25 June 2021 - Zavtra Newspaper
Written by Dr Vladimir Ovchinsky, Dr Yury Zhdanov
Translated by Elizaveta Ovchinnikova
US President Joe Biden has unveiled a new strategy for preventing crimes
On 23 June 2021, at the White House, US President Biden launched a new strategy on violent crime prevention. He announced a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ for rogue gun dealers and a new direction of the Ministry of Justice aimed at stopping illicit arms trafficking.
Biden also stressed that cities and states can use their share of $ 350 billion in direct aid allocated under Biden’s plan to combat COVID-19 approved by Congress in March. The proposal was made to ensure public safety, including the hiring of additional police officers.
Biden said that the country had for too long watched the epidemic of gun violence and other violent crimes, as well as its growth since the beginning of the pandemic a year ago. On the same day, Biden announced a series of executive orders aimed at reducing the number of violent crimes. Among his initiatives was a call for Congress to pass gun control bills.
According to the latest police data, 194 murders have been committed in New York since the beginning of 2021 compared to 171 murders in the same period last year. In Los Angeles, the second largest city in the United States, the number of murders is 148 compared to 121 last year. And in Chicago, the third largest city in the country, the number of murders increased from 296 to 307.
According to a recent survey by Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA), which includes police executives from the United States and Canada, 8,077 murders were committed in 67 major cities in 2020. This is 33 percent more than in 2019.
A curious conclusion of the US President is that the main factor in the increase in the number of murders and shooting incidents began last summer after relaxing COVID-19 restrictions.
Other factors were not named by him.
Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland also met with a group of local law enforcement agencies representatives, community leaders and White House staff on 23 June to discuss their efforts to fight crime.
The transcript of the meeting is published on the White House website (USA). The Prosecutor General made a speech there. In particular, he said that in May 2021, the US Department of Justice launched a comprehensive strategy on national-scale violent crime reduction. This strategy is based on four principles:
- setting strategic priorities for law enforcement;
- building trust and legitimacy in our communities;
- investing in community-based prevention and intervention programmes and
- measuring the results of these efforts to reduce the number of violent crimes, not just of arrests and convictions as if they were an end in themselves.
The Department is also strengthening Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN), an initiative that brings together law enforcement agencies representatives and local communities to develop solutions to deterring crime problems. Community efforts are vital to prevent violence before it happens. The Department of Justice has allocated more than $ 1 billion in funding through more than a dozen grant programmes that can be used to support evidence-based intervention strategies related to community violence.
The Department also has grants to help cities reopen courts and provide services that were cut during the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes financing technologies and equipment for courts to solve the problem of accumulated cases and expand access to justice.
The main thing that the Prosecutor General focused on was that an effective strategy for reducing violent crime should also address the problem of illicit firearms trafficking and pay special attention to ensuring that arms do not fall into the wrong hands.
The following steps are taken here. First of all, arms dealers who violate the rules will be brought to justice. Most federally licensed firearms dealers operate legally and sell guns to individuals. But those dealers who intentionally violate the law increase the risk of weapons falling into the wrong hands. In the absence of emergency circumstances, the Ministry of Justice’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) initiates a procedure for revoking licenses from dealers who intentionally violate the law by not conducting the necessary background checks, falsifying records, not responding to tracking requests, refusing to allow the Ministry of Justice’s ATF to conduct checks or transferring firearms to persons who are prohibited from owning them.
Further, information sharing will be improved with partners at the state, local, community and territorial levels to help attract more intelligence and law enforcement resources, as well as with the public to increase our own responsibility. Today, the Ministry of Justice’ ATF has a point of contact in every territorial office to receive information from mayors, police chiefs, and other local leaders about firearms dealers who, in their opinion, are acting illegally. And from July 2021, the Ministry of Justice’s ATF will begin sharing inspection data with 16 states that themselves license or regulate firearms dealers. Starting in July, this agency will also publicly publish information on the frequency of inspections and results divided into field units, which will ensure increased transparency and accountability.
In addition, the Ministry of Justice is making a concerted effort to combat arms dealers. On June 22, 2021, the Ministry announced that it would create five new law enforcement strike forces operating in different jurisdictions over the next 30 days. The strike force will focus on eliminating significant corridors of illegal firearms trafficking that fuel violence in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area and other cities.
