- - Tuesday, June 30, 2020

When police flee, bullets fly and Americans die. It’s a troubling description of the current state of national affairs. Gunfire kills, but so do decisions by politicians that force cops to retreat and leave the streets to the angriest throngs. The sounds of death are likely to echo until Election Day.

With no baseball scores to distract from the heat of this pandemic summer, Americans are gripped instead with the shooting fatality figures from deadly weekend violence in the largest U.S. cities. Easy to spot near the top, Chicago suffered 18 deaths by gunshot last weekend, including four children, and 47 others wounded. Father’s Day weekend, by contrast, saw fewer killed — 15, including five kids — but many more hit with spraying bullets — 104. Neither periods quite matched the carnage of one weekend in June when 25 died from gunfire and another 85 were drilled, but survived.

In the wake of the unwarranted death of George Floyd, a Black man in police custody, law enforcement is under siege nationwide. Career politicians responsible for law and order in the nation’s largest cities have gone over to join the mob rather than defend the officers they’ve appointed to keep the peace. These pols, mostly Democrats — are the sort who would send their sweethearts flowers on Valentine’s Day — COD.

In a recent letter, President Trump called out Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker over the growing carnage: “I am concerned it is another example of your lack of commitment to the vulnerable citizens who are victims of this violence and a lack of respect for the men and women in law enforcement.”

Ms. Lightfoot retorted that the president was simply attempting to draw attention away from the failure to contain the coronavirus, which has killed more than 4,500 in the city she administers and in surrounding Cook County. Residents of the Windy City surely never imagined they would be driven from pillar to post just to stay alive.

New York City has seen more than 500 shootings since the beginning of the year, a 42 percent spike over the same period in 2019. The past week was worse, with 55 shootings — 358 percent higher than last year. Since “George Floyd” became the rallying cry in city after city, cops have faced relentless taunts from activists and anarchists vowing to choke off their authority and funding. In New York’s Harlem, police responding to a report of shots fired Sunday were driven back by a crowd of hundreds hurling glass bottles. Mayor Bill de Blasio’s remedy: Cut $1 billion from the police department’s budget.

Hawk Newsome, head of the Black Lives Matter New York chapter, described his beef with the cops on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace: “What I’m talking about is systemic inequality. What I’m talking about is America treating crime as something that needs to be handled with policing instead of defunding the police and looking at from the perspective that it’s a health crisis.”

To be sure, crime is an unhealthy activity, and a sizable portion of those who get crossways with the law suffer with some form of mental illness. The notion of blue-uniformed police replaced with white-coated doctors walking a beat armed with stethoscopes is as delusional as, say, a diagnosis claiming that a shooting victim is simply suffering from a case of lead poisoning.

In Minneapolis, where George Floyd lived and died, Democratic leaders have moved to disband the city’s police force while taking precautions for ensuring their personal safety. Three city council members — Andrea Jenkins, Phillipe Cunningham and Alondra Cano — have arranged for private security to protect them after reportedly receiving death threats. The cost to taxpayers: $4,500 a day.

Minneapolis citizens are to lose the law enforcement system they have paid for to keep their neighborhoods safe while their elected representatives use those tax dollars to insulate themselves from the lawlessness they have unleashed. Hypocrisy is always repulsive, but self-serving power grabs on the part of politicians claiming to serve the public ranks near the top. No wonder disillusioned Minneapolitans have taken to calling their elective body the “city clowncil.”

Racial injustice has no place in modern America, and neither has anarchy. Democratic leaders who have allowed racial unrest to turn their cities into war zones are building a record of death that voters won’t forget when they vote in November.

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