A slew of Democratic enclaves are moving toward tougher crime policies in a reversal of 2020 reforms in the lead-up to the 2024 presidential election.

America’s Democratic cities and states are increasingly adopting stringent law-and-order measures that would have been considered taboo in the years following 2020’s Black Lives Matter protests opposing law enforcement agencies. They are amplifying police authority in response to heightened public concern and outrage fueled by a surge in crimes like murder, carjacking and retail theft.

Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday that she was deploying the National Guard and New York State Police to New York City subways because of the spike in transit crime.

“I’m … going to demonstrate that Democrats fight crime as well,” Hochul said in a Thursday MSNBC interview. “So this narrative that Republicans have said and hijacked the story that we’re soft on crime, that we defund the police. No.”

New York City Mayor Eric Adams is in agreement with the governor.

“Nothing encourages the feeling of safety more than having a uniformed officer present from the bag checks when you first come into the system to watching them walk through the subway cars to the platforms,” the mayor asserted during a Wednesday interview with FOX 5 New York.

Adams’ predecessor, former New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio agreed to defund the police in 2020 by cutting its budget by $1 billion, according to The New York Times.

San Francisco and Washington, D.C., both advanced tougher crime policies Tuesday in contrast to previous reforms, such as defunding police.

San Francisco voters on Tuesday approved two Mayor London Breed-backed ballot measures, Politico reported.

Proposition E grants police more liberty to go after suspects in cars, enables the deployment of drones and surveillance cameras and decreases paperwork mandates. Proposition F compels adult welfare recipients who take drugs to go through treatment in order to get cash assistance.

Breed, a Democrat, previously advocated for defunding the police and cut the police and sheriff departments’ budgets by $120 million. However, she reversed course on her crime policies as moderates joined the mayoral race against her, according to Politico.

Washington, D.C.’s city council on Tuesday unanimously approved a bill known as the “Secure DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2024” to backtrack on liberal  reforms following homicides increasing to their highest point in 25 years under Mayor Muriel Bowser’s tenureaccording to Axios.

Three armed men carjacked Democratic Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar in D.C. in October. Mike Gill, an official from former President Donald Trump’s administration, died following a violent carjacking rampage February in D.C.

D.C.’s bill establishes a new crime for organized retail theft and resurrects drug-free zones as well as a law from the 1990s to prevent loitering, measures that Bowser proposed in October, according to Axios.

Bowser’s press office pointed the Daily Caller News Foundation to the mayor’s statement on the bill passing.

“Passing and implementing Secure DC is a critical step in the work to build a safer DC by rebalancing our public safety and justice ecosystem in favor of safety and accountability,” she said. “We are a city that is committed to creating opportunity and that believes in second chances, but we will not tolerate violence and we will not tolerate criminal activity that disrupts our sense of safety and our ability to build thriving neighborhoods.”

Oregon passed Measure 110 in 2020, becoming the first state in the country to decriminalize hard drugs like cocaine, heroin, oxycodone and methamphetamine, according to OPB, a local media outlet. However, both houses of the state legislator passed HB 40002 by a 21 to 8 vote to reimpose criminal penalties for drug possession, which the Democratic Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek will sign, according to CNN on Friday.

Moreover, George Soros-backed incumbent Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón faces stiff competitionin the ongoing race for his position as his soft crime policies receive backlash and his opponents run on tougher policies.

Gascón’s policies include rejecting “gang enhancements” and other ways to lengthen sentences, promoting cashless bail and declining to prosecute many misdemeanors, according to the NYT. Property crime, such as car thefts and burglaries, increased significantly under his tenure.

The district attorney got sworn in in December 2020 and confronted a recall effort over his crime policy in 2022, which he survived in August after the petition failed to meet the requisite number of signatures.

“On my first day in office, I will make it clear to the public and to the criminals that the Golden Age for Criminals has ended,” Gascón’s leading opponent Nathan Hochman previously told the DCNF. “I will eliminate all of Gascon’s blanket pro-criminal policies and remove the handcuffs Gascon has put on the over 900 prosecutors and put them back on the criminals.”

Hochman was previously a U.S. assistant attorney general who in 2022 lost an election to become California attorney general as the Republican nominee.

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) is also attempting to shift the partisan narrative regarding crime. as the election approaches.

“The murder rate skyrocketed under Donald Trump and crime rates have fallen under President Biden,” DNC Rapid Response Director Alex Floyd stated on March 8. “Trump tried to defund law enforcement programs every year he was in office and continues to side with January 6 insurrectionists over law enforcement who defended the Capitol. Trump and MAGA Republicans are now running on a dangerous agenda that would make our communities less safe and roll back the progress President Biden has made to bring down crime rates – but voters won’t let Trump put our communities at risk.”

Hochul, Adams, Breed, Kotek, Gascón and the DNC did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

Jason Cohen on March 10, 2024

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