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Democrats refused to take responsibility for the crime crisis they caused after the death of George Floyd. Now, they’re pointing to 2023’s statistics to absolve themselves of blame, arguing conservatives made up a “crime crisis” narrative. This isn’t just a dishonest argument but exemplifies a new depth in Democrat deflection. It ends up proving that Democrats have blood on their hands.
After reaching a record-high number of homicides in Democrat-run cities across the country, 2023 experienced about 13% fewer than the previous year. ABC News framed the statistic around public polling that shows Americans are deeply concerned with crime. Citing a recent Gallup poll, crime analyst Jeff Asher told ABC News, “Seventy-something percent of Americans believe crime is rising this year. And seventy-something percent of Americans in this case just happen to be wrong.”
New York-based journalist Ahmed Baba used the ABC News piece to pretend fears about crime are unfounded, claiming there’s a “stark disconnect between how a lot of Americans feel and what’s actually happening. Disinformation is distorting our perception of reality.”
He said the disconnect was a result of “overt disinfo from right-wing orgs like Fox News,” and posited that “when crime stories are spotlighted in MSM [mainstream media], people assume crime is high.” Similarly, Axios claimed Republican criticisms of Democrats on crime was “crumbling”, while U.S. politics columnist for the Guardian, Chris Stein, lazily used misleading data to suggest the same.
But crime is high and we aren’t wrong to feel concerned. We’re simply looking at our cities the way we’re supposed to.
As I explain in my book, “What’s Killing America: Inside the Radical Left’s Tragic Destruction of Our Cities,” context is key to understanding crime statistics. We’re seeing fewer homicides when compared to a historically high number of murders between 2020 and 2022. That detail is important.
Surveys reveal that American concerns about high crime rates persist, primarily because current figures remain elevated compared to the pre-COVID era. During that time, law enforcement was fully funded and had broader operational latitude. And we can’t forget that in a bid to deflect responsibility for the crime surge, a consequence of their defund police strategy, Democrats originally blamed the uptick in criminal activity to COVID. Therefore, it is logical to look towards 2018 and 2019 as benchmark years for a more accurate comparison of crime rates. And the numbers are less impressive when you do that.
Annual homicides in Denver were down 4% in 2023 (with 72). But it’s still 14% higher than what it was in 2019 (63). Likewise, homicides in Albuquerque saw a 21% dip in 2023 (95). Yet residents know that’s still 86% higher than in 2018 (51). At the same time, with such a dramatic rise in property crimes during an inflation crisis, a broken car window, stolen catalytic converter, or ransacked garage, is felt more harshly and rightly elicit a more substantial emotional reaction that crime is out of control.
Yet it’s hard to imagine record high homicides continuing forever, particularly since many of the cities hit the hardest started to reverse their Radical Left approach to the criminal justice system. Even when viewed through a lens favorable to Democrats, as ABC News attempted, the data paints a damning picture of their policies. It’s a telling indictment that, despite efforts to spin the narrative, the negative consequences of these policies are too glaring to ignore.
New Orleans had the highest big-city homicide rate in 2022 in the country at 65% from 2019 to 2020. Philadelphia’s rate jumped by almost 50%, and Atlanta’s climbed by 75%. These cities had a lot in common: they were run by Democrats who embraced the defund movement.
The Black Lives Matter-inspired agenda goes beyond just the literal slashing of police budgets. This movement had been instrumental in championing extreme criminal justice reforms like those that favor restorative justice programs over jail time for repeat offenders, the refusal to prosecute on specific crimes, severe restrictions on police pursuits, and the elimination or limitation of cash bail.
The Radical Left even leveraged the COVID pandemic as a pretext to empty prisons and prosecutors turning a blind eye to charging criminals. This fostered a rampant culture of lawlessness that has spilled over from the cities and states enacting these reckless reforms, affecting communities far and wide.
The quicker those cities abandoned the Radical Left reforms, the better they recovered in 2023.
New Orleans invested in technology, like drones, to make policing easier and safer. Philadelphia refunded its police department, with mayoral candidates in 2022 condemning the defund movement. Atlanta increased police staffing and used data to determine which neighborhoods to send more officers to.
After murders surged by 43% in 2022 compared to 2021, the San Antonio Police Department delivered a “very simple strategy.” The department tracked the neighborhoods with the most 911 calls for violent crimes, and sent officers to proactively police — the precise opposite of what Radical Left activists demanded after Floyd.
In some cases, the department would park an officer in a patrol vehicle with its emergency lights on to remind people that officers are there to intervene if necessary. The chief called it “a high visibility, hot-spot policing effort.” It worked. The homicide rate dropped by about 12%.
To be clear, the picture isn’t bright everywhere.
Seattle saw a historic number of homicides in 2023, while Washington, D.C. numbers rose 36%. There have also been suspicions that some cities, like Philadelphia, are cooking the books by misleadingly characterizing homicides as something else. We’ve also seen an alarming explosion of juvenile-led violent crimes from coast to coast that threatens to become untenable.
Still, it turns out that allowing police officers to actually do their jobs is effective in reducing crime. Who would’ve thought, right? Democrats, of course, are loath to acknowledge that their policies are at the root of the crime crisis.
Yet, it’s clear as day: distancing from the Radical Left’s influence on the criminal justice system has demonstrably enhanced our safety.
The mainstream media should not give Democrats or their mouthpieces a free pass on this issue. If these networks refuse to frame the narrative accurately, it’s up to us to spread the truth. There’s still a mountain of work ahead to dismantle Radical Left policies if we aim to return to the low crime rates of the pre-COVID era.