As the 2022 midterm elections get closer and violent crime and murder rates continue to soar in America’s big cities, many of them having been run by Democrats for decades, Democrats are beginning to fear that ‘defund the police’ could become a political albatross in 2022.
One of those big cities, New York, held a mayoral primary election on Tuesday, and while the results will not be known for several weeks, the front-runner and presumed winner is former NYPD Captain Eric Adams, who ran against defunding police.
Democrats are starting to think that’s not a coincidence.
During a recent interview with New York Magazine, Adams spoke realistically about what happens when police are defunded: “When you start defunding, hey, the cop is no longer on your corner. That cop is no longer in your lobby. That cop is not standing outside when you leave your Broadway play. And I have never been to an event where the people were saying we want less cops. Never.”
George Floyd Death Sparks Summer Of ‘Defund The Police’
The death of George Floyd last May in Minneapolis sparked cries for defunding police departments all over the nation. Almost immediately, cities like New York, Los Angeles, began efforts to shrink and reshuffle police departments and budgets.
Other cities including San Francisco, Baltimore, and Philadelphia were considering similar efforts.
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In Minneapolis, Democrat Mayor Jacob Frey had said at the time that he supported “massive structural and transformational” reform, but not for the all out abolishing of the department. However, Rep. Ilhan Omar went further and came out in support of abolishing the police department.
But what a difference a year makes. With a midterm election looming, and soaring murder rates, Democrats might be rethinking the power and influence a slogan like “defund the police” is having on their 2022 chances.
Top Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and even President Joe Biden have attempted to distance themselves from any defund the police stances.
The Democrats could be facing a brutal election season, and according to a report from the New York Post, few want to spend time defending the defund movement. A USA Today/Ipsos poll shows only one in five Americans support defund the police movements.
Murder Rates In Democrat-Led Cities Skyrocket
A trip across the nation to the some of the largest cities in America reveals some grim and dangerous statistics.
In Los Angeles so far this year, murders are up 28.3%. Shooting victims have double from 157 in March of 2020 to 303 in 2021. Los Angeles cut police funding by $150 million last July.
In New York City, the murder rate is up 11.8%, and shootings were up 40%. New York City leaders also voted last July defund police to the tune of $1 billion, transferring it to education and social services.
In places like Chicago and St. Louis, a look at the number of murders and shootings that take place in a weekend is a tell-tale sign of what the actual murder rate might look like.
In Chicago, this past weekend, 52 people were shot, seven fatally. The weekend before, 43 people were shot and three killed.
A group called the “Defund CPD Campaign” is asking the city to reallocate 75% or $1.2 billion from the police budget and transfer it to the reopening of schools and mental health clinics.
St. Louis is giving Chicago a run for its money. There were 87 murders per 100,000 people in St. Louis in 2020. It is now at the highest rate in 50 years. There have been 85 murders in St. Louis in 2021.
Last weekend, police were called to nine shooting scenes within four hours. Newly-elected Mayor Tishaura Jones has proposed a $4 million cut to the police budget for next year, and the elimination of roughly 100 vacant police positions.
Could Democrats Be Beginning To Sweat?
Republicans have made no bones about the fact that they plan on using Democrat calls for defunding the police as a campaign issue. Legendary Democrat strategist James Carville was straight to the point in an interview with the Weekly Standard, “I mean, this defund the police was just a terrible drag on the Democratic Party. It really was. Don’t kid yourself.”
In 2020, in Senate races where it looked as though Democrats may win the day in places like North Carolina and Montana, the GOP won the day, and many Democrats think it was the defund the police movement that was a losing strategy for them.
The defund movement has also caused some divisions within the Democrat Party itself. Moderate Democrats like Virginia Senator Mark Warner said during a radio interview that, “I think the ability — using terms like defund the police have led to Democratic losses in this last year.”
But far-left progressives, like members of the ‘Squad’ like Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), tweeting out things like, “I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed,” the argument is that those kind of incendiary comments are shoring up the Democrat Party base.
President Joe Biden will be addressing new initiatives to tackle rising crime rates on Wednesday.
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