Woke traffic reforms by police ‘100%’ contributing to rise in violent crime, expert claims

Violent crime is reportedly skyrocketing across the nation in major cities and experts are laying the blame on police officers being prevented from pulling over individuals for traffic infractions, claiming it promotes a culture of lawlessness.

“Not only are these good opportunities for officers to interact with the public, these are also very important law enforcement and investigative tools. And what starts as what may be a minor offense, often leads to the discovery of much more serious crimes and the enforcement of laws dealing with much more serious crimes,” Heritage Foundation legal fellow Zack Smith told Fox News Digital in an interview.

“100% they’re contributing,” Smith asserted, blaming prosecutors over the issue. “I will place a lot of blame on these rogue prosecutors who are in office in many of these cities. You have DAs in places like Chicago, San Francisco, L.A., Philadelphia … basically saying there are certain crimes that we’re not going to enforce.”

Smith argues that when crimes are not prosecuted and laws are not enforced, “a culture of lawlessness” is promoted which causes crime to escalate.

It “also causes police officers to stop arresting for those crimes or investigating those crimes, because what’s the point? Why are they going to waste their limited time and resources arresting or investigating crimes that they know that the district attorney has said he or she is going to prosecute? … It leads to under-enforcement of crime overall,” he added.

He called it the “Ferguson effect.”

“What we’ve seen over the past few years is not only an effort to defund the police but really an effort to demonize and demoralize,” Smith contended. He added that “the people who are most impacted when police pull back and stop enforcing crimes as aggressively as they have been in the past … it’s often the people that these policies are supposed to help: minority members of that community.”

(Video Credit: Fox News)

Smith also pointed out that people living in poorer communities who suffer most from violent crimes also benefit the most when police officers are “empowered to do their jobs and force the laws on their books, investigate crimes and make arrests.”

Philadelphia led the way in March by banning police officers from pulling over drivers for minor traffic violations. Those infractions include expired vehicle registration for 60 days or less, a single brake or headlight that is broken, minor bumper damage, or using a car without an official certificate of inspection.

This move has prompted the Philadelphia Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police to file a lawsuit to overturn the “Driving Equality Law,” which is described by union leaders as irresponsible, according to Fox News.

The legislation was touted as a means to combat racial profiling and to counter data that reportedly shows minorities in the city are 3.4 times as likely to be pulled over as white people.

​​”This is something that is historic that could put us in a position where we’re addressing an issue that has been plaguing black communities,” City Councilmember Isaiah Thomas, who authored the bill, stated. “Philadelphia is leading the nation when it comes to this particular issue.”

“Representatives from the Defender Association of Philadelphia, the Mayor’s Office, the Philadelphia Police Department, and residents across the city have joined these conversations and been valued partners in creating this historic legislation, being replicated in municipalities across the country. Philadelphia Police will now collect data around traffic stops to ensure that we’ve reclassified the traffic stops that promote discrimination and keep the stops that promote public safety,” spokesman Max Weisman told Fox News Digital.

Los Angeles has also put in place a similar law. So has the city of Minneapolis and Ramsey County in Minnesota, as well as the entire state of Virginia.

“If you’re looking for an example of systemic injustice or systemic racism, that’s it,” Ramsey County Attorney John Choi commented. “This pattern we have in America where we don’t change and we don’t listen to the voices of those who have been impacted.”

Former Philadelphia Deputy Commissioner Joe Sullivan told Fox News that laws restricting who officers can pull over or the action of not prosecuting crimes such as shoplifting are “absolutely” adding to the crime spike of 2022. He called it “normalizing deviancy.”

“We’re sending a message that … you don’t have to obey the law. You don’t have to obey police officers. You can pretty much do as you want. And as we head into the warmer weather, I think we’re already having some serious consequences,” Sullivan noted.

“If you find people, and you pull them over for a minor traffic infraction and then you find they have a warrant [or] you find out somebody in the car with him has a warrant. And so you want people to enforce the law because by enforcing the law, you end up stumbling into other situations where people have open warrants,” Heritage Foundation’s senior legal fellow Cully Stimson told Fox News.

Stinson says not enforcing laws and rules “encourages people to be scofflaws.”

“Now you see what’s happening. It’s like a dystopian sort of one of the Batman movies where the Jokers are running the city,” he said. “Because they don’t feel like they even have to do anything, follow any of the rules. And so it … is a sense of lawlessness because the laws don’t matter.”

Former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard Donoghue was one of the experts who spoke at Heritage’s “Rogue Prosecutor Symposium” and argued that prosecuting quality of life crimes, such as turnstile jumping or low-level drug offenses, is “incredibly important.”

“A lot of cases, significant cases, in New York City history have been made … starting with a turnstile jumping case, right? Because the guy who jumps the turnstile has a gun and the gun is linked to a murder and so on and so forth,” Donoghue stated. “And so those crimes matter. Enforcement of those crimes matters and the police department knows it.”

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