Wednesday, September 23, 2020

DOJ Labels NYC, Seattle, Portland "Anarchist Jurisdictions"--May Lose Federal Funding

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These three cities have earned the designation for efforts to reduce police funding---or for their lack of response to race riots that have been raging in the cities for months.

White House budget director Russ Vought will issue guidance about cutting funding to the cities in the next few weeks.

Lawlessness is destructive---and contrary to biblical teaching.

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Attorney General William Barr said in a statement

"When state and local leaders impede their own law enforcement officers and agencies from doing their jobs, it endangers innocent citizens who deserve to be protected, including those who are trying to 'peacefully protest'. We cannot allow federal tax dollars to be wasted when the safety of the citizenry hangs in the balance."

President Trump's directive memo.

Back on September 2, Trump signed a five-page memo ordering all federal agencies to send reports to the White House Office of Management and Budget that detail funds that can be redirected.

New York City, Washington DC, Seattle, and Portland were initial targets of the Administration's effort to restore law and order because local authorities have clearly failed---or condone anarchy.

Trump said: "My Administration will not allow Federal tax dollars to fund cities that allow themselves to deteriorate into lawless zones."

He said, 

"To ensure that federal funds are neither unduly wasted nor spent in a manner that directly violates our government's promise to protect life, liberty, and property, it is imperative that the federal Government review the use of Federal funds by jurisdictions that permit anarchy, violence, and destruction in America's cities."

The specific failures of each "anarchist city."

The announcement described how the three cities made the list:

New York City:

Shootings in New York City have been on the rise since looting and protests began on or about May 28, 2020. For July 2020, shootings increased from 88 to 244, an increase of 177% over July 2019. In August 2020, shootings increased from 91 to 242, a 166% increase over August 2019.

While the city faced increased unrest, gun violence, and property damage, the New York City Council cut $1 billion from NYPD’s FY21 budget.

The budget resulted in the cancellation of the new police recruiting class, cuts to overtime spending, and the transfer of certain police functions, including school safety, out of the NYPD.

Meanwhile, the Manhattan and Brooklyn District Attorneys have declined to prosecute charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly arising from the protests, and the District Attorneys in Queens and the Bronx have declined to prosecute other protest-related charges.

Both Mayor de Blasio and Governor Cuomo have forcefully rejected federal law enforcement support.

Portland, Oregon:

This month, Portland marked 100 consecutive nights of protests marred by vandalism, chaos, and even killing.

Those bent on violence regularly started fires, threw projectiles at law enforcement officers, and destroyed property. Numerous law enforcement officers, among others, suffered injury.

Shootings increased by more than 140% in June and July 2020 compared to the same period last year.

In the midst of this violence, the Portland City Council cut $15 million from the police bureau, eliminating 84 positions. Crucially, the cuts included the Gun Violence Reduction Team, which investigates shootings, and several positions from the police team that responds to emergency incidents.

In August, Portland Mayor Wheeler sent a letter to President Trump expressly rejecting the Administration’s offer of federal law enforcement to stop the violent protests.

Seattle, Washington:

For nearly a month, starting in June, the City of Seattle permitted anarchists and activists to seize six square blocks of the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, naming their new enclave the “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ) and then the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” (CHOP).

Law enforcement and firefighters were precluded from entering the territory.

The Seattle Police Department was ordered to abandon its precinct within the CHOP.

Person-related crime in the CHOP increased 525% from the same period of time in the same area the year before, including by Mayor Durkan’s own count “two additional homicides, 6 additional robberies, and 16 additional aggravated assaults (to include 2 additional non-fatal shootings).”

The CHOP was allowed to stand for nearly a month, during which time two teenagers were shot and killed in the zone.

The Seattle City Council, Mayor Durkan, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee publicly rejected federal involvement in law enforcement activities within the city of Seattle.

The takeaway

  • According to the Bible, to be lawless is to be contrary to the law or to act without regard to the law.
  • Laws are necessary in a sinful world (I Timothy 1:9).
  • Those who choose to act lawlessly further sin in the world.
  • According to the Bible, the root of all lawlessness is rebellion against God, and authority.
  • First John 3:4 defines sin as lawlessness: Everyone who sins breaks the law, so in this way, lawlessness is a rejection of God.
  • When a society ignores the law, lawlessness and chaos follow.
  • The biblical time of the judges after Joshua's death was marked by upheaval, oppression and general disorder. The reason? "In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes" (Judges 21:25).
  • Acts 19 reveals that the rioters in Ephesus didn't even know why they were rioting. Confusion.
  • Lawlessness is condemned in Scripture (Romans 13:2).
  • Romans 4:7, quoting Psalm 32:1 says, "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven. And whose sins are covered."
  • If we fail to ask Christ to forgive us of our sins---lawlessness--and become our Savior, Matthew 7 notes that many will come before Christ with long lists of so-called "good deeds" (fairness, equity, tolerance, inclusivity, compassion, etc.) they've done in his name, only to hear Christ declare them to be "workers of lawlessness" whom He never knew.
  • Ultimately Christ will eliminate lawlessness forever, in the meantime, He has established government to administer law and order.

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