Two cities, two coasts, same lessons. Where pro-criminal policies are implemented by left-wing officials, often in the name of 'equity,' criminals thrive and innocents are harmed, hurt, and killed. It would be hard to name two jurisdictions in the entire country that are more "progressive" than Washington, DC -- whose city council routinely acts as a collective cartoon character of insane excess -- and Portland, Oregon. This week in the former locale, the nation's capital, a public employee was murdered.
Before I share the details of how and why that person was killed, here's a recent flashback to a writer documenting just one form of prevailing lawlessness in DC:
Update: Nearly 40 fare jumpers in five minutes this morning.— Helen Andrews (@herandrews) January 24, 2023
I asked the Metro attendant if he cared about people stealing. He said, verbatim, “That’s not my job.” https://t.co/M4cYCFAe9j
That was a few weeks ago. The Metro system is plagued with service cuts, outages, and huge fiscal shortfalls. For what it's worth, New York City's increasingly dangerous subway system is facing similar troubles, and the governor has announced a plan to increase taxes to tackle the problem, which offers shades of DC's city council raising hotel taxes to, er, boost tourism. When people can flout the law with impunity, bad ripple effects inevitably result. The transit worker quoted as saying maintaining the rules and preventing law-breaking wasn't his job will certainly feel justified in that approach, given the fate that has now tragically befallen a colleague:
A man shot and killed a transit worker and wounded two other people in Washington, D.C., near a Metro station during Wednesday morning's commute, police said. A suspect was taken into custody...The suspect went down to the platform, where he engaged with a woman while brandishing his weapon still, Benedict said. It's not clear what happened next: He attempted to "rob, confront or otherwise have an altercation with her," Benedict said, drawing the attention of two transit employees. One employee, identified by the Washington Metro Area Transit Authority on Wednesday afternoon as 64-year-old Robert Cunningham, attempted to "intervene to protect this young lady," Benedict said, but was immediately shot. Benedict said that Cunningham, a mechanic in the power department, was declared dead on the scene.
Lawlessness breeds lawlessness. It's dangerous. Raise your hand if you're the least bit surprised by this:
DC Metro Shooter Had Prior Assault Dismissed by Progressive DA https://t.co/BtQuLfVvOI— Joe Gabriel Simonson (@SaysSimonson) February 3, 2023
But based on how the city council approaches policy, perhaps they'll move to decrease criminal penalties for even more crimes -- especially spiking felonies, as they've just recently done. On the other side of the country, a woman's murder in Portland, Oregon was chronicled in an in-depth profile at the Washington Examiner. The lead paragraphs are horrifying and blood-boiling. Thanks to "equity"-obsessed political figures and left-wing organizations pursing a twisted vision of "justice," a repeat, escalating abuser was allowed to torment and eventually kill his ex -- walking free time after time, as he got ever closer to ending her life. The system, and these people, are complicit in this (content warning):
The beatings escalated after Rachael and Mo split. He would break in after midnight, the girls sleeping through his punching Rachael, choking her, telling her she was going to die. One night, he put a gun to her head. She was still shaking when the Portland, Oregon, police got there and told her she could request a no-contact order. “When I told him I was leaving him, he told me that he would kill me,” she wrote on the request, which stipulated Mo stay at least 150 feet away from her and the children. Mo ignored the no-contact order, showing up at dinnertime on June 23. His and Rachael’s 4-year-old let him in. He was very high, whether on cocaine or meth Rachael did not know. He broke her phone and blocked her way as she tried to escape. He spent hours hitting her that night, choking her five times and saying, as he knelt on her windpipe, “I am going to put you to sleep now.” Mo went upstairs to the children’s room. He'd left his phone on the floor. Rachael grabbed it and made for the front door. She was not wearing her abaya when the police arrived. It was 6 a.m., and Rachael had a new black eye as she told officers she believed she was going to die.
Rachael’s former boyfriend was charged with five counts of felony strangulation and strapped with a GPS ankle monitor. At 1:12 a.m. on July 27, Mo was tracked to Rachael’s, where he tore off his GPS. Contacted by the monitoring service, Mo claimed someone had broken into his apartment and cut off the GPS while he slept. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest. At 2 a.m. on Aug. 11, Mo again broke into Rachael's. A foot taller and 100 pounds heavier, he body-slammed Rachael, sat on her chest, covered her mouth. She could barely breathe but was able to scream, waking the children as Mo swung a length of prayer beads and whipped her face. Then he locked her outside. It was after 3 a.m. when police arrived and arrested Mo again. He was charged with contempt of court for violating the no-contact order. On the morning of Aug. 27, Mo was back. Rachael was able to get to her phone to call 911. The operator only heard her yell, “I am not doing black magic!” before the call disconnected. The operator called back. There was no answer. Mo dragged Rachael to the children’s bedroom, where he pressed her face to the window screen and stabbed her repeatedly with a kitchen knife, even after she went still. He moved her from the floor to a bed. He phoned his mother in Texas to tell her what he’d done. He took a shower. At 10:41 a.m., he called 911. “She’s dead,” he told the operator...
