New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey seem to be locked in a perpetual contest to decide who is the nation’s worst mayor. Just when it looks like one has the edge, one of the others steps up and delivers more incompetence.
Frey allowed the rioting to start. Result: Mayhem and murder.
Durkan let the rioters create Durkanstan by taking over and squatting in downtown Seattle. Result: Mayhem and murder.
Now Bill de Blasio is blaming the surge in New York’s violence on coronavirus. Seriously.
“I want to talk about what happened this weekend. Many were out there celebrating, but we saw too much violence, and we have a lot of work to do to address it,” de Blasio said, while adding that “there is not one cause for something like this.”
“This is directly related to coronavirus,” de Blasio said, according to Fox News. “This is a very serious situation… As we’re getting into warmer and warmer weather, we’re feeling the effects of people being cooped up for months, the economy hasn’t restarted – we have a real problem here.”
Celebrating America is bad. Protesting America is good. That’s not subtext, it’s just de Blasio’s thinking. Hizzoner hit the streets and marched with the protesters, ignoring the probability that the protests could spread the virus. But if you went to the park for a family cookout to celebrate the Fourth of July, you’re bad. And if you’re a Jewish kid who wanted to play at the playground, de Blasio locked the gates.
New York’s murder surge predates the Fourth of July holiday, tracking pretty well with de Blasio’s bail reform and again with defunding New York’s finest.
New York’s top cop is having none of it. After diplomatically agreeing that the city’s surge in violence has several causes, NYPD Chief Terence Monahan offered different — and more direct — causes for the increasing violence, including de Blasio’s bail reform.
“A lot of different individuals are on the street that should not be on the street,” Monahan said Monday, noting that inmate releases from Rikers Island due to COVID-19, bail reform and the newly imposed ban on chokeholds contributed as well.
“It has our cops hesitating to enforce some of those quality-of-life issues,” he said, noting that police do not have a problem with the ban on chokeholds, but that other language in the new legislation makes it difficult for officers to make arrests, including using their knees on a suspect’s back.
“The animosity toward police out there is tremendous,” Monahan said. “Just about everyone we deal with is looking to fight a police officer when we make an arrest, so it is vital that we get communities together supporting and speaking up for police.”
That animosity is dominating New York and dozens of other Democrat-run cities across the country.
De Blasio and the city council authorized cutting $1 billion from the city’s police budget. That move was so wrong-headed even Gov. Cuomo mocked him for it. Cuomo has no leg to stand on after his COVID nursing home policy did so much damage.
We’re going through a great unlearning right now, which is manifest in this great unraveling in our largest cities. We learned across about 30 years that more police, smarter tactics, more prison capacity, and tougher sentencing all tend to work in concert to reduce violent crime. We learned that looking after broken windows and keeping the streets orderly leads to reductions in violent crime. We learned that community policing can work, and we learned that supporting the police against criminals sends the right message. Violent crime dropped year after year from 1994 to the early part of this year.
We learned those lessons the hard way. Now we’re giving all that progress against crime back, not in years but in days and weeks. It will take years to put the lid back on this Pandora’s Box — if we ever do re-learn what too many have un-learned.