Horowitz: Where is the GOP’s sense of urgency to act on crime?

· June 17, 2020  
    Font Size A A A
Mitch McConnell
Drew Angerer | Getty Images

If I came to Earth from Mars, gauging by the priorities of both U.S. political parties, I’d think we had a peaceful society with no criminals until police came and randomly killed and beat people for nothing. The reality is just the opposite. Even before the Floyd rioting, crime was on the rise because the entire criminal justice deterrent – from stronger policing to tougher sentencing – had been dismantled in almost every state. Rather than using phony narratives to push anti-policing bills, why won’t Republicans rush to pass anti-crime bills?

Yesterday, we all watched in horror as a surveillance video showed a young black male randomly clothesline a 92-year-old woman in the face while walking the streets of New York City. The woman hit her head on a fire hydrant and could easily have been killed, as many others have been by these “knockout” crimes.

I tweeted that I’d wager he has a massive criminal history and was out on parole. Any takers?

Well, a couple hours later, NYPD caught the suspected perpetrator, and it appears he had 103 arrests since 2005 and is a convicted sex offender! Police arrested 31-year-old Rashid Brimmage of the Bronx on Tuesday for the assault in Manhattan after police recognized his face on the video because they’d encountered him so often.

Brimmage had three separate assault arrests since February 4 in which he randomly punched people in the face, but was out free. According to the New York Daily News, his criminal career includes “arrests for sexual abuse and groping women on the subway, public lewdness, harassment, sex abuse, criminal trespass and criminal possession of marijuana.”

How is someone like this not locked up, and why is this video not an impetus for Republicans to push mandatory minimum sentencing? Three strikes and you’re out made sense to Americans in the 1990s, and it makes sense now. Given that we are federalizing everything under the sun, why not federalize career criminals like this?

Do we need to riot over this attack in order to push Mitch McConnell into a federal anti-crime bill targeting repeat violent offenders the same way he feels panicked into passing federal policing regulations by July 4?

We are confronted by an epidemic of repeat violent offenders who are being released from jail and prison in droves or are not locked up at all and are getting probation instead. This is the core criminal justice issue not being discussed and the one that leads to potentially deadly encounters with police, as we saw with career criminal Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta.

At present, there is simply no deterrent against violent criminals because they know that the system is terrified to incarcerate them or enforce the law against them, particularly if they are black. Which is why that young man blithely attacked the 92-year-old women without a care in the world.

Consider the following:

  • New York’s murder rate more than doubled this month so far compared to last year, and many other categories of crime are way up.
  • Just over two months since Mayor de Blasio released 2,500 criminals from Rikers Island, 10 percent have been rearrested for a total of 450 arrests.
  • In the revolving door of New York’s justice system, Manhattan Judge Laurie Peterson released Kevin Bullock, a looter, who bashed a cop over the head with a glass bong. After a series of other decisions not to even prosecute rioters, the NYPD pulled some of its personnel out of prosecutor offices.
  • On Monday, police commissioner Dermot Shea announced “a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this city.” Specifically, the NYPD is abolishing its plainclothes anti-crime unit that is so instrumental in catching these career criminals that are being let out. They are essentially saying that if judges will release criminals from jail, prosecutors won’t prosecute new ones, and politicians will release those serving in prison, why even catch them to begin with?

How can Congress look at the greatest success story of our generation in reduction of crime and allow those 25 years of gains to be wiped out? Where is the rush for Mitch McConnell and Senate Republicans to bring aggressive sentencing bills to the floor to combat gangs, rioters, career criminals, and gun felons? Where is a criminal control agenda? Where is the effort – three weeks into a national insurrection in every state and nearly every city – to restore order and keep our interstate highways and federal landmarks protected?

Instead, Sen. Tim Scott, with the blessing of Mitch McConnell, has introduced a bill that will demand more disclosure from cops on fatal shootings, clearly legitimizing the false anarchist premise that cops target African-Americans specifically. Overlooking the thousands of black victims killed by the violence that is increasingly undeterred is offensive. We already have one Democrat Party – who needs a second one?

If picking on police is now a federal matter, then targeting criminals should be as well.

Author: Daniel Horowitz

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.