News & Politics

Abolish the Police? This Is a 'Slow-Motion Experiment' of That

Public domain image from Wikimedia commons, photograph by Tony Webster.

How can we make sense of all these killings? Saint Paul, Dallas, Baton Rouge — we know those locations of unspeakable tragedy. But across the country, murders are up. In Chicago over Father’s Day weekend, one person was effectively shot every 43 minutes.

“There are activists in Chicago who want to abolish the police department,” Heather Mac Donald, author of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, told PJ Media in an interview. “We’re getting a slow motion experiment of that. One day without the police — let’s see what happens.”

So what is happening? All hell is breaking loose. Let’s look at Chicago’s Father’s Day weekend. Between 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 18, and 4:30 a.m. Sunday, June 19, 28 people were wounded, three fatally, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Five people were fatally shot and nine others wounded between Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Four deaths happened in the space of seven hours. Among the dead was a 16-year-old boy in the passenger seat of a car, when two men fired shots.

A 3-year-old boy was among the wounded who survived the shootings. He was shot in the right shoulder Sunday evening, sitting in a car seat when an unknown attacker opened fire at a car.

This weekend of terror was not out of the ordinary for the Windy City. The city reached 306 dead in 2016 that weekend, and about 1,800 people had been shot across the city — over 200 of whom died of their wounds. That’s not taking into account the month since.

But this crime spike is not unique to Chicago, and there’s a clear reason for it, Mac Donald said. “This year in Chicago, there’s been about a 50 percent increase in shootings as stops have dropped about 90 percent.”

In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, police are scaling back their proactive policing — known as “broken window policing” — in order to avoid becoming the next Darren Wilson, who gained eternal infamy for shooting Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. But more recently, a true innocent lost her life in the same city.

“In Ferguson, there was a 9-year-old girl studying on her bed in August 2015 who was killed in a gang retaliatory shooting,” Mac Donald noted. “I find it amazing that the world knows the name of the thug Michael Brown who attacked Darren Wilson after a robbery,” but not the name of this girl.

Her name was Jamyla Bolden. A 21-year-old man by the name of De’Eris M. Brown was arrested and charged with second-degree murder for the shooting, the New York Daily News reported. He was also arrested a year previously, for reportedly threatening his ex-girlfriend with a gun at a Subway restaurant.

“I’m coming to your job and going to shoot up the place,” he allegedly told her. At the time, he was on bail for an armed robbery he committed three months earlier.

This case did not roil the country because the race of the shooter and the race of the victim were the same. Michael Brown’s shooting — which was judged by both a local grand jury and an FBI investigation to be justified — did so. As Mac Donald noted, Brown’s death “is invoked by the New York Times, and yet nobody knows the names of children” like Jamyla.

Next Page: Who suffers the most when police scale back their efforts?

Mac Donald explained that when crime increases, it is the law-abiding poor in inner cities who truly suffer. She estimated that among the “underclass culture,” the “majority of the people are just trying to get on with their lives, but they’re held hostage to fear from people leading lives of utter degradation.”

Crime actually is a serious problem, and “innocent children are being killed as well as elderly people who are terrified to go down and get the mail because they’re afraid of teen truants dealing drugs and smoking weed.”

Mac Donald said it is the law-abiding “underclass” who suffer the most when police hold back, afraid of becoming the next viral sensation. What these people need isn’t less policing, but cultural stability — which comes best through stable two-parent families, but the police are an imperfect but helpful substitute.

This author has previously said that the one institution truly driven by the proposition that “black lives matter” is the police. There are bad apples, and there have been horrible tragedies where an officer uses excessive force, as in the case of Eric Garner in New York City.

But there is no concrete evidence that racism is the main cause of disproportionate policing of black people.

“I don’t think that the policing of the Jim Crow era is the policing of today,” Mac Donald told PJ Media. “Fifty percent of all police shootings had white suspects. If the media ran with those shootings, we would think there’s a police war on white people.”

She mentioned the case of Dylan Noble, a white man who was shot by police four times in Fresno, California. He was also unarmed, and his death was truly tragic. But you didn’t hear about it, because he was white.

The “Black Lives Matter” narrative is “motivating violence,” Mac Donald emphasized, pointing to the Dallas shootings. She argued that “it is a serious matter to say that a government agency like the police is pervaded by racial bias,” especially “given existing tensions among some members of inner cities and police.”

“I think it’s very irresponsible to exacerbate those tensions by putting out a narrative telling blacks that the police are out to get them,” she declared. “Anybody making that charge is just duplicitous — it’s just not the case. Once you take crime under consideration, there’s no evidence of criminal justice bias or bias by police officers.”

Mac Donald’s book is a point-by-point explanation of why “Black Lives Matter” is based on an inaccurate understanding of the facts, and why the narrative is dangerous to inner-city communities.

This anti-police movement has emerged in various peaceful and less peaceful ways. At least one Chicago activist called to eliminate the police across America. Mac Donald said we’re already seeing what that looks like, and it is truly terrifying.