Liberal mayors let lawlessness prevail during the Spring and Summer following the death of George Floyd. Small businesses were destroyed, as riots masked as peaceful protests took over the streets. But while these mayors continued to move forward to defund the police, and told the police to stand down from arrests, there may be serious consequences for their cities.
The Department of Justice sent a clear message to these mayors on Monday: Clean your city up, or lose federal funding. These cities rely heavily on taxpayer dollars, and cutting their handouts will have a serious effect on their government programs. In a statement from Attorney General Bill Barr, he wrote, “When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to peacefully assemble and protest.”
Barr said the DOJ cannot let taxpayer dollars be “wasted” when the citizens’ safety “hangs in the balance.”
And with the new label, he hopes these cities will change their direction. Barr said, “It is my hope that the cities identified by the Department of Justice today will reverse course and become serious about performing the basic function of government and start protecting their own citizens.”
New York City receives around $7 billion per year in federal aid. But the recent statistics in New York City paint a grave picture for its future. In July, shootings increased by 177% from the previous year, and in August they increased by 165%. Murders are also on the rise, jumping 59% in July and 50% in August.
In President Trump’s September 2nd memo, he calls out Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo by name for their failure to enact the necessary law enforcement to keep the city safe. Trump wrote, “In light of this unconscionable rise in violence, I have offered to provide Federal law enforcement assistance, but both Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have rejected my offer.” Trump called on White House budget director Russ Vought to review and implement guidance to federal agencies on stopping funds to these cities.
But with the threat of losing funding, Mayor de Blasio seems unfazed. He called his new cities designation as a “jurisdiction of anarchy,” “just another one of President Trump’s games.”