An Atlanta City Councilman, while meeting with community leaders, according to WSB-TV, had his car stolen from, almost literally, under his nose.
Antonio Brown is in the running for the mayor’s office in Atlanta, and the crime rate is a hot topic for discussion. Brown said that he had only walked a few feet away from his unlocked Mercedes when four individuals jumped in, pushed the start button (apparently, the Council man left his key fob in the car) and off they went.
Brown stated that the four individuals were between the ages of 7 and eleven years old. And, yes, you read that correctly. Brown and another man tried to stop the car, fought with the young driver, but Brown was dragged about half a block until he finally let go, sustaining minor injuries. Brown, by the way, is an advocate of defunding the police.
Brown complained that it took the cops 45 minutes to get to the scene because the dispatcher assigned the theft of the car as a “low priority” because, you know, there are actually serious crimes being committed in Atlanta. That, and the fact that the Atlanta Police Department, the largest in the state of Georgia, is down some 400 officers. Seems everybody hates the police until they need a police officer.
Shootings in Atlanta are up 50% so far this year and the long, hot summer hasn’t even started yet. Arrests, during this same period, are down 43%. What do cities like Atlanta and others expect when their leaders fail to support their own police officers, continue to watch morale hit rock bottom, and remove funding from the very people who put their lives on the line every day?
Here’s a prediction: (1) Crimes will increase. (2) Officers will leave that department for another, more appreciative, jurisdiction (or leave law enforcement altogether). (3) Applications will be down because what sane person would work under those conditions?
Some politicians have said that their cities will hire more social workers. Well, I’ve been a social worker who has, in the past, been screamed at, spit at, cursed at, slapped at, punched at, stabbed at, shot at, had my life threatened on multiple occasions, and had the lives of my family threatened twice. One man who threatened my family ended up shooting a police officer whose gun never left the holster and went to prison for his murder. Social workers are not cops and don’t do a cop’s job.
I would say, “How stupid can some people be?” but some of those same people appear to take it as a challenge. And now there’s one Congresswoman who is advocating that the nation needs to just “stop building prisons!” I know how that will turn out and I simply can’t believe that everyone wouldn’t know as well. It’s not, as they say, rocket science.
I understand that there are both corrupt and unwise law enforcement officers. But there are over 800,000 sworn law enforcement officers in the United States and it is imbecilic to believe that anything other than a tiny fraction of those men and women are anything other than honorable professionals. To defund the police departments because of a few is ludicrous.
Every year in this country, a few school teachers are arrested and convicted for sex crimes against their students. Does anyone really believe that the teaching professions or the schools themselves should be defunded? No, of course not, because the vast majority of the 3.5 million school teachers in this land would never even think about committing such horrid crimes.
Every year, there are priests and pastors who are arrested for various crimes, including embezzlement and sex crimes. Again, it’s a tiny, tiny minority of the nearly 500,000 clergy that faithfully serve, most with low pay, many with no pay. So, should churches be banned and shut down? Well, the pandemic has shown that some politicians and others would like to do just that but, again, no thinking person would advocate such a destructive course of action.
The Honorable Mr. Antonio Brown has re-affirmed his stand on police de-funding. In fact, he says that, if the young criminals are caught he will not press charges. He says that the kids stole his car out of desperation and hopelessness. Well, if one of the kids had a gun that day and shot the Councilman in the face as he hung onto the car, would they still be given a pass?
What if, Mr. Brown, one of those same kids a couple of years later, having learned that actions do not have consequences, robs and murders your spouse or your child? Still think it’s excusable? Is it any wonder that crime is raging in America’s major cities when the leaders of those cities think, act, and speak so irresponsibly?
People apparently still haven’t learned that actions have consequences and that bad decisions have terrible results. It’s still true that whatever we sow, that we will reap. Some results, sadly, are predictable. Again, it’s not rocket science.
[David Epps is the Rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King (www.ctk.life). The church is open at 10:00 a.m. on Sundays but is also live streaming at www.ctk.life. He is the bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South (www.midsouthdiocese.life). He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]