Dems smell the coffee when it comes to crime

Pardon me while I chuckle about the amazing, sudden, unexpected proliferation of pro-cop Democrats.

Here’s me chuckling. ☺️

A mostly peaceful riot in Minneapolis in 2020. (Photo: The New York Times)

Most of these Democrats happen to be candidates and their awakening (not Awokening) intersects with their attempts to be elected or re-elected, most especially in big cities that have been under the Democrats thumb for generations. And specifically in the Philadelphia mayor’s race. 

Here, in 2020, all five City Council members running for mayor (in alphabetic order) — Allan Domb, Derek Green, Helen Gym, Cherelle Parker, Maria Quinones Sanchez — voted to cancel a $33 million increase to the police department’s $800 million budget.

In other words, they voted to keep funding at the same level, which is not a cut, except to their critics. (The canceled funding included money for body cams, implicit bias training, and an “equity manager,” all babies thrown out with the bath water.)

It was an ill-considered slap at police officers in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police, which sparked nation-wide protests  riots, which were “mostly peaceful” according to much of the mainstream media.

While that is technically true, the riots cost $1 billion, according to reporting done by Axios.

Across the nation, led by Democrats, politicians took an ax to police budgets, slashing willy-nilly to show their solidarity with rioters, never thinking about the unintended consequences.

Those were (as any damn fool could have predicted) an increase in some crime (for instance, homicides in Philadelphia jumped from 353 in 2019 to 516 in 2022), and massive exits from police work, either by retirement or simply quitting.

The attack on all police for the crimes of a few is tantamount to treating all Italians as Mafia members. It is, yes, bigotry.  The mayoral candidates want you to forget that ever happened.

I’ve had Democratic friends tell me it wasn’t all Dems who were shouting “defund the police.”

True, but just about the only ones shouting it were Democrats and prominent Democrats had the loudest voices. Here I am thinking of The Squad, and Congresswoman Corie Bush is still screaming about defunding the police. Bush describes herself as a BLM activist and she thinks that gives her authority to speak for all Black people. 

The odd reality is that Black neighborhoods want more police, not fewer, according to Gallup, reporting the desire of 61%. White progressives who live in safe neighborhoods don’t see the need for more police. They don’t need more police, but the poor, nonwhite neighborhoods do.

So when some white social justice warrior is screaming against the cops, I see that as the worst kind of paternalism — a white savior complex telling Black people how they should think and what they should feel about their safety.

So a rising crime rate — it is Philadelphians’ No. 1 concern, according to polling — has caused Dems running for office to rethink what they have been saying.

Example: Former Councilwoman Cherelle Parker three years ago drafted a resolution to ban police use of stop and frisk. [Stop and frisk is constitutional, and Philly police say that is a misuse of the term. They can and do stop and question, which may lead to a body search.] 

That was then. Last year, Parker did a U-turn and said “We are in the middle of a crisis and we have to use every tool that we have to get illegals guns off the street.”

Do you like how the coffee smells, Cherelle?

Not complaining too hard. Better late than never to realize the actual safety of citizens is more important than fealty to some strange Woke notions that are divorced from reality. 

16 thoughts on “Dems smell the coffee when it comes to crime”

  1. An often-used phrase; “It depends on whose ox/ ass is being gored” explains the position of those who call for more police as opposed to the Penthouse Primadonna’s who rarely go into any neighborhood where crime is a priority. Politicians who accepted actual riots as peaceful protest relinquished their credibility to make intelligent decisions. It is a simple two-fold process to grasp what the answer is to the crime problem. 1-Any aspirants seeking knowledge about the crime rates and the urgent need for increased police protection should do a ride-along with officers on a Friday or Saturday night in those neighborhoods where they rarely visit and participate in a shoot-do-n’t-shoot training course at a police range. 2-Speak with those who are most affected by crime and those both locally and country-wide who have developed successful programs against rising crime. Your comment relative to the rogue cop and a mafioso is on point, especially in the slanted coverage of the media. Lastly, hiring must be made a critical priority to obtain the best officers who will serve with honor and respect for all citizens and not hired to fill a quota that may end up in an abusive or deadly situation years down the road.

