At a time when crime in Washington is exploding, why is Senator Chuck Schumer blaming funding for the Washington Metropolitan Police Department?
On April 19, by a vote of 229-189, a bipartisan panel of members of the US House of Representatives voted to reject (ie reject) the DC City Council’s passage of the deceptively named Comprehensive Police and Justice Reform Act. a measure that would partially shut down the Washington Metropolitan Police Department.
But Senate Majority Leader Schumer has done nothing about it. Unless the US Senate follows the House’s lead and rejects it by the end of the day on May 11, this reckless bill will become law.
The bill is yet another attempt to implement what appears to be a vanilla police “reform” bill, when in fact it is a George Floyd-style police reform bill that would eliminate critical tools that help keep police officers safe and secure. impair their ability to perform their work;
By now, it should be known that defunding police departments is bad policy and when it has been tried, it has led to disastrous consequences, most notably increased crime rates, attrition from police departments, and retention and recruitment problems within those departments. By now, politicians should have realized that passing laws that exempt local police departments from their hard work is not only dangerous, but politically damaging.
But the DC City Council isn’t burdened with common sense.
He didn’t even consider, at least until now, that his radical criminal justice and police reform ideas would be rejected by voters, much less the US Congress that controls the district, because it isn’t and was never designed to be. a state
In July 2020, the DC City Council cut $15 million from the local police force’s budget. It lowered the police budget baseline to the point where DC police began its 2021 fiscal year (October 1, 2020) with $33 million less than the previous year.
Charles Allen, the DC City Councilman who led the effort, admitted that his strategy was to “responsibly reduce the size of our police force by decommissioning.” He boasted that the budget cuts would result in the police force “going down by about 200 officers,” saying “this is the biggest cut to MPD that I’ve ever seen.” This whole slaughter of the MPD, a majority-minority police force, was, in Allen’s mind, done for “racial justice.”
If Schumer sits on his hands and does nothing and the City Council’s anti-police crime scheme becomes law, the bill will, among other things:
- Substantially indemnifying MPD.
- Prohibit the use of neck restraints by officers.
- Require officers to provide non-reactive copies of body-worn camera recordings to the DC City Council Commission Chair under various circumstances.
- Empower the Chief Executive of the Police Complaints Board to investigate abuse or misuse of police powers not alleged by the complainant.
- Expand the Use of Force Review Board.
- Limit the use of consent searches. establish a presumption that a search was without consent unless proof of consent was captured by a body-worn camera or provided in writing.
- Further limit the use of lethal force by police.
- Limit the purchase and use of military equipment for the performance of official duties.
Greg Pemberton, president of the D.C. police union, said at a Heritage Foundation panel event in March that the MPD force has been cut by more than 600 officers and that it will take 10 years to make up the shortfall. (The Daily Signal is a news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.) MPD is supposed to have about 4,000 officers, but as of February it was only 3,386 on the force, according to the MPD chart below.
Pemberton argued that the current force size was insufficient to handle the rising homicide rate, as shown in the MPD chart below.
Total crime is up 27% from last year, as shown in the chart below. At a time when homicides are up 9%, sexual assaults are up 51%, robberies are up 13%, Schumer is aiming to defund and dismantle the MPD.
When you hear Schumer and other politicians talk about how they take crime, especially violent crime, seriously, watch what they do, not what they say.