In 2021, as part of the left's "defund the police" campaign, several of the country's largest departments reallocated around $840 million in police funds to other community services and this was heralded as a victory. In reality, however, it was a drop in the bucket of the $100 billion spent on policing in America annually. What's more, many departments actually saw in increase in funding at the time and the Biden administration, in March, wiped away all doubt of a defund when it vowed to increase America's policing budget by a whopping $30 billion.
Despite this increase in funding, many on the right continue to blame the rise in violence and crime on "defunding the police." In reality, however, police have pulled back and are refusing to serve the communities who pay them. The problem has got so bad in many areas that last year, business owners in Baltimore began to refuse to pay taxes until police go back to doing their jobs.
That idea is now spreading to the other side of the country as San Francisco business owners become frustrated with the seemingly endless crime spree that plagues their city.
The Castro Merchants Association in San Francisco’s Castro district, sent a letter to city officials on Aug. 8, urging them to “take action” because the neighborhood is “struggling.”
“Our community is struggling to recover from lost business revenue, from burglaries and never-ending vandalism/graffiti (often committed by unhoused persons) and we implore you to take action,” the letter stated according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
The group went on to threaten civil disobedience in the form of a tax protest if these problems are not addressed.
“If the city can’t provide the basic services for them to become a successful business, then what are we paying for?” co-President of CMA Dave Karraker told The Chronicle. “You can’t have a vibrant, successful business corridor when you have people passed out high on drugs, littering your sidewalk. These people need to get help.”
“Until we see demonstrable change, everything is on the table, including civil disobedience[.]”
Recommended for You
As TFTP reported last year, Walgreens announced the closure of multiple locations in San Francisco claiming there is a major problem of organized retail theft. The move by Walgreens was a black eye to the city which has earned an embarrassing reputation over widespread shoplifting which happens so often that YouTube is full of video evidence.
“Retail theft across our San Francisco stores has continued to increase in the past few months to five times our chain average" despite large increases in security, Walgreens spokesperson Phil Caruso said.
But it's not just Walgreens. Viral videos on YouTube show gangs of shoplifters stealing everything from handbags at Neiman Marcus to emptying entire shelves of toiletries to walking behind the pharmacy counters like it's a pill buffet.
This massive string of thefts was originally downplayed by much of the mainstream media before store closures began happening across places like San Francisco.
While the idea of withholding taxes from the government is certainly welcome, the driving force behind why they want to withhold those funds is misguided. In reality, police don't stop crimes. They simply show up after a crime has been committed and attempt to solve it — and they are not that good at this aspect either.
The research shows that 70% of robberies, 66% of rapes, 47% of aggravated assaults, and 38% of murders go unsolved each year.
The majority of the "crimes" police stop in the act, are for victimless infractions like jay walking, seatbelt violations, license plate lights, window tint, and other laws designed for the generation of revenue. It is extremely rare that a cop will stop an assault, robbery, murder or rape.
Some cities across the country have started to figure out that extorting, kidnapping, caging, or killing people over crimes which have no victim, only serves to widen the gap between police and the citizens as well as increase recidivism. Yet departments across the country continue to focus on these revenue generators instead of solving or preventing actual crime.
Perhaps if their paychecks start bouncing because the people they serve refuse to pay them, this might change the paradigm.