Is former Detroit police chief right rise in crime brought on by ‘liberal mayors’?


Fact Box

  • On Saturday, July 24, 2021, former Detroit Police Chief James Craig criticized “misguided liberal mayors” like Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot and Washington DC’s Murial Bowser for the rise in crime. He said on “Justice with Judge Jeanine” that they “continue to forget our police officers across the country are demoralized. They don’t feel supported.”
  • After the death of George Floyd in June 2020, protests erupted across the country in calls for “accountability from law enforcement” with the phrase “defund the police” which quickly became divisive in culture wars.
  • Of the 100 largest US cities, the majority of mayors are Democratic (63), while 26 are Republican. 
  • According to World Population Review, the top five most dangerous cities in 2021 in the United States are Detroit, Michigan; Memphis, Tennessee; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Baltimore, Maryland; and Kansas City, Missouri.

Andrew (No)

Former Detroit Police Chief James Craig has waded into the culture wars with his misguided claims that “liberal mayors” are behind recent increases in crime in many of America’s cities. The former chief has failed to take into account that many of these mayors have designed policies aimed squarely at addressing poverty and inequality, two of the major root causes of why people turn to crime. Instead of focusing on military-style, overly aggressive policing, mayors like Chicago’s Lori Lightfoot are actually attempting to make long-term, lasting change that will uplift these communities for decades to come.

The former chief’s claims are largely based on a nebulous idea that police forces are demoralized and unable to perform their jobs because of efforts to defund them. Let’s be clear: while there have been calls to defund the police, this largely hasn’t happened anywhere. Further, when people talk of defunding police, they are suggesting moving funds to other services such as mental health crisis workers to take some of the burdens off the police. In the long run, this will make the work of the police more streamlined and frankly easier.

Much of the recent increase in crime has largely been driven by gun violence. Lax gun control laws and a history of Congress avoiding the issue in order to pander to the extreme elements of the pro-gun lobby have made this moment ripe to happen. It’s ironic Detroit’s former police chief would attempt to blame the effects of years of Republican obstruction on gun control on “liberal mayors.”


Bill (Yes)

Former Detroit police chief James Craig is right that liberal big-city mayors have contributed to the rise in crime in their cities by supporting destabilizing ‘defund the police’ efforts. They simultaneously have allowed illegal, violent protests to occur on their city streets without a police response to restore order. They have failed to defend residents and their property, and leaving small business owners’ stores and livelihoods vulnerable; instead, capitulating to/appeasing mobs who used violent force to wreak havoc. The toll from last summer’s riots (which were treated with indifference or encouragement by the media and local Democrat political leaders) in liberal-run cities across the country and resulted in burning, looting, destruction, and violence, caused nearly $2B in property damage and 24 deaths.

Public safety isn’t a partisan issue. Americans instinctively know that a slogan like ‘Defund the Police’ isn’t a sound plan. In fact, a recent poll shows 73% believe that crime has gotten worse, not better, in the past year. That number is significant because it shows that there is wide bipartisan support for strengthening (not weakening) the police force in our nation’s cities.

The grim numbers speak for themselves as liberal-run cities report dire crime figures: Portland leads the way with astronomical increases of 533% in homicides and 126% in shootings. The crime spree isn’t geographically limited, like Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Chicago, and San Francisco follow suit with similar alarming violent crime increases of their own. The failed liberal crime policies speak for themselves, and voters should hold those politicians who abdicated their responsibility to protect the life and property of their constituents accountable in the next election.

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