There’s been a lot of concerns on the right regarding the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies being weaponized against conservative and libertarian groups and individuals. That’s not without at least some grounds, either. We’ve seen a lot of evidence suggesting that may be the case, particularly with regard to guns.
They don’t get a pass for most of that, either.
However, a recent raid by the FBI is more than a little inconvenient to Democrats.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted a raid on the headquarters of Baltimore’s “Safe Streets” program on Thursday reportedly on allegations that the taxpayer-funded community program is somehow mixed up with the very gang members they are supposed to be keeping in check.
The raid sent local Democrats in the city running for cover after so much of the city’s tax money has been plunged into the program that was initially meant to help quell street violence but has become an albatross for many over its lack of transparency and accountability.
“Since 2007, Safe Streets has been Baltimore’s flagship gun violence reduction program. Founded in 2000 by epidemiologist Dr. Gary Slutkin, Cure Violence is a public health approach that uses trusted messengers in the community to interrupt the transmission of violence. Violence interrupters spread anti-violence messages and encourage positive changes in individual behavior as well as community norms around violence.”
The FBI has not yet released details to explain its Thursday raid on the program’s Belair-Edison location. Still, according to insiders who spoke to WBFF, the bureau was looking into possible gang affiliation.
Now, the author isn’t a fan of these kinds of programs.
Personally, I think anything that can prevent violent crime in the first place is worth a try. However, that only works if the people involved are actually doing the work they’re supposed to do.
Much of the issue in Baltimore is a lack of transparency and accountability, both of which would do a great deal prevent any initiative from going off the rails like this one appears to have gone.
Yet we also can’t escape the fact that many who argue for non-law enforcement interventions are basically people who don’t want to be arrested for their own crimes. I can’t say all or even most such folks are like that, but a number of them are, and that’s part of what bothers me about this.
In this case, the allegations seem to be that gang members were involved in an effort to mitigate gang violence but weren’t doing the job they were supposed to do. They seemingly used the idea of non-law enforcement intervention as a way to keep from getting arrested for gang activity, after all.
Of course, when the FBI eventually does talk about this formally, we’ll find out a great deal more about what happened and won’t need to rely on speculation. Until then, there will be questions about just how a program like this was allowed to go on without accountability and transparency while on the taxpayers’ dime for this long.