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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki’s comments during a January 31 appearance on the Save America podcast when she questioned what Biden administration “soft-on-crime consequence even means” were ironically timed within a backdrop of thousands of New York police personnel gathered to honor one of their two recently murdered brothers of color.
Referencing a Fox News program featuring Jeanine Pirro discussing escalating national crime problems, Psaki commented, “There’s an alternate universe on some coverage.”
“What’s scary about it,” Psaki added, “is a lot of people watch that. They think that the president isn’t doing anything to address people’s safety in New York and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Yes, and lots of people really should watch that.
After all, it’s difficult to ignore that spiraling crime problems in New York and elsewhere across the country have a strong correlation with leadership policies in Democrat-controlled cities.
Six notable examples where data is readily available for rising homicide rates include Chicago, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Indianapolis.
In addition to the fact that the victims in each of these Democrat-controlled cities were disproportionately Black, all but two have cut police budgets through defund movements following widespread Black Lives Matter protests and riots in the wake of the May 20 death of George Floyd.
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposed an $80 million Police Department funding cut; the Milwaukee Common Council approved a police budget cut that reduced the department by 120 officers; the Pittsburgh City Council approved a police department hiring freeze; and the Los Angeles City Council approved a $150 million cut to their city’s police department.
The two exceptions were Indianapolis, where Democrat Mayor Joe Hogsett resisted calls for defunding the city’s police department budget last year, and instead proposed a $7 million police budget increase, and Baltimore which sustained the budget, but City-State Attorney Marilyn Mosby announced she would no longer prosecute prostitution, drug possession, or other minor offenses.
Democrat Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon, a city where 2021 homicides have increased nearly 12% year-over-year, the number of people shot up 9%, violent crime up 4%, and property crime up 4%, is no longer prosecuting a range of “misdemeanor” crimes, from resisting arrest to drug possession, making criminal threats, and driving with no license.
New York District Attorney Alvin Bragg, where 2021 crime rates in almost every major category have returned to levels not seen in five years, has also said his office won’t prosecute misdemeanors, including resisting arrest. For instance, a suspect who would previously have been charged with armed robbery of a store will instead be charged with petit larceny, a misdemeanor, if no one is seriously injured and there is no “genuine risk of physical harm.”
At least 16 cities across the country from East Coast to West, including Indianapolis and Milwaukee, have set new homicide records in 2021: Albuquerque, New Mexico; Atlanta, Georgia; Austin, Texas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Columbus, Ohio; Jackson, Mississippi; Louisville, Kentucky; Macon, Georgia; New Haven, Connecticut; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Portland, Oregon; Rochester, New York; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Tucson, Arizona.
Again, all these cities have at least one thing in common: Each is headed by Democrat mayors.
And yes, the public is beginning to notice, with a July 2021 Washington Post-ABC News poll revealing that a 59% majority of Americans believe crime is an “extremely” or “very” serious problem, an increase from 51% in fall 2020, and the highest level since 2017.
Americans give Biden negative ratings for how he has handled crime, with 38% approving and 48% disapproving, and with 14% offering no opinion. A 55% majority believed that increasing funding for police departments would reduce violent crime.
Carjackings have also spiked dramatically in major cities across the U.S., with a 153% year-over-year 2020 increase in Democrat-headed Washington, D.C. where Psaki commutes to work every day.
A growing wave of violence against police saw 73 officers intentionally shot and killed in the line of duty last year, a 38% increase from the 45 in 2020, and the highest number since 1995.
President Biden had tweeted on April 12, 2021, about a need to address the “trauma that Black America experiences every day” from police shootings. And on Oct. 16, during the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service in Washington, he lamented that the promise of “equal and impartial justice” was denied in “too many communities — Black and Brown” and that too many families “are grieving unnecessary losses of their sons, their daughters, their fathers, their brothers” from police violence.
More recently, in remarks offered on the occasion of meetings with New York Mayor Eric Adams on Feb. 3 following the latest fatal shootings of two police officers where homicides are already up 32% over the same period in 2021, Joe Biden attributed the principal cause to guns – with virtually no mention of blame on liberal enforcement policies toward criminals who illegally acquire and use them.
Biden emphasized a root cause need to “shut down rogue gun dealers” and “make sure that people who are not allowed to have a gun, don’t get them in the first place.”
The president said that while he’s not for defunding police, “We need more social workers. We need mental health workers. We need more people who when you’re called on these scenes and someone is about to jump off a roof, there’s not just someone standing there with a — with a weapon; it’s someone who also knows how to talk to people — talk them down.”
Explain to their loved ones how those extra social workers would have “talked down” the murders of those two New York police officers, 22- year-old Jason Rivera and 27-year-old Wilbert Mora, when they responded to a routine Jan. 21 domestic violence call at a Harlem apartment and an assailant emerged from a bedroom repeatedly shooting them execution-style as they lay on the ground.
In response to spokesperson Jen Psaki’s copout about not knowing what being “soft-on-crime consequence even means,” the answer lies with Biden administration failures to enact and enforce hard policies against perpetrators rather than disrespecting, defaming, and demoralizing those who protect us.
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