Crime, Cities and the Midterms

As crime ravages major cities, is there an opportunity for change at the midterms?

Arithmos Analytics

6/21/2022 3 min read

Crime is surging in America’s large cities. Over the last two year there has been a noticeable increase in crime, ranging from shoplifting to murder. After years of declining crime rates, this has come as a shock to people who live or work in cities. In terms of the national picture, homicide rate rose sharply from 5.1 to 6.5 per 100,000 between 2019 and 2020. This marks the highest national homicide rate since 1997. But it is the large cities where crime is becoming particularly problematic. America’s cities are under siege from criminals who know they can barely be punished and DAs who will not punish them. This is all cheered on by the rich elites who do not have to worry about riding a subway train with a drug addict, or wondering who might be waiting for them in the alley near their workplace.

New York City, once the safest large city in America, is now in a public security tailspin. Violent crime is up a shocking 40% in just one year with 43,244 violent incidents this year. And we are only in June. The city was once a case study in how to restore order and ensure public safety. But under the leadership of Mayor Di Blasio, the police were demoralized and crime was rarely punished. The city that became a case study in how to restore public order under the Giuliani Administration has begun to slip back into the misery, danger and criminality that haunted the city in the 70s and 80s.

Atlanta, Georgia has also been gripped by serious crime increases. Since 2020 murder has increased over 43% and rape has surged by a breathtaking 236% (two hundred and thirty six). The ratio of police to civilians has fallen in the last eight years. Despite a rising population, Atlanta has lost 350 officers in the same period, further widening the police-civilian ratio and stretching an underfunded and demoralized police force even thinner. In neighboring DeKalb County, the number of murders reached a record of 135 killings in 2021. This was a sharp 30.3% increase in just three years.

Seattle has also been hard hit. The Emerald City was once considered the most desirable city in America to live. In the 1990s, shows like “Frasier” cast an image of a sophisticated, urbane and safe place for professionals to work and raise families. How things change. By June of 2022, Seattle PD recorded 21,393 offenses. This includes 2,303 violent offences. Visitors to the city frequently witness large and intimidating tent cities of homeless people. Open and flagrant drug use is common. Opposite the Pike Place tourist attraction, yards from the first ever Starbucks, it is not uncommon to see people openly using intravenous drugs. The Seattle Police Department is losing police officers quicker than it can hire replacements. In 2022 it is projected to hire 98 officers but lose 113. Put simply crime is surging in the cities. Much of this is due to the rush to “Defund the Police”, or an ideological aversion on the part of DAs to prosecute even serious crimes.

In Los Angeles, a man armed with a weapon attacked comedian Dave Chappelle in front of 10,000 witnesses, only for DA George Gascon to not press charges. The same DA cut a plea bargain with a career criminal who was given a reduced sentence, allowing him to leave jail in time to kill the two officers, Joseph Anthony Santana and Michael Domingo Paredes. His crime? Illegal possession of a firearm. Yet he was freed to shoot two officers.

Law and order must be restored to American cities, and as Rudy Giuliani’s election proved in the 90s in New York, even the most liberal places can sometimes conclude they have had enough of Democrats who are soft on crime. Just this month, ultra-liberal San Francisco saw 60% of its voters vote to recall DA Chelsea Boudin. In similarly ultra-liberal Portland, Oregon, 24% of voters said crime was their number one concern, up from just 1% who said that just two years ago. If the GOP can run a law and order ticket, even the most liberal voters might be willing to listen.

Perhaps the final word belongs to the mother of one of the LAPD Officers murdered by a criminal George Gascon allowed out early. “Crime is so high in California because criminals don't stay in jail long enough. We need to make criminals responsible for their actions. We need law and order.”

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