By John Ruberry
A bit more than a year ago most large American cities were struck by widespread rioting and looting after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Of course for the most part the rioting was termed “unrest” by the mainstream media. In case you think reporters forgot what the word “riot” means, the “R” word was front in center in January news coverage after a pro-Donald Trump mob stormed the US Capitol.
Local television reporters across the country–who are generally more credible than their dead-tree media counterparts–brought viewers many scenes of unmasked people emptying out stores. Some of the looters even posted their crimes on social media.
Were these outrages open-and-shut case for prosecutors? Yes, but not in the way you think.
From NBC New York:
NYPD data reviewed by the NBC New York I-Team shows 118 arrests were made in the Bronx during the worst of the looting in early June.
Since then, the NYPD says the Bronx DA and the courts have dismissed most of those cases – 73 in all. Eighteen cases remain open and there have been 19 convictions for mostly lesser counts like trespassing, counts which carry no jail time.
Jessica Betancourt owns an eyeglass shop that was looted and destroyed along Burnside Avenue in the Bronx last June.
Those numbers, to be honest with you, is [sic] disgusting,” Betancourt said when told of the few cases being prosecuted.
According to the NBC New York, prosecutors are claiming that there is a backlog of cases because of the COVID-19 epidemic. “If they are so overworked that they can’t handle the mission that they’re hired for, then maybe they should find another line of work,” says former NYPD Chief of Patrol Wilbur Chapman. True, that.
There is a similar pattern of prosecutorial malpractice in Manhattan too. The DA in Manhattan is Cyrus Vance Jr, the leftist zealot who is on a Captain Ahab-like quest to charge Donald Trump with crimes.
The primary focus of any prosecutor should be to protect the public. But are prosecutors subject to the “CSI Effect” that plagues trials? That is, short of videotaped confessions of criminals, there is always room for a scintilla of doubt–because cases laid out perfectly when presented in a television drama.
Maybe. But instead I suspect there is an even worse possibility.
During the rioting last summer in Chicago I watched live coverage on WGN-TV of a couple of women calmly loading their car with what must have been looted goods. The license plate of their car was readable. Locating the criminals should have been quite easy. I wonder if Cook County’s state’s attorney, the woke Kim Foxx who of course dropped the hoax charges against Jussie Smollett–since reinstated with a special prosecutor in charge–botherered to investigate those two looters?
Yes, I had to bring up Smollett. As a black man and a gay man–that’s a two-fer–the former Empire actor is automatically a double-victim. And since many of the looters were minorities, they are victims too. Not of course the owners of stores that were looted last year even though many of those shop owners were minorities too. The criminals are the victims here, it’s not the other way around. If this quasi-reasoning makes sense to you then I recommend that you watch less CNN and MSNBC–and cancel your subscription to The Atlantic.
Some in the dead-tree media have called these riots and outbreaks of looting an uprising. Here and here, for instance. Meanwhile, the investigation of the attack on the US Capitol by Trump supporters, which The Media Elect is calling either a riot or an insurrection–is being aggressively pursued by federal prosecutors, and the allegd perpetatrors are being charged with low-level crimes such as tresspassing. Yes, they should be prosecuted. But to call the Capitol Riot, in the words some federal prosecutors, an “existential threat” to the republic is a gross exaggeration. And some of those alleged rioters are being held in solitary confinement in Gitmo-like conditions, including the moron who put his on Nancy Pelosi’s desk and the so-called QAnon Shaman. Yeah, I get it, the feds have jurisdiction over the Capitol attack, not New York or Chicago prosecutors. But the message to the public should be clear here.
Then there is Antifa, which for weeks was violently attacking nearly every night the federal courthouse in Portland, Oregon. Where is the dogged federal investigation of those riots?
But I fear some in prosecutorial circles sympathize with Antifa, as I strongly suspect they do in regards to the George Floyd “uprising.”
It seems that prosecutors are taking sides. And that in the right circumstances crime pays well for the criminals.
But civil society cannot survive such a mindset.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.