According to the Biden administration, crime is spiking in big cities due to “COVID.” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot offers an even more brazen explanation for the rise of crime: the negligence of businesses. “We still have retailers that won’t institute plans like having security officers in their stores, making sure that they’ve got cameras that are actually operational, locking up their merchandise at night, chaining high-end bags. These purses can be something that is attracting a lot of organized retail theft units,” she has said.
In analyzing crime, Democrats carefully exclude from consideration one of the most obvious causes of it: their own soft-on-crime policies. A crime spree under Democrats is no more surprising than a surge at the border under them. Both criminals and illegal immigrants can interpret the party’s inviting signals.
On crime, the Democrats have sounded the most uncertain of trumpets, communicating at best ambivalence about fighting it. Criminals correctly see a lack of resolve in the party’s defund-the-police chatter, its drive to weaken the criminal justice system in the name of “equity,” and its woke propaganda that empowers criminals at the expense of cops.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva says the explanation for his city’s crime wave is simple: the city’s district attorney, George Gascon, a darling of the Democrats, won’t enforce the law.
“Roughly 12,000 cases in his first year in office that he has not prosecuted that we made the arrest, did the investigation, established all the elements of the crime, presented it, and they decide, well our special order says we’re just not going to prosecute it at all, so that’s 12,000 times that the crook walked away scot-free,” Villanueva told Tucker Carlson. “What kind of message is that selling to the criminal community or sending to the criminal community right now? And actually, your 12 percent — no, for LA County, our jurisdiction, homicides are up over 40 percent this year alone and that number is just astonishing. Grand theft auto is up over 25 percent.”
Wherever pro-criminal prosecutors reign, crime proliferates. That is hardly a coincidence. The flakiness of San Francisco’s district attorney, Chesa Boudin, is beyond parody. Even some San Francisco progressives are fed up with his indulgence of criminals. He is facing a recall next year. Walgreens, among other businesses, has closed stores in the city, owing to Boudin’s reluctance to prosecute retail crime. After San Francisco Mayor London Breed tried to downplay the store closings, Walgreens issued a statement saying that they had made “investments in security measures in stores across the city to 46 times our chain average in an effort to provide a safe environment.”
Meanwhile, Larry Krasner, another self-consciously progressive district attorney, has had to apologize for saying that Philadelphia is not suffering a “crisis in crime.” In fact, Philadelphia has been the scene of over 500 homicides this year.
That all of this crime is taking place in Democrat-run cities puts the Biden administration in an awkward spot. To address the problem would require admitting the failure of liberal policies. It is no wonder Jen Psaki would rather blame crime on COVID. Besides, Biden and Kamala Harris support those policies for the most part. Harris famously tried to raise bail money for looters and completely subscribes to the view that critical race theory should shape prosecutorial decisions. She supports the drive of Gascon and others to redefine felonies as misdemeanors.
Of course, this is happening at the very moment that Biden’s Justice Department is treating those guilty of misdemeanors like hardened felons. Retirees in tri-cornered hats are languishing in jail for the minor offense of walking into the Capitol on January 6, while rapists in Democrat-run cities walk free.
The core functions of the government, such as securing the border and fighting serious crime, leave the Democrats bored. They would much rather expend their energies on political prosecutions. They whip themselves into a lather about hooliganism on January 6, but they can’t summon similar outrage over skyrocketing homicide and robbery rates in cities that they control.
As Americans in cities like Chicago cower in their homes, the Democrats busy themselves with denunciations of Kyle Rittenhouse and Julian Assange. It is hard to believe that Biden once fancied himself a tough-on-crime Democrat. As president, he has been a puppet in the hands of the far left — a collection of ideologues steeped in the toxic propaganda of Black Lives Matter who fear cops far more than criminals.