The dramatic jump in crime in America’s major urban areas is a result of policies that handcuff police and make crime pay. Those policies can — and must — be changed.

By William F. Jasper
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It was 1:30 p.m. on March 21, 2022, when Linda Frickey left her office job at an insurance company in New Orleans and walked to her car. It was parked at the curb outside the business where she had worked for 28 years. The  grandmother probably had no thought of any imminent threat to her life or safety. Why would she? It was broad daylight, with plenty of street traffic and pedestrians on the sidewalks. But within seconds of reaching her car a horrific scene unfolded. Four carjackers — a male and three females — appeared out of nowhere. A security camera video shows the shocking event. The four assailants casually strolled past Frickey’s vehicle and then did a quick about-face. The male suspect opened the driver door and sprayed mace at Frickey, then began punching and stomping her. He violently tried to drag her out of the car, but the poor woman’s arm was caught in the seatbelt. Meanwhile, the three female accomplices opened the other doors and jumped in. The male carjacker slammed the door and took off, dragging Frickey, as bystanders screamed for them to stop. Frickey was dragged for more than a block, until her arm was ripped off and she bled out in the street as horror-struck witnesses and co-workers tried to staunch the bleeding.

“She was screaming, and she was screaming to please let her go and then they slowed down and opened the door to kick her out,” an eyewitness, Leanne Mascar, told the local Fox News station. “As soon as I saw her, I screamed. I just started running for her — I thought if I could somehow, I don’t know what I could do, but I thought if I could dislodge her from this car.… When I looked down her body was already there, and her arm was.… It’s just not something you expect to see,” she said.

Such is life — and death — these days in New Orleans, otherwise know as “The Big Easy.” But life in the city famous for jazz and Mardi Gras is anything but easy these days. New Orleans, which has been notorious for its crime for years, has recently scaled new heights in violent crime and depravity, as evidenced by the utterly brutal carjacking-murder of Linda Frickey, who by all accounts was a kind and much-beloved mother, grandmother, employee, and neighbor. Adding to the gruesomeness of the crime is the fact that her alleged murderers are mere adolescents. The teens have been identified as John Honore, 17; Lenyra Theophile, 15;  Mar’Qel Curtis, 15; and Briniyah Baker, 15. Honore, it turns out, had been arrested and charged in Adult Criminal Court  — along with two co-defendants — in a previous carjacking two years ago, when he was 15. However, in March of 2021, Honore and his alleged accomplices in that crime were set free by newly elected District Attorney Jason Williams, who dropped the charges against all three defendants. Thus, John Honore was free — and emboldened — to continue a life of crime. As a result, Linda Frickey was senselessly, horribly murdered. No telling how many additional victims Honore preyed upon, courtesy of DA Williams. By the way, in case you missed it, Jason Williams is one of the dozens of “get out of jail free” prosecutors who have been elected over the past several years thanks to funding from billionaire crime boss George Soros and his deceptively named “Justice and Public Safety PAC.” (See article on page 16.)

Like other Soros-funded “prosecutors,” Williams came into office promising “criminal justice reform.” Along with his notorious reform-minded brethren — George Gascon in Los Angeles, Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, Kim Foxx in Chicago, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, Alvin Bragg in New York City, et al. — Williams’ agenda included the usual “social justice” gigs: ending cash bail, ending “mass incarceration,” ending mandatory minimum prison sentences, ending prosecution of repeat juvenile felons (such as John Honore) as adults, refusing to prosecute many crimes, and putting more violent criminals back on the streets.

According to an October 2021 report by New Orleans’ Metropolitan Crime Commission (MCC), “Under D.A. Williams, there has been a drastic decline in accountability for violent felony offenders. Violent felony crime increased precipitously in New Orleans over the last 18 months.” The New Orleans Police Department, the report noted, “secured the cooperation of victims and witnesses to make 1,411 violent felony arrests from January 11, 2021 to September 10, 2021.” However, D.A. Williams’ Office “either refused or dismissed a total of 937 violent felony cases during that time.” “All categories of violent felony crimes saw dramatic increases in dismissals under D.A. Williams including murder, attempted murder, and robbery,” the commission reported. Little wonder then that murder, attempted murder, and robbery — along with carjackings, shootings, assaults, home invasions, muggings, and virtually all violent crime — have skyrocketed in the city.

