Pennsylvania police slam longtime Dem Sen. Casey 'aligning' himself with defund the police group: 'Dangerous'

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Police leaders in Pennsylvania are railing against longtime Democratic Sen. Bob Casey for aligning himself with a pro-defund the police group as he gears up for a reelection campaign that is anticipated to be a nail-biter.

"At a time when there were four shootings in four days on our local public transit system, and law enforcement across the Commonwealth is understaffed, Casey's decision to align himself with these defund the police activists is alarming and extremely dangerous," Folcroft Deputy Police Chief and Delaware County FOP Lodge 27 President Chris Eiserman said Wednesday in a press conference while flanked by other law enforcement officials.

His comments were in response to Invisible Philadelphia and state chapter Pennsylvania Indivisible throwing their support behind Casey this week as he campaigns to retain his Senate seat.

"Indivisible Philadelphia and the #IndivisiblesOfPA enthusiastically support @Bob_Casey for re-election to the US Senate! #PASen," Indivisible Philadelphia tweeted Wednesday, adding that the state chapter of the progressive group also endorsed Casey.

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Sen. Bob Casey
WASHINGTON - APRIL 18: Sen. Bob Casey, Jr., D-Pa., leaves the Capitol after a vote on Tuesday, April 18, 2023. (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Indivisible Philadelphia describes itself as a "grassroots organization of volunteers determined to advance a progressive agenda by resisting corruption, authoritarianism, and inequality in our governmental institutions." The group has also repeatedly advocated for police departments to be defunded, most notably in 2020 when defund the police and Black Lives Matter protests and riots unfolded in cities from coast to coast.

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"We won’t stop until they #DefundThePolice," the group’s website reads in a June 25, 2020 post titled, "Make Your Demand!"

"When we said #DefundThePolice we meant fewer officers on the street terrorizing Black and Brown residents. We meant moving away from the racist system of criminalization and penal punishment, and moving toward community-led public safety methods and programs," the post continued, which came following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis that year.

When reached for comment Wednesday, the group’s leader told Fox News Digital that police should be funded for "policing work," while other funds should be directed to support social workers and health officials to handle non-policing issues in communities.

"Our position has always been that police should be funded to do policing work. And that for other kinds of problems in the community, adequate funding should be provided for healthcare professionals, social workers, and mental health professionals as appropriate," Indivisible Philadelphia group leader Vicki Miller said.

Eiserman continued during the press conference that Casey’s policies in office are more in line with Indivisible Philadelphia than with Pennsylvania voters.

"​​We all know [Philadelphia District Attorney] Larry Krasner progressive approach to letting criminals back on the street isn't working. And yet Bob Casey supports Soros-funded prosecutors in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, who have led crime get completely out of control. Casey voted against the $300 million to anti-narcotics and opioid activities carried out by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He voted against Kate's Law twice, which would have set a mandatory imprisonment minimum for deported felons who illegally reenter the US," he said.

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Philadelphia skyline
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - JANUARY 28: A general view of the Philadelphia skyline on January 28, 2023 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Bob Casey for Senate spokesperson Maddy McDaniel detailed in comment to Fox News Digital on Wednesday that the senator has provided needed tools to law enforcement, while going after Casey's anticipated Republican Senate challenger Dave McCormick. The spokesperson did not address whether Casey supports Indivisible Philadelphia's support of defunding the police.

"Senator Casey has delivered hundreds of millions to fund bulletproof vests, SWAT gear, police cars, and ballistics shields for officers, and has worked alongside law enforcement to address threats like fentanyl trafficking. David McCormick went against law enforcement when he opposed a border deal that was supported by border patrol, and he spent his career investing for the Chinese government, which is now teaming up with Mexican cartels to pump fentanyl into Pennsylvania. We can’t trust him to prioritize our safety — only his bottom line."

Eiserman, along with dozens of other law enforcement officers - including 47 sheriffs in the state - have endorsed McCormick in his bid to unseat Casey, arguing he would support the rule of law and have police officers' backs.

"Thankfully, Pennsylvania has a law and order Senate candidate that will work with the police and not against us: Dave McCormick. Dave's a combat veteran who takes threats to Pennsylvanians’ safety seriously. He thoughtfully will consider how the actions of politicians in Washington affect us in our local communities," he said Wednesday at the presser.

Crime in Philadelphia spiraled after 2020, including 2021 ending with a record number of homicides, at more than 550, while 2022 ended the year with record carjackings, at more than 1,000. Homicides and carjackings have since dipped, but crime persists in the city, including repeat shootings on public transportation this year.

Violent crime across the nation rose in 2020, with murders spiking by nearly 30% that year compared to 2019, according to FBI data, marking the largest single-year increase in killings since the agency began tracking the crimes. Experts have pinned blame on that year's spike, as well as following years' crime trends, to the defund the police movement, which sparked a mass exodus of cops from the line of work.

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2020 riot

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As of January, Philly was short more than 800 officers, while Pittsburgh was short roughly 110 offices as of last month, local news reports show.

Casey has positioned himself as a supporter of law enforcement, though stipulates on his Senate page that "we must reform" policing systems.

"Senator Casey believes that our Nation is at a moral crossroads, and we can no longer accept a criminal legal system – informed by centuries-old prejudices and racial bias – that turns a blind eye to the injustice and systemic racism impacting our communities of color.  He believes that we can and we must reform these systems, while still supporting our law enforcement and holding accountable those who abuse their positions of public trust," the senator states under the "Justice and Law Enforcement."

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The longtime senator, who was first elected in 2007, has previously signaled support for Black Lives Matter, which supports defunding the police, in social media posts in 2020. He also praised sports teams that boycotted games in 2020 following the police shooting of Jacob Blake in August of that year.

"We must end police brutality and systematic racism in policing," Casey said in a press release in 2020. "It is time for us to create structural change that safeguards every American’s right to safety and equal justice. I am proud to cosponsor the Justice in Policing Act of 2020, which will hold police accountable and improve transparency in policing."

Casey aligning himself with the left-wing group comes as he readies himself for what he previously described as a "close, tough race."

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"But look, there’s a lot on the line every time. Every time I’ve run for public office in Pennsylvania, I’ve had to earn the vote and the trust of the people. And I got to do that, again," he told NBC last month of his anticipated difficult race.

McCormick campaigns in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 17: Pennsylvania Republican Senate candidate Dave McCormick greets supporters at the Indigo Hotel during a primary election night event on May 17, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Casey is expected to face off against McCormick following the state's primaries. McCormick is an Army combat veteran and former CEO of hedge fund Bridgewater Associates, who served as the Commerce Department's Under Secretary of Commerce for Industry and Security as well as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs under former President George W. Bush’s administration.

A recent Emerson College Polling/The Hill survey found McCormick is closing in on Casey, at 41% support to Casey's 45%.

McCormick has received the support of 47 Pennsylvania sheriffs, with Eiserman on Wednesday reiterating that police are backing the Republican in his campaign to unseat Casey.

"It's no surprise that 47 Pennsylvania sheriffs have already endorsed Dave to be our next U.S. senator. Delaware County FOP Lodge 27 is proud to support Dave McCormick in his run to replace Bob Casey as our senator."


Original article source: Pennsylvania police slam longtime Dem Sen. Casey 'aligning' himself with defund the police group: 'Dangerous'