    1. As to speaking to people in crime-ravaged communities, that has been done by Pew, Gallup and others. As I reported, the people most affected by crime want MORE cops, no matter what BLM says.

  2. Think of those people who avoid visiting Philadelphia because of the ANTICIPATION of having a crime committed against their person. The financial loss to the city is incalculable.

    1. Well said. Recently on FB I suggested that some people should take their out-of-town visitors to see the historic sites in Philly. Immediately I had the thought that I hoped nothing would happen to them if they went. And actually someone else replied to my comment saying it’s too dangerous to drive into Philly now. A very sad state of affairs indeed.

  3. Do you recall a daily news editor named Dan Friendly(i think that was the name)?He asked me back in 89 when the ccity was on a downward spiral what the most important issue was.My response was crime to which he scoffed.Jobs was the correct answer.But then as is now aint no jobs coming if everyone flees because of crime.Witness Chicago.

    1. That name does not ring a bell. (We had no friendly editors, would be the joke)
      As to the right answer, it is not one thing. Jobs would help to reduce crime, I think. But those deep into thug culture don’t want jobs.

  4. Having worked for this city, it bothers the hell out of me that even going back to Mayfair is risky. Not carrying a gun in the city, even when I know that Philly’s finest are on the job. Did I feel safe when I lived here when I was a kid, up until 2004 yes. Do I now? No. Do I see a canidate that will make this better, not yet. It’s not just here though, I loved NYC, Seattle, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, which is 1 1/2 hrs south of me. I;m not getting too old to travel, just uninterested. I worry about the protection of my wife, family, friends, and people in general. Maybe I am getting to old to travel.

  5. Hey Stu, more cops aren’t the only solution. How about people in ‘high crime’ areas cooperate with the police. The “Don’t Snitch” attitude has gotta go. Citizens should do their part and report crimes or give the police info & leads. Turning criminals in isn’t “snitching”, it’s called doing a “public service”. And City Council crooks should put way more money into witness protection.

    1. I have done columns condemning the “no snitch” culture. One way around it is more foot patrols, where cops get to mingle with neighbors and can softly question them and turn up leads.

  6. Hey, Stu, I know you like facts. What is your take on these:
    “The murder rate in the 25 states that voted for Donald Trump has exceeded the murder rate in the 25 states that voted for Joe Biden in every year from 2000 to 2020.
    Over this 21-year span, this Red State murder gap has steadily widened from a low of 9% more per capita red state murders in 2003 and 2004 to 44% more per capita red state murders in 2019, before settling back to 43% in 2020.
    Altogether, the per capita Red State murder rate was 23% higher than the Blue State murder rate when all 21 years were combined.
    If Blue State murder rates were as high as Red State murder rates, Biden-voting states would have suffered over 45,000 more murders between 2000 and 2020.
    Even when murders in the largest cities in red states are removed, overall murder rates in Trump-voting states were 12% higher than Biden-voting states across this 21-year period and were higher in 18 of the 21 years observed.”
    Also this:
    “Despite accusations that Democrats “defund the police,” we found that cities with Democratic mayors fund police at far higher levels on a per capita basis than cities run by Republican mayors. In 2020, the 25 largest Democrat-run cities spent 38% more on policing per capita than the 25 largest Republican-run cities. In addition, blue states may be more likely to fund social service programs that help steer people away from violent crime than red states.”
    This is not from some lefty pamphlet, but from “The Third Way” a consciously moderate group that tries to navigate between left and right.

    Politics is all about perceptions. I absolutely believe that “defund the police” is stupid. I think the mistake most people make is that they need to “choose a side” between police and anti-police, when really the issue is public safety and how to get there.

