Last week, Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, D.C., issued a letter advising residents of the steps her administration is taking to address the rise in violent crime in the city. The letter begins this way:
Your safety is my number one priority. I want you to know that we will curb the number of guns in our community; arrest people using guns in our community; and work with all our partners to make sure we are preventing crime before it happens, but also holding people accountable who are making communities less safe for women, our children, our brothers and sons, and our families.
We are throwing every resource at the rise in violent crime in DC, and we will keep pushing on all fronts until we see positive results.
Bowser then lists six steps she will take to deal with violent crime. The first two are:
More focused deployment of MPD in areas with elevated gun activity, including strategic use of overtime. The data shows us that targeted efforts like the Summer and Fall Crime Prevention Initiatives work to drive down crime.
More hiring of DC residents to become DC police by increasing funding for MPD hiring and the MPD Cadet Corps Program. Today, I introduced legislation to make more DC residents eligible for the Cadet Program.
The second measure is the antithesis of “defund the police,” the slogan that was all the rage last year at this time. Defunding the police, or at least reducing police funding, remains a goal of BLM and the left generally, but D.C’s mayor wants to move in the opposite direction.
The first measure constitutes “inequity,” as the left sees it because in practice, it entails a “disproportionate” amount of policing in areas where minorities live. This, in turn, entails an increase in the disparity between Black arrests and White arrests because the diversion of police resources from White to Black areas can be expected to increase the proportion of Black arrests (albeit probably only slightly.) For this reason, as I understand it, the Obama Department of Justice looked askance at the “disproportionate” policing of Black neighborhoods in Baltimore, for example.
Why is D.C.’s mayor departing so sharply and so publicly from the left-liberal/BLM playbook? Because D.C. residents are fed up with violent crime and because Bowser is running for reelection.
She faces a challenge from the left in the form of Trayon White. He’s the genius who claimed the Rothschilds control the weather. The third candidate in the race, Robert White, is also a committed leftist.
Normally, a candidate in Bowser’s position might want to tack leftward in the face of challenges from the left. But Bowser saw what happened in New York’s Democratic mayoral primary earlier this year. Thus, she’s not looking for a middle ground on crime. She wants to be the tough on crime candidate.
It’s true that some of the last four measures Bowser sets forth in her letter are mush — funding “violence interrupters,” for example. But Bowser led with two measures that any law and order conservative would embrace.
That’s not an accident. It’s a sign of the times.