I read an interesting article in this weeks media, I'll reproduce it below in full (as its behind a paywall on the link) as I think its a good talking point about what is going on at the moment in US society. I think defunding the police is an idea no sane person would contemplate, but here it is. Also, super high crime and shootings in New York it seems. Surely that will affect tourism post virus?
================================Black Lives Matter: ‘upper-class’ calls to defund police bring chill to mean streets of New York
Schools were shut and the sun was out, but on Wednesday afternoon the newly reopened Newport playground in Brownsville, Brooklyn, was deserted.
A few streets away, on June 22, a 46-year-old man had been killed. In a double shooting last week, one man was killed and a woman was injured.
Brownsville is one of New York’s more dangerous neighbourhoods at the best of times and some residents are deeply concerned about the consequences of recent calls to defund the police, which New York is already enacting.
“It just doesn’t feel safe right now,” said Ashley Via, a young mother of three.
“The people suggesting defunding need to take their shoes off and come and live a day in our lives in neighbourhoods like this.”
Via avoids going out after dark or letting her children play outside. “It’s mostly from the upper-class areas that they’re shouting ‘defund the police’ but that’s not what we want here,” she said.
While violent crime has slumped in New York over the past two decades, the murder rate in Brownsville has remained stubbornly high. And over the past month the entire city has seen an alarming spike in violence.
At least 125 shootings have been logged since the beginning of June. The past four weeks have seen a 158% increase in shootings relative to the same period in 2019.
Similar trends have played out across America. Violent crime has been rising nationally throughout this year and particularly in the summer. During one weekend in June more than 100 people were shot in Chicago, with at least 14 killed, including a three-year-old boy. Minneapolis police said 111 people were shot in the four weeks after the death of George Floyd on May 25.
Violence usually surges in the summer. The added strain of the coronavirus pandemic, along with early releases from jail, may have contributed.
Criminologists also see a direct connection to the recent Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests. “The concern that violent crime may increase in connection with the widespread social unrest is valid,” said Richard Rosenfeld, a professor of criminology at Missouri-St Louis University.
The 2014 killing of Michael Brown by police in Ferguson, Missouri, helped to spark the BLM movement. Violent crime rose then as well. A report by Rosenfeld logged a 16.8% increase in killings across 56 American cities over the course of 2015.
Conservative critics complained that police were withdrawing from high-crime neighbourhoods in response to criticism and overly fierce scrutiny. Rosenfeld believes the picture is more complex.
“During periods of unrest, already tense relationships between communities and police grow even more tense,” he said.
“The word spreads not to co-operate. People stop reporting crimes and can take matters into their own hands.”
In nationwide polling, black respondents supported defunding the police by an average of 45% to 28%.
New York’s mayor, Bill de Blasio, responded to the BLM pressure last week with a $1bn cut to the city’s police department. Demonstrators said that he used “budget tricks” to exaggerate it.
In Brownsville, locals want better policing but fear the consequences of defunding.
“We can’t allow folks from outside our community to lecture us about black lives and what we need in our communities,” said Daneek Miller, a city councillor.
Others believe defunding will give the police a much-needed shock. “I’m not against defunding if it makes them open their eyes and see things,” said Tyesha Wilson, 44, a Brownsville resident, standing by a housing block where a man was murdered three weeks ago.
“Right now police are everywhere in Brownsville and it doesn’t make people feel safe, it makes them feel targeted.”
Police morale has dropped amid furious criticism. “A lot of our officers feel let down by politicians calling for defunding,” said Steve Grammas, president of the Las Vegas Police Protective Association.
“They’re hurt by the lack of support from politicians who have no idea what goes on in an officer’s day. People are starting to hate you for the uniform you wear.
“We’re being left out there to hang.”Source