It’s one of the worst nightmares of any family. You are walking either alone or with your kids and are surrounded by a belligerent mob of “teens,” or young adults, often in packs as large as 15-20. They are not even looking for money; they are looking for blood. At its core, this is the most important job of government: to protect people’s freedom of movement so they are never confronted with such danger. Yet this is what is happening all too often because citizens are disarmed while criminals, particularly violent juveniles and young adults, are not deterred. The latest horrific pack knockout murder took place in increasingly violent Minneapolis.
A 75-year-old man was exiting a bus at a metro stop last Wednesday when 23-year-old Leroy Davonte Davis-Miles, who was together with a bunch of belligerent companions, punched the man. The victim hit his head hard on the pavement and remained in critical condition until he died Tuesday.
Minneapolis, with its plummeting prison population and proliferation of jailbreak policies, has seen a spike in violence, particularly on local public transportation. The Twin Cities are likely to break the record for annual homicides this year.
However, there is something particularly horrific about this knockout trend. These are often young males with massive rap sheets who cycle in and out of jail and never face serious consequences. But people die from these sudden attacks. In September, a man was surrounded by a pack of teens at the Frederick County, Maryland, fair and was knocked out, resulting in his sudden death in front of his family members. The perpetrators were only charged as juveniles, a fact that disgusted the local sheriff, Chuck Jenkins, who discussed the knockout trend on my podcast several weeks ago.
Often, these people serve little or no time, even though these attacks can lead to serious injury or death. Furthermore, the cowardly perpetrators will often have only one person initiate the attack, but they are surrounded by 5-15 friends who ensure that the victim has no way of defending himself. Those who play this support role never face any consequences whatsoever.
It’s time for lawmakers in the various states to begin pushing for anti-knockout legislation. It’s time to deter predatory pack attacks and take them as seriously as the evil they bring on our neighborhoods. Conservatives should push legislation in state legislatures to create mandatory minimum sentences for predatory attacks and mandate that juveniles engaged in these attacks be charged as adults. Furthermore, there needs to be some punishment for those who join in the packs that engage in violence. It’s time to take the game out of the knockout game.
Unfortunately, there is a reason why there is no effort in the states to deter these crimes. The new focus is all on de-incarceration. This relentless focus on criminal justice deform in places like Minneapolis has transformed the once peaceful “Minnesota nice” atmosphere of the Twin Cities into violence and anarchy. Violence is increasing now every month, threatening to reverse the two-decade trend of reduced crime. Homicides are up 32 percent over last year, and violent crime in general is up 13 percent. Property crimes are up 15 percent. These numbers reflect disturbing trends we are seeing in many cities across the country. The obvious culprit is the jailbreak mentality up and down the criminal justice system, which now views incarceration as the problem, rather than crime itself. In the case of Leroy Davonte Davis-Miles, he had numerous arrests for violent offenses and for drugs and theft over the past few years, according to Hennepin County court records. Yet he barely served a day in prison.
According to the Vera Institute of Justice, the Minnesota incarceration rate dropped 6.4 percent just from 2017 to 2018. However, that is not enough for the Left. The ACLU is pushing ideas it believes will cut the prison population in half. The safety of the communities is simply not a factor in its agenda.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.