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Horowitz: BLM's legacy a year later: Terror on America's streets

Op-ed
Photo by Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

This week, the Biden White House hosted the family of George Floyd to mark the one-year anniversary of his death in police custody. His brother, Philonise, expressed hope that things are "slowly" moving in the right direction and that they are "making progress" in their war on cops. However, what is not going in the right direction is justice for victims of crime thanks to the agenda spawned by their movement.

Thanks to the pandemic and less social mobility, crime has been decreasing in most countries. That is with the exception of the United States. In 2020, the U.S. was hit with another pandemic. BLM's assault on law-and-order, in conjunction with the assault on incarceration of criminals, has led to an explosion of violence. It's not just the 108% increase in homicides in Minneapolis, the original epicenter of the BLM rioting. It's in nearly every major city across the country.

Perhaps gunshots ringing out during an ABC report at George Floyd Square in Minneapolis best exemplifies the evil fruits of the labor of BLM. In all the cities with strict gun control laws, shootings have become so rampant, and they have taken the lives of more black people than any crime wave in a generation.

Here are some of the latest crime tidbits from New York City, once the face of the generation-long decline in crime in America, as reported by the New York Post.

  • Comparing the week ending May 23 to the same week in 2020 (right before the BLM/Floyd effect), gun arrests dropped 24%. Not surprisingly, shootings skyrocketed by 72%. The number of gunshot victims rose by 92.6%.
  • In terms of the major crime categories, robberies were up 44.4%, felony assaults rose 35.3%, murder was up 28.6% grand larcenies were up 41.8%, and the number of stolen vehicles skyrocketed 49%.
  • Nearly every day, we hear about heinous crimes committed on NYC's subways, with the number of crimes in the transit system up 162% relative to the final week before the BLM riots last year.

One NYPD officer, quoted anonymously by the Post, hit the nail on the head when he noted that "They could hire 10,000 cops, but it won't matter unless the politicians change the laws and keep criminals in jail." It's not just about hampering and even defunding the police. It's that violent criminals and repeat offenders are able to violate their parole with impunity. So few people get locked up anymore.

The hole in our incarceration is even more gaping than the hole in policing. This is why, despite the temporary addition of 250 police patrols to monitor the subway violence, crime continues to skyrocket. What good are the cops if the criminals just get let out of jail indefinitely for years pending a trial that rarely results in meaningful prison time, if any time at all?

The rise in violent and property crimes is harming all citizens, but ironically, the most violent crimes are all being incurred by black victims. In Atlanta, another city with skyrocketing crimes, so far this year, a staggering 291 of the 311 shootings victims were black, while just 7 were white. How come nobody ever discusses the "equity" issue when it comes to black homicide victims and the need to get tougher, not weaker, on crime in order to actually protect black lives?

The media can no longer deny the skyrocketing crime, so they seek to deflect blame onto the pandemic. But as Nicole Gelinas observes, the crime rates in most other countries actually dropped because of the pandemic, as one would expect. For example, the murder rate dropped 16% last year in London, 14% in Italy, and 2% in France – all hard hit by the virus and the ensuing lockdown policies. Japan saw its lowest murder rate since World War II and even in cartel-ridden Mexico, the homicide rate held steady.

So, what suddenly changed in the United States?

Plummeting incarceration rates, the war on the cops, mass rioting, and the loss of a criminal justice deterrent that took a generation to build. To the extent that COVID-19 had anything to do with the rise in crime, it is the result of the gratuitous prison releases that were done under the false pretense of stopping the spread of COVID-19 in jail.

Recently, Ja'Ron Smith, one of Jared Kushner's pro-criminal henchmen who convinced Trump to make a U-turn on crime policy, wrote an op-ed calling for those people to be given permanent clemency.

How about focusing on victims of crime for once? Most importantly, such a focus would result in protecting all innocent lives, but as the crime data show, it would help black victims of crime more than anyone else. If BLM set out to kill more black people from crime, I'm not sure they could have done a better job.

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