FBI official: violent crime rising at "appalling" rate

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When the pandemic first hit, it seemed that violent crime crashed. After all, if no one can go anywhere, how can they commit acts of violence?

Yet that didn’t hold. Worse, it seemed that people decided to make up for lost time by sending crime rates soaring.

It’s so bad that an FBI deputy director is shocked.

FBI Deputy Director Paul Abbate on Wednesday expressed concern with “violence, homicides and aggravated assaults,”  which he says are “occurring at an appalling rate” across the U.S.

Abbate gave the remarks, much of which focused on the growing number of female law enforcement officers — which he said now make up 45% of the law enforcement workforce — and their accomplishments, at an event for the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives in Miami.

He also noted, however, that the FBI is “concerned” about the threat of rising violent crime.

“We’re seeing a disturbing violent crime surge across the country. I know you’re seeing, it too. There’s gun violence, homicides and aggravated assaults, and are all occurring at an appalling rate, not to mention hate crimes and the persistent threat posed by violent extremists,” Abbate said, citing the agency’s 2020 incident-based crime data released last year, which showed a 30% jump in homicides in 2020.

Since the FBI is the agency tasked with compiling these statistics, you’ve kind of got to assume Abbate has access to the correct numbers. Of course, that doesn’t mean the deputy director of the FBI is above making some stuff up, either.

However, that does somewhat track with what we’ve seen from the outside looking in.

So what gives? I mean, while gun control advocates want to blame firearms, it’s not like there was some liberalization of gun laws on a mass scale that could account for such an increase.

Yet there was something else that happened right before the violent crime rate started to rise.

The uptick in violence against both civilians and officers since 2020 comes after different versions of the demand to “defund” or redistribute funding from police departments to other community initiatives were popularized following the May 2020 death of George Floyd, a Black Minneapolis man killed by Derek Chauvin, a White police officer. Experts have suggested that rhetoric surrounding law enforcement, as well as left-learning criminal reform initiatives from progressive prosecutors, has emboldened criminals.

Ding, ding, ding.

We have a winner.

Look, I think the criminal justice system needs reform. There are way too many problems there and it needs some serious work.

The problem is that the police ended up being vilified to the point that the media was ready to believe the worst about everyone with a badge. That coupled with the fact that criminals knew they’d be back on the streets in a matter of hours simply couldn’t have a positive effect on the violent crime rate.

I’m sorry, it just couldn’t.

Meanwhile, some will argue that the increase in gun sales is the real problem. However, since only 10 percent of criminals get their firearms via retail purchases, that’s unlikely.

In fact, the rise in violent crime is causing more people to get guns, rather than the other way around.

As for the crime, it is what it is. Until people start to recognize that it’s not because of those guns, we’re never going to get anything accomplished on that front.

Jun 27, 2022 11:30 AM ET