While patrolling her beat on the midnight shift last Thursday, Officer Keona Holley, a Baltimore Police Department (BPD) officer with only two years on the job, was ambushed while parked in her cruiser. Officer Holley, shot in the head and body, remains on life support. Two violent career criminals are in custody.
Like all good officers, Keona Holley became a cop in order to make a difference in her community. In 2019, the 39-year-old mother left her nurse’s aide job to join BPD. Her fellow officers and decent citizens are devastated, saddened, and angry. Prayers and messages of love and hope pour in for Keona and her family.
There is a growing outrage in Baltimore. People are realizing that the lawlessness, violence and the war on cops that has overwhelmed every major Democrat-run city is no accident. The out-of-control crime and chaos is the result of an organized assault on the police and subversion of the rule of law through pro-criminal, anti-victim/anti-police policies of radical prosecutors. And Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby is one of their shining stars.
Black Lives Matter Marxists, the Democratic Party and the ruling-class media have spread the lie that American policing is “systemically racist” and there is an epidemic of fatal shootings by police of innocent, unarmed black people. They falsely claim that the United States is an illegitimate, inherently racist, irredeemable nation, and that the police are defenders of this evil order. Dehumanizing hate leads to violence and for some, justifies attacking or assassinating the police.
The war on cops is real — more police officers have been shot during 2021 than any year in history. The Fraternal Order of Police reports that 314 officers have been shot and 58 killed by gunfire. Ambush attacks have increased 126%, with 95 this year. By demonizing the police, the Radical Left and their media put a target on the back of every cop in America. Officer Keona Holley is the latest casualty.
Radical prosecutors have captured district attorney’s offices in most major Democrat-run jurisdictions. Their objective is “to reverse engineer and dismantle the criminal justice infrastructure” by not prosecuting offenders, refusing to enforce laws, and letting criminals out of jail. Violent crime has exploded.
Marilyn Mosby is not a friend of crime victims or the police. She typically puts the interests of violent criminals before their victims. Last week, Mosby gave one of her plea deals to another violent offender who in May tried to burn his ex-girlfriend and her two roommates to death by setting their townhouse on fire at night while they slept.
The criminal faced 18 felony charges including three for attempted murder. It should be noted that before Mosby took office a similar case with an almost identical fact pattern was prosecuted by the former state’s attorney. That offender was prosecuted and appropriately sentenced to 50 years in prison. But for this offender, Mosby dropped the charges down to one arson charge, let the offender plead guilty to a 10-year sentence which she immediately had suspended, and let him walk free after serving less than six months in jail.
Similarly, Marilyn Mosby was not outwardly moved by the vicious attack on Officer Keona Holley. Astonishingly, during the initial press conference announcing the attempted assassination the police officer, Mosby showed no anger or outrage. She kept silent — refusing to either condemn the thugs or express sympathy for the gravely wounded officer.
Elected in 2015, Marilyn Mosby’s policies have been a public safety disaster. In her first year, Baltimore’s murders surged 62% and homicides have exceeded 300 for seven consecutive years. She undermined the work of BPD, dismissing almost 1,500 criminal cases and warrants. Mosby refuses to comply with Republican Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s demand to provide the numbers of the criminal cases she has dropped, failed to appropriately charge or pleaded down to lesser charges.
Mosby refuses to prosecute quality-of life crimes. These include possession with intent to distribute dangerous drugs, drug possession, street prostitution, trespassing, minor traffic offenses, open alcohol, urinating and defecating in public, and breaking into and theft from vehicles. Democratic Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott enthusiastically supports her pro-criminal policy and disturbingly, Police Commissioner Michael Harrison is also on board. As a result, BPD proactive policing and street-level drug enforcement has practically disappeared—misdemeanor drug arrests have decreased 91%. Open-air drug markets operate 24/7, calls for help are ignored and communities have been destroyed.
The “Broken Windows” theory of policing has shown that if neighborhood disorder, decay and low-level crime are tolerated, lawlessness increases and creates an environment within which more serious crime is likely to occur. Baltimore residents report that this is exactly what is happening in their communities. Gangs and drug dealers control their neighborhoods. Children are not allowed to play outside. Decent citizens hide indoors.
But instead of focusing on enforcing the law and holding offenders accountable, Mayor Scott has followed Mosby’s lead. He implemented a five-year plan prioritizing keeping criminal offenders out of jail and replacing cops with social workers.
Marilyn Mosby has enabled a culture of lawlessness and emboldened violent criminal predators. Fearing no consequences, thugs prowl streets with impunity — victimizing citizens and now, shooting the police. Baltimore’s leaders and their policies have failed. The city’s only hope lies with its residents, who are beginning to stand up and demand policies that put law-abiding citizens first.
Maurice Richards is the former chief of the Martinsburg Police Department in West Virginia. He served as chief from 2015 to 2020 after 24 years as an officer and lieutenant in the Chicago Police Department. Richards holds a doctorate in adult education from Northern Illinois University. His writing has been featured in The Daily Caller, The Hill, The Federalist, Human Events, and American Greatness.