On September 18, 2022 the Metropolitan Crime Commission reported that the city had racked up a total of 208 homicides for the year thus far. “That’s a rate of 52 homicides per 100,000 residents in New Orleans,” reported WVUE-TV, New Orleans’ Fox News affiliate. “New Orleans has surpassed St. Louis, which had led the nation with a rate of 45 homicides per 100,000 people. By comparison, there have been 18 homicides in Chicago per 100,000 people and 3.5 per 100,000 in New York City,” the WVUE-TV report noted. “It’s no wonder that we are the hom-icide capital of the United States, when you’re seeing a 46 percent surge in homicides,” said Rafael Goyeneche, president of the MCC.

As in many other urban hellscapes created by Marxists masquerading as “progressive” Democrats, New Orleans’ sensible, moral, and productive citizens have been fleeing the mayhem, adding to the city’s economic and social woes. Judge Irvin Magri, who was a highly decorated police officer in New Orleans and has hosted the CrimeWave radio program for 30 years, says it infuriates him and breaks his heart to see what is happening to the city he loves. “The mayor and D.A. and their political cronies have defunded and demoralized the police, while encouraging and assisting the criminals and kicking the crime victims to the curb,” he told The New American. “It’s the same ugly, evil picture we see all across America where these atrocious policies are being implemented,” Judge Magri said.

But maybe New Orleans and other Democrat-run sinkholes have reached a political tipping point. People seem to be saying “ENOUGH!” Heinous crimes such as the grotesque murder of Linda Frickey and viral videos of riots, flash mobs, carjackings, murders, and beatdowns can have the cumulative effect of benumbing one. They can also have the opposite effect, causing a rebellion, galvanizing an adamant refusal to accept this violent degeneracy as the new normal. Jason Williams appears to have sensed this shift and has pivoted from Soros poster boy to Wyatt Earp. Realizing his job may be in jeopardy, Williams has taken to personally prosecuting high-profile cases to create a tough-on-crime image. In contrast to his prior record, he announced that the teen killers of Linda Frickey would be prosecuted as adults, which means that, if convicted, they would get life sentences, with the possibility of parole in 25 years, rather than the five-year sentence they would get as juveniles.

LaToya Cantrell, New Orleans’ mayor, is likewise maneuvering to craft a new crimefighter image for herself, but manages to keep shooting her own foot. Mayor Cantrell — unaffectionately known as “LaToya the Destroya” — is emblematic of the entitled blue state/blue city politicians nationwide. Put into office with help from far-left organizations such as Indivisible, Our Revolution (Bernie Sanders’ group), and the Working Families Party (a front for the Communist Party USA), Cantrell has adopted all the left-wing hobby horses (climate change, abortion, LGBTQ “rights,” critical race theory, electric vehicles, Covid mandates, and lockdowns) while ignoring the most basic role of government: public safety. The New Orleans Police Department is overwhelmed, understaffed, and under constant attack. To add insult to injury, the mayor stirred a hornet’s nest in August by sitting in court not to support carjacking victims, but to support the family of a 14-year-old carjacker, who happened to be a “graduate” of the Pathways Youth Internship Program created in 2019 by Cantrell. He got a suspended sentence — no jail time for the perp. To top it off, Cantrell has bilked the taxpayers for tens of thousands of dollars for unauthorized first-class airfares and costly junkets to Switzerland, the French Riviera, and Ghana — and then defiantly told critics that anyone who questions her expenses “just doesn’t understand the world Black women walk in.”

Devolution or Revolution?

