Top Biden adviser blames guns for crime surge and insists Republicans defunded police

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President Joe Biden’s senior adviser Cedric Richmond blamed a nationwide crime surge on guns on Sunday and insisted Republicans defunded the police earlier in the year.

His comments follow an announcement from the Justice Department that it is implementing "cross-jurisdictional firearms trafficking strike forces" in five U.S. cities to track and stop the illegal transfer of firearms amid unprecedented spikes in crime. When asked what is behind the rise in violence, Richmond insisted firearms, including so-called “assault weapons,” were the culprit.

“Well, part of [the crime surge] is the plethora of guns that are flooding the streets of this country, and that's something that the president wants to deal with,” the top adviser said on a segment of Fox News Sunday. “He knows the toll that violence takes on families and especially gun violence and what it's doing over the last 18 months in this country.”

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“But look, crime was down in the '90s when we banned assault weapons,” he added. “And so, it's time to ban assault weapons again. The president supports that, he's asked Congress to do that. And you have to look at access to guns when you talk about fighting violent crime.”

When pressed about whether the crime surge could be caused by rampant law enforcement retirements, declines in prosecutions, or "defund the police" policies that followed the death of George Floyd, Richmond put the blame on the GOP for failing to support Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which he said included funds for police departments.

“And let's talk about who defunded the police,” he said. “When we were in Congress last year trying to pass a rescue plan — I’m sorry, not the rescue plan but an emergency relief plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters, it was the Republicans who objected to it. And in fact, they didn't get funding until the American Rescue Plan, which our plan allowed state and local governments to replenish their police departments and do the other things that are needed.”

“So, look, Republicans are very good at staying on talking points of who says defund the police, but the truth is, they defunded the police, we funded crime intervention and a whole bunch of other things,” Richmond added. “So I think that this is a very smart, comprehensive approach to dealing with violence in our communities.”

In a June 20 report, the Washington Examiner found that 38 law enforcement officers were killed in the first six months of 2021, compared to 27 in the same time frame in 2020, equating to a 41% increase. The uptick in deaths was coupled with precipitous crime surges in Atlanta, New York City, and Baltimore.

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In New York City, authorities for the month of May reported a 73% increase in shooting incidents, a 47% uptick in robbery, and a 21% jump in felony assault when paired with data from the same time frame in 2020.

In Atlanta, murder is up 58%, rape has risen 98%, aggravated assault has seen a 28% jump, thefts from vehicles surged 27%, and the rate of grand theft auto is up 36% so far in 2021, compared to police statistics from 2020. Similar trends have been noted by police in Baltimore, where nonfatal shootings have risen 16%, gun-related homicides are up 9%, and attempted rape rose 44% so far in 2021, in contrast to 2020.

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Tags: News, Joe Biden, Biden Administration, Crime, Second Amendment, Justice Department, Firearms, Police, Law Enforcement

Original Author: Jake Dima

Original Location: Top Biden adviser blames guns for crime surge and insists Republicans defunded police

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