An absolutely shocking fact was brought to Shift’s attention over the weekend.
During 2020, and thus far in 2021, more people under the age of 50 have been murdered in Washington State than have died due to COVID-19.
While it is incredibly tragic that 304 Washington State residents under 50 have died from the coronavirus, it is alarming that recent data shows that at least 313 of the state’s under 50 population have been murdered.
While this statistic is alarming enough, the true comparative data is even worse, for while the COVID death data (from the Washington State Department of Health) is current to last Friday, the state’s murder rate is only for all of 2020 and is up to June 30th of this year. Also, not all jurisdictions had fully reported their crime figures by the time the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs released the data.
Is it any wonder we’ve seen the spike in violent crimes after state Democrat and local liberal lawmakers rushed to placate the demands of last summer’s liberal rioters, by severely restricting police actions while at the same time reducing sentencing and penalties for criminal behavior.
While Democrats continuously condemn the one day of violence by fringe supporters of Donald Trump, they have not only refused to condemn the months of political violence by their liberal supporters (remember Governor Inslee famously pretended it never happened), but they also pushed through anti-police and pro-criminal legislation at all levels of government to reward the rioters’ violence.
And, according to Governor Inslee, the Democrats are not done yet in making our communities less safe for families, and more attractive to criminals. As the governor was signing the Democrats’ “reform” bills, which will force the rest of the state to live under many of the same failed public safety “reform” laws enacted in Seattle, the governor asserted, “This is the beginning. This is not the end.”
Yet, the public is beginning to wake up from its collective pandemic coma, and becoming alarmed by the radical changes Democrats have made to our criminal justice system. Voters are stunned by how police must now back down from defusing dangerous situations, and how criminals are now allowed to flee because officers are severely restricted in how and when they can pursue suspected criminals.
In just the first week of the Democrats’ “reform” policies becoming law, the public heard about a number of situations where law enforcement was forced to allow criminal activities to continue due to Inslee’s first installment of anti-public safety laws. There was even an instance of a thief who stole a gun in Idaho, but ended the need for a chase by fleeing into Washington State. And nearly everyone has heard about the Puyallup police halting a K-9 search of a murder suspect last Wednesday night, due to the Democrats’ new restraints on police activities.
These are just a few of the dozens of instances where criminals are currently free because of the Democrats’ legislative priorities. And that’s just the first week! It will only get worse.
The comparison to the number of COVID deaths to murder victims is worth noting due to the response by the governor and other liberal lawmakers to both crises. While Governor Inslee has issued hundreds of random emergency orders (without consulting other lawmakers or even local health officials) due to the COVID pandemic, he has done absolutely nothing regarding the dramatic increase in violent crime that has occurred in the state – except make it easier for criminals to go free.
Inslee’s evasive actions began last summer, when radical Seattle Democrat lawmakers were aimlessly neutering the Seattle Police Department. Governor Inslee and Attorney General Bob Ferguson (supposedly the two people most responsible for our state’s public safety) said and did absolutely nothing to encourage restraint by their fellow Democrats on the Seattle City Council.
The far-Lefties on the council passed measures which endangered the public safety of the 750,000 state residents who live in Seattle, and the hundreds of thousands more who regularly work in or visit the nation’s once most livable city (an honor evaporated by a few decades of liberal policies). This silence followed weeks of Inslee and Ferguson failing to stand up for police officers who were the victims of repeated attacks, including a mass murder attempt, at the hands of liberal activists in Seattle.
And, as Democrat state legislators during the 2021 legislative session followed the Seattle City Council’s lead and rammed through many of the same destructive measures onto the rest of the state, the governor and AG again sat on their hands and did nothing, even as it was becoming apparent the state was experiencing a significant increase in its crime rate.
There has been near total silence from Democrat lawmakers as the public has demanded politicians do something about the rising murder rates, except to deny their new laws are the problem. While Seattle’s lame duck Mayor Jenny Durkan has spoken ambiguously about hiring more police officers (begging the question what caliber of officers will apply to work under Seattle’s dysfunctional leadership), there has been no serious discussion of repealing the reforms which have caused the rates to climb.
In the only “public safety” action item thus far proposed by any Democrat has been a laughable measure proposed by King County Executive Dow Constantine to increase the size of the county’s bureaucracy by creating something called the “Regional Peacekeepers Collective”, which apparently will feature people talking criminals into obeying the law.
There is discussion of a special legislative session this September to pass an expensive new transportation package. Republican legislators from across the state are supporting Senator Chris Gildon, and Representatives Kelly Chambers and Cyndy Jacobsen (who all serve a legislative district which includes Puyallup) in their call for the legislature to also use that time to repair some of the obvious flaws in the Democrats police “reform” legislation.
It will be interesting to see if Democrat lawmakers will finally stop coddling the radical liberal activists who rioted for these restrictions on law enforcement, and will finally become concerned about the public’s safety by joining Republican legislators call to “reform” the liberals’ own “reform.”