The far left has perpetuated lawlessness nationwide and the Biden administration is complicit
Prior to my time in Congress, I had the honor of serving nearly 20 years as a federal prosecutor fighting organized crime and corruption, while putting violent criminals behind bars. With a deep belief that law and order are essential to the functioning of a society, it is disturbing that as a nation we are now witnessing the largest increase in murder rates in decades. Another concern is the Democrats’ lack of courage to address this issue. Unsurprisingly, much of this is happening in Democratic-run cities.
The left often fails to recognize the significant levels of violence against people and property that is occurring across the country, including in Portland, Chicago, New York and San Francisco. Democrats have spent years defunding, disarming and demonizing law enforcement while advancing prosecutors in places like New York select and choose the laws to apply. Additionally, activist judges release repeat offenders with little or no bail, and in communities like the one I represent in central New York, fatally flawed bail reform laws have returned dangerous criminals to the streets and prevented judges from considering public safety when delivering critical accounts. bail and pre-trial release decisions.
If the Democrats wanted to tackle the crime crisis, we would see them act, but right now they seem to care more about deviation. The truth is that violent criminals are emboldened by lenient crime policies and the absence of consequences. Progressive prosecutors across the country are intentionally neglecting their duties to represent the people and protect our communities. They break the law and put criminals back on our streets.
As a former federal prosecutor, I can tell you that those who end up becoming hardened criminals don’t start out committing crimes. Allowing property crimes and offenses to go unchecked breeds a culture of permissiveness, leading perpetrators to eventually commit more serious offences. In the big cities, there continues to be organized large-scale smash and grab type thefts. Such crimes must be taken seriously.
But this is not just a problem specific to petty crime. There has been a disturbing pattern of lawlessness across the United States. Over the past year, I have spoken to law enforcement in several cities and communities across the country. I’ve been consistently told that progressive prosecutors and a pervasive left-wing fueled antagonism toward the police are contributing to a sharp rise in violent crime. Criminals feel emboldened by the police defunding movement while cops are continually held back by woke politicians.
After decades of working hand in hand with law enforcement, I can say with certainty that they face some of the toughest working conditions I have ever seen. Many choose to retire early or pursue other careers due to the difficult nature of the work and lack of public support. Tragically, a record number of police officers were killed in the line of duty last year while doing their job and striving to keep our communities safe. Make no mistake, anti-police rhetoric has contributed to this dangerous environment and played a major role in fueling America’s crime wave.
Regardless of your political party, supporting local law enforcement should be a priority. As a nation, we must hold our elected officials accountable and ensure that our police departments are well funded and supported by their prosecutors.
Katko represents New York’s 24th District and is the senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee.