- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 21, 2021

On Saturday night, there was horror at Nationals Park in Washington, DC.

The Nationals-Padres game was suspended after multiple gunshots were fired outside the stadium. The players were escorted off the field; fans ran for cover, others rushed the dugouts and fled for the exits. In the chaos, no one knew where the rapid-fire was coming from or if they were safe. Eyewitness accounts described the scene as “pandemonium.”

“Everyone around us was hiding under the bleachers or under the seats, and kids around us were crying,” spectator A.J. Pillai told the Washington Post. “I mean, it just felt really real.”

The news media, which has been reluctant to cover the spike in crime in our nation’s cities, was all over the story – in large part because many of them attended the game.

In a pinned Tweet, CNN political reporter Chris Cillizza described his terrifying experience at the stadium during a televised segment.

“We were crouched behind our seats, down behind the third baseline…for eight to ten minutes it was a pretty scary situation,” he said. In another tweet, he gave reference to a Washington Post article on the shooting, urging his followers to read it, for “having been there – and very, very scared – it accurately captures the terror of the night.”

What about the terror of the night before? The one where a 6-year-old girl, Nyiah Courtney, was riding her a scooter on a sidewalk and was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting?  Ms. Courtney, who was to enter first grade in the fall, was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital on Friday night. Five adults were injured.

There was no national “breaking news” coverage on her murder. There were no wall-to-wall segments, news articles, and tweets describing the horror of that evening. Perhaps, that’s because Ms. Courtney was killed three miles away from Nats Park, in a less toney neighborhood, on the corners of Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE and Malcolm X Avenue SE.

There were no journalists there to witness her death, no Washington DC influencers to feel the “realness” of the crime. They would never walk those streets at night.

To have a real conversation about rising crime rates in this country, and the proper solutions to quell them, the liberal elite needs to wake up. Their policy prescriptions of needing more social workers on the police force, blaming guns instead of criminals, ending cash- bail, and eliminating plain-clothes officers from the streets isn’t woke; it’s dangerous. Most don’t understand the ramifications of these policies because they don’t live in the neighborhoods most affected by the violence.

Eric Adams, a Brooklyn borough president and former police captain won the Democratic nomination for New York City mayor this month on the sole issue of reducing the city’s skyrocketing crime rate. He bluntly refuted liberal calls to defund the police and pledged to increase the city’s law-enforcement budget. He carried the minority and working-class neighborhoods in the four outer boroughs – Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island – yet lost Manhattan.

Kathryn Garcia, who won the coveted New York Times endorsement for her proposals to crack down on bad actors within the police force and stem the flow of illegal guns into the city, dominated within New York City’s wealthiest zip codes. She hit on all the right liberal, elite talking points of “looking at the root causes of what drives crime: lack of stable housing, food insecurity, economic opportunity.” She called for police and mental health professionals to pair up and patrol subway platforms.

Latino and Black voters didn’t buy it. For it’s their communities that are being ravaged. It’s their families and livelihoods that are being threatened on a day-to-day basis. Last year, the number of shooting victims more than doubled in New York City, with 96% of them being either Black or Hispanic. According to NYPD data, between January 2020 to October 1, 2020, 1,440 of the 1,495 victims were minorities, and only 29 were White.

Democrats control the nation’s top 10 most dangerous cities to live in. According to FBI statistics, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago – the top three cities with the most violent crime rates – all decided to cut their police budgets last year. Houston, which ranks No. 4, appointed judges to release criminals on low-cost bail or without cash bail at all. Philadelphia, which comes in at No. 5, elected a district attorney who promised to stop prosecuting drug possession and prostitution and hold the police accountable for misconduct.

These woke liberal policies are literally killing innocent people living in Black and Brown communities. If Democrats and the mainstream media care as much about Black and Brown lives as they purport they do, they should take a hard look at the cause and effect of the policies they’ve instituted.

But that likely won’t happen until the violence shows up on their own front porch.

• Kelly Sadler is the commentary editor at the Washington Times.

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