We’ve already seen two instances where the police in Aurora, Colorado have “stood down” when facing violent felons. The first incident involved a guy with a lengthy rap sheet who was exposing himself to young girls, destroying property, and threatening harm to the residents of an apartment complex. The cops stood down twice in two days rather than taking him into custody. The more recent incident involved a child abuse suspect with multiple warrants and who was on parole, who barricaded himself inside his home with one of his children and some firearms. The cops walked away that time also and the perpetrator is still on the loose.
After that discouraging encounter, I pondered whether people would begin to notice the fact that the men and women in blue who are supposed to be protecting and serving don’t seem to be doing as much of either these days. I also noted that their new Chief of Police had publicly announced an agenda of having fewer “conflicts” with suspects where her cops might have to use force against a dangerous criminal. As it turns out, some of the locals have indeed noticed this pattern and they’re telling reporters about it. (CBS4 Denver)
When Aurora City Councilman Dave Gruber sat down for an interview with CBS4, he said he had just received an email from one of his constituents.
“Please deal with crime. I don’t feel safe in Aurora anymore,” Gruber quoted the email as saying.
Indeed, Aurora has seen a significant rise in violent crime. When CBS4 compared the first nine months of 2020 to the same period in 2019, it showed significant increases in major violent crimes.
So just how bad has it gotten in Aurora? As of the end of the last reporting period, murders were up 72.2% over the same period last year. Armed assaults were up 34.3% and robberies were up 31%. All major violent crime categories were up 24.4% and Grand Theft Auto (not the video game) was up 53.3% from last year, while burglaries are up 13.9%. I don’t care what you try to ascribe this to. It’s far more than a statistical blip.
Here’s the kicker that ties into what I mentioned above about the new Chief of Police. Physical arrests of suspects are down 44.6% from 2019. In other words, crime in virtually every category is going up but the police are arresting barely half as many people. Can that really just be a coincidence?
The City Councilman that CBS4 spoke to is blaming the rising crime on a number of factors.
“Crime across the board is going up. We’re having a lot of problems,” said Gruber. He believes there are a number of factors including increased gang violence, major car theft rings, less respect for police and a police force that is more reluctant to go “hands-on.”
The Councilman seems to be dancing around the subject a bit here. He’s blaming “less respect for the police” as well as cops who are “more reluctant to go hands-on.” I would argue that the two factors are completely interrelated. Do you really believe that the cops decided to be less interactive on their own? And when they aren’t going after the suspects as much, the criminals notice and feel freer to run wild. The head of the local police union was less subtle about it.
Union President Judy Lutkin blamed emboldened criminals, the passage of a recent Senate Bill that restricted the arrest tactics cops can use, and “social justice warrior police leadership.” That last point is obviously a shot across the bow at Chief Wilson, who put most of these new rules in place. But the Police Chief serves at the pleasure of the Mayor and the City Council. If concerned citizens have reached the point where they are telling their elected leaders that they literally “no longer feel safe,” then isn’t it time to dial back most of this social justice nonsense and get a Police Chief who actually wants to arrest criminals? If not, perhaps it’s time for the citizens of Aurora to elect some leaders with a clue.