Remember last summer when the talking heads on CNN told us about the “fiery but peaceful protests” happening nationwide? Or how Chirs Cuomo said, “Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful.” The outlet also reported that Jacob Blake was shot by a Kenosha police officer, without noting that Blake had a knife. Instead, the incident, in which Blake was in violation of a restraining order and resisted arrest, demonstrated a need for a “racial reckoning,” according to CNN’s Ray Sanchez.
The anti-police narratives held up by CNN and other corporate media outlets led to Democrat cities nationwide removing money from the police budget. The idea of “reimagining” policing took hold, and CNN jumped on the bandwagon with think pieces and interviews with the queen of the defund the police movement, Representative Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.).
Enter Matt Dornic, the head of strategic communications for CNN. He lives in Northwest Washington, D.C., where homes like the ones in the video he posted sell for around $850,000. On Twitter, Dornic reported dodging random gunfire in his upscale neighborhood, calling the incident unacceptable:
It is unacceptable, and no one should diminish Dornic’s fear or shock at random gun violence. However, we cannot overlook the irony of CNN having promoted anti-police rhetoric for over a year because leaders in Washington heeded the call from CNN and other corporate media networks. Mayor Muriel Bowser famously painted “Black Lives Matter” in giant yellow letters on 16th Street leading toward the White House and named it Black Lives Matter Plaza NW. In July 2020, the city council voted unanimously to cut $15 million from the police department budget. City leaders reallocated the funds to public safety efforts not connected with law enforcement.
A large portion of the money in the proposed legislation would be refunded to public safety efforts that are outside of D.C.’s law enforcement.
This includes funding a new position for a Gun Violence Director to spearhead the District’s interagency strategy for preventing gun violence, more funding for the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE) and more allocated funds for the city’s social work programs.
So how is that working out? By May of 2021, almost 10% of the D.C. police force had retired or quit. Police union chairman Greggory Pemberton blamed police reform laws passed by the city council, noting that officers and their families were experiencing harassment. The year-over-year increase in homicides was 35%. There was a spike in carjackings by July, and approximately 70 more officers turned in their badges. Looking at unsolved homicides, they nearly exclusively ended black lives.
This summer, Bowser attempted to backpedal by proposing to hire 170 more officers by the end of 2022 and add $11 million back into the law enforcement budget. She was stopped short by the city council, which only allocated $5 million to hire 40 officers. An additional $12.5 million will go to violence prevention programs like it did last year, despite no evidence that they curb crime.
It is not even clear that the department would be able to find 170 new police officers. The D.C. Metropolitan Police Department typically hires 250 officers per year. Following the budget cuts in 2020, the MPD hired only 21 recruits. Nationwide, 86% of departments report staffing issues. It is even more difficult in cities like Washington, where leaders do not support police officers.
According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the United States recorded its highest murder rate increase in a century between 2019 and 2020. The agency noted a 30% year-over-year rise, and it continued to increase in the first half of 2021. According to City Journal editor Heather Mac Donald, the Ferguson effect, seen after BLM burst onto the scene following the death of Michael Brown, cost 2,000 additional black lives in 2015 and 2016. The George Floyd effect will dwarf those statistics across all racial and socioeconomic lines unless something changes.
So maybe Dornic and his colleagues at CNN should turn down the anti-police rhetoric and dismissal of rising crime statistics. One example is Don Lemon, who told Chris Cuomo, “If you watch a certain state TV and you listen to conservative media, you would think that, you know, entire cities are just, you know, embroiled in fights and fires and whatever.”
“We went out and had a great dinner in New York City tonight,” Lemon shared. “People actually walked up to us and said thank you for — I watch you every night. I can’t believe — they thought they had to do a double-take at us actually hanging out and not seeing on the TV screen. But New York City was not, you know, a hellscape, was it?”
Of course, then Lemon made the salient point, “Before people try to twist what we’re saying. Nobody is condoning violence here. We know that there is violence out there, but entire cities are not on fire and in tumult. There are a few blocks.” Maybe Dornic should tell him it is more than a few blocks now. And that law-abiding citizens on every block deserve to feel safe.