#The movement to defund police is based on nothing but lies

The movement to defund police is based on nothing but lies

June 6, 2020 | 9:39am

General rule for riots: They begin as protests that have an actual point but then descend into madness. Not only did the orgiastic masses do major long-term damage to the economic prospects of their own communities by rioting in cities across the country, not only did they shout angrily in tightly massed crowds as if they were actively trying to jump-start the coronavirus, but even the supposed thought leaders behind the riots were making radical and destructive policy proposals.

This was the week that the disturbing slogan “defund the police” caught on.

Hillary Clinton’s ex-press secretary Brian Fallon tweeted, “Defund the police.” The progressive outfit the Working Families Party did the same. A Brooklyn College sociology professor, Alex Vitale, called for abolishing the police.

Celebrities rich enough to afford private security — Natalie Portman, Brie Larson, the Weeknd, John Legend, Jane Fonda, Lizzo, etc. — all signed an open letter drenched with lies calling for public funds to be turned away from policing and toward more nebulous goals such as “public health.” The letter claimed, absurdly, that funding for cops and the military has gone up every year since 1973 while spending on “public health” has gone down every year since 1973. Here’s the reality: Medicaid spending in 1975 stood at $13.1 billion. It has gone up virtually every year since, and now stands at $639 billion. Overall, public health spending has risen from less than $200 billion in 1988 to $1.6 trillion last year, according to

The lie that social spending has taken a hit interlocks with the media-created myth that it’s open season on unarmed black men in the US. Fifteen unarmed black people were killed by police last year, as opposed to 25 white people, according to the Washington Post’s database, but black people are much more likely to have police encounters than white people. In an average year, about 49 people are killed by lightning in the US, according to the National Weather Service.

The “defund the police” open letter was released by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors, who told Variety that too often police are “the first responder for mental-health crises” or “for drug and alcohol abuse” so we should reallocate those dollars “back to the community” for social spending.

President Trump walks to St John's Episcopal church and past graffiti with lingo spawned from the riots, such as FTP.
President Trump walks by a crude spray-paint graffito reading, “FTP” — eff the police — a dismal new lingo left behind in the riots.AFP via Getty Images

Not really. By a more than two to one margin, black Americans support the police and 60 percent of black Americans want more police hired, according to a Civis poll published by Vox this week. (Other groups support the police even more strongly). This week was a chilling display of what happens when police are overwhelmed: Looters rampaged down Madison Avenue and cleaned out Macy’s. Images of our city looking like a reenactment of the last act of “Joker” redefined New York for the world. This city’s revenue base is heavily dependent on the taxes that pour into the city from tourists from around the globe. How enthusiastic are these prospective visitors feeling right now, when New York, already reeling from three months of a deadly outbreak, has proven unable even to protect some of its world-famous stores? Our city has not looked this horrible to outsiders since the chaos that followed the 1977 blackout. Far from defunding the police, we need more policing. And police need to have the confidence that their political leaders will back them up.

Right now, police enjoy no such confidence. Mayors and governors make it clear their sympathies lie more with protesters than their own cops. Hundreds of activists are crying, “Abolish the police” on Twitter. A city councilman in Minneapolis mused on Twitter about what it might take to “disband” his city’s police department.

America is learning dismal new lingo from the graffiti left behind in the riots: “ACAB” and “1312,” both meaning “All Cops are Bastards.” The numbers correspond to where the letters A, C, A and B fall in the alphabet. A picture published this week showed President Trump walking by a crude spray-paint graffito reading, “FTP” — eff the police. Cops are feeling besieged. We should be sending them gift baskets, not silly threats to abolish or defund them.

Kyle Smith is critic-at-large at National Review


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