Democratic politicians singling out Republican states for their crime issues fail to adequately address the pertinent and increasing issue in their own cities, according to experts.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom recently questioned why Democrats do not push back on Republican crime messaging when Republican states accounted for 8 of the 10 highest murder rates. Democratic Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner argued Wednesday there was no correlation between “being progressive or traditional” and the crime rate, saying the homicide rate in “MAGA states” is 40% higher than in “Biden states.”
Legal and criminal justice experts contended such arguments left out important context about where crime is happening within states and who governs those areas.
“Newsom’s figure is true enough, but is a pure statistical artifact,” Kentucky State University assistant professor Dr. Wilfred Reilly told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Historically, African Americans and indeed ‘redneck’ whites have had a high murder rate, so the highest MR states tend to be Southern places like Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, etc. In contrast, the lowest murder rates are found in North-Eastern purple states like Vermont and Maine.
“However, it’s just silly to pretend most murderers in the Deep South are Republicans,” he added. “Murder, there and pretty much everywhere else, is concentrated in larger cities with Democratic leaders.”
Gov. Newsom (D-CA) on Dems’ messaging problem:
“8 of the top 10 states with the highest murder rates [in 2020] all are Republican states. How did Democrats not know that? … And we’re losing that message? … 67% higher gun death rate in Texas [than CA]. Why don’t we push back?” pic.twitter.com/Oj8DnWBXZI
— The Recount (@therecount) September 28, 2022
Out of 50 U.S. cities with the highest number of violent crimes per 100,000 people in 2019, according to data listed by CBS News, only one of the top 10 — Stockton, California — has a Republican mayor.
Rising crime in major cities has disproportionately harmed black people, the DCNF reported. They were victims of increasingly disproportionate numbers of murders across several major cities during the first half of 2021, based on data the outlet highlighted.
Heritage Foundation legal fellow Zack Smith said that he thought points like those touted by Newsom and Krasner were being pushed to obscure policies of officials in left-wing cities leading to a massive violent crime increase. (RELATED: Desperate Blue City To Hire Civilians Amid Police Shortage, Violent Crime Spike)
“If you look at many of the states that are in this higher murder rate bracket, it’s because the crime is concentrated, by and large, in a few very large cities,” Smith told the DCNF. He mentioned Missouri, which had the eighth highest violent crime rate nationwide in 2018, according to FBI data organized by 24/7 Wall St.
“St. Louis is in Missouri, and St. Louis has one of the worst violent crime rates in the country right now, unfortunately. They also have been kind of ground zero in a lot of ways for the defund the police movement,” Smith argued. “This idea that the policies being implemented by those on the Left, the policies to defund the police, the policies to demoralize the police, the policies not to prosecute certain crimes, not to seek due sentencing penalties, not hold the individual without bail pending trial, the idea that those policies don’t have any consequences, that’s just nonsense.”
Manhattan Institute fellow Charles Lehman told the DCNF that crime is happening on a local level, rather than a state level. He found it “hard to imagine” an argument like the one Democrats have posed “being persuasive for anybody but somebody who already wanted to believe it.”
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