America’s largest police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, harshly criticized White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki for mocking news coverage of rising U.S. crime rates.
“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,” said Patrick Yoes, President of the Fraternal Order of Police, in a statement.
“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.”
Psaki made comments on the podcast, “Pod Save America,” which criticized Fox New for focusing on crime when other national news outlets reported on other stories.
“And then on Fox is Jeanine Pirro talking about ‘soft-on-crime consequences.’ I mean, what does that even mean, right? So, there’s an alternative universe on some coverage. What’s scary about it is a lot of people watch that,” said Psaki.
The press secretary continued saying that Republicans “voted against funding for local cops programs” by voting against the American Rescue Plan.
“In the American Rescue Plan, there was additional funding to support local cops programs, something that every single Republican voted against,” said Psaki in a White House press conference.
“I said in that interview that I know they don’t like it when we call that out. I’m going to keep calling that out because that’s a fact.”
Crime rates soar
Crime rates surged at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and have continued to rise during President Biden’s time in office.
At least 16 cities across the country set records for murders in 2021. According to a recent Council on Criminal Justice study, 22 major U.S. cities saw murders rise 5%, aggravated assaults increase 4%, domestic violence incidents increase 4%, and gun assaults increased 8% in 2021.
Americans are concerned about the increasing crime rates. A recent Fox Business poll shows that 77% of registered voters say they are “very” or “extremely” concerned about higher crime rates, now the second-most-pressing issue after inflation.
According to Yoes, some blame for the rising crime rates lies with “agenda-driven prosecutors who have gone rogue.
Many of them are refusing to bring charges against so-called “low-level” or “nonviolent” offenders, explained Yoes.
“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.”
In San Francisco, District Attorney Chesa Boudin ran on a platform of not prosecuting “quality of life crimes” or other lower-level offenses.
Boudin now faces a recall election this summer as crime soared in San Francisco last year, including a 22.7% rise in larceny thefts and a 16.7% rise in homicides, according to police data.
Further south, Los Angeles District Attorney George Gascon also faces an upcoming recall election. There were almost 400 homicides in the city last year, making it the deadliest year since 2007.
In New York City, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg issued a memo directing prosecutors on only incarcerating for “very serious cases” and seeking alternatives at the start of the year.
After mounting criticism, Bragg walked back his statement saying it gave “the wrong impression” about his plans.