Last June, I stood at the White House podium and asked an important question: "[W]hy – at the time when violent crime [is] coming down, why would we defund the police who are… responsible for helping America to get to a place where our streets are safe?"
When asked whether it was the Trump White House’s position that defunding the police would lead to increased crime, I replied without hesitation, "Yeah, absolutely" before laying out the important work of law enforcement in 2018: 11,970 murder arrests; 88,130 robbery arrests; 395,800 aggravated assault arrests; and 495, 900 violent crime arrests.
"That’s the police officers who are doing the arresting," I told the White House press corps. "You eliminate police officers, you will have chaos, crime and anarchy in the streets, and that’s something that’s unacceptable to the president."
Fast forward one year later and here we are.
In Minneapolis, where money was diverted from police, there has been an 89% increase in homicides year-to-year.
In New York City, which slashed $1 billion from the New York Police Department’s funds, felony assaults increased by 20.5% while shootings were up 74% in May compared to one year earlier.
And in Los Angeles, where the police department saw its budget cut by $150 million, murders in Los Angeles County climbed by 95%.
I issued a warning to each of these jurisdictions from the White House podium last August, warning of the bloody consequences that would follow their irresponsible decisions to cut funding from police.
Beyond the defund jurisdictions, the FBI’s nationwide murder rate saw its "largest single year increase since the agency began publishing uniform data in 1960," one outlet reported recently. Why? "[D]eadly violence rose as engaged policing fell."
In other words, the demonization of police officers by the left led to law enforcement disengagement and deadly results for Americans.
Amid the surge in violence across the country, the Biden White House has, for the most part, stayed woefully silent – until this week.
Interestingly, as Americans now rank crime one of the most important issues, according to a new poll, the Biden administration has announced that on Wednesday the president is set to address, you got it – crime.
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White House press secretary Jen Psaki seemed to divert blame for the crime spike, on Monday, when she noted that crime has been on the rise "for the last year and a half," therefore preexisting the Biden administration.
This effort to divert blame to Trump ignores entirely the two phenomenon that have taken place over the last year: The defund police movement coupled with violent riots across the nation – both of which President Trump and his administration denounced while Biden rarely weighed in on the issue.
Democrat nominee-turned-President Joe Biden did not make persistent calls for "law and order."
Biden has not bolstered the role of police officers the way President Trump did, regularly acknowledging the importance of law enforcement during police week with speeches at the National Peace Officer’s Memorial Service.
And Biden did not sustain the law and order policies President Trump put in place. Instead, he cancelled them.
In a clear signal to rioters that there will not be repercussions, Biden, in May, revoked Trump’s executive order, declaring "no individual or group has the right to damage, deface or remove any monument by use of force."
Further underscoring that point, the Biden Justice Department has dropped "almost half of federal cases against Portland rioters."
Perhaps most significant of all, however, was Biden’s decision to do away with President Trump’s memo directing the federal government to label lawless cities as "anarchist jurisdictions." Under the order, cities like New York City, Portland and Seattle were classified as "anarchist jurisdictions," and, as a consequence, their federal funding could be pulled.
These were but a few Trump-era policies directed at tackling violent crime. Notable as well was Operation LeGend, named for LeGend Taliferro, a beautiful 4-year-old boy from Kansas City who was shot and killed in his bed. Through federal-local partnership, Operation LeGned led to 6,000 arrests, including 467 for homicide.
By contrast, the 46th president’s remarks on crime in American cities on Wednesday come far too late and will offer far too little. Rather than taking action, as President Trump did, President Biden has chosen to stick his head in the sand.
Derelict Democrats in liberal strongholds across the country are directly responsible for igniting the increase in crime we have witnessed over the last year and a half.
Instead of meaningfully addressing the bloodshed in our streets, the presidency of Joe Biden has sustained it.