    Obviously policing is extremely important, but so is the department’s relations with the community. There ought to be an easier way to get “rogue cops” off the streets before they are convicted of murder. Chauvin, as most of the other cops who get in trouble, either civilly (large judgments) or criminally, had a complaint/investigation list as long as your arm (Chauvin had 22 in 19 years). No Chauvin, no Floyd, no riots, no billion dollars in costs. Isn’t that the simplest solution? (The right is fond of suggesting that government should be run more like a business–well the nightclub where he worked private security complained he was too rough on customers–especially Black ones–and was bad for business. Obviously bad for police and the country’s business as well). If one concludes rogue cops are the problem, one can’t just shrug one’s shoulder’s and not do anything about it. Find ’em and fire ’em, instead of coddling them. And if we refuse to do so, doesn’t that mean the problem is “systemic”?

    I am for more police. But I am also for better police. It is implausible to contend that our current training and supervision of officers is perfect and without any room for improvement. Let’s also find the community programs that reduce violence–I don’t care if singing Kumbaya turns your stomach–if it works, use it.

    Of course Stu’s point is really that simplistic reactions to a complex problem like crime are stupid. “Defund the police” and “back the Blue” are equally devoid of thought and are slogans, not rational policy. (The left thinks being pro-teacher’s union is being pro-education, while the right thinks being pro-police union is being anti-crime. There may be some overlap, but in both cases, it ain’t necessarily so.)

    The first step to solving a problem is recognizing it. So, some kudos for the belated realization that cops are part of the solution to crime. As the Economist magazine observed “Progressive and conservative politicians have all failed to arrest the murder surge. Simple explanations, it turns out, are often simply wrong.”
    True that.

    1. Tom, answering all these points would take longer than writing a column on a new subject.
      I will say, briefly, apples to apples would be city to city, not state to state, and mayors don’t usually decide on their own how much to spend on cops.
      It is beyond question that the typical “defund the police’ person is a Democrat.
      Or was.

    2. Tom,

      You appear to have fallen into the trap that so many of us fall into when debating. You are making this a red/blue or R/D argument. I am a regular reader of this blog and a registered Democrat. I could care less, the color, gender or political party of my council person, DA, mayor or president. What I do care about is the safety of my family, friends and community, the education of the youth, the economy, the job market. I do not look to statistics for that, I do not trust published statistics or sound bites that are manipulated.

      What I see is what I believe, and that tells me we are in deep trouble in Philadelphia. We are about to end an 8 year run of a weak, angry mayor, that was controlled by the party. I do not get to choose between an R or D, I am stuck with choosing between Democrats in Philadelphia, so what does your red versus blue state analysis bring to the table.

      Here is the issue with crime and our current DA, he is a trained defense attorney, he has placed his finger on the scales of justice too many times, he chooses who his office goes after and he is anything but honest about his offices achievements.

      Tom, remember my first sentence where I said it “appears”.

      1. I have no quibbles with that. And, yeah, there are three kinds of lies: “lies, damn lies and statistics.” My point was that crime has gone up generally across the nation, hitting blue and red cities alike, and there are no bragging rights due to any political position.
        “Defund the police” was a bad idea, and it is meeting the fate that bad ideas are supposed to face in a democracy. Stu correctly said that there were several cities that slashed police budgets (Philly not among them), but the follow-up is that it only took most of those cities about a year to reverse that and actually add to police budgets–often by the same politicians who slashed them. Sanity (eventually) prevails.
        The flip side of the coin is that throwing money at a problem before figuring out what is needed doesn’t necessarily work either. As one study found: “There are certainly places where an increased focus on and investment in policing has driven down crime rates. There are others, unquestionably, where more spending has not led to improved outcomes.” Quality, as well as quantity, matters. The mistake I see on both sides is making it all about funding, when other factors are at least as important.

        1. Your responses were thoughtful and thorough and I enjoyed reading them. Couldn’t argue with a single thing you wrote. The whole “defund the police” messaging was ridiculous. I always read that as “demilitarize” the police. That is, redirect funds used to buy bazookas to train officers to do their jobs better, and to hire more mental hearth experts. I don’t believe anyone was ever in favor of less police. I sure wasn’t.

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