At first glance, the measures that Biden and the US Attorney General want to implement look like they can have an effect in the fight against crime. But this is only at first glance.
Both Biden and the Prosecutor General on 23 June kept talking about controlling illicit arms trafficking. But what is considered illicit weapons?
In early June 2021, a court in California lifted the ban on assault weapons that had been in effect in the state since 1989.
In his decision, the judge found that the ban violates the Second Amendment to the US Constitution. He stressed that in the vast majority of cases, assault weapons are used by Americans for legitimate purposes.
Like the Swiss knife, the popular AR-15 rifle is the perfect combination of weapons for protecting the home and weapons for protecting the homeland. It is good for both home and combat.
The judge noted that despite the current ban, 185,569 assault weapons were legally registered in California alone. He also stressed that in the state, murders with a knife occur seven times more often than with a rifle.
Semi-automatic firearms are often used by criminals who commit mass murder. In particular, the AR-15 rifle, among other things, was used by shooters in the murders at a country festival in Las Vegas and at a gay club in Orlando – two of the largest shootings in the United States history by the number of victims.
At the federal level, the ban on the sale of assault weapons was in effect in the United States from 1994 to 2004. In March 2021, US President Joe Biden called on Congress to re-adopt such a law, this happened after two mass murders in a row occurred in the country in a week.
The President calls on, and state judges act according to their beliefs.
So are the governors. Biden says that he wants to tighten something there, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law allowing people to carry firearms without any permit and without a background check.
The law, which comes into force on 1 September 2021, can be used by any person who does not have a criminal record for serious crimes or other legal obstacles to the possession of weapons.
Federal checks for some gun buyers remain, and individual businesses may impose bans on carrying weapons on their territory.
On 23 June, Biden spoke about the need to hire an additional number of police officers. But, more recently, one of the main innovations of the Biden administration was the reduction of spending on the police.
Cities such as Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, Portland, Oregon, Austin and Texas have transferred funds from police departments to social service programmes.
Therefore, in all states, regardless of their political orientation, the police are understaffed. Employees are afraid to go in uniform, they are afraid that they will be attacked, they are afraid to fight back against ‘racially correct’ aggression. Police officers are being dismissed en masse, no one is replacing them.
And one more trend. In Virginia, Smyth County Sheriff Chip Shuler, who was elected as a Democrat in 2015, stated that he was switching parties because, according to him, police officers have faced attacks from Democratic politicians in Virginia and across the country.
In Virginia, Shuler became the third sheriff to make the transition from the Democratic party to the Republican one last year. Tazewell County Sheriff Brian Hyatt and Buchanan County Sheriff John McClanahan switched to the Republican Party a few months ago.
McClanahan, who switched parties in 2020, said he could not be associated with the Democratic Party because of the bills introduced at the state and federal level. ‘Democratic leaders across the country are the ones who have promoted bills that negatively affect law enforcement, as well as other values that I stand for’ – he clarified.
And what is happening at the city level?
The level of violent crimes in the city, where a black man, George Floyd, died caught by a police officer in 2020, rose sharply immediately after the incident.
On 25 May 2020, a black man, George Floyd, was detained in Minneapolis. The police suspected him of using a fake $ 20 bill. He turned out to be a repeat offender and a drug addict who had been repeatedly convicted of armed attacks.
During the arrest, police officer Derek Chauvin pressed his knee to Floyd’s neck. But Floyd died of a drug overdose. The wave of protests was raised by the city mayor – a member of the US Democratic Party.
In Minneapolis, protesters burned down a police station. During the unrest in the city and surrounding areas, shops and other public buildings were destroyed. To resolve the situation, the National Guard troops were brought into the city.
According to statistics, from 11 December 2020 to 28 March 2021, the number of murders in the city increased by 46%.
In December 2020, the Minneapolis City Council unanimously approved a budget in which about $ 8 million was transferred from the police department to violence prevention and other programmes.
Moreover, the public initiative group MPD150 stated that it is ‘working toward a police-free Minneapolis.’ The group insisted on ‘strategically reallocating resources, funding and responsibility away from police and toward community-based models of safety, support and prevention.’
