Houston, Texas has experienced a surge in street takeovers and street racing over the past two years.
By Eileen Griffin
Recent street takeovers prompted neighbors to speak out against the dangerous criminal behavior in Houston.
Risky activities such as street racing, street takeovers, and drunk driving are plaguing neighborhoods in Houston, ABC13 reports. In 2022, the Harris County District Attorney’s office handled over 1,000 street racing cases and seized 200 cars.
“ABC13 has reported on street takeovers that have ended in miles-long, high-speed car chases,” writes Lileana Pearson. “Often drunk driving is involved, and last year alone, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office made 400 street racing-related arrests that resulted in reclaiming 17 stolen cars.”
“This is a very dangerous activity,” Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told ABC 13. “We find a lot of other illicit criminal activity that is commonplace with these events.”
“After years of steadily falling crime rates, the United States is quickly heading back to a level of urban criminality not witnessed since the early 1990s,” writes Jarrett Stepman for The Daily Signal.
While those on the left blame the pandemic, poverty, and gun ownership, rising crime rates have not historically been attributed to any of those things.
The surge in crime started after the riots after the 2020 death of George Floyd while in police custody. Now it has evolved to entire streets and intersections controlled by criminal activity.
“And that’s really what the story of America’s sudden descent into violent criminality revolves around,” Stepman writes.
“The message immediately following the (George) Floyd incident was that law enforcement is a problem, and that it is, in the words of many activists, systemically racist. The answer to our problems was to ‘defund the police’ and change the way we do law enforcement.”
“The end goal of defunding police departments is to create anarchy and chaos,” former judge and Fox News contributor Jeanne Pirro said during the Floyd riots. “If you want anarchy, get rid of the police departments.”
“I’ll tell you what, for someone who spent 30 years in the trenches fighting against evil in this country,” Pirro said. “We have a civil war every day in terms of crime, in terms of shooting, stabbing, drug deals, domestic violence, child abuse, bank robberies.”
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner (D) launched a violent crime initiative in 2021 with mixed results. All violent crimes were reduced, the initiative’s webpage states, except homicides.
“Sadly, the increase in homicides during the first months of 2022 and felonious assaults on police officers and fellow Houstonians is a sobering reminder that we must collaborate, as one community to combat our current crime challenges,” Turner writes.
Turner recently launched another crime prevention initiative for Houston called One Safe Houston.
“We have a pretty good special response group with the Houston police department,” Houston resident Jose Gutierrez told Heartland Daily News. “But the district attorney, who is a Democrat, releases them right away in Texas.”
“It is a felony to block a roadway,” Gutierrez says.
As Heartland Daily News previously reported, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced a plan to increase support for cities such as Houston by providing state resources to combat the rise in crime and street takeovers.
For more Budget & Tax News.
For more great content from The Heartland Institute.