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The media has shoved George Floyd and the names of other career criminals like Rayshard Brooks and Daunte Wright down our throats to the point that nearly every American knows their names. Every American saw the grieving parents who waxed poetic about the police after they raised children who turned into violent criminals. But the stories of black victims of crime like Michelle Cummings that never get told – people who raised their children to be promising leaders and upstanding citizens.
Michelle Cummings and her husband, Leonard, were in Annapolis on June 29 to see their son's induction into the Naval Academy for the coming year. The Houston couple was looking forward to attending Induction Day and joy for their son, who will play football at the Academy. That joy was cut down when Cummings was killed while sitting on the balcony of her Annapolis hotel room.
Just like the political elites want to blame our justice system for Floyd's death, Cummings' death actually represents a much more common flaw in the system – release of career violent criminals on home confinement. Last week, Annapolis police announced the arrest of Angelo Reno Harrod, an Annapolis resident who was allegedly aiming to kill gang rivals but wound up striking Cummings.
Harrod, of course, has a litany of arrests dating back to 2010, and one has to wonder if his record went even further back when he was a juvenile. He has eight prior convictions, including a robbery, pistol whipping a driver of a vehicle over $2 of a fare, and resisting arrest and fighting with officers who wanted to take an illegal firearm away from him.
And in a state where law-abiding citizens cannot carry firearms, Harrod was arrested twice in less than two months on felony gun charges, but was released. According to court documents, Harrod was charged on Feb. 10 with assault and firearm possession and then again on April 12, when he was charged on firearms and drug possession. Yet he was still released on an ankle bracelet to his mother's home!
Who's the mother? When prosecutors were describing Harrod's attempted ambush on two individuals, his mother reportedly blurted out during the bail hearing last Thursday, "Prove it." Had police successfully shot Harrod before he killed Cummings, his name would have been added to the list of BLM heroes and this mother would have been paraded on TV. She is the antithesis of Michelle Cummings, who raised her kid to join the Navy, but BLM has no regard for her.
Black Lives Matter is built upon a lie. The Marxists promoting that movement only care about black criminals, not the black victims they create through their anti-police and anti-incarceration policies. Home confinement is a joke. Police are being forced to monitor a record number of violent criminals who used to be locked up, and now they have fewer resources. Harrod was able to cut off his bracelet on May 3, yet police were still unable to locate him before the June 29 shooting.
Harrod had two prior convictions for illegal possession of firearms, including those related to robbery. He should have been in prison for life under three strikes and you're out, but records show he never served time in prison and only served short stints in jail. The Anne Arundel County state's attorney argued in April that he should have been held without bail, but the liberal judge released him.
Harrod is thus the prototype of the criminals committing all the murders today. The left will wax poetic about guns and police brutality, but nearly every murder, particularly murders of black victims, could have been prevented had we enforced the gun laws against them. Law-abiding citizens in Maryland cannot carry weapons during a period of record crime stemming from the release of people who commit crimes with guns. Maryland is a de facto open carry state, so long as you have a criminal record.
BLM and the bipartisan criminal justice deform leniency-industrial complex that promotes BLM's policy agenda are telegraphing the message to young black criminals that crime pays. They are creating more and more criminals beginning at a younger age, a trend that is destroying black communities.
According to this Vera report, theU.S. prison population dropped by over 240,000 persons, a little more than 17%, from 2019 to the spring of 2021. Already in 2019, before the precipitous decline from coronavirus jailbreak, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the imprisonment rate of black residents was the lowest rate in 30 years, since 1989. While the left is celebrating this fact and pushing for a much greater reduction, those prison population declines translate into increased spilled blood on the streets. It's time to recognize that the de-incarceration agenda was a failed experiment and change course.
Republicans would be foolish not to embrace a new agenda for tougher sentencing. This is borne out by the results of a stunning survey from Navigation Research. The poll found that the majority of Americans agree we are in a "state of crisis," but the public is very divided along partisan lines regarding which issue is a crisis. For example, the overwhelming majority of Democrats believe coronavirus and "climate change" are crises but not Republicans. The opposite is true for the issues of inflation, voter fraud, and China dominance. But there is one exception: violent crime.
The majority of both parties' voters believe it is a crisis, but most telling, 70% of black respondents – more than any other demographic – believe violent crime is a crisis currently plaguing America. In fact, among black people surveyed, crime was above every other issue except for coronavirus, with which it was virtually tied.The question for Republicans who have gotten sucked into the Koch-Kushner vortex of de-incarceration in order to shill for the black vote is this: Do they represent families more like the Cummingses or the Harrods?
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Blaze Podcast Host
Daniel Horowitz is the host of “Conservative Review with Daniel Horowitz” and a senior editor for Blaze News.