The Black Lives Matter movement that spawned the 2014 riots in Ferguson, Missouri reinforced the false sentiment that police are racially targeting African Americans.  Out of fear of being labeled bigots or racists, police forces across America have reduced patrols in order to prevent prosecution for protecting their cities. The Black Lives Matter movement is damaging the security of our country’s citizens.

We are living in a dangerous era where law enforcement officers are tried by the court of public opinion, aided by the liberal media before any court ever has a chance to. This endangers all of us, especially the impoverished areas these officers are trying to keep safe.

There are statistics across America that demonstrate this dangerous correlation between decreased police presence and increased crime. San Francisco homicides increased 71% over 2014. In Chicago, police investigative stops are down 90% while homicides for 2016 are 52% higher than the previous year. In Baltimore, where I attend college, arrests in 2015 were down 57% from 2014, while May 2015 brought 43 homicides – the most deaths in a single month in Baltimore since 1971. Washington D.C. crime increased 48%, and New York City had a 9.6% increase in homicides over 2014. The increases in thefts, shootings, and deaths are not localized problems. It is the result of the public threatening lawsuits, violence, and even death against the men and women in blue that put their lives on the line for us every single day.

Our police forces are not institutionally targeting or ‘hunting’ African Americans due to racial prejudices as the Black Lives Matter movement would like us to believe. In fact, out of the 990 people shot by police nationwide, 50% were Caucasian while 30% were African American. However, in the U.S., African Americans commit eight times more crime than Caucasians and Hispanics combined.

This is not because African Americans are worse, but because they uphold poor values due to the degradation of the family unit. 72% of all African American children are born out of wedlock. 40% of African American families receive welfare. Almost 20% fewer African Americans graduate high school than Caucasian students. African-American communities have collapsed, leaving uninspired youth to turn to lives of crime and lawlessness.

These underlying causes need to be fixed by communities, as it is a cultural problem. Youth need to be brought up understanding that with hard work and strong morals they can be whomever they want to be no matter what neighborhood they’re from. It is not a problem that will be resolved by decreasing patrols. We must remember to support the officers that are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the security of the nation, and not disparage them for simply trying to do their jobs. It is incumbent upon all of us to remember the 128 police officers who gave their lives last year to keep us safe.