Jason Chaffetz: Democrats' crime surge is real, scary and bringing chaos, not safety, to cities across US

The progressive agenda includes aggressive bail reform policies, the election/appointment of lenient prosecutors, the reclassification of felonies to misdemeanor crimes, and the establishment of sanctuary cities where criminals can safely hide out and reoffend with little fear of accountability. 

Whatever the intent, all of these policies are showing the same outcome: more crime.


Murder rates are up 25% across the board according to FBI data. That’s some 4,000 more murders in 2020 than 2019. That national number masks the more substantial spikes in cities where progressive “criminal justice reforms” are practiced.  

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New York City saw shootings up by 97% in 2020, with homicides up 45%. Chicago, which had already been experiencing a violent crime spike prior to the riots, saw a 55% increase in shootings. It was the same story in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Portland, Minneapolis, Detroit and many other progressive meccas. 

Likewise, the rise of organized retail crime has become so acute in California that major retailers like Walgreens and Target are closing stores. Similar coordinated shoplifting attacks have afflicted Washington, D.C., and New York, among others.

This comes in the wake of progressive reforms that decriminalized shoplifting in California, allowing thieves to take up to $ 950 in goods before they can be charged with a felony. The defunded police have no reason to respond to a shoplifting call. They can’t arrest the perpetrators anyway.  

In other major cities, prosecutors forego filing charges for what they consider minor crimes as part of their agenda to end mass incarceration. Or they use cashless bail programs, only to see people commit violent crimes upon release.

The reprehensible tactic of using rising crime rates to justify disarming crime victims makes us less safe, not more so.

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