Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and among the nation’s foremost statisticians of crime, blasted current criminal justice reform policies which signal to criminals that even “appalling, savage” crimes have no consequences, calling the narrative of minorities under threat from police in America a “completely false” one perpetuated by the Biden administration and the media, while warning that “civilization is breaking down” as the country undergoes a “slow-motion riot.”
In an interview with Steve Malzberg on his weekly commentary show Eat the Press, Mac Donald, who is also a New York Times best-selling author, addressed the rise in officers killed this year which exceeded those killed in any other year.
Asked if the current crime surge is the result of the “post-George Floyd anti-cop mania” fueled by the media, Mac Donald replied, “Of course it is.”
“We are living through a slow-motion riot,” she said.
She then noted the “message” criminals perceive as a result of the lack of repercussions.
“Whether it’s attacks on officers or attacks on property, criminals have gotten the message that there is no consequence for the most appalling savage behavior when they’re going after cops,” she said.
Mac Donald also lamented the “assault[s]” law enforcement experience in the U.S. today.
“I can tell you across the country in the United States today, when cops get out of their car to make an inquiry, to question somebody who’s acting like he’s pulling up his gun out of his waistband, to go into a drug set, they find themselves routinely surrounded by hostile jeering crowds throwing things at them,” she said. “They’re assaulted.”
“This is what it’s like to be a cop in America today,” she added.
Citing how cops “can’t take it any longer” as they are “gunned down and ambushed,” she claimed cops are “leaving the profession in droves” in what she called the “Ferguson effect.”
”Officers are backing off under this phony narrative of racism and criminals are emboldened and they are controlling the streets,” she added. “Civilization is breaking down in this country.”
According to the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), 314 officers have been shot so far this year, with 58 officers killed by gunfire.
Blasting the “false” narrative repeated by the Biden administration and mainstream media that black people “are under threat from the police in this country,” Mac Donald sought to portray the numbers in perspective.
“When you compare the 58 dead officers to the number of officers in the country — which is about 675,000 — and then let’s look at how many unarmed blacks have been fatally shot by a police officer this year: four… of about 40 million blacks,” she said. “That makes a police officer in the United States at least 375 times [more] likely to be killed by a black person in America as an unarmed black is to be killed by a cop.”
Culpability of the Left
Mac Donald blamed the left for depicting crime as fictional.
“The left thinks that crime is a racist fiction,” she said, “[and] that it’s just a creation of the deranged Trumpian imagination.”
Claiming the criminal justice system today is “all about disparate impact,” she warned that safety would not return “unless we confront this conceit head on and completely dismiss it.”
“The reason that prosecutors are not setting bail… that they’re refusing to prosecute theft, shoplifting, resisting arrest, assaults on officers, disorderly conduct, drug dealing… [that] you have police chiefs… telling their officers to back off from ‘stop, question and frisk’ — is because every law enforcement practice has a disparate impact on blacks,” she said.
“That’s not because law enforcement is racist,” she added. “It’s because there is a much, much higher rate of criminal offending among blacks than among whites.”
The reason for the lack of enforcement of the law, according to Mac Donald, is because prosecutors “have decided they don’t want to put more blacks in prison.”
“They don’t want to hold blacks pre-trial even though they’re a clear threat,” she said, calling to “stop doing that and say that ‘no, our criminal justice system is not racist, yes there are more blacks in prison but that is because their homicide rates are like 13 times the rate of whites.’”
“You cannot enforce the law in a colorblind fashion without having a disparate impact on blacks,” she added.
She also slammed the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, which “doesn’t give a damn about the fact that there were over four dozen black children fatally gunned down in drive-by shootings last year.”
The COVID Pandemic as an Excuse
Asked about White House press secretary Jen Psaki’s suggestion last week that the COVID-19 pandemic is “a root cause” of recent organized looting incidents across the country, Mac Donald called it both “hilarious” and “insane.”
“The reason is not COVID, it’s de-policing,” she said. “It’s what I’ve called the ‘Ferguson effect.’”
Claiming “the facts are completely wrong,” Mac Donald noted that “crime was going down in this country in the first part of 2020” and only increased “after the George Floyd riots” and only “in the United States.”
“Every other country in the world that had the lockdowns — that had the insane hysteria — crime went down; violent crime went down,” she explained.
“The United States is the only place to see what we saw last year — which was the largest single percentage increase in history — in this nation’s history — in homicides,” she added. “We’re the only ones that saw it.”
Wisconsin Christmas Parade Attack
On the release of Darrell Brooks on $1,000 bail for allegedly running over the mother of his child in the days leading up to his attack on a Christmas parade in Wisconsin last month, which left six people dead and another 62 injured, Mac Donald claimed it was “the reason that [Milwaukee County District Attorney] John Chisholm — who’s one of the early progressive prosecutors — is not imposing bail.”
“The reason he’s letting criminals out is because of disparate impact,” she added. “He says it.”
Addressing the lack of media coverage of the parade attack and the perpetrator once the latter was identified as a black male, Mac Donald said “America turns its eyes away from inner-city dysfunction.”
“We’re terrified of it,” she added. “We’re terrified it’s not going to end.”
According to Mac Donald, due to “racial equity,” liberal DAs in major cities “don’t want to put more blacks in prison — even if they have assaulted their girlfriend, run over their girlfriend, use guns.”
As a result, she claimed, crime has skyrocketed.
“We’re seeing these hordes looting stores; we’re seeing real domestic terrorism…. not the phony white nationalist kind that is a fiction of… the Biden White House, the Attorney General and the mainstream media,” she said.
Blasting current policies for producing such spikes in crime, Mac Donald, who is known for her research on the effects of criminal justice reform, argued that law enforcement was the key.
“We [must] say we are going to enforce the law, and the consequences are what they are, and the solution for black crime is to reknit the family, it is not to let criminals out on the streets where they’re going to prey first of all on law-abiding blacks,” she said.
“The solution right now is law enforcement,” she continued. “It’s all we’ve got and the government has its primary responsibility to protect not just life but property.”
“When stores cannot operate and entrepreneurs cannot put their goods into commerce, there is no civilization left,” she added.
Blasting “one excuse after another” for minority crimes, Mac Donald said the “refusal to hold minorities to standards of personal responsibility and respect for the law” is what “breeds” more of it.
“It’s double standards in our society and we are paying the price in our lives,” she said.
“Carjacking’s are out of control — they’re coming to a suburb near you,” she added. “People are being dragged to death as a result of a carjacking.”
She also warned “the thefts are coming” as well.
“These flash mobs are stripping these stores blind but [now] they’re carrying guns,” she said. “And you know who’s going to go to a store — a Best Buy — at this point with the risk of these sorts of mass assaults?”
“And who knows if they will start using their guns?” she concluded.
Mac Donald’s remarks come as the U.S. witnesses a continuing rise in violent crime nationwide.
The statistics cited in a City Journal piece this month describe “the largest rate of increase in homicides recorded in modern history”:
Murder rose 29 percent from 2019 to 2020, surpassing the previous record 12.7 percent spike from 1967 to 1968. Unsurprisingly, the victims of the latest surge in violence were not equally distributed across racial groups. The rise in black homicide victims from 2019 to 2020 was almost twice as big as the rise in white victims (28 percent versus 16 percent).
In October, “Squad” member and Defund the Police sympathizer Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) blamed Minnesota’s crime surge on the “dysfunctional police department” that has “chosen to not fulfill their oath of office.”
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein