The Fraternal Order of Police accused White House press secretary Jen Psaki of downplaying rising crime rates around the country and mocking the idea that certain cities are seeing harsh consequences from being “soft on crime.”
On Monday, FOP President Patrick Yoes released a statement in response to comments Psaki made during a recent appearance on the podcast “Pod Save America,” saying he thinks “it’s wrong—very wrong” for Psaki to make light of the issue.
“There are many reasons for this escalating violence in many of our communities,” he continued, “and one of them is agenda-driven prosecutors who have gone rogue. Many of them are refusing to bring charges against so-called ‘low-level’ or ‘nonviolent’ offenders. Under their leadership, which has been abhorrent in many cases, many violent offenders don’t stay in jail—they’re back on the streets and free to commit more crimes.”
“That is the universe in which I, and millions of Americans, live in,” Yoes added.
(Video: Fox News via National Fraternal Order of Police)
Psaki made the controversial comments to a friendly audience — the four podcast hosts all served as former Obama aides — while discussing news coverage on various outlets. She laughingly compared Fox News to other networks, saying that while other channels were focused on Ukraine, on Fox News “Jeanine Pirro [is] talking about ‘soft-on-crime consequences.’ I mean, what does that even mean, right? So there’s an alternate universe on some coverage. What’s scary about it is a lot of people watch that.”
“They think that the president isn’t doing anything to address people’s safety in New York,” she added, “and that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
She then insisted, “People care more about what’s happening in their lives than what’s necessarily happening in every cable news chyron every day.”
Yoes countered this assertion by saying, ““I think it’s wrong—very wrong—for Ms. Psaki to suggest that violent crime in our country is of no concern or to just laugh it off.”
He continued: “She may feel safe in the White House, one of the most protected buildings in the United States, but not everyone feels safe in their workplace. The world we find ourselves in is dangerous and is becoming increasingly more so. Tens of thousands of people have been the victims of crime this month alone and some of them never made it back home.”
Statistics back up the police union on this.
In 2021, at least 16 major cities across America broke a record for homicides. Meanwhile, 28 police officers across the nation were shot this year during the month of January, compared to 17 in January 2020 and January 2021.
Republican response to Psaki on her question regarding consequences of “soft on crime” policies has been pointed.
‘It means because of Democratic policies like bail reform and defunding the police, there has been a record spike in murders,’ said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) on Twitter, and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) said her remarks were “completely out of touch.”
Other Twitter users chimed in, as well:
If you’re concerned about skyrocketing crime rates, and don’t give a flip about Ukraine, you live in an “alternate universe” according to Jen. If you want to be on the “right side of history,” you need to start obsessing about Putin & beating war drums like the cool kids on CNN.
— Deb Heine, Dissident (@NiceDeb) January 31, 2022
It means that due to being soft on crime, crime is getting worse. You can thank me later.
— PatEmac (@pat_emac) January 31, 2022
What do you mean, “What does it mean?” It means that no enforcing laws have devastating consequences for real people, their communities and out nation as a whole. It’s mind-boggling that she doesn’t get that.
— LovelyReba (@LovelyReba) January 31, 2022
Psaki attempted to clarify her remarks in the White House Briefing Room on Monday.
“What I was speaking to was a chyron on Fox News…that suggested this administration is soft on crime with no basis.”
“Facts speak for themselves,” she continued. “President Biden has proposed a significant increase for local cops programs in his budget, more than the prior president. That’s a fact. So if those facts are uncomfortable I’m sorry for people who feel they need to be critical, but the president has been a longtime advocate of addressing crime, he’s never been for defunding the police.”
An increase for “local cops programs” may seem to many on the right like the arsonist running in to put out the fire. The Daily Mail reports that several major cities across the US have seen carjackings rise by over 100 percent in a trend some are attributing in part to lax punishment.
In Washington, D.C., where Psaki works, there was a 153% increase in carjackings between 2019 and 2020, and in 2021 another 18% increase after that.
In Chicago, 1,849 carjackings were reported last year, which represents a 30 percent increase from the 1,413 cases reported in 2020.
In other blue cities, the trend continues. New York City has seen carjacking rising by more than 350 percent in the past three years, to 510 in 2021. This comes on the heels of the new directives issued by the recently elected DA Alvin Bragg, who instructed prosecutors to downgrade felonies to misdemeanors in certain cases. For instance, a suspect who would have been charged with armed robbery of a store would instead be charged with petit larceny, a misdemeanor, if no one was seriously injured and there was no “genuine risk of physical harm.”
The directives came despite New York City seeing a surge in violent crime. Bragg’s prosecutors have also been told not to seek bail requirements for suspects awaiting trial and to consider certain circumstances in which charges should be downgraded, including certain cases of armed robbery and drug dealing.
Far-left actor Michael Rapaport had something to say about this last week as he posted a video that he took of a thief loading up bags at his local Rite Aid and casually walking out of the store.
“I was watching him the whole time! My man just went Christmas shopping in January,” the actor said.
What did I just witness?
Dude went straight shopping pic.twitter.com/0vQRCpGsVv
— MichaelRapaport (@MichaelRapaport) January 25, 2022
That Upper East Side Rite Aid store will be closing on February 15, and 63 other locations will close in the coming months, primarily due to high theft. They are following the example of Walgreens, which has shuttered 17 of its 70 San Francisco locations for the same reason.
Violent crime is on the rise, too. Fox News reported that at least 16 cities across the United States set records for murders in 2021 and that, across 22 major U.S. cities, murders rose 5%, gun assaults increased 8%, aggravated assaults increased 4%, and domestic violence incidents increased 4% last year.
Americans are indeed concerned by, as Psaki put it during the podcast, “what’s happening in their lives.” According to a Fox Business poll last month, 77% of registered voters said they are “extremely” or “very” concerned about higher crime rates, the second most pressing issue for Americans after inflation.
How funny is it now, Ms. Psaki?
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