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Across the country, in big cities run by liberal elites, violent crime is soaring. In New York City, while Mayor Eric Adams (D) parties in the Hamptons with rapper French Montana, violent crime is up 25%. According to the Public Policy Institute of California, property crimes and violent crimes rose in almost all of California’s major cities in 2021. Homicide alone rose 17%.
Week after week we read another news story of a violent criminal killing or maiming an innocent civilian after being released early from prison, let out on bail, or given a lenient sentence by Soros-backed, woke, liberal district attorneys like George Gascon (D) in Los Angeles and Alvin Bragg (D) in Manhattan.
In 2021, the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom (D), decided it would be a good idea to shorten the sentences or simply release some 76,000 hardened criminals from the state’s prisons, sending them back into the streets of California as part of his prison reform plan.
Sixty-three thousand of those inmates were incarcerated for committing violent crimes. Almost 20,000 of which were serving life sentences.
At the same time, Bill de Blasio (D) – arguably the worst mayor of New York City since David Dinkins – was emptying Rikers Island into the streets of New York while disgraced former Governor Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) and the state legislature did away with bail for most crimes putting even more violent criminals back out on the street. In many cases they were released back into the neighborhoods where they committed their crimes and where their victims still live. Does that make you feel safer or better for it?
The vast majority of tents lining the sidewalks that you walk past with your kids on the way to school or to get to work are not filled with homeless people waiting for affordable housing. They are filled with the criminals, drug addicts, illegals immigrants, and the mentally ill, who have been dumped into your neighborhoods by insane leftist politicians.
In case you weren’t sure, Gavin Newsom and Bill de Blasio don’t live anywhere near any of this. But rest assured, they believe you are safer with these hardened criminals being repatriated into your neighborhoods. These policies don’t affect millionaire elites like Newsom, de Blasio, or Adams any more than failing schools, soaring gas, and food prices do. They live in heavily guarded apartments and homes and routinely travel with security detail. No one is pooping on their driveways. There are no tents lining the street by their homes.
No matter what the nescient elites may tell you, Newsom and others continue to release the worst of the worst criminals into your neighborhoods. Today, in order for a criminal to get an extended prison term in any large city like Los Angeles or New York, they will have to develop a long and impressive resume – like killing a cop – before the authorities even consider taking them to trial and imposing a harsh sentence.
It is my experience, that by the time a criminal finally garners the attention of the DA’s office, they’ve already hurt dozens of innocent people – usually by getting away with robbery, burglary, or rape on multiple previous occasions.
Here’s a dirty little secret no one will tell you: In New York, Los Angeles, and other big cities, there are only a certain number of Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs), judges, courtrooms, and court dates in any given year. There isn’t enough bandwidth to handle the thousands of violent felony arrests made by the police each year. So, before these crooks are actually taken to trial for their violent crimes, they often accept several plea deals reducing the charges down to less violent, misdemeanor crimes in order to keep the system moving. And now, as the violence increases, hundreds of ADAs in both cities are resigning in disgust over the apparent soft on crime policies of Gascon and Bragg.
After these convicted felons have been repeatedly released back into the wild to hurt and traumatize more victims like you and me, the day finally comes when they seriously hurt someone or the DA can no longer stomach their repeated violent behavior. That is when they finally receive a meaningful jail term or a life sentence like the 20,000 inmates Newsom and De Blasio just dumped onto your doorsteps – the valedictorians of their violent criminal class.
The insanity in all of this is that these out of touch elites always tout this reform in the name of equity. They are the champions and defenders of the “poor and vulnerable.” Is it equitable that they are releasing violent criminals back into the neighborhoods of the poorest and most vulnerable people they claim to be helping?
The victims of these rampant violent crime sprees in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, and New York are real people with real families whose hearts and lives are being torn apart everyday. It’s a national disgrace that this has been allowed to continue for decades. Why? If this carnage were happening in Beverly Hills or on the upper East side of Manhattan and the victims were wealthy white people would it be addressed the same way? This violence could end tomorrow if the failed politicians and social justice warriors had the stomach to call out the real problem and get behind the police departments to help them fix it.
I joined the police department in New York City in January of 1982. From the onset of the crack epidemic in 1985 through the mid 1990s, the playgrounds in New York City housing projects belonged to the drug dealers. It was the most violent period in the city’s history.
In 1990 ,there were 2,245 murders in the city of New York. By 2014 there were 333. Murder and every other violent crime drastically dropped at the same rate over two decades. It didn’t happen by accident. New York became the safest big city in America through strategic, proactive policing policies and strict oversight that targeted the most violent criminals and held criminals and overzealous police officers accountable.
By the time I left the department in 2002, those drug dealers were gone from the playground, replaced by kids and moms laughing and playing together. The streets weren’t perfect but they were a hell of a lot safer and there were a lot more people walking those streets because of what we accomplished. The men and women of the NYPD gave their blood, sweat, tears, and sometimes their lives to return those playgrounds and the streets to the good people of those neighborhoods.
It happened because we put the violent criminals in jail where they belong. The people who they most often victimized welcomed and appreciated our presence. We had the support of most of our political leaders.
Those same citizens – working men and women struggling to get by – are again clamoring for more police enforcement.
Meanwhile, our tone deaf, elite politicians, along with incompetent, Marxist DAs work to defund the police, neuter the officers in the street, and pump violent criminals back into our neighborhoods, effectively destroying three decades of progress and reversing proven policies that saved tens of thousands of lives.
It’s hard to watch. It needs to stop, because every life matters.
John Dove is a retired NYPD Detective Lieutenant and the former co-executive producer of CSI-NY starring Gary Sinise.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.