In June 2020, a majority of Minneapolis City Council members said they supported the dissolution of the police department.
The number of murders here has more than tripled in 2021 compared to last year.
As of 8 March 2021, there were 278 shootings in the Portland area, 58 people were injured as a result of shooting and 17 were killed by firearms.
It was in Portland and its surroundings where very special paramilitary units arose. In 2020, photos and videos of the Portland protests showed small children, literally four or five years old, who carried posters with such eloquent writings as ‘**** the police.’
In 2021, Portland became famous for ‘Child Soldiers’ – teenage gangs that beat people on the streets. The attacks are carried out under purely political slogans. Children are not just rampaging but speaking out against ‘racism,’ ‘sexism,’ ‘police brutality’ and ‘ecological unconsciousness.’
The Pacific Northwest Youth Liberation Front consists of children and is run by teenagers. Soldiers of the front regularly break shop windows, set fire to cars and houses, attack police officers, beat and rob passers-by.
In the summer of 2020, a prominent local activist, Michael Reynolds, went to all the demonstrations with his 16-year-old daughter. The dad appeared everywhere with a loaded rifle, his daughter – with a baseball bat. In the end, the dad tracked down and shot a local Trump supporter, escaped and was killed while being detained. His daughter continued to ‘protest’ at the place of residence.
The Portland Red Guards are fighting racism and global warming with no reason to rebel at all. No warming affects the local equable climate. There is no state violence – because the police are partly disbanded, partly inactive and completely demoralised.
In mid-June 2020, city commissioners voted to cut the police budget by almost $ 16 million in response to concerns about the use of force and racial injustice. The protesters demanded to reduce spending on the police by $ 50 million.
According to New York City crime statistics, the number of murders in the city has increased by 11.8% since the beginning of the year. In 2021, the number of shootings increased by 40.1%, and the number of victims of shootings jumped by 39% during this period.
In July 2020, the New York City Council voted to withdraw $ 1 billion from the NYPD budget and instead transfer the money to education and social services in 2021.
The Los Angeles Police Department reported that in 2020, the number of murders increased by 38% compared to 2019. And in 2021, the number of murders increased by another 28.3%.
The number of shooting victims has almost doubled: from 157 registered before 13 March 2020 compared to 303 in 2021.
In July 2020, city leaders voted to reduce the budget of the Los Angeles Police Department by $ 150 million, reducing the number of police officers to a level not seen in more than a decade. Meanwhile the number of aggravated assaults reports increased by 26% in 2021 compared to the previous year.
In August 2020, the Austin City Council voted unanimously to reduce the police budget by $ 150 million. This is almost a third of the total budget of law enforcement agencies. As a result of the cuts, about 150 open vacancies were eliminated, as a consequence of which the number of staff remained at the level of 2015.
More than 180 police officers resigned here in 2020, and 66 more resigned during the first months of 2021. This together makes up almost 20 percent of all the city’s police officers. The number of police department employees has dropped to a record low.
The main factor that caused the growth of violent crime in the United States
Biden modestly pointed to the removal of coronavirus restrictions. But all reasonable people understand that this is simply an unwillingness to speak and discuss the truth. And it is clear to everyone who followed the events in the United States during the election campaign.
The main factor is the mass ‘peaceful protests’ artificially created by the election headquarters of the Democrats. However, these are a well-organised wave of pogroms, robberies, hooliganism, arsons in order to destabilise the situation in major US cities.
This months-long bacchanal, which remained unpunished, undoubtedly, will have a lasting effect of criminalising American society with the complete purposeful paralysis of the police and other law enforcement agencies.
It has come to the point that in the conditions of crackdowns on policemen and an atmosphere of fear in American cities, in the absence of the necessary number of police patrols, amateur paramilitary groups take to the streets of American cities. Their slogans are very different. Goals – even worse: some of them stand for whites, some – for blacks, some others are for Latinos. For example, the Black Militia is marching through the southeastern states with weapons. These are armed units of the movement with the name No ******* Around Coalition (NFAC). They include former military personnel, exclusively black. They dress in black, wear black masks and are armed with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles. The ideology of the NFAC is ‘reverse’ racism, that is, hatred of whites.