After a white police officer shot a black drive-by shooter, a city erupted into protests to disband the “racist” police department. However, once the protestors got their way, they suddenly realized that getting rid of the men and women who protect their streets wasn’t a great idea.
Just minutes after 17-year-old Antwon Rose participated in a drive-by shooting, the vehicle in which he was riding was pulled over by 30-year-old Officer Michael Rosfeld. Rosfeld shot Rose after he jumped out of the car and turned his hand toward the officer, leading him to believe that he had a gun in his hand. Rose was unarmed and died after being shot three times when the officer was forced to make a split-second decision.
Rosfeld was charged with first-degree murder, third-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, and involuntary manslaughter, but he was found not guilty by a mixed-race jury after proving that he had reason to fear for his life when he shot Rose. However, this only provided fodder for the black community in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to accuse the police department and justice system of racism. Immediately, the city erupted into protests demanding the dissolution of the entire department.
“We don’t want any more children being killed by police officers,” resident Erica Yesko said. “We want you to listen to us.”
After major protests, the East Pittsburgh Borough Council voted to disband the local police department to fight alleged racially-motivated shootings involving white officers and black citizens. However, after the department completed its final shift, the community soon realized what they had done.
After demanding the dissolution of its police department, the community is now complaining that crime is running rampant and citizens are left without anyone to call for help. Just months earlier, the same community was fighting for the disbanding of the police, but they have now gathered to voice concerns that neighborhood violence is on the rise, according to KDKA.
Dozens of citizens gathered in East Pittsburgh in front of the community center to voice concerns over a “lack of police” and “lack of resources” for those affected by “neighborhood violence” that has plagued the community since the police department’s dissolution. Now, the borough is pleading for help from neighboring departments, asking them to take over the jurisdiction so that the community will have officers to police the area.
The council that caved to the angry protests of community members is now looking for a way to ramp up police presence in the borough. Before voting to disband the police force, the council was pressured by residents who referred to councilmembers as the KKK and white racists, Blue Lives Matter reports.
“You don’t have to deal with this. You don’t have to live in brown skin,” resident Dawn Macon told the board.
“I cannot sit here crying because this boy was dead and my little kids were hurt and now they’re terrified,” longtime resident Ashley Cannon said. “They’re terrified because a cop shot a black boy… our kids are scared of the cops… what are we supposed to do?”
The council is in a bind since it disbanded its police force without securing an alternative. Now, it’s gone to state police in an effort to obtain officers to police the area, Trooper Melinda Bondarenka explained, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“We’re required by law that if an area does not have police services, to come in and provide full-time police services,” she said. “We have no idea how long we’re going to be there. Or if [East Pittsburgh officials] are going to try to negotiate with another department nearby. We’re just there for however long they need us.”
The council’s final resort is ironic. After disbanding their own police force, it’s attempting to consolidate neighboring police forces as well as state officers to cover the area. The results leave all involved communities with less police to secure the neighborhoods. The process now proceeds as follows: a trooper is notified of an incident. If they are too far to respond promptly, the state police will contact neighboring police departments until an available officer is found. The process undeniably results in longer waiting periods for the victims of crimes.
Despite being an unpopular opinion, high-crime areas need more policing, not less. When policing is cut down, crime escalates. When crime escalates, fewer residents and businesses move to the area. This stagnates progress and economic growth, leaving the area further impoverished and crime-ridden.
The borough got what it wanted and is now understanding the consequences. Unfortunately, it is the criminals who are reaping the rewards and the law-abiding citizens who are paying the price for the council’s progressive policies.