Op-ed: Youth crime epidemic plagues progressive cities and the young people they promised to save

Youths are being abandoned and killed in America thanks to progressive district attorneys and big city politicians who got elected using fake mandates on justice reform and COVID-19 school…

Youths are being abandoned and killed in America thanks to progressive district attorneys and big city politicians who got elected using fake mandates on justice reform and COVID-19 school lockdowns.

Riding in on white horses paid for by billionaire George Soros, progressive DAs promised to implement reforms in the criminal justice system across the country that would help kids lead more productive lives.

They championed bail reform, lenient sentencing and prosecutorial discretion to not enforce laws on petty, non-violent crimes, such as theft and shoplifting that often involve youth offenders.

Mayors, school boards and councilmembers rode herd on their communities with fellow liberal DAs by closing down schools, cities and travel in the name of keeping kids safe during the pandemic.

Instead of saving youth, however, these policies have ridden like marauding Cossacks over the cities of America, leaving devastated youth in their wake.

Young people, already reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the decades-long failure of public schools, are paying the price with shattered dreams – and sometimes with their lives. 

In Illinois, for example, the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab said there has been “a  
50% increase in shooting victimizations of school-aged youth 17 years and younger since 2019” in the city, according to the Illinois Policy Institute (IPI).  

IPI reports that 90% of the under-17 victims were not attending school. 

In Chicago, “8% of those arrested were for homicides, 9% for shootings, 32% for robberies and 49% for carjackings were youth 17 years and younger,” IPI also reports.  

Not coincidentally, chronic truancy in Chicago is sky high at 53%, 2.5 times higher than the state average, said IPI. 

In Oakland, the number of youth involved in crime is also surging.    

At the end of May, local media reported a wave of crime committed by juveniles in the city. 

“In recent weeks we’re seeing a surge in violence that has impacted our community and it’s concerning for all of us who live in and visit the city of Oakland,” said Darren Allison, acting Oakland police chief, at a press conference called to address the wave of crime, according to local CBS News. “Two weeks ago, our city experienced 100 robberies in one week – 50 of which occurred in 72 hours over a weekend. Some of the robberies included carjackings, shootings and other assaults.” 

Of the 20 that were arrested, 14 were juveniles, said Allison. 

In neighboring San Francisco, juveniles referred to court were up 45% in March, said the local ABC News affiliate, which predictably tried to paint the increase as “really small.” 

Never anywhere before has a 45% increase in crime been described as “really small.”  

Even as violence in big cities downticks slightly from the record pace seen in 2022, youth violence and victimization remains stubbornly high. 

“Our victims are young victims,” said NYPD Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael Lipetri, noting that this year has seen about 62 shooting victims under age 18, while 14% of those arrested for shootings were younger than 18, reported the New York Daily News.  

Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City and Atlanta have each reported similar trends. 

“The reality is this: These aren’t police officers shooting people on the streets of Atlanta, these are members of the community shooting each other,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said at a news conference called to address youth violence, according to the New York Times.  

And it’s kids shooting kids, enabled by adults, who really ought to know better.  

For centuries, civilizations have understood that children left to their own devices will tend to get into trouble. 

It was an idea that provided the guiding impetus for today’s public school system. 

And nothing shows the bankruptcy of that system more completely than the rising problem of youth violence.