Well, we’re officially here, a full year out from the death of George Floyd and the start of what has arguably been the most controversial and unprecedented year in our history as a nation.
As you will remember, the death of Floyd and other Black Americans such as Breonna Taylor prompted much of America to take a long hard look at how policing was being handled in our major cities, as both of the aforementioned names died when their paths crossed with law enforcement personnel.
The solution for many, particularly those on the political left and who support the now world-famous Black Lives Matter group, was to simply defund or even abolish the police. They claimed that policing as a whole was somehow racist and unfair to minority communities and thus needed to be reformed, if not wholly scrubbed.
And so several larger cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, and, of course, the birthplace of such talk, Minneapolis, Minnesota, all launched plans to cut police budgets.
Los Angeles, for example, decided to cut law enforcement funding in their city by about 8 percent or $150 million. Similarly, America’s own Gotham, New York City, cut the yearly budget for the NYPD by a whopping $1.5 billion.
But as all of these cities and more are learning, the idea of defunding the police, effectively cutting personnel and training from the ranks has done little but adds more danger and less safety to the streets.
And as a result, they are all being forced to “refund” their police departments.
As The Daily Wire’s Tim Pearce recently wrote, “A year after the death of George Floyd, elected officials of major cities are walking back commitments to cut police funding amid spiking crime rates. Elected leaders in places such as Minneapolis, New York City, and Los Angeles are now pushing to increase funding to police departments after months of budget cuts and low morale have gutted law enforcement ranks.”
Minneapolis’s Democratic Mayor Jacob Frey has even gone so far as to tell his city on May 7 that defunding the police was a wrong decision, and they are now living with the “impact” of that.
He said, “The violence needs to stop. It’s unacceptable. People deserve to feel safe in their neighborhood. They deserve to be able to send their kids out to the sidewalk to play and to recreate without bullets flying by. That’s unacceptable. We should be holding these perpetrators accountable.”
But without adequate funding or personnel, the existing police department can do little to combat these dangers that are, for the most part, hurting the very communities defunding the police was supposed to help.
In Los Angeles, things aren’t much different.
Here, city leaders just voted to add at least 250 more police officers to the department and increase police budgets. This is, of course, after violent crime rose some 36 percent in recent months, with murder rates hitting a 10-year high.
The upcoming changes in the city will bring the LAPD department back to roughly the same size that it was before BLM shut them down.
And Politico reports, in New York City, near-socialist Mayor Bill de Blasio just promised to give the NYPD an additional $105 million to begin building a new police precinct in Queens, the liberal borough of Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
While it remains to be seen if AOC is excited about the change, others in her party and her city are.
Democratic Representative Greg Meeks, for example, says he’s “absolutely ecstatic” about the addition, even though he’s known to be entirely in opposition of the police.
New York City Council member Selvena Brooks-Powers, another Democrat, says more policing is definitely needed in the city if her constituents are to stay safe. “There has been a lot of frustration with the loss of funding.”
As Minneapolis Mayor Frey explained, “When you make big, overarching statements that we’re going to defund or abolish and dismantle the police department and get rid of all the officers, there’s an impact to that.”
And clearly, it isn’t a good one.