MINNEAPOLIS — Earlier this year, disgraced former police officer Derek Chauvin was convicted on all counts pertaining to his involvement in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man.
At the time, the Daily Wire reported:
After a little over ten hours of deliberation, a jury on Tuesday found former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter in relation to the death of George Floyd.
The jury considered three separate charges, “second-degree murder — unintentional, while committing a felony; third-degree murder; and second-degree manslaughter,” according to The Wall Street Journal. “The judge explained that third-degree murder requires proof Mr. Chauvin caused Mr. Floyd’s death by committing an eminently dangerous act that was highly likely to cause death and showed a reckless disregard for human life. To convict Mr. Chauvin of second-degree manslaughter, the jurors would need to conclude that culpable negligence and reckless actions by Mr. Chauvin caused Mr. Floyd’s death.”
They found Chauvin guilty on all three.
Despite numerous questions concerning the integrity of the Chauvin trial itself, the decision still proved itself a testament to the relative temerity of our criminal justice system. A crime was committed, the perpetrator was arrested and convicted, and now faces several decades in prison. Had the system been so racist as to justify its complete dismantlement at the hands of the mob, this would not have happened. Chauvin would have walked.
However, the left’s big takeaway from this was markedly different — as is often the case. Should one have possessed such a degree of masochism at the time that they would be compelled to tune into any major media outlet, one would have been led to believe that the Chauvin verdict had nothing to do with a criminal being convicted under the due process of law. Instead, they treated it as a turning point — a blow to American racism and the alleged systemic prejudice that allowed the incident to have occurred in the first place.
Of course, this perversion of the notion of criminal justice is only one head of the left’s anti-police hydra — the other is the actual reform of policing in the United States.
The arguments were interconnected: the institution of policing is and has always been inherently racist. Less policing, therefore, must equal less institutional racism. Therefore, Democrats figured, we should “reform” the police by reducing their presence in big cities, slash funding of police departments, and overall neutering their ability to actually do their jobs.
And that’s exactly what they did, with cities like New York and Minneapolis, as well as states like Washington, implementing new restrictions on policing and making significant cuts to the budgets of their cities’ respective departments.
In an article published last week, aptly titled Hands-Off Patrol, Reuters examines the effect that the public castigation and intimidation of police in Minneapolis has had on their ability to effectively enforce the law. Officers have decreased the number of interactions, traffic stops, seizures of contraband by orders of magnitude. They’ve receded on their own accord — and it’s hard to blame them.
In their minds, it’s only a matter of time until one of them pulls over the next George Floyd, and it’s them standing before a judge, their mugshot plastered across the media as the supposed face of American racism.
In the year after Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, the number of people approached on the street by officers who considered them suspicious dropped by 76%, Reuters found after analyzing more than 2.2 million police dispatches in the city. Officers stopped 85% fewer cars for traffic violations. As they stopped fewer people, they found and seized fewer illegal guns.
In April, the average response time to priority 911 calls was 40% longer than it had been a year earlier, Reuters found.
All the while, the number of murders in Minneapolis is on track to reach a 20-year high. In the 12 months after Floyd’s death, the number of outdoor shootings detected by specially designed microphone arrays set up in two of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods more than doubled, dispatch records show.
So far this year, 65 people have been murdered in Minneapolis. Police fielded 91 reports of shootings in May, nearly double the number the previous year, dispatch records show. Violent crimes shot up in June 2020 and have remained more frequent.
The piece then cites incidents that have occurred since Floyd’s death. A six-year-old girl was shot dead in the back of a car, gangs are apparently opening fire on random residences, and illegal firearms are carried freely on city streets. Residents — some of whom are former convicts themselves — are now referring to Minneapolis as a “gangster’s paradise” and a “stand-your-ground city.”
People are rightly terrified. Their underfunded police have deserted them, and their invertebrate politicians can’t be bothered to do anything about it, all in the name of peddling vague, unfounded, and anti-intellectual notions of equity and racial justice because they know that to be the only way people are going to vote for them.
There’s one question immediately drawn here: what purpose has any of this served?
Has this been in any way effective? Have Democrats made a case that America is somehow less systemically racist than it was when George Floyd died? Has the supposed existential threat posed by our institutions to black Americans diminished since then? Or, alternatively, are we in the same position we were in a year ago, where we’re still subject to daily cries of inequity from the left, except objectively less safe?
The answer, it seems, is quite self-evident.
Support The Liberty Loft by donating via PayPal or donate with crypto. Your support helps us achieve our mission to deliver conservative news and opinion. You can find us on a wide variety of social media channels or subscribe to our notifications to receive all the latest information as it is released.