May 20, 2015 3:46 pm ET
Around and around it goes; where it lands no one knows
It is a trying time for those behind the “thin blue line,” folks.
How trying? Even the Sun can’t decide whether the police are the good guys or the villains. The Mayor and the State’s Attorney have opened their mouths on the subject more times than a game show host, yet the results are the same—somebody wins and somebody loses.
And, from where I’m sitting, it looks another cluster is brewing in the dysfunctional city, and that cluster is now taking hold in Baltimore County as the two recent shootings on the west-side indicate.
A local business owner I know in Towson told me that he believes the whole situation in our area is one big joke. He specifically referenced the gridlock, the “spring break attitude” every weekend, and the fact that, after dark, the streets are filled with those not interested in spending money.
Let’s begin with some cold hard facts—otherwise known as “the truth”—to see how much of a “decay mode” Baltimore is in these days.
We’ll start off with the largest city in the country, NYC. Look at what happened there when a left wing liberal took over from a former mayor who had some sense rather than someone who sat around singing, “…and the sky is not cloudy all day.”
The citizens screamed bloody murder when NYPD’s finest would stop and frisk people, saying it offended them. The protesters screamed about profiling and stereotyping.
As a wise person once said, “The best way to not get caught is to not do anything wrong.”
Folks, I did some research on all of the so-called “profiling” in NYC. What I found is that, while this is a controversial subject, the bottom line is that it works. Despite the fact that the NYPD’s actions bring about an element of racial discourse, a recent study by the Manhattan Institute shows that, beyond the racial component, the police tactics are working.
Here is a quote from the study:
“What has changed is the city’s style of policing. Since 1994, the police department has deployed officers to areas where law-abiding residents were being most victimized and has asked those officers to intervene in suspicious behavior before a crime happens. Stop and frisk has been a vital part of that approach. David Weisburd, a George Mason University criminologist, found in a recent unpublished paper that those stops have been targeted with pinpoint precision to the street segments where crime is highest.”
Now here is the end result of that study:
“The city’s astounding homicide drop — 82 percent from 1990 to 2009 — is driven by a decline in gun crime, which disproportionately affects black males. In 2011, guns were used in 61 percent of all homicides, but 86 percent of black males between the ages of 16 and 21 killed that year died from gunfire, according to N.Y.P.D. data.”
So, simply put, NYC—which at one time was known as the murder capital of world—became one of the safest places to live in the country due to community policing and the “stop and frisk” tactic.
In direct contrast to the enigma, the city of Chicago has become as dangerous as some of the cities in the Middle East. No “stop and frisk” going on there. No community policing. Just a rise in major crime rates.
Which brings us to our little piece of the world. Since the riots in Baltimore, between the shouts of “Justice for Freddy” and “Cops are killers,” 34 black people have been victims of homicides. But is anyone rioting about that? Where are the words of protest from the mayor, and where is the speech from the State’s Attorney?
You can keep listening, but you’ll hear only crickets. After all, there is no political ground to be gained over simple homicides in the city.
And, even if there were calls for justice, what good would they do? Baltimore is the land of the plea deal, where judges (figuratively) give the criminals the keys to the jail. There is little or no accountability in our criminal justice system. Most of the homicides are committed by violent repeat offenders who have criminal records longer than Tiger Woods’ drives.
No offense to Tiger intended.
While fighting crime is not rocket science, it does take some common sense to fight crime properly. The ills of society—poverty, unemployment, and lack of education—are not the responsibility of the police.
When we learn as a society that it takes involvement and not rhetoric to make solid changes, then (and only then) will the system start to take a turn for the better.
Politicians get into the political game with the aspirations of being politicians for life—they are only worried about their next re-election and fundraising. Then again, when the society is stupid enough to keep voting in the same people decade after decade, then the old saying, “You get what you vote for,” is not only true, but deserved.
If our politicians stop thinking about the next big development deal and focus on what they are actually in office to do, then (and only then) will society begin to benefit.
Otherwise, you may want to bunker down for some more of the same old, same old. Just don’t blame the police when it happens. After all, those hired to protect and serve may be the only friends you have.