Baltimore has 73,000 arrests per year in a city of 620,000. Mass arrest & incarceration are not working to combat #OpioidEpidemic— Leana Wen, M.D. (@DrLeanaWen) March 29, 2016
No, it doesn't.
Wait a second... if you think Baltimore has 73,000 arrests, watch this magic:
I just reduced arrests by 63 percent!
There were fewer than 28,000 arrests in 2015. That's a pretty big difference.
Can't we expect better facts from a City's Health Commissioner. She's a medical doctor, for crying out loud. How about factual facts?
Reasonable people can and should differ on opinions, but I still have this naïve belief that if people stop believing lies, we'd have a lot more common ground.
Baltimore arrests peaked in 2003 (with 114,000). From 2003 to 2011, homicides steadily declined in Baltimore and so did arrests. Great. 2009 was the last time Baltimore saw more than 70,000 arrests. 2009 was also the only year (since God knows when) that Baltimore has seen fewer than 200 homicides.
This matters because blaming arrests is the false political narrative put out by Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's administration in order to deflecting blame for last year's riots. The 2015 "uprising," say those on the left, happened because people are angry about racial injustice and police abuses. (Like being "angry" excuses rioting or makes it inevitable.)
That's right, say "progressive reformers," criminals like Donta Betts helped burn the city because he was angry about er, mass-arrest policies that he isn't even old enough to remember?
Any time ideology trumps common-sense problem-solving, you're in for trouble. And reformers love circular logic. Reforms can't not work, because reform is needed. And reformers never accept responsibility for the unintended (and sometimes intended) consequences of their actions. And when reforms don't work? Then we need more reform. I prefer the old adage: when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop digging.
And yet the city administration -- I don't know if they're purposeful lying or shamefully ignorant ideologues (though either would be troubling) -- harps back to a false past to deflect blame for the messed-up and deteriorating present.
Things were actually getting better in Baltimore. And then a minor corruption scandal (Dixon) led to the current unqualified reform (SRB) mayor who brought in a certain reformer of police (Batts, whose only proven success seems to have been at career hopping) who done messed everything up! Murder increased from pretty much the moment Batts "reformed" the police department. Things got worse. Well it can never be the fault of reform. So it must O'Malley's fault from 10 years ago.
Here's my litmus test: If you talk about the crime and police without ever once saying the word "criminals," you're a reforming fool.