The City Of Pittsburgh Takes ‘The Purge’ As An Instruction Manual

Between 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m, as few as 20 police officers will be on-duty to cover the entire city of 300,000 people.

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 17: Pittsburgh Police Chief Scott Schubert describes the mayhem outside an Airbnb apartment rental along Suismon Street on April 17, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Last night, a shooting at a house party at the rental left two people dead and nine injured. (Photo by Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)
Jeff Swensen/Getty Images

Yesterday I went into some detail about the unfolding crisis in Haiti. The prime minister is stranded in Puerto Rico and has now officially resigned.

The streets are now ruled by a warlord named “Barbecue.” Police officers are nowhere to be found, even at the country’s national prison complex, where the doors are currently wide open.

All of this is relevant mainly because, for years, leftists have pretended Haiti is salvageable. They didn’t do that simply to contradict Donald Trump, although that’s a big part of it. Their primary motivation is to transform this country into Haiti. Unchecked, one-way migration is one way to do that. Another way is to adopt Haiti’s approach to policing — which is to say, to stop policing entirely. Beginning last year, criminals in Haiti understood that they could commit crimes with impunity. No one would even attempt to arrest them.

As Human Rights Watch put it in a recent report, “There have been no prosecutions or convictions of those responsible for killings, kidnappings, and sexual violence, or their supporters, since the start of 2023.”

That’s what a total stand down of law and order looks like. It was telegraphed, and as expected, anarchy followed. So you have to wonder — especially in the aftermath of BLM and “defunding the police” — how long until something like that happens here? How long until criminals in America understand that they can commit serious crimes, and no police officers will even bother to show up?

WATCH: The Matt Walsh Show

If you’ve followed the news out of Pittsburgh this week, you know that this moment is already here. The city has announced that police officers will simply stop responding to the vast majority of crimes — including burglary and harassment — as long as there’s no “in-progress emergency.” Additionally, between 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m, as few as 20 police officers will be on-duty to cover the entire city of 300,000 people. This is as close to a real-life implementation of the Purge as we’ve seen. Watch:

What this means is that, if someone breaks into your house in Pittsburgh, and you call 911, they won’t come. Even if your alarm is going off, and your alarm company is notifying the authorities, they don’t care. The police chief in Pittsburgh has clarified that for burglaries, under this new policy, they need some sort of “second verification” in order to ensure that the burglar is on the premises at that moment, before police will even consider driving out to your house.

In other words, it’s like logging into your bank account. They need two-factor authentication so that they can really be sure that there’s a burglary going on. Your alarm just counts as one factor. Additional factors, according to the police chief, could include video footage of the burglar in your house. Or it could be a photo of broken glass with the burglar standing around next to it. Or perhaps you can get the burglar to pose for a picture holding that day’s newspaper. Maybe you can take a quick selfie video with the burglar where he looks at the camera and says, ‘Hey folks, just here burglarizing this home real quick. Sorry for the inconvenience!’ But outside of situations like that, the Pittsburgh police will just tell you to leave a report with their answering machine.

Of course, if the burglar is smart, and breaks into your home between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., then it probably doesn’t matter even if you have the selfie video of the burglars in your home — because there will be only 20 cops in the entire city who can get to you. So the people ransacking your home can take their time. This has all been announced, publicly, by the city of Pittsburgh. You have to wonder why anyone in the city would bother paying taxes at this point — especially since the government in Pittsburgh created this problem in the first place.

After the George Floyd riots of 2020, the mayor implemented a two-year freeze on all police hiring. That’s not an overstatement. The mayor at the time, Bill Peduto, just shut down the police academies.

As CBS News reported in 2022, “The sound of bagpipes graduating a new police class hasn’t been heard in years.” To justify this decision, Peduto appeared on NBC News, where for some reason he answered questions from a bunch of college students. Watch:

It’s an amazing clip to watch in retrospect. The mayor tells this random college student that emotions are very high post-George Floyd. He recognizes that everyone’s not exactly thinking rationally. But instead of suggesting that maybe it’s a bad idea to shut down police academies, he basically issues a threat. He says that “police reforms” — by which he means gutting the police department — are going to happen one way or the other. The only thing the police union can do is get on board to minimize the damage, on the road to creating this utopia in Pittsburgh. Four years later, we see exactly what that utopia looks like.

If you listen to officials in Pittsburgh, they’ll offer another excuse for the breakdown of law and order in their city. They’ll say they simply can’t afford police officers. They’ll tell you that tax revenues are down because, post-COVID, a lot of downtown office space is vacant. The value of the buildings has plummeted. That’s true, to an extent. The city has been taking in less revenue because of lockdown policies, which were implemented by the city of Pittsburgh. But as an explanation for why there are no police in Pittsburgh anymore, it doesn’t make any sense. You can take one look at Pittsburgh’s budget and come to the conclusion that there’s a lot of waste that could be trimmed in order to put more officers on the street.

For example, let’s take a look at Pittsburgh’s fiscal year 2022 operating budget. There’s more than $700,000 budgeted for salaries for something called the “Office of Equity.” In all, the office’s budget exceeds a million dollars. Among other things, that taxpayer money is used to pay an “executive director” for the “gender equity commission,” who makes $76,000. It includes a “chief equity officer” making $120,000. It also includes unspecified money for “immigration engagement,” so that when people arrive in Pittsburgh from Haiti, they know where to file for welfare benefits. And by the way, it’s not just the “Office of Equity” at Pittsburgh that employs equity officers. The office of the city clerk also has an “equity, diversity, and inclusion policy analyst,” who makes something like $62,000 a year.

There’s also millions of dollars for the office of city planning, including hundreds of thousands of dollars devoted to saving the climate. That includes tens of thousands of dollars for so-called “climate resilience analysts,” like this woman:

That video is from several years ago. Not to spoil anything, but the city of Pittsburgh’s “climate action plan” has not done anything to address alleged climate change in any way. We know that because, even if you removed the entire city of Pittsburgh from the planet — which, as a Baltimore Ravens fan, I wouldn’t object to nothing about the climate would change. Even using the most unhinged, eco-nutcase model you can find, there is no conceivable way that the city of Pittsburgh can “address climate change.” But they hired useless employees like this person anyway, to categorize all of Pittsburgh’s various “greenhouse gas emissions.” Apparently that was more important than hiring police officers, in a city that’s down to fewer than two dozen cops in the middle of the night.

And this is just scratching the surface. Pittsburgh also has an “LGBTQIA+ Commission,” which was budgeted tens of thousands of dollars a year. That commission has apparently done nothing in three years. According to the outlet Public Source:

Pittsburgh’s LGBTQIA+ Commission, created in 2020 by former Mayor Bill Peduto, started with the promise of action on behalf of the queer community of Pittsburgh. Three years later, external displays of action have been on the sparse side — even at the admission of some of its members. … While some fruitful conversations have been held to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community within the city and the commission has made strides on developing its internal structure, the commission’s 20 meetings thus far have lacked public engagement and it hasn’t conducted a single study.

This is a commission that was established around the time that the police academies were closed. And they’re completely dysfunctional. They’ve wasted all that time and money. It goes without saying that the city could shut all of these “equity” initiatives down without causing any harm to any resident of the city of Pittsburgh. If they had done that, they could’ve saved millions of dollars over the past three years. And when you’re down to 20 police officers, millions of dollars is a lot of money. It can double the size of your police force. But instead of cutting all of this garbage, the leaders of Pittsburgh chose to cut policing, and fund “equity” instead.


One of the many ironies here is that “equity” entails an obsessive concern with “safety.” Leftists are always telling us that certain groups are “unsafe” and how we need to make them feel safer at every opportunity. But they always mean “safety” in some kind of esoteric, ambiguous sense. Actual practical, physical safety isn’t valued at all — at least not the safety of the average family affected by this insanity.

This has gone on for years, and major cities have become much more dangerous as a result. It’s so bad that Taco Bell just had to close all of their indoor dining facilities in Oakland. That’s a pretty stark level of civilizational decline, when you can’t even keep Taco Bell open.

But very soon, Pittsburgh will reach an even deeper level of decay. Residents won’t be worried about climate change, or LGBTQ justice. Instead, they’ll be worried about their safety, in the literal sense. That’s because, three years after Pittsburgh’s mayor promised “reforms,” change has finally arrived. And particularly between the hours of 3:00 a.m. and 7:00 a.m., everyone living in Pittsburgh will know exactly what that change looks like.

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