criminal justice policy?
  • In May 2022, Biden released an executive order claiming that there is “systemic racism in our criminal justice system” and that police are disproportionately killing “black and people of color.” Do you agree?

Fatal police shootings account for a much smaller percentage of black homicide deaths than white and Hispanic homicide deaths. In 2021, a police officer was 400 times more likely to be killed by a black suspect than an unarmed black individual would be killed by the police.

The post-George Floyd urban anarchy has halted the crime-fighting successes of the previous three decades. If Democrats are unwilling to outright reject the narratives and the policies that led to that reversal, voters hold them most accountable for the loss of thousands more, mostly black, lives; for the deadly traps of policemen; for the assaults on struggling businesses; and for spreading the sense in urban areas that civilization is ebbing away.

Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor to City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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