The tag team of Mayor Cantrell and D.A. Williams is replicated in dozens of once-vibrant American cities that have become crime-ridden wastelands resembling Third World failed states. How has this happened? Is it merely the result of political stupidity? Are the politicians and their media allies who keep promoting these manifestly destructive, dangerous, toxic nostrums simply blind and invincibly ignorant? New Orleans writer Scott McKay, publisher of the website known as The Hayride, thinks not. He refers to the ongoing destruction of America’s blue cities as “Weaponized Government Failure,” or WGF, and points to LaToya Cantrell’s handiwork as a prime WGF exhibit. The scheme is to make life so unbearable (through taxes, crime, and regulation) that productive citizens give up and flee, leaving behind all those dependent on government, who can be relied on to keep voting in ever-more socialist politicians. Who cares if the city (or county or state) becomes a squalid hellhole, as long as they get reelected and can continue their perks and privileges? After all, their Democratic comrades in Washington, D.C., will continue to bail them out. And indeed they do.

President Joe Biden and the congressional Democrats (with the help of congressional RINOs) have been pumping out trillions of dollars, much of it targeted to assist the likes of LaToya Cantrell and other beleaguered WGF politicians. And, as the elections approach and crime continues to skyrocket, Biden and the Democrats have suddenly pivoted to become caped crusaders for law and order. In the blink of an eye, the same Democratic politicians who marched with Black Lives Matter, condemned police departments as systemically racist, and demanded defunding of the police are now claiming that it is Republicans who are responsible for defunding the police. In the heat of the George Floyd riots and protests of 2020, Democratic politicians flocked to the “defund” bandwagon led by some of the most left-wing Democratic members of Congress — from New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Minnesota’s Ilhan Omar to Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib.

However, by the end of 2021, palpable voter alarm over spiraling crime rates caused the ruling political classes to take note. The headline from a story by CNN’s Chris Cillizza on November 5, 2021 gives a clue as to the shifting political tectonics: “Even Democrats are now admitting ‘Defund the Police’ was a massive mistake.” And a very deadly mistake (if “mistake” it was), especially for the black and minority populations that have been most affected, which are the same populations that the “progressives” claim to champion. As the Washington Examiner pointed out in an editorial, “nearly twice as many black people are being murdered every single year as were lynched in the entire history of the Jim Crow South.” “In other words,” the editorial continued, “today’s Democratic defund agenda inflicted more death in minority communities than back when the leaders of the same party were hiding behind white masks and burning crosses.”

Opinion poll after opinion poll showed Americans of all ethnic backgrounds overwhelmingly rejected the defund movement. Radical Democratic mayors in Chicago, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, and dozens of other cities flipped from defund to refund the police. Biden’s political handlers and the congressional Democrats panicked. They could see a bloodbath coming in the midterms. So, they did a complete 180 to steal this potent issue from Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. “Defund the Police” became “Refund the Police.” Team Biden stuffed money for police funding into the Covid aid bill and other spending measures, even though they knew the bills were stuffed with so many objectionable features it would cause Republicans to vote against them. In fact, that was the main objective of the exercise: to offer a poison pill that would surely be rejected so they could claim that it was the Republicans who had defunded the police. That is precisely what Biden did. An NBC News story on July 8, 2021, titled “White House: Actually, it’s Republicans who are trying to defund the police,” reported, “‘The president, with the backing of leading law enforcement groups, secured the money that his predecessor opposed — to keep cops on the beat — and every single Republican member of Congress voted against it,’ White House spokesman Andrew Bates said. ‘The GOP continues to oppose the American Rescue Plan even as it delivers the rehiring of police in their districts.’” The claim is so ludicrous, such brazen gaslighting, that one is astonished at the audacity of it. But it is of a piece with Biden’s absurd claims that he can spend trillions of dollars without raising taxes or causing inflation. They assume they can get away with such bald-faced lies and deception because they know the Fake News media will cover for them.

However, aside from problematical fiscal issues associated with the Biden “refund the police” scheme, there is the fact that it is blatantly unconstitutional for the federal government to finance local police departments. It strikes at the very heart of our constitutional system. In The Federalist, No. 45, James Madison underscored the strict limitations on the proposed new national government. “The powers delegated by the … Constitution to the federal government are few and defined,” he declared. “Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite,” Madison continued. “The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.” The regulation of the “internal order” of communities — that is to say, police power — was clearly understood as among the “unenumerated powers” reserved to the states and the people.

