WASHINGTON, DC, Oct 15 — “Homeless Man attempted to kidnap girl. I am so happy the little girl is safe and at home. Our neighborhood has changed so much. I no longer feel safe. Please be careful.” That message was posted recently on a neighborhood Website.
Another post on the same Website revealed that an elderly neighbor — he was 91-years-old — was found bludgeoned to death, apparently because the perpetrator or perpetrators saw him pocket cash in a local deli.
Both of these crimes took place in a tree-lined, upper-middle-class neighborhood located in the northern reaches of New York City known as Pelham Gardens. It’s a district that was a safe haven prior to the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.
The fact of the matter is that murder and mayhem have apparently emerged as side effects of the pandemic wherever you live. According to the National Center for Health Statistics [NCHS], homicides increased by a staggering 30% between 2019 and 2020 in the U.S. — the biggest year-to-year recorded increase in 100 years.
Robert Anderson, who is in charge of mortality statistics at NCHS, told CNN: “The only larger increase since we’ve been recording these data occurred between 1904 and 1905, and that increase was most likely — at least partly — the result of better reporting. We had states being added to what we refer to as the death registration areas, so we were counting deaths in more areas over time. We didn’t have all states reporting until 1933.”
The CNN story cites Georges Benjamin, the executive director of the American Public Health Association, who says that, in fact, there has been a spike in violence, in general.
It seems that the COVID restrictions have been playing with the emotions of citizens, whoever they are, and wherever they are, loss of income and anti-police rhetoric have played a major role in the steep rise in murder and other crimes. “People seem to have lost all civility, and then you couple that with having to stay home, and being stressed from that, losing your job, losing resources, fear for your health, more guns. I think we need to figure out how we de-conflict our society,” according to Benjamin.
During the same time that violent crime has been on the rise, America’s police stations experienced a shortage of cops due to the anti-cop vitriol expressed by the “defund the police” movement. It is a movement that has damaged the ability of local law enforcement to get the job done, according to expert observers such as Charles Fain Lehman, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Lehman writes for City Journal, a publication produced by the Institute.
In a report he researched and wrote for that publication, he noted that “In the past year, city police departments across the country have reported a dramatic drop in manpower, as cops retire, resign, or leave for the suburbs. The NYPD’s headcount fell to its lowest level in ten years. In Chicago, police retirements rose 15 percent. The San Francisco Police Department is short 400 officers; over 115 officers, including an entire unit dedicated to crowd control, have left the Portland PD; and nearly 200 have left the Minneapolis PD or are on leave, rendering the department unable to engage in proactive policing. A recent survey of police departments found that hiring fell an average of 5 percent in 2020, while resignations rose 18 percent and retirements a whopping 45 percent.”
Why is this happening? Lehman conducted numerous interviews to find out and concluded that protests targeting the police, supported by progressive socialist elements in federal, state, and city governments, have demoralized the ranks of our police departments. They feel that they no longer have the support of the public or their own bosses.
As one police officer, he interviewed for his article put it: “the good guys became the bad guys and the bad guys became the good guys.”
Is it any wonder why the bad guys are winning?