The Democrats’ Crime Enigma | News

The May 2020 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of a police officer sparked a wave of Black Lives Matter protests across the US and sparked impassioned calls to ‘defund the police’ from progressive activists . In the aftermath of Floyd’s death, Democrats – including then-presidential candidate Joe Biden – campaigned on promises of police reform. But nearly two years later, as crime rates rise across America, Democrats are now revising their message, Lauren Gambino recount Michael Safi.

Gun violence and homicides rose sharply in the United States in 2020 and 2021, with black and Latino communities being hardest hit. Although crime numbers are still much lower than they were in the early 1990s, the jump from 2019 to 2020 represented the largest single-year increase in homicides in modern history, according to the CDC. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 24% of Americans say they are satisfied with efforts to reduce or control crime – a new low.

During a recent visit to New York, President Biden attempted to balance competing messages. He strongly affirmed his support for law enforcement, clearly distancing himself from the “defund the police” movement. At the same time, he sought to convey a message he listened to — and even learned — from communities of color most affected by rising crime. Meanwhile, Republicans are determined to make the issue of crime a central issue in the 2022 midterm elections.



Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

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