BLM's Violence & the Death of America's Cities

BLM's Violence & the Death of America's Cities

The corpses are already piling up.

John Perazzo

The police-hating rhetoric of the openly and proudly Marxist "Black Lives Matter" (BLM) movement is doing exactly what it did five years ago – creating a massive increase in violent crime and homicide throughout urban America. You may recall that back in 2015-16, BLM's anti-police protests and riots – particularly in the aftermath of the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri – intimidated officers nationwide into becoming much less proactive in dealing with criminal suspects. A Pew Research Center report titled “Behind the Badge” – which tabulated the results of a questionnaire that was sent to thousands of officers – confirmed that 85 to 95 percent of law-enforcement officers in large police departments became highly reluctant to engage criminals except where absolutely necessary.

The consequences of the new timidity of law-enforcement were monumental:

  • In 2015, America’s 56 largest cities experienced a 17% rise in homicides.
  • Twelve cities with large black populations saw their murder totals spike even more dramatically – e.g., by 54% in D.C., 60% in Newark, 72% in Milwaukee, 83% in Nashville, and 90% in Cleveland.
  • Robberies surged in America's 81 largest cities during the 12 months that followed the shooting of Michael Brown.
  • During the first quarter of 2016, homicides in America's 63 largest cities increased by 9%, while nonfatal shootings were up 21%.

And today, as a result of the anti-police riots and denunciations that have swept the country since the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis – eruptions led in large measure by the Marxists and anarchists of BLM – we are already seeing the same trends all over again.

Consider, for instance, the case of Chicago:

  • On Sunday, May 31, eighteen homicides were committed in Chicago, breaking the city's previous one-day record of thirteen, set 29 years ago. In fact, over the course of that same weekend as a whole, Chicago police responded to at least 73 incidents in which 92 people were shot, including 27 who died as a result. “We’ve never seen anything like it at all,” said Max Kapustin, the senior research director at the University of Chicago Crime Lab. “I don’t even know how to put it into context. It’s beyond anything that we’ve ever seen before.”
  • From Friday evening through Saturday afternoon, June 5-6, at least 23 people were wounded in various shootings across Chicago.
  • During the weekend of June 12-14, no fewer than 34 Chicagoans were wounded in shootings citywide.
  • During Father's Day weekend, June 19-21, Chicago saw more than 100 people shot in an astonishing wave of gunfire, 14 of them fatally.
  • During the last weekend of June, 63 people were shot in Chicago, 16 of them fatally.

New York City has likewise been turned into a leftist hell hole by BLM hatred:

  • In a 28-day period from mid-May through mid-June, the incidence of murder, burglary and grand larceny auto crimes in New York spiked dramatically when compared to the same period last year. Particularly alarming was the homicide count – 38 murders in 28 days – a total twice as high as the corresponding figure from 2019.
  • From June 16-22, the number of shootings in New York City increased by some 358 percent compared with the same time frame in 2019 – from 12 shootings last year, to 55 this year. In those 55 most recent shooting incidents, a total of 74 people were wounded.
  • From June 19-27, more than 110 people in New York City were wounded or killed in 83 separate shootings.
  • In a 12-hour period during the weekend of June 27-28, eleven people were shot and wounded citywide. This spree of gunfire brought the number of shootings over the most recent seven-day period in New York to 59 – a figure that dwarfed the 26 shootings which had occurred during the same time frame in 2019.

The NYPD's Chief of Department, Terence Monahan, blames these horrific trends largely on the fact that “the animosity towards police has been absolutely unbelievable.” “The violence, the shootings are up,” he says. “We haven’t seen this many [during a comparable time period] since 1996.”

The animosity cited by Monahan was on full display in the wee morning hours this past Sunday, when a mob of young people spent several hours hurling bottles and epithets at NYPD officers who tried to break up their massive street party following reports of gunfire at the gathering. The attendees defiantly and repeatedly demanded that the officers “Get the f–k out of here!” Others taunted the cops by launching aerial fireworks from atop a van, and by dancing lewdly in front of an NYPD vehicle. In a subsequent interview with reporters, one young black man summed up his attitude toward the police thusly: “The black people wanted the cops to know that this is our neighborhood and you’re not going to intimidate us.” Meanwhile, a dispirited police officer described the situation as “complete lawlessness.”

And because the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio has been highly sympathetic to the protesters and rioters – as evidenced by the enactment of a $1 billion cut to the NYPD budget – New York City officers have decided that it's time to get out while they can. During the 30-day period from May 25 through June 24, no fewer than 272 uniformed cops announced that they were retiring – a 49 percent increase over the 183 officers who filed for retirement during the same period last year.

The atmosphere in Milwaukee, nearly 900 miles west of New York, has grown equally grim. According to Milwaukee Inspector Leslie Thiele: “Our homicides are way up. We haven't seen these numbers since 1991. We have 86 homicides this year, compared to 37 to this point last year – so we have a 132% increase. Thiele's fellow Milwaukee Inspector Terrence Gordon says: “Morale [among police] is terrible. But people don't have low morale because of something the chief did, it's because they're afraid that nobody in this community is going to stand up for them. In 25 years, I've never seen it like this. I never thought that I'd see the day where a Milwaukee police officer would withdraw from the community they swore to serve. But I can see it beginning to happen right now, and it's just terrible, because on the other side of all these crimes are victims.”

The hearts of police officers have likewise been torn asunder in Washington, D.C., as evidenced by the fact that in a recent press release, the city's Metropolitan Police Union said that 71% of the members it surveyed are considering leaving the department. Of those, nearly 40% are planning to leave law enforcement entirely.

In St. Louis during the weekend of June 6-7, no fewer than 21 people were shot, 6 of them fatally. During the first week of June, homicides in Los Angeles were up 250% compared to the previous week, while the total number of gunshot victims was up 56%. In Baltimore during the month of June as a whole, the incidence of homicide increased by 29% over the corresponding rates for April and May.

By embracing the hateful, destructive, anarchic message of Black Lives Matter and its openly Marxist leaders, urban America has willfully signed its own death warrant. Cities from coast to coast are now in the process of dying. Their respective tax bases are already fleeing – quite understandably and smartly – to safer environs, just like so many of their predecessors did after the riots of the Sixties. Why on earth would anyone want to invest his or her labor and capital in a business or a home that could be wiped out in a matter of minutes, whenever the next pack of raging vandals may feel a righteous impulse to lay waste to everything in its path? Any such an investment would be a very poor life decision.

Thus, such investments are now a thing of the past. For instance, the Minneapolis manufacturing company 7-Sigma Inc., which was heavily damaged during the George Floyd riots, has decided to move, as quickly as possible, out of the city where it has been headquartered for the past 33 years. Other local businesses say they fully intend to follow suit. So, goodbye Minneapolis.

And so long, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Louisville, Memphis, New York, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, and Seattle.

The most enduring hallmarks of the cities that have been ravaged by the riots of recent weeks will be large tracts of ghost neighborhoods where abandoned homes and businesses stand, silently and pathetically, like the dilapidated ruins of dead civilizations. The raging Marxists of BLM have sown the wind, and now the whirlwind is theirs to reap. It is happening already.