Journalist Nancy Rommelmann, who authored the piece, writes, "The coroner later determined that Rachael Angel Abraham, 36, had been beaten and stabbed both before and after being strangled to death. Officers secured the scene. Mohamed Osman Adan, 33, was taken into custody." This man, a remorseless and serial recidivist, brazenly ignored court orders over and over again, even after strangling and beating his victim on multiple occasions. Notice the dates in the excerpt above. He did all of that over the span of two months, and various people kept deciding he shouldn't be locked up. Adan walking this streets to torture and murder a woman is what the alleged pursuit of "justice" and "equity" required, you see. The fact that his victim was a black woman evidently wasn't relevant to the pro-criminal fanatics.
Rommelmann exposes how the various entities responsible for this travesty are all pointing fingers everywhere but inward. The woke District Attorney, who's mouthed every social justice buzz word in the book while indulging mass lawlessness in his county, is angry at the judges. He's also angry at the Portland Freedom Fund, a leftist bail fund similar to the scandal-plagued Minneapolis organization that then-candidate Kamala Harris promoted to her followers amid the George Floyd riots that summer. The Minnesota-based group has come under fire for bailing dangerous, violent criminals out of jail. Their comrades in Portland were doing the same, including this abuser-turned-murderer. The local news media covered this horror for a short period of time, then lost interest, along with the public. The blip of outrage subsided quickly:
Kristin Olson was trying to make sense of Adan’s multiple arrests and releases. A Portland litigation lawyer, she started with the first assault reported by Abraham in November 2021...Olson kept digging — through Adan’s repeated violations of the no-contact order, the multiple arrest warrants, the four judges he appeared before in a five-week period...Olson found the Monday morning quarterbacking in the wake of Abraham’s murder incredibly dispiriting, the district attorney's office saying the problem was Portland Freedom Fund, the fund pointing the finger at AYCO. Olson had been grateful that at least some of the public was outraged and hopeful that the mission to get racial equity into the criminal justice system might be delivered some nuance, with Abraham also being black. The hope hadn’t lasted. Within a week of Abraham’s murder, the press had moved on, the only continued interest coming from Oregon Public Broadcasting, a spot called, “Portland Freedom Fund continues their mission to help BIPOC defendants post bail.” That was the headline. Nothing about Abraham. Nothing about her family. In all of the news articles, in the Keffer White case and Mohamed Adan case, there was never a focus on the victims. “Portland Isn’t a Dumpster Fire. It’s Watching a Sunset Together,” read the Sept. 25 headline in the city’s major alt-weekly, commemorating an evening spent picnicking in the park in Northwest Portland. The article neglected to mention, even in a subsequent addendum, that picnic time had coincided with a 26-year-old woman being gunned down several yards away.
The local media is part of the morally-corrupt power structure that leftist rail against, even though they very much comprise the morally-corrupt power structure in these places. Taxpayer-funded Oregon Public Broadcasting actually aired a puff piece on the Portland Freedom Fund's 'racial justice' efforts, neglecting to mention the woman of color who was murdered by one of the group's most indefensible beneficiaries. The lies of omission mentioned in the above excerpt alone are astonishing. But such is life in Portland. The status quo is appalling, but it's become normalized. Some might call it unacceptable, but it's accepted. And if you or someone you love happen to end up on the growing list of victims ensnared by this disastrous social experiment in unconstrained leftism, tough luck. You've been sacrificed on the altar of "equity." It's for progress, you ingrate. I'll leave you with this passage from the feature story:
If for a shining season or two Portland had presented as an exemplar of progressivism, it was now limping along, and there seemed a fundamental disconnect between Portland’s public-facing entities — its media, government, and court systems — and the public at large, between those trying to push through progressive ideals and those living their consequences. The murder rate had jumped 207% since 2019. The 2020 decriminalization of drugs, with little complementary implementation of drug treatment plans, meant an exponential rise in the number of people shooting up and splayed out on city sidewalks. There were more than 700 homeless encampments throughout the city. More than 12,000 residents of Multnomah County left in 2020 and 2021, home prices had recently dropped by double digits, and until the final hours, the 2022 governor’s race seemed poised to tip Republican for the first time in four decades. And yet many in Portland still did not show the stomach to turn things around, hesitant to admit that an ardor for policies put in place in the heat of the moment had, in the court of public opinion, cooled significantly ...The lenient sentencing people demanded now carried justice in unpredictable directions. Officials who’d previously said the things citizens were listening for, that they would not jail people for nonviolent crime, began to see that the definition of nonviolent was open to interpretation, that the nature of criminality is not fixed. If the voters of Portland wanted to know whose actions, in addition to Mohamed Adan’s, had enabled the murder of Rachael Abraham, they might start by looking in the mirror.
The frightening thought is that they're perfectly aware what they've helped built with their "values" and votes, and they're ultimately just...fine with it.