Robert Hampton, American Renaissance, March 25, 2020
Local governments are announcing they will coddle criminals during the pandemic. Activists want the whole country to follow suit, and many want criminals treated this way all the time.
Los Angeles County, America’s largest county prison system, released over 600 inmates. Most had fewer than 30 days left in their sentences. “Our population within our jails is a vulnerable population just by who they are, where they are located,” Los Angeles Sheriff Alex Villanueva said, “so we’re protecting that population from potential exposure.”
Los Angeles police have stopped arresting criminals who would be held on less than $50,000 bail. Arrests dropped from 300 to 60 a day. The county may also release pregnant women and older inmates. The Bail Project’s chief executive Robin Steinberg is delighted: “Policing has to radically change in response to this crisis that we’re facing and the police should refrain from arresting people on the kinds of offenses that they have all too easily arrested people on over the last few decades.”
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, a notorious, Soros-backed “progressive,” urged police to cut arrests for non-violent crimes. His office also wants to turn loose most non-violent inmates; burglars, prostitutes, and others will be released after filling out some paperwork.
High-crime Baltimore is also leaving criminals on the streets. State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said she would dismiss all charges for drug possession and distribution, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, open-container laws, and public urination. She said this would help prevent a coronavirus outbreak in city jails.
Baltimore public defender Kirsten Gettys Downs is pleased: “We are grateful that our criminal justice partners recognized these concerns and collaborated to reduce the jail population and save the lives of our most vulnerable clients,” she wrote. Since when do public defenders call the prosecution “our partners”?
Many prosecutors, including Miss Mosby, see the virus as an excuse cut back permanently. “We put far too many people behind bars for far too long, and fail to provide adequate care to those we incarcerate,” she wrote in a letter released by 30 “progressive” prosecutors. “That’s a humanitarian crisis with or without COVID-19.”
Baltimore mayor Jack Young is pleading with locals to stop shooting each other. “We cannot clog up our hospitals and their beds with people who are being shot senselessly because we’re going to need those for people who might be infected with the coronavirus,” he said. Does he really think ghetto thugs care?
New York City has more than 15,000 confirmed coronavirus infections. Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said on Wednesday, “I’m calling on the NYPD to suspend non-violent, so-called victimless quality of life arrests which could increase exposure rates among at-risk individuals, and calling on the Department of Corrections to release those who are most at risk from incarceration, where the close-quarters contact of our jails represents an immediate danger.” That day, Mayor Bill de Blasio obligingly said he’d release “vulnerable” inmates. Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez announced his office would “immediately decline to prosecute low-level offenses that don’t jeopardize public safety.”
At the same time, more than 200 NYPD employees have been diagnosed with coronavirus, 177 of whom are uniformed officers. An additional 2,700 to 2,800 NYPD employees are out sick.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Department, which serves Chicago, says it is a “high priority” to reduce the prison population and that he will soon release “non-violent” offenders. The Chicago Community Bond Fund, which wants to eliminate cash bail, says, “The only acceptable response to the threat of COVID-19 is decarceration.”
Fort Worth, Texas police said they would stop arresting people for “low level crimes.” San Antonio, Texas and Hillsborough County, Florida are releasing prisoners. Cleveland, Ohio, another crime-ridden city, wants to release at least 300 non-violent inmates from its county jail.
California Sen. Kamala Harris said “low-risk” inmates should be turned loose. The American Civil Liberties Union wants the Department of Justice to release federal inmates who are “most vulnerable” to coronavirus.
Authorities are considering mandatory quarantines. This, combined with recession and layoffs, this could lead to rioting. Rumors about martial law are so widespread that Senator Marco Rubio felt compelled to tweet: “Please stop spreading stupid rumors about marshal law.”
In this climate, should the possibility that prisoners might get sick be our top priority? Criminals are likely to ignore public health warnings and to celebrate lax law enforcement by running amok. We’re in a crisis. We need law and order, not anarcho-tyranny.