Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical Left and Islamic terrorism.
After leftist riots killed an African-American Federal Protective Service officer, caused severe injuries, destroyed businesses and vandalized churches and synagogues across Democrat cities, some difficult questions are being asked about what Democrat elected officials could have done to prevent this.
Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed President Trump for the violent riots that consumed New York City as well as many other cities across the country. “The President of the United States help create this atmosphere,” he falsely claimed. “It doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is. It doesn’t matter what you think of President Trump, there’s been an uptick in tension and hatred and division.”
On MSNBC, Rep. Maxine Waters also argued that President Trump was to blame, “He has disparaged blacks in so many ways. All that stuff about loving blacks is so disingenuous. Nobody believes that. He’s such a liar. He cannot be trusted. And yes, I think he has emboldened those who are racist. He’s emboldened police officers to be nastier, tough, to do things like the chokehold. I believe all of that.”
Washington D.C. Mayor Bowser tweeted that she stands with the protesters besieging the White House, “While he hides behind his fence afraid/alone, I stand w/ people peacefully exercising their First Amendment Right after the murder of #GeorgeFloyd & hundreds of years of institutional racism.”
Despite these false claims by Democrat politicians, the riots were and are purely a Democrat product.
The Democrats chose to support Black Lives Matter and to coddle Antifa. Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison had previously posed with a copy of Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook, touting it as “the book that strike fear in the heart of” Trump. Now Ellison has been tweeting conspiracy theories that blame the riots on “white supremecists”. But, the only white supremacists on the scene are Democrats.
Minneapolis’ last Republican mayor stepped down in 1974. While his city burned, Mayor Jacob Frey, a Biden supporter, attacked President Trump, whining, “weakness is refusing to take responsibility for your own actions, weakness is pointing your finger at someone else in a time of crisis.”
That’s exactly what Frey and the Democrats have been doing in the face of the riots. Frey, a former community organizer, had repeatedly tweeted support for the Black Lives Matter racist hate group that is carrying out much of the violence. Instead of taking responsibility, Frey is blaming President Trump.
Chief Medaria Arradondo was handpicked by Frey’s predecessor as the city’s African-American police boss after the shooting of Justine Damond, an Australian woman reporting a crime, by Mohammed Noor, a Somali Muslim officer. Arradondo replaced Janee Harteau, the first female chief of the force.
Arradondo, like Harteau, came into office promising transformational change. He had already sued the city for racial discrimination, winning a huge settlement, and had all the right buzzwords about diversity and equity.
“I’m committed to making sure that when the history is written, we are on the right side of history,” he declared at his first press conference, echoing Obama.
That’s the police force on whose watch the Floyd riots began.
This national nightmare came out of a deeply progressive city, under the administration of progressives, and happened under elected Democrat officials who embodied the progressive vision for America.
George Floyd and the resulting riots are entirely the work of their hands.
“Why is the man who killed George Floyd not in jail?” Mayor Frey demanded. “We cannot turn a blind eye, it is on us as leaders to see this for what it is and call it what it is.”
It’s an odd question for the mayor of the city to ask.
In 2006, Wayne Reyes had allegedly “stabbed his girlfriend and a male friend” and went on the run. When police caught up to him, he stepped out of his vehicle with a shotgun, and police officers, including possibly Officer Derek Chauvin, the officer seen kneeling on Floyd in the viral video, fired.
As a number of outlets have noted, Senator Amy Klobuchar was, at the time still the Hennepin County attorney, but had already won her Senate race, and showed no interest in prosecuting the officers.
Klobuchar had served as the Hennepin County Attorney from 1998 through 2006. Officer Chauvin had been on the force since 1999 and was there for almost all of Klobuchar’s eight years on the job. Michael Freeman, Klobuchar’s successor, is the son of the former Governor Orville Freeman, and has tried to run for his father’s old job. After being elected to a sixth term, Freeman promised to focus on voting rights for felons, decriminalizing marijuana, and other pro-crime policies popular with progressives.
Democrats could not have asked for a friendlier and more progressive prosecutor on the job.
Chauvin, has had a dozen conduct complaints filed against him, and was hit with a letter of reprimand, and all of this was going on while Chief Janee Harteau had built the most diverse team to head the Minneapolis Police whom, she described as, “experienced, dedicated, professional and progressive and they share my core values.” It was such a progressive leadership team that her assistant went on to head the University of Minnesota Police Department. But all this progressivism failed its most basic test.
While the Minneapolis Police bosses were touting their progressive values to their DFL overlords, Freeman was talking about criminal justice reform, and Klobuchar was prepping a presidential bid, Chavin kept racking up complaints and no one was paying attention. Not even the head of the force, who had come up through internal affairs, but wasn’t actually interested in running the police force.
Democrats had mismanaged the Minneapolis Police, the same way that they had mismanaged Minneapolis. Every time something happened, the leadership got a shakeup and became more diverse, but nothing meaningful was actually happening on the ground floor except new messaging.
Klobuchar and Freeman had seen the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office as a stepping stone to higher office. And they spent their time virtue signaling to lefties, instead of actually doing their jobs.
The diverse leadership of the Minneapolis Police understood that they were there to provide cover after each incident, even at the cost of their jobs, for incompetent DFL figures like Mayor Jacob Frey. No one bothered with the nitty gritty attention to detail that’s the essence of managing any institution. Everyone was too busy laying out grand progressive visions and looking for the next step up the ladder.
And now America is on fire and they’re blaming President Trump for creating the atmosphere.
Trump didn’t create the atmosphere in Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, or any other blue city. Generations of Democrat mayors, as chronicled in John Perazzo’s The New Shame of the Cities, fouled the civic air, tainted the cultural water, and have been happy enough to blame the riots on Republicans.
The Democrats created the atmosphere. They spilled the gasoline, lit the match, and are still too busy signaling their virtues and blaming Republicans, to do the hard work of putting out their own flames.
Black Lives Matter and Antifa are their organizations. The Minneapolis city authorities and the police force bosses are also their people. The atmosphere was the undiluted work of the Democrats. And with the pandemic fading, they dug into their old playbook and decided that it was time for a new crisis.
After locking down the country didn’t work, the Democrats decided to set it on fire instead.