Just four hours south of crime-ridden Chicago is a city with much higher murder rates – St Louis. While Mayor Tishaura Jones campaigned on criminal justice reform, the city’s murder rate is the worst in the country and at a 50-year high.
While making St. Louis less hospitable and more dangerous, Mayor Jones has also proposed to ‘defund the police’ and shut down a city jail. The department is already struggling to fill 100 jobs and the head of the city’s corrections department announced his resignation after Mayor Jones made it clear she didn’t like the way he ran things. Anyone with common sense would know that less police doesn’t equal less crime – but liberals don’t have common sense.
St. Louis saw the worst murder rates in the country last year at 87 homicides per 100,000 residents. While city officials blamed the coronavirus pandemic, others have argued that the Mayor’s approach to violent crime has made things worse and that the city led the country’s murder rates before COVID-19. In 2019, St. Louis had 65 homicides per 100,000 residents.
Mayor Jones has proposed a $4 million slash to St. Louis police department funds, saying it would be redirected to social programs and that as many “as half” of city police calls could be handled by someone other than a law enforcement officer. She said the funds would be streamlined to affording housing funds, victim support services, the city’s Department of Health and Human Services, and the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency.
Mayor Jones reiterates that no officers would lose their job under the amendment but that they would eliminate 98 vacant positions in the department. She insists that fewer police officers will not have a dramatic effect on that city’s crime rate.
“Funding a comprehensive approach to violent crime is the best approach to reducing murders. This requires both police and partnering agencies adequately funded to support victims and hold offenders accountable. It also requires target arrest and prosecutions to get murderers and shooters off the streets and not filling jails with nonviolent offenders,” Interim City of St. Louis Director of Public Safety Daniel Isom said.
The Civil Service Commission recently voted to strip police officers of qualified immunity and hold them equally accountable to civil service workers. They eliminated different disciplinary standards that police agencies were held to and called the voting process “long overdue.” They said it was an “important reform” that would bring accountability and transparency to all. You would think being the Mayor of the most dangerous city in the country you would focus on things that support the police, but Jones’ actions have only hurt law enforcement and helped criminals more.
Jones’ budget proposal contained zero funding for the city’s medium-security jail “The Workhouse.” She told reporters that the city “didn’t need two jails” and that they need to move people through the system and find alternatives to jails for some of the offenses. Not particularly the best time to be loosening the grip on the criminal justice system.
As compared to how Mayor Rudy Giuliani ran the city in the 1990s, his approach lowered crime rates and murders had dropped to the lowest they’d been in decades. He advocated for more police, full enforcement of existing laws, and proactive policing. But America’s largest cities have been run by democratic leaders for quite some time now, with an anti-police, anti-law enforcement stance that has only encouraged crime. Residents of St. Louis, New York City, Chicago, and Minneapolis are all having to pay the price for their radical left leaders.
Looking at St. Louis’s numbers, it’s safe to say that cutting the police department, releasing violent criminals from prison, and government-endorsed terrorism causes more crime. In fact, the worst in the country. Who would’ve figured?