William Katz:  Urgent Agenda






DEATH OF A CITY – AT 10:08 P.M. ET:  St. Louis, once the happy subject of songs like "Meet Me in St. Louis," now is the crime capital of the United States.  What an accomplishment.  But, not to be outdone, its woke mayor is determined to make things worse.  From Fox: 

In St. Louis, Mo., the worst-in-country murder rate is at a 50-year high, the police department has nearly 100 unfilled jobs, and the mayor wants to defund the department and shut down a city jail.

St. Louis's Tishaura Jones, who became the city’s first Black female mayor last month, had campaigned on a promise to enact progressive criminal justice reforms.

The head of the city’s corrections department is also on his way out. Jones announced his resignation last week, saying she hadn’t requested he step down but making clear she wasn’t satisfied with how he ran things.

Whatever the old administration was doing clearly wasn’t working – but it remains to be seen if police cuts are the answer.

In 1990s New York City, then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani did the opposite, hiring more police, stepping up enforcement and locking away more felons – dramatically cleaning up crime in the Big Apple.

Yup.  It worked.  And thousands of lives, mostly black, were saved.  You'd think other cities would want to copy the example of policies that actually do the job.   But, those policies aren't genuinely WOKE, and WOKE is the fad these days.

St. Louis had 87 homicides per 100,000 residents in 2020, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the worst rate in the country.

It’s now at its highest rate in 50 years – even as the population has dwindled in that same time period.

Some city officials have blamed the spike in violence on the coronavirus pandemic – which would follow the national trend, except St. Louis also led the country before COVID-19 in homicides per 100,000 in 2019 with 65.

A city that will not be beaten in the race to the bottom.

For comparison, Baltimore saw the second-worst rate and also its highest on record in 2019 – with 57 per 100,000, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Interim City of St. Louis Director of Public Safety Daniel Isom explained the mayor's plan this way:
"Funding a comprehensive approach to violent crime is the best approach to reducing murders. This requires both police and partnering agencies adequately funded to support victims and hold offenders accountable. It also requires target arrest and prosecutions to get murderers and shooters off the streets and not filling jails with nonviolent offenders."

And Jones told the UK newspaper The Telegraph Tuesday that "more police doesn't prevent crime."

COMMENT:  Properly deployed, as in Giuliani's New York, more police do in fact prevent crime.  It's been shown repeatedly.  You get the feeling that many of these woke mayors are more interested in keeping criminals out of jail to satisfy their families than in protecting the public. 

May 23, 2021