Matteo: Refund the police

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Several years ago the knee-jerk reaction that was the result of isolated incidents (namely George Floyd, Breonna Taylor) that were exploited by a media that is far guiltier of incitement than Donald Trump, and the people suffering the most are average, law-abiding citizens. We have all seen the videos of the 7-Eleven and Nordstroms that were trashed by mobs of looters, and this is just the tip of an iceberg that is sinking American communities the way a real iceberg sank the Titanic.

This has been brought to you, despite their recent denials, by liberal politicians who have either voiced their desire to defund police departments or who have actively engaged in failing to prosecute criminals because in their view “social justice” was more important than actual justice.

In 2020, when democrats jumped on the defund the police bandwagon, Ilhan Omar tweeted this, “The “defund the police” movement, is one of reimagining the current police system to build an entity that does not violate us, while relocating funds to invest in community services. Let’s be clear, the people who now oppose this, have always opposed calls for systematic change. At that time fellow squad member, Rashida Talib tweeted, “When we say #DefundPolice, what we mean is people are dying and we need to invest in people’s livelihoods instead. EXAMPLE: Detroit spent $294 million on police last year, and $9 million on health. This is systemic oppression in numbers.” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also chimed in at that time to criticize the New York City police budget by stating, “It truly boggles my mind how anyone can see a $6 billion policing budget in ONE city alone – which is more than we spend on health, youth, housing, and homelessness services here *combined* – and say, “You know what will fix police brutality? More money.” Well AOC, it’s obvious that less money wasn’t a cure, was it?

In June of 2020, Vice President Kamala Harris applauded Los Angeles mayor, Eric Garcetti’s decision to slash the funding of the LA police department by 150 million dollars. Right after the George Floyd incident, it was very popular for liberals to point fingers at police officers (ignoring all the great stories of courageous police officers who put their lives at risk daily) and seek to strip law enforcement officers throughout the country with necessary funding. Police officers were put under a microscope and I’m sure many officers cringed at being accused of racism, which has always been the battle cry of leftists who obviously supported criminals over officers, especially when race was involved. I remember reading stories about the call for social workers to replace police officers, and numerous stories that vilified police and demanded financially neutering police department budgets.  

It’s now 2023, and today, you won’t hear the most liberal voice discuss taking money away from law enforcement because people are disgusted with the lawlessness that arose out of policies that made villains out of police officers and excused criminal behavior. Chicago mayor, Brandon Johnson, was offended when those who trashed a 7-Eleven were referred to as a mob, and claimed it was a “gathering.”  

The public is fed up. In December of 2022 and CNN poll showed that 76% of Americans felt that the federal government is not doing enough to deal with violent crime. A Gallup poll in 2022 showed that 72% of Americans are worried about crime, which is an increase of 7% from data gathered in 2021, and up a whopping 23% from 2020, when only 49% saw this as an issue. These numbers can’t be disputed, and even the dumbest politicians (like the squad) can’t ignore them.

All of this has resulted in a series of denials and rationalizations from those who vehemently supported the defund the police movement three years ago because all politicians sway in the direction of overwhelming public opinion, and despite political machines and policies that make incumbents being re-elected as sure as Hunter Biden using his last name to secure millions of dollars, they do fear being exposed, which will cost them votes in future elections.  

As someone who has had a family member held up at gunpoint in a Brooklyn subway station, crime is personal for me. As someone who was a business owner who worked hard for every dollar of inventory I invested in, I cringe when I see videos of scumbags who brazenly shoplift or looters who think nothing of gathering to trash a store. When I see interviews of people, of all races, who have been victimized by criminals my first reaction is empathy for these people because no one should suffer the injustices perpetrated and supported by those who have personal security guards to protect them.  

As the new favorite flavor among the same liberals who once chastised and clamored for the defunding of police departments, changes to support for police or silence about the pain of people suffering from criminals, it is important not to forget that these were the same politicians who caused this situation to occur. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to realize that the combination of making “social justice” an excuse for criminals, appointing prosecutors and liberal judges who are soft on crime, pushing for strict gun control among law-abiding citizens and making it known that some crimes won’t be prosecuted has led to anarchy in many communities. President Biden and Vice President Harris talk a lot about “communities,” but in reality they have zero understanding of what it’s like to live in a community where the threat of violence is a daily occurrence.

Recently, I have heard some on the right say that they have no sympathy for people living in crime-ridden areas because these people voted for those whose policies led to these dangerous environments. To a degree, I agree, however, I also hope that this is a wakeup call for those individuals, and they will think long and hard the next time they step into a voting booth and flashback to the feelings of insecurity, fear and frustration that they experience daily as a result of those who advocated policies that have created the spirit of lawlessness that invades so many communities across America. It’s time to get on the side of law enforcement, and send those who don’t back to private life as bartenders and community activists.


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