Truckers demonstrate ‘defund the police’ has real-world consequences
The “defund the police” movement has created a problem for Democrats: how to harness the rage and media attention and sympathy generated by protesters after the death of George Floyd, the black Minneapolis man who died in police custody on Memorial Day, for political gain, while also reassuring constituents in cities managed by Democrats that the police are not actually going away.
The result has been for the left-wing media to attempt to explain that defunding the police does not “really mean” police departments will be abolished.
Yet one group is taking the phrase at face value: the nation’s commercial truckers.
On Friday, the website CDLLife.com, which reports on the trucking industry, reported that nearly 80% of truckers who responded to a recent poll said they would not deliver to cities that defund the police.
Driving a big rig was fraught with risk. CDLLife.com noted that last December the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics declared that truck driving was the most dangerous job in the country during 2018, based on data of workers who died while on the job.
That concern accompanying that distinction for truckers ws ratcheted up during the COVID-19 crisis, when tens of millions of Americans were quarantined in their homes and delivered goods became a critical lifeline.
CDLLife.com says it posted a poll on its app after reading posts from truckers worried about their safety.
The questions posed were: “Would you pick up/deliver to cities with defunded or disbanded police departments? Why or why not?”
As of Saturday, the website reported, more 1,283 truckers had responded and 79% indicated that they will “refuse loads to cities with disbanded or defunded police departments.”
The main reason: they don’t feel safe.
Among the responses CDLLife received:
“I will not deliver to an area with a disbanded police department. My life matter (sic) and I do this for my family. We are already at the mercy of these towns and cities with laws and hate against us for parking, getting a meal or even using a restroom.”
“Simple,” said another. “We may not like it all the time, but laws (sic) and order is necessary.”
A third had already decided: “For my own safety and security of my customers’ loads,” the trucker wrote, “I have already informed my dispatcher that I will refuse all loads to cities that have defunded their police departments.”
The recent case of Bogdan Vechirko helps make their point.
Last month in response to Floyd’s killing a huge mob blocked off a bridge along Interstate 35 near Minneapolis. According to columnist Daniel Horowitz of The Blaze, the highway was supposed to have been closed for the event, but police had not put up barricades or any other markers.
Vechirko attempted to navigate his truck through the mob. The state public safety commissioner reported the driver was “panicked” by the crowd, and he was forced to stop when a bicyclist fell in front of him.
Once he stopped, some protesters pulled him from the truck and beat him. Then cops arrested Vechirko.
In showing another problem arising for Democrats — siding with violent provocateurs — Horowitz noted that Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, said Vechirko was “really lucky Minnesota showed some of their better angels and he did not get killed.”
Ironically, Vechirko had just delivered fuel to a business owned by Lonnie McQuirten, who is black and who condemned the mob.
Vechirko was released from jail and not charged in the incident. Apparently none of his attackers were arrested.
Despite all the liberal blather about its definition — for example, whether “defunding” actually entails shifting resources from law enforcement to social services — the result will likely be fewer cops on the streets. Meanwhile, the Minneapolis City Council did vote recently to disband its police department. The website CityLab.com reports that at least 15 other major cities are considering “defund the police” initiatives.
Scroll down to comment!