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Violent boomerang: Liberals victimized by crime policies they advocated

"This chaos is the result of Democrat-led Soft on Crime policies, no different than their Open Border debacle," Rep. Burgess Owens said. The chickens may have come home to roost, but will it sway public policymakers' minds?

Published: October 3, 2023 11:03pm

Updated: October 4, 2023 12:03am

Leftists and Democrats are being victimized by crime policies they have supported, with the armed carjacking of Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Tx.) on Monday night becoming a lightning rod for the issue.

Following the death of George Floyd in police custody in May 2020, Black Lives Matter riots spread across the U.S. with calls to “Defund the Police,” and support from liberal and Democrat supporters. However, some of those same supporters are now victims of increased crime in cities that embraced the BLM movement, in which defunding or eliminating police altogether has been a central rallying point.

On Monday night, Cuellar was carjacked at gunpoint in Washington's Navy Yard neighborhood, but was unharmed. Police have not yet apprehended the multiple assailants.

"Three guys came out of nowhere, and they pointed guns at me," Cuellar said. "I looked at one with a gun, and another with a gun, a third one behind me. So they said they wanted my car, and I said, 'Sure.'"

Cuellar is generally considered a "centrist" and while a Democrat, has specifically rejected calls to defund the police. But the attack raises questions about that party's platform and direction, and whether it is, as some like Rep. Randy Feenstra (R-Ia.) say, "soft on crime."

In another incident early Monday morning, freelance journalist and former city employee, Josh Kruger, was shot and killed in his Philadelphia home. Police said that no weapon has been recovered and there have been no arrests.

The openly queer journalist wrote about drug abuse, homelessness, and LGBT topics, according to Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner. Kruger wrote at various times for the Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia Weekly, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Philadelphia Citizen.

On Saturday, Kruger reposted on X (formerly Twitter) a July 2020 post from Dilbert comic strip creator Scott Adams, which reads, “If Biden is elected, there's a good chance you will be dead within the year.” Kruger wrote in his repost, “The Dilbert dude is like Nostradamus. Look at this prediction from 2020. Wow. Eerie.”

Also early on Monday morning, social justice advocate Ryan Carson was stabbed to death in New York City. He was standing on the street with his girlfriend when he was stabbed, according to CBS News. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made, police said.

Carson lobbied for safe injection facilities in 2021 by walking from New York City to Albany and was a campaign manager for New York Public Interest Research Group, focusing on recycling and solid waste.

On Monday last week, CEO of Baltimore startup EcoMap Technologies, Pava LaPere, was found dead on the roof of her apartment building after her murder, which police believe occurred the Friday before. LaPere posted in support of Black Lives Matter on Instagram and focused on racial disparities in entrepreneurship.

The man suspected of her murder, Jason Billingsley, who was arrested last Wednesday, already had a warrant out for his arrest in a separate incident of arson and rape. Billingsley is a convicted felon and registered sex offender, after previously serving time in prison for assault and a rape attempt.

He received a 30-year sentence for the first-degree sex offense in 2013, but 16 years were shaved off of his term. Billingsley served about nine years and three months of his 14-year sentence after earning enough diminution credits to cause a mandatory release.

"It is very clear that this individual posed a substantial danger, that he had been noncompliant and was clearly violating the terms of his supervision after being released, and that alone should be enough to make sure that we keep him off the streets," Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott said to reporters. Scott himself has been a proponent of replacing many police officers with social workers and healthcare providers.

Last month, a Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party official was beaten in a carjacking outside her home. Shivanthi Sathanandan, the second vice chairwoman for the DFL, said, “I have a broken leg, deep lacerations on my head, bruising, and cuts all over my body. And I have rage,” adding that the beating occurred in front of her two children. The DFL platform is vague on the issue of zero-bail or defunding the police, saying only that they oppose "barriers to participation in society." 

“These men knew what they were doing. I have NO DOUBT they have done this before. Yet they are still on OUR STREETS. Killing mothers. Giving babies psychological trauma that a lifetime of therapy cannot ease. With no hesitation and no remorse,” she continued.

Conversely, three years before being attacked, Sathanandan posted on Facebook, “We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.” That same month, she thanked the Minneapolis School Board for terminating its contract with the Minneapolis Police Department after the death of George Floyd.

Rep. Dan Meuser (R-Pa.) posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday, "Anyone who denies crime has skyrocketed since the defund the police movement is, well, a denier and part of the problem. Glad Henry Cuellar is okay after being carjacked, but countless citizens face unruly crime everyday. It’s time to stop crime, not deny its rampant existence."

Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah) also posted on X on Tuesday, "Rep. Cuellar was carjacked near my same DC apartment building. This chaos is the result of Democrat-led Soft on Crime policies, no different than their Open Border debacle. It's time for Democrats to start taking the safety of Americans seriously."

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