Although the 2021 Crime in Washington report is not yet available, headlines of car theft, assault, discontinued pursuits, the opioid crisis and murder show Washington state communities were less safe as a result of the passage of bad legislation
In last year’s 2021 legislative session, the Democrat-controlled legislature passed two bills they claimed would reform police departments and stop police violence towards the public. Republican lawmakers and law enforcement experts tried to warn of the unintended consequences of these bills, but the majority party elected to ignore the warnings and blocked almost all Republican amendments which would have solved obvious issues with the poorly crafted legislation.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely, and the Democrats rammed through HB 1310 and HB 1054 with devastating results to public safety.
HB 1310 established standards for the use of physical or deadly force, but failed to acknowledge the dangerous realities police officers face on every shift. The bill didn’t include a “reasonable officer” standard, and basically prevented the officers from doing their jobs. HB 1054 removed many of the tools police officers relied on to de-escalate situations, and avoid the need to use deadly force. It restricted the use of tear gas, police dogs and many types of vehicular pursuits. As passed by the Democratic majority, this bill forced law enforcement to turn a blind eye towards minor criminal activity, and restricted action to instances when greater impact to the general public safety had occurred. The foolish policies implemented by this bill were nearly the exact opposite of the broken windows policing policy used by Mayor Rudy Giuliani with great results to clean up New York City in the 1990s.
Even before these two bills were passed in 2021, the data from 2020 was showing alarming trends for public safety. Overall crime was up in 2020. Murders increased in 2020 by 46 percent. Washington ranked 51st out of the 50 states and District of Columbia for the number of officers per thousand people. Assaults on law enforcement increased over 6 percent in 2020 and two officers were killed in the line of duty that year.
Although the “2021 Crime in Washington” report is not yet available, headlines of car theft, assault, discontinued pursuits, the opioid crisis and murder show Washington state communities were less safe as a result of the passage of bad legislation. We know the Seattle Police department is dangerously understaffed, and most other jurisdictions have also seen their highly trained officers leaving their departments for good.
As our communities began to suffer and criticism mounted, one of the sponsors of these bills, Rep. Jesse E Johnson, publicly accused police agencies of lying about the impact of the police reform bills. Rep. J. Johnson even promoted a website ironically named “Truth in Washington,” which attempts to spin an emotional narrative about how many people wanted these policing changes.
The fact is, criminals want more freedom to commit crimes. The fact is, because of “defund the police”, our communities are suffering from increased crime, more untreated mental health sufferers on the street and increased drug overdose and domestic violence.
In the current 2022 legislative session, after publicly attacking law enforcement criticism of the bad legislation, Representative J. Johnson “proudly” sponsored bill 1735, modifying the standard for use of force by peace officers. These urgently needed reforms easily passed the House last week, and will be sent to the Senate soon. Now, with the easy passage of 1735, Rep. J. Johnson is taking credit for “fixing” a problem he created last year.
If you’ve been a victim of the crime wave caused by this irresponsible, hypocritical Democrat and his Democratic colleagues in the Washington legislature, how does that make you feel? If you’ve watched helplessly as your car has been stolen, if you’ve been raped or assaulted, if you lost your job because a neighborhood businesses closed due to shoplifting, suffered from domestic violence, or worse — lost a loved one due to the increased chaos on our streets — are you going to applaud that this self-serving politician created a problem, and knowingly endangered our communities, so he could benefit politically by fixing the problem the next year?
This is why Democrats create chaos with their legislation. They create problems, so they can benefit politically in the future by “solving” the problem they created. If there’s not a crisis, they create one. They don’t care a bit for the people who are injured or killed in the process. They have no concern for the fact that increased crime disproportionately impacts people of color, indigenous communities, or those suffering with untreated mental health challenges. They definitely don’t care about the crime wave impacting the working people.
For Democrats, the end justifies the means.
If you’re ready for things to change, then it’s up to you to “be the change.” Please get involved in politics, in whatever way you can. Run for office, support a candidate, write an op-ed, educate yourself on policy, or join your local political committee and fight for internal change. This isn’t a right or left issue. It’s time to take our state back from dangerous and toxic ideologues. You are the voice of reason and common sense. Our future safety and prosperity is in your capable hands.
Nancy Churchill is the state committeewoman for the Ferry County Republican Party. She may be reached at DangerousRhetoric@pm.me. The opinions expressed in Dangerous Rhetoric are her own.