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National Police Association spokeswoman Betsy Brantner Smith said “left-wing policies” are sending crime and anti-police sentiment soaring across the U.S.
Smith appeared on the latest episode of Unmuted With Marsha, a Facebook show hosted by Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), set to air on Wednesday. The Daily Wire obtained early access to the latest episode.
The National Police Association is a law enforcement advocacy group that educates on law enforcement tactics and aims to build better relationships between officers and the communities they serve. That relationship has been strained recently following the death of George Floyd while in police custody and the 2020 outbreak of protests against alleged racially biased policing, some of which evolved into riots.
Blackburn began asking Smith about the recent crime spikes that have wracked major American cities in the past two years, dating back to the outbreak of COVID-19 and the conflagration of massive amounts of civil unrest after the jury-adjudicated murder of Floyd. Smith said that part of the crime spike is due to the “vilification of law enforcement” that has continued since Floyd’s death.
“We’ve had this war on cops and, quite frankly, a war on the justice system really since 2014, since the justified police shooting of Michael Brown. But for the last 19 months, since the death of George Floyd, we have had this vilification of law enforcement,” Smith said. She added that “left-leaning policies” that are allowing criminals back into society are also driving the surge.
“The de-prosecution, the refusal to prosecute violent criminals and a host of other, quite frankly, all left-leaning policies … have allowed violent criminals back on the street, have allowed police officers to be vilified,” she said. “So many police officers have left the job or gone to other areas of the country where they are going to be better appreciated. And this whole storm, quite frankly, that we have seen for the last 19 months has led to the homicide of 5,000 more Americans in 2021 than in 2020 and 2020 was a terrible year.”
Some governors have attempted to take advantage of disaffected police officers wanting to leave cities where progressive district attorneys and politicians have instituted more lax criminal justice policies under the name of equity. Republican governors in states such as Tennessee and Florida have actively promoted their states as pro-law enforcement. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis offered officers $5,000 to relocate.
Later in the episode, Smith attacked the progressive call for bail reform, which she says is “really a lack of putting someone in custody to either await trial or to even be punished for a crime.”
“We get all these criminals – many who have committed gun crimes, sex crimes, and other terrible felonies – they are released with no bail, and they maybe have an ankle bracelet to monitor them. But they are back on the streets to offend again and again and again,” Smith said.