Americans watched in horror earlier this year when Baltimore erupted in violence following the death of Freddie Gray. Businesses were looted and burned, police were attacked, and liberal leaders gave a legion of angry thugs “space to destroy.” Now the ramifications of that wild riot are becoming clear. Baltimore, a city that struggles with violence in the best of years, has just wrapped up the deadliest month in 43 years.
July’s 45 homicides are the most on record in a single month since August 1972, according to the Baltimore Sun. This grisly month has brought the total for the year to 189, easily trumping the 119 killings on record for this time in 2014. Nonfatal shootings have also skyrocketed: 366 in 2015 compared to 200 by last August.
Authorities have their share of causes to pick from. The city’s gangs are in the midst of a war over pharmaceutical drugs stolen in the Freddie Gray chaos. There has been some suggestion that the city’s police force is hesitant to enforce the law the way they did before the riots. Or it could simply be part of a national trend; several other major U.S. cities have seem crime rates jump this year as well.
Whatever the specific cause of this surge in homicides, it is clear that the underlying cause is Democratic city leadership. And that’s the case for every one of these cities where kids are getting shot on the streets. Democrats claim to be great heroes for black Americans, but their policies have led directly to the destruction of their community.
That’s the tragedy that goes overlooked when we cringe at the rioting. The ones who suffer the most from this lawlessness are those who have to live and work in these communities. And these are the same people who suffer when an anti-police sentiment takes root from Washington D.C. on down. We’re already asking police officers to put their lives on the line for law and order. Now they have to wonder if they’ll be prosecuted for carrying out the law? For protecting themselves? Who could blame them for saying to hell with it?
These police officers are patrolling areas that are, for all intents and purposes, active war zones. There are innocent, hardworking families in those areas that just want the violence to stop. And they will be the ones to suffer if our nation prevents the police from doing their work. If the black lives matter movement was genuine, its members would recognize that fact.
In the meantime, these communities need to abandon their rage at the “system,” reject the Democrat policies keeping them in poverty, and start taking responsibility for the crime in their midst. Worry less about the Confederate flag and more about the homicides.