Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies and toxic “defund the police” mania not only have spawned terrifying crime waves in liberal cities, but they’re also hurting small businesses that are already being crushed by historic inflation.
In Democrat-run Denver, police are forcing food trucks to leave the city’s bustling Lower Downtown area as part of a harebrained effort to reduce crime, KMGH-TV reported on Saturday.
“The Denver Police Department recognizes that relocating food trucks may initially cause disruption for the food truck vendors,” the department said in a statement to the outlet.
“However, to increase safety for all who visit and work in the LoDo area, including the food truck vendors, DPD believes that having them operate in a different location is a solution to help facilitate people leaving downtown during the out-crowd and to curb large gatherings, during which DPD has seen conflicts and violence,” it said.
Instead of arresting and prosecuting criminals to curb crime, city officials in Denver think banning food trucks from the busy downtown area (where the customers are) is the solution.
This boneheaded strategy is like cutting off the nose to spite the face.
Food truck operators are furious, saying being forced to relocate to areas with less foot traffic will destroy their livelihoods.
“It feels horrible. And as a new business — woman in business — it’s just hard,” Leilani Johnson, the owner of RJ’s TacoWich, told KMGH.
Is banning food trucks an effective way to deter crime?
“It’s already hard. And now we’re making it even harder. We did half of our normal sales on a Saturday night,” she said. “There are better ways to solve this problem that [don’t] involve hurting the small businesses who are trying to perform a service for our community members.”
Another food truck operator, Mohammad Alissa, said he won’t be able to survive if the ban becomes permanent.
“If some bad guy has a gun and goes to the area, we are not responsible for the gun. We are just selling gyros, tacos, pizza,” Alissa told KUSA-TV.
“The police and the city, they don’t want us to be working,” he lamented. “It affects us big-time. This is our life, our income.”
Numerous Twitter users mocked Denver officials’ move to punish food truck operators instead of criminals.
Isn’t this just like the Demwits??? Let’s not arrest & prosecute – we’ll get rid of the law abiding citizens, that’ll do it! Jeez.
— Bonnie Reynolds (@bonniemarie6653) August 3, 2022
In response to DPD doing a mass shooting into a block of bars and food trucks at closing time, the city is now to shut down food trucks and criminalize workers instead of disarming the incompetent and deadly @DenverPolice
Food trucks keep drunk people safer than DPD! pic.twitter.com/BimfIT7vOL
— Milly Harnack, Police Demoralizer (@heartsizedfist) July 30, 2022
Democrats are shutting down LoDo food truck entrepreneurs because of failed Democrat policies that made LoDo a high crime area.
— 9mm News (@News9mm) August 3, 2022
Like other crime-infested liberal cities, Denver has had a Democratic mayor for decades — since 1963.
Crime spiked dramatically during the past two years, coinciding with the rise of the anti-police Black Lives Matter movement and the Democratic Party’s rabid push to relax criminal prosecutions.
The result has been a calamitous erosion in public safety and an alarming plunge in the citizenry’s quality of life.
“New statewide data on Colorado’s crime rates puts hard numbers to what many in law enforcement have been saying for the past 14 months: Crime in almost all categories started going up before the pandemic and continues to rapidly rise,” Colorado Public Radio reported in March.
“Violent crime, which counts homicides, aggravated assaults, sex assaults and robberies, is up 17 percent between 2019 and 2021. Murder is up 47 percent in those two years,” the report said.
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen told CPR that new laws reducing penalties for certain crimes, such as auto theft and illegal drug possession, could be responsible for rising crimes.
Tom Raynes, head of the Colorado District Attorney’s Council, agreed.
“There’s nothing compassionate about leaving a heroin user or a fentanyl user or a meth user on the street or arresting them and turning them back out,” Raynes told CPR. “You’re just enabling the addiction, and that doesn’t help anybody.”
By now, it’s painfully obvious that the left’s “defund the police” movement and Democrats’ refusal to prosecute and punish criminals — in the name of “equity” — has been an unmitigated disaster.
In New York, for example, 10 career criminals who were repeatedly released from police custody as a result of the liberal city’s no-bail law have racked up a whopping 500 arrests.
This crime wave will not end until cashless bail is completely and totally repealed.
We cannot have 10 career criminals committing 500 crimes with 0 repercussions. Alvin Bragg must be fired, and we MUST vote for candidates who will be TOUGH ON CRIME!https://t.co/XQALX8oUxd
— Stefano Forte for State Senate (@stef4senate) August 3, 2022
This abuse of the criminal justice system is an inexcusable waste of taxpayer-funded resources and an ongoing danger to public safety.