Diversity vs. Safety in Cincinnati
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In Cincinnati, where race riots flamed for three days in April, the fruits of the war against racial profiling are now dropping off the trees. Last week both The Washington Times and The New York Times carried virtually the same story: Crime in Cincinnati is out of control—for the simple reason that the police are afraid to enforce the law.

"We're seeing an epidemic rise in violent crime," Keith Fangman, head of the Cincinnati Fraternal Order of Police, told the New York Times last week. ("Police in Cincinnati Pull Back in Wake of Riots", June 19, 2001) Three months after the riots in April, Cincinnati has seen 59 shooting incidents with 77 victims. In the three months before the riots, there were a mere 9 shootings and 11 victims. "The aftermath of the riots has actually been more harmful to the city than the riots themselves," says Mr. Fangman.

The reason for the eruption of violence is simple: The war between crooks and cops is over; the cops lost. Cincinnati police, Mr. Fangman also tells the press, are "shellshocked." They know that if they do their jobs at all well, they're liable to be ruined—to lose their jobs, maybe face criminal charges, and finally even face prison and an endless series of lawsuits from the criminal lobby and its allies.

"Arrests in Cincinnati have dropped 50 percent since mid-April," the New York Times reports, and perhaps even more frightening, there has been a 55 percent drop in traffic stops, essential to effective police work. As the Times explains, "The union chief defended traffic stops as crucial to policing but blacks often call them harassment rooted in racial profiling." Rather than risk charges of racial profiling, the cops simply don't stop drivers, with the results that I and others predicted—crime rolls out of control.

The April riots started when a white police officer shot and killed a black fugitive. The fugitive's funeral was attended by the mayor and the governor of Ohio, to display their sympathy with him instead of the officer who risked his life. The officer was indicted. Why the hell should the cops enforce the law?

In a recent newsletter to members of the police union, Mr. Fangman explained in bitter language what his colleagues face if they do their jobs: "If you want to make 20 traffic stops a shift and chase every dope dealer you see, you go right ahead. Just remember that if something goes wrong, or you make the slightest mistake in that split second, it could result in having your worst nightmare come true for you and your family, and City Hall will sell you out." Every cop in the city knows what Mr. Fangman writes is true. No cop today believes his department or his city government will back him up when the forces of Afro-racism and the criminals' lobby weigh in.

In fact, last week a group of what the Times calls "black leaders" held a rally to denounce Mr. Fangman and the police union and demand a national boycott of Cincinnati until there are "tangible improvements in economic opportunities and police relations in impoverished black neighborhoods." The ACLU is already suing the city for racial profiling by the police; "we're not anti-police," the ACLU spokesman says. "We're anti-bad policing."

How about no policing at all, which is what pandering to black rioters and their self-appointed demagogues has achieved in Cincinnati? How about a national boycott until there are tangible improvements in the capacity of its black residents to obey the law and refrain from beating up white people because they're white? How about a lawsuit against gangs like the ACLU that prevent the police from protecting the rights and safety of the public?

What is happening in Cincinnati is entirely predictable. How long can you expect to pay police officers to risk their jobs and their lives when doing so results in their ruin, their imprisonment or their death? Crime can be fought only by relying on techniques that involve stopping suspects who fit statistical profiles of criminals and shooting suspects who resist arrest and are threatening to shoot you. Even if such practices don't stop crime, they at least keep the cops themselves from getting maimed or killed. If the cops can't use them, why would anyone be a cop, and why would any cop take any risk to bring a suspect down?

What is happening in Cincinnati may in fact be a turning point, the moment when it finally penetrates the public consciousness, as it already has the consciousness of Cincinnati police, that civilized life cannot continue under the constraints that fashionable liberalism allied with racial paranoia demand and impose. When the rest of the nation understands what the cops in Cincinnati are trying to tell it, the real criminals who have destroyed law enforcement might be brought to justice.


July 23, 2001

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