As is often the case, Mr. Simon offers deep insights and observations on the complexity that is urban America. He describes that incredibly delicate balance between effective policing that retains the support of the majority of the citizens and the shortcut mode of policing that shows "results" but erodes the bond between the elected officials/police force and the population that culminates in what is occurring in Baltimore this past week.
It is clear that Mr. Simon is a very smart and thoughtful individual, yet he continues to make the same error that most liberal/progressives make — that is the inability to recognize the root causes of the failures that they have identified in remarkable detail and seek an alternative path. He rightly identifies former Mayor Martin O'Malley's cynical approach to policing — that of "cooking the books" to show reduced crime statistics — in order to further his political aspirations and makes clear that this behavior was one of the key antecedents to the lack of professional policing and the violence and rage currently being demonstrated by many Baltimoreans.
In his next sentence, however, he says that this is nothing personal against the former Mayor, and that if he is the Democratic nominee next year, he would vote for him for president. This disassociation between cause and effect is the primary reason that no discernible improvement has been made in the majority of America's urban areas for decades. Mr. Simon's — and his fellow liberals' — willingness to accept this behavior in public officials will only perpetuate the status quo — or worse.