Seven days of mayhem: Random killings expose lethality of Democrat crime policies
More than three-quarters of U.S. voters said violent crime is a major problem in a poll taken one month from Election Day.
A college dad shot by two homeless men high on drugs and long sought by police. An illegal migrant who stabbed eight on the Las Vegas strip. An abused wife slaughtered after her husband was released without cash bail.
In a single week, the Democrats' permissive approach to law enforcement — insecure borders, cashless bail and exploding homelessness — left a lethal wake of innocent victims that shook communities coast to coast and invigorated a political debate less than 30 days from mid-term elections.
"Policymakers have decided that law-abiding citizens are secondary and that those who commit crimes are afforded protections that embolden more crime," Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro in New York told Fox News earlier this week.
Molinaro was reacting to the tragic shooting death of Paul Kutz, a 53-year-old college dad who was gunned down in a suburban New York hotel while visiting his son during family weekend at Marist College.
The suspects were two homeless men wanted in connection with other crimes who were smoking a PCP-like substance and had bomb-making materials in their room, police have said,
New York has been ground zero for liberals' experimentation with cashless bail, and the toll exacted by repeat offenders is mounting daily.
U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the GOP nominee for governor of New York, has focused relentlessly on the killing last week of 40-year-old Keaira Bennefield, who was shot dead in front of her children, while wearing a bulletproof vest and fearing for her life from her husband.
Her husband, Adam Bennefield, is suspected of killing her after he was released on cashless bail on five different charges, including assault, harassment, and menacing — none of which are bail-eligible.
"There are too many pro-criminal laws getting passed right now up in Albany," an exasperated Zeldin said last week. "When do we say it's time to start sticking up for law-abiding New Yorkers instead of sticking up for criminals?"
The crime wave came literally to Zeldin's doorstep on Sunday, when two men were shot in front of his Long Island house with his daughters inside.
The men collapsed by Zeldin's porch as the congressman was headed to a Columbus Day event in the Bronx, making his home a crime scene.
The daughters "were at the kitchen table doing homework," Zeldin said. "One of the bullets landed just 30 feet from them. They acted very swiftly and smartly in response."
Halfway across the country, the iconic Las Vegas Strip was turned into a bloody killing field Thursday when a Guatemalan man illegally in the United States knifed eight victims, killing two, including a showgirl, police said.
The episode stunned tourists and street entertainers alike, some of whom said they were afraid to go back on the streets.
"We're all really distraught — it happened on one of the safer locations on the Strip and at 11 o'clock in the morning," showgirl Mikayla Yegge told the New York Post.
"We don't feel safe being out there," she added. "We don't know what we're going to do next or how we are going to continue to make money."
Former President Donald Trump has encouraged Republicans to make fighting crime a centerpiece of their bid to win back Congress over the final month of the election.
"People are afraid to walk outside to buy a loaf of bread," Trump told Just the News in an interview last week. "And we have to change that."
Crime has been a focal point of several key races where Democrats who supported permissive criminal justice policies in the past — like Wisconsin's Mandela Barnes and Pennsylvania's John Fetterman — have found themselves on the defensive in debates and in television ads by their GOP rivals.
"We have a huge problem with skyrocketing crime," Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisc.) said at a Friday debate. "One of the issues is we're not keeping criminals in jail."
The FBI reported last week that murders rose 4.3% last year, after a record 30% spike in 2020.
The issue has soared to the top of the list for November voters. More than three-quarters of voters said violent crime is a major problem, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday.
Some Democrats are crying uncle, seeking help from the federal government. New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last week demanded that the Justice Department send more law enforcement to her state.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook
- college dad who was gunned down in a suburban New York hotel
- perpetrators were two homeless men
- focused relentlessly on the killing last week of 40-year-old Keaira Bennefield
- two men were shot
- Zeldin said.
- man illegally in the United States
- Mikayla Yegge told the New York Post
- Trump has encouraged Republicans to make fighting crime a centerpiece
- Trump told Just the News
- Friday debate
- FBI reported last week
- POLITICO/Morning Consult poll
- New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham last week demanded