Say what you will about Bill de Blasio—he was ahead of the curve.
While the anti-cop fury may be a new phenomenon in the heartland, it’s old hat for Hizzoner. The left-wing mayors and politicians across the country who are now abandoning police departments are just following in the footsteps of de Blasio. As violent crime spikes, these cities’ leaders are demonizing law enforcement for doing their jobs.
As a result, police chiefs from Washington to Georgia have resigned, even taking entire teams with them. And if America doesn’t fight back and defend our police, our nation could plunge into a decade of lawlessness and crime. In other words, the whole country could look like de Blasio’s New York.
While other mayors abandon their cops for the first time, de Blasio’s anti-police crusade started in 2013, long before the protests and riots that have rocked America since. New York’s Finest have never forgotten. Just this year, likely the deadliest since 2012, the mayor agreed to slash police funding by $1 billion, despite the objections of black councilmen like I. Daneek Miller. And instead of defending those policing violent protests in June, he called for their badges while praising his daughter for getting arrested by them.
We’ve seen the fruits of this anti-police rhetoric and action. Murders in New York are up nearly 50 percent in August compared to last year, and shootings have risen by 150 percent. After 6-year-old Maxwell Cesc-Dinho was shot by a gang member, de Blasio applauded the “peaceful” Labor Day weekend.
No one should be surprised at America’s most-hated mayor at this point. What’s really surprising—and unfortunate—is how many of his counterparts are following his lead.
Last week in Rochester, Mayor Lovely Warren responded to violent riots by promising to move funding and crisis intervention programs out of the police department—caving to the mob’s demand instead of standing by Rochester’s officers. Two days later, Chief La’Ron Singletary and his entire command staff stepped down.
Earlier this month, Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best, Seattle’s first-ever black police chief, stepped down. Even after Mayor Jenny Durkan’s “summer of love” turned deadly, the city council voted to slash police funding and cut Chief Best’s salary, putting her “in a position to fail.” In recent months, police chiefs in Atlanta, Dallas, and Milwaukee resigned, as well as 57 officers in Buffalo.
In the funhouse mirror of 2020, “progressives” are forcing out black police chiefs and providing fewer law enforcement officers to those who need their protection the most, all while chanting “Black Lives Matter.” Really? It seems a funny way to demonstrate it.
Anyone with a shred of common sense knows this is dangerous, and the evidence backs it up. A study from faculty at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of California, Berkeley, predicted that cutting police budgets by 10 percent nationwide—less than New York’s cut—would directly lead to 1,000 additional homicides every year. The study also showed that cities are currently underpoliced, not overpoliced.
The ray of sunshine in this dark cloud: the American people still strongly support the police at a time when that support is needed most. Gallup polling shows a wide majority of Americans of every race want police to spend the same amount of time or more in their community. Heritage Action polling in swing states shows four in five voters oppose defunding the police.
Americans are getting a taste of the anti-police rhetoric New Yorkers have suffered for years, and they’re not on board. That’s why my organization, Heritage Action, is organizing a nationwide effort to support law enforcement. Nearly 100 members of Congress have signed a commitment to support the police and oppose defunding, and over 70,000 citizens nation-wide have followed suit. Our volunteers are organizing Back the Blue rallies.
And on Monday, we launched two pro-police billboards in Times Square with a simple message for the mayor and the nation: No police, no peace.
There’s no superhero coming to save New York or America. As crime spikes and politicians take the de Blasio approach, the nation risks returning to the record violence of the ’70s and ’80s. That’s why today, we are standing up and supporting the everyday heroes who protect our communities. We need to hold the politicians accountable who refuse to do the same. We will fight for America.