The City Council of Washington, D.C., recently approved legislation to reduce penalties for violent crimes, despite a recent surge of murders, carjackings, and robberies in the city. It was in keeping with similar measures approved in recent years in cities around the country to defund the police, reduce cash bail, and eliminate penalties for minor crimes like shoplifting and drug possession. Congress rightly overruled the measure under the city's home rule charter, but it was a sign of what's to come from D.C. city government.
This is but the latest of many irresponsible acts in a city that long ago proved unfit to serve as the nation's capital. Crime has been out of control in Washington for decades, though it has recently moved into new areas frequented by politicians, visitors, and office workers. The public schools are like those in other major cities: lavishly funded but poorly performing. Two years ago, in the midst of the pandemic, protesters and rioters ran amok through the city, smashing storefronts, tearing down statues, and threatening the White House, with the full support of the mayor and city council.
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James Piereson is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
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