Reuters is befuddled about why police are retiring at their desks in Minneapolis
In the wake of the rabid left's demonization of police, the "Ferguson effect" has come onto Minneapolis with a vengeance since the death of petty criminal George Floyd while in police custody.
That's news. But despite statistics like this:
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 May, the most recent month for which complete records were available, officers initiated about 58% fewer encounters than they did in the same month the year before.
The number of traffic stops they conducted was down 85% over the same period. Business checks — in which officers stop at a business to talk to employees and customers — were down 76%. The number of people the police stopped for acting suspiciously also dropped 76%.
Reuters is befuddled.
Drawing a definitive link between police pullbacks and increasing crime can be complicated. Homicide rates shot up throughout the United States beginning in the summer of 2020 – not just in cities where the police scaled back traffic stops, but also in patches of rural America and other areas where patrolling remained unchanged. But three law enforcement experts interviewed by Reuters say a less active police force can most definitely impact community safety.
The hard reporting in this shocking story is very good work, and Reuters did say it had looked at millions of police call records to assemble its report showing the sorry reality in Minneapolis of a non-functioning police department.
But the interpretation here left a lot to be desired. Look how they call that link between police retiring at their desks, not wanting to stick their necks out for the crime-plagued community, given that one false move, one bad call on a criminal, could mean jail, pariah-ization, and a full loss of a lifetime-earned pension for themselves? Who'd want to stick their neck out in that?
Where the heck was Reuters's incuriosity about the radical left-wing rioters and radical groups leading them, complete with fawning press coverage, such as Black Lives Matter, and all their calls to "defund the police" that came of it? Where was their indictment of the gormless left-wing city officials and leaders who failed to stand up for the police but instead kowtowed to the mob, political correctness narratives, and of course the cameras? Reuters preferred befuddlement and hiding behind the word "complicated" to asking.
And where was the Reuters examination of the draconian, out-of-proportion punishment for the now ex–police officer Derek Chauvin, who at a minimum didn't profit from his bad call on Floyd, but was egged on by a mob, and then faced a tainted jury with activists, a biased judge, and pressured alteration of standard medical evidence? The death of Floyd was obviously an accident, a bad one, but mitigated by Floyd's drug use and resistance to arrest. It may have merited punishment in a fair world, too, as it was not in the same category as that of a cold-blooded killer. However, it was treated that way, complete with wall-to-wall press coverage, and ordinary beat cops as powerless as Chauvin knew that it could have happened to them as easily as it did him.
Why take chances? Reuters does try to grapple with the mass exodus of police officers, with some retiring and some taking some kind of sick leave, but it notes that largely, cops have gone "hands off," as the news agency delicately put it.
That means a hell of a lot of citizens have got to bear the brunt of that rhetoric, those leftist officials, and all the rubbish spewed out in the rest of the press about defunding the police even as the police are not defunded; they are just gone, and now the locals fend for themselves.
Who's responsible for that? Reuters does not say. But anyone who watches anything about human nature can see what's going on here. People respond to incentives — and criminals have gotten the word that it's time to commit crimes, while cops have gotten word that it's time to pretend nothing is happening, or take the long route to a crime scene and let what happens happen.
Just the talk about defunding the police has been a disaster for Minneapolis, as the shocking statistics show. The city is well on its way to becoming a third-world dump, complete with lousy economy, corruption galore, a rundown look, crime like Caracas, zero investment, and people fleeing. Those numbers tell a terrible story that shouldn't be buried in the piece, but blazed from the headlines.
Image: Logo, Wikipedia, fair use.