Cincinnati isn’t known as a particularly violent city. Not when you think of places like Chicago, Baltimore, Saint Louis, and places like that. Yet violence ripped through the streets of the city over the weekend.
While violent crime is awful and complicated, there’s almost always a political element to it.
Oh, that political element often isn’t a driving factor behind the crime itself, but it’s almost invariably linked to the aftermath. For example, a governor using it to push his gun control bill when he has no reason to expect it would have done a damn thing to stop the violence.
These days, we have more than one agenda floating around. Sure, there’s gun control, but we also have people who want to defund law enforcement all over the country.
And that has to be brought up right about now as well.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said he’s “alarmed, shocked and saddened” by a string of gun violence across the city, lamenting that calls to defund law enforcement are not the answer.
The prosecutor’s comments come as 21 people were shot, four fatally, in seven different shootings in a 24-hour period on Sunday.
In one case, 10 people were shot at a single location. Police do not believe that the shootings are related, with shootings being reported in several different neighborhoods, including Over-the-Rhine, Walnut Hills, West End, North Avondale, Pendleton and East Price Hill.
Deters vowed to work with local law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice, adding that the weekend’s events should silence calls to defund police.
“To those who call to ‘defund’ the police, this weekend should silence that call once and for all,” Deters said. “While I believe that we should police smartly and efficiently and use all of our resources in the best way possible, ‘defunding’ the police is not the answer. I suspect that everyone affected by the violence this weekend- – victims, family members, residents in the communities- – were grateful for the Cincinnati Police Department’s immediate response and their ongoing efforts to solve these horrible crimes.”
Now, it’s important to understand that those who want to defund police are on something of a spectrum. Many want police departments completely abolished, of course, but others want police budgets simply reduced. All want that money to go toward programs that would hopefully reduce violence in the long term; programs like efforts to combat so-called income inequality and similar issues many believe drive violence.
However, it would take years for any of those programs to yield results. Years. The violence is happening now.
Deters is absolutely correct that defunding police isn’t the answer. Not by a longshot. Right now, with violence surging in cities of all sizes, defunding police so they can’t solve these crimes may well be the dumbest effort I’ve ever heard of.
And I was in the military, for crying out loud.
I honestly don’t get the defund police movement, but especially now that we’re seeing this massive surge in violence happening all over the country. Then again, those pushing this kind of thing aren’t that bright to begin with.