Opinion: What the ‘Broken windows’ theory has to do with the attempted murder of two LA cops

New York Police Department officers wait to register newly purchased iPhones outside of the Apple Store on 5th Avenue following the release of the Apple iPhone 5 phone in New York
REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

This week we saw evidence of how the “broken windows” theory applies to addressing no-so peaceful protests and rioting with the assassination attempts on two Los Angeles County Deputies on Saturday, Sept. 12. Heinously, demonstrators then blocked the entrance and exit to St. Francis Medical Center, the hospital these officers were taken to, chanting, “We hope they die.”

Broken windows is a criminological theory which holds that visible signs of crime, anti-social behavior, and civil disorder create an urban environment that encourages further, and worse crime and disorder. 

In other words, law enforcement must stringently address and enforce all crimes to create an atmosphere of law and order in communities. Otherwise, criminals will be emboldened to commit more serious crimes figuring there will similarly be little or no consequences for their actions.

Can anyone doubt that there is further crime and disorder in cities run by Democratic officials who have not yet cracked down on violent protests and riots?

Here in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio, with the City Council, began ending “broken windows policing” long before this summer of riots began. This crime-fighting strategy, implemented in the 1990’s by Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and continued during the Bloomberg administration, made New York the safest big city in America. Not anymore.

For months on the streets of New York, and in cities across the country like Portland and Seattle, we have seen looting, arson, assaults on innocent civilians, and bricks, bats, and lasers used as weapons to cause physical harm to police. Despite this, Democrats continue to insist these are “peaceful protests.” In fact, not a single speaker at the recent Democratic National Convention, including Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, acknowledged — never mind condemned — the increasing violence across the country.

In addition, Democratic mayors and governors refuse to allow local law enforcement to do their jobs, or dispatch the National Guard, to end this chaos.

All of this has led some criminals to feel they can loot and burn down businesses, harass innocent Americans, and attack police at will. Therefore, it should be no surprise that two deputies were shot at point blank range as they sat in their patrol car. Per the broken windows theory, more serious and deadly crimes — such as this — are now being attempted against law enforcement.  

These emboldened “protesters” had no qualms with risking more lives by blocking the hospital doors that these two rookie deputies were at, all the while shouting for the death of the two officers — one 31-year-old woman with a young son at home, and a 24-year-old man.

Most Democrats will probably condemn these heinous actions; however, if they had acted responsibly months ago when peaceful protests first moved toward criminal activities, perhaps we would not be in this boat today.

Bob Capano has worked for Brooklyn Republican and Democrat elected officials, and has been an adjunct political science professor for over 15 years. Follow him on twitter @bobcapano.