Baltimore experienced a record murder rate last year and had the highest murder rate of the 30 most populous U.S. cities. Mayor Catherine Pugh’s solution to her city’s interpersonal violence epidemic was to abruptly fire the city’s police commissioner, Baltimore’s ninth commissioner since 1994.
If the mayor is concerned about the senseless murders in Baltimore, or if people have concern for interpersonal violence anywhere, then they should be concerned about a troubled American system that has gone awry.
Anyone who closely observes and experiences our justice system as it operates will agree to various degrees that the system is not working. Too often it does not provide justice to the victims of crime, deter crime, punish criminals, reform criminals or protect society.
Hard questions must be asked about why interpersonal violence is one of our most important social problems and why our justice system is the way it is.
But don’t count on the politicians to provide the answer. They are as much a part of the problem as those in the system itself. In some ways, more so. It’s our elected officials who have created the broader problems of society, which the justice system mirrors. Poverty rates, failing school systems, breakdown of family values, fatherless homes, overregulation, bad laws, relaxation of behavioral codes, illegal immigration, anti-assimilation, financial recklessness, etc.
Politicians and elected officials cannot escape blame for their lack of government leadership, false promises, anti-police rhetoric and condoning criminal activity that have contributed to acts of violence against innocent, unarmed working people. Politicians cannot escape blame so easily for our nation’s flawed system of justice.
Allen R. Miller