Maybe it isn’t news that the liberal town that launched Bernie Sanders's political career defunded its police department in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. And maybe it isn’t news that crime got worse in Burlington, Vermont, immediately after the police force was forced to cut jobs.
But the New York Times wrote a lengthy article documenting how crime has risen in the 45,000-person city since the City Council voted to cut the police force by 30%. The quotes from the otherwise liberal residents of the city are quite revealing.
“It has been traumatizing,” Democrat Julie Williams said, “to watch the city kind of fall apart before your eyes.” Williams graduated from the University of Vermont, which is in Burlington, 10 years ago and opened a bike shop in town.
Williams has had many bikes stolen, and one morning, after she noticed another bike missing, she hopped in her van and drove around town trying to find it. It didn’t take long before Williams spotted her bike in the open-air drug market of City Hall Park.