What crimes does our Constitution grant the federal government the authority to punish? Only three crimes: treason, piracy, and counterfeiting. However, as we noted in these pages in a September 21, 2015 article, “today, we have thousands of crimes listed in the federal code — from robbery, rape, and arson to mislabeling produce and spray-painting graffiti. This has happened by steady usurpation, without constitutional amendment. It is not unusual now for local police and sheriff departments to assist federal agencies in illegal, warrantless searches/seizures/arrests, such as aiding, for instance, the FDA or the EPA, as their SWAT units swoop down on a farmer who is selling raw milk or whose cows have, allegedly, pooped in a stream.”

The American Founding Fathers recognized all too well the danger of gradual usurpations of power. James Madison explained in The Federalist, No. 47, that the division of powers in the U.S. Constitution was devised with the following guiding principle of politics constantly in mind: “The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many, and whether hereditary, self-appointed, or elective, may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.” Thus, they devised our intricate checks and balances to guard against the accumulation of power. And the police powers — those powers which most directly impact our lives and livelihoods — would be lodged in thousands of sheriff’s and police departments under the control of thousands of city, county, and state governments, providing a formidable barrier to the creation of a national police force and a tyrannical police state.

From Anarchy to Tyranny

However, surveying the political landscape today, can we have any doubt that the frightening trajectory on which our nation is headed is taking us rapidly toward police-state tyranny? Simultaneous with the rise of rampant crime in the streets, we are witnessing unparalleled criminality and blatant weaponization of law enforcement at the highest reaches of government. The Biden administration has turned the Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, and Federal Bureau of Investigation into bludgeons with which to attack its enemies, while Biden himself (the great “unifier”) has repeatedly denounced half of the American population as “MAGA Republicans,” whom he demonizes as “extremists,” “terrorists,” and “semi-fascists.”

Consider that the Biden DHS and DOJ-FBI:

• Refuses to enforce our borders, allowing millions of illegal aliens (including violent criminals and terrorists) to have free access to our nation;

• Refuses to prosecute thousands of rioters who burned down our cities;

• Refused to investigate Hunter Biden’s laptop and lied about its authenticity;

• Refused to investigate obvious fraud in the 2020 presidential election;

• Refused to investigate the Covid Wuhan origins, as both a criminal and national security matter; and

• Refused to answer congressional inquiries concerning the involvement of federal personnel in fomenting the January 6 demonstration that they call an “insurrection.”

In contrast to their willful refusal to investigate, arrest, and prosecute obvious crimes, the Biden DHS and DOJ-FBI have unleashed an unprecedented reign of terror on a wide swath of peaceable Americans, denying them their most fundamental rights guaranteed in our Bill of Rights. Consider, for instance, the following examples of:

• Prosecuting and persecuting President Trump’s advisers, to wit, General Michael Flynn, Carter Page, Roger Stone, Steve Bannon, Paul Manafort, Dr. Peter Navarro, and more;

• Using SWAT teams, armored vehicles, and excessive force — as in the case of many listed above, as well as the case of peaceful pro-life activist Mark Hauk, arrested in front of his wife and seven children — to terrorize and send a chilling message to all political opponents;

• Arresting, prosecuting, and harassing of many Americans who attended the January 6, 2021 rally/protest/prayer vigil in Washington, D.C., but did nothing illegal, violent, or destructive;

• Holding J6 suspects without due proc-ess in cruel and unusual punishment;

• Leaking false information — as in the case of anonymous pedophile allegations against Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) — to friendly media outlets to publicly humiliate, discredit, and defame political opponents;

• Devising a fake kidnapping plot against Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to blame on President Trump;

• Raiding the Trump family estate at Mar-a-Lago under the pretext of national security to obtain classified documents;

• Colluding with a left-wing education group to target as “domestic terrorists” upset parents who show up at school-board meetings to protest Marxist indoctrination; and

• Conspiring with Big Tech to censor news and expressions of opinion.

These and many other examples that have been reported in more detail by The New American and other news organizations paint a truly alarming picture of a government out of control and headed toward the totalitarian brink. The gravity of our situation can scarcely be exaggerated. There will be no future, no freedom for ourselves, our children, or our children’s children if we allow the enemies of God, family, and country to push our nation over that brink. We must each pledge to use all moral and legal means at our disposal to assure that does not happen.