What comes after the "defund" fad?
It's time to get serious about crime and policing
I think the May 14 New York Times article “The Spike in Shootings During the Pandemic May Outlast the Virus” by Troy Closson was a kind of watershed moment in the crime discourse.
Not because the article was so amazing, but because it represented an interpretive pivot on how progressives are perceiving the 2020 murder surge. It has long been orthodox in certain circles to insist that the huge increase in shootings last year was caused by the Covid-19 pandemic (something that I am open-minded about), which you see continued in Closson’s headline which describes it as a spike “during the pandemic.”
This idea of a pandemic-violence link was typically wielded to brush aside any consideration of issues related to policing and law enforcement. But in Closson’s piece, people who uncritically accept the pandemic framing are also telling you that the end of the pandemic doesn’t mean the tide of violence will recede.
As a journalist, I am frankly more intere…