President Joe Biden’s senior adviser Cedric Richmond claimed congressional Republicans “defunded the police” when pressed on the spike in violent crime hitting major American cities.
Richmond appeared on “Fox News Sunday” with host Chris Wallace and shifted blame away from mayors and council members of major U.S. cities, almost entirely Democrat-run, for a widespread surge in violent crime since last summer. The top Biden adviser instead blamed guns and said that the GOP should take responsibility for defunding law enforcement.
“Part of it is the plethora of guns that are flooding the streets of this country, and that’s something that the president wants to deal with,” Richmond said when asked about the explosion in crime rates. “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.”
Wallace then played a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) blaming a “war on police” and decreased prosecution for a swell in police retirements and a surge in violent crime. Graham also slammed Biden’s proposed plan of dealing with the crime spike.
“Senator Graham doesn’t have a clue,” Richmond responded.
“Let’s talk about who defunded the police. When we were in Congress last year trying to pass … an emergency relief plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters, it was the Republicans who objected to it,” he continued. “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.”
“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 said.
The “Defund the Police” movement erupted last summer amid widespread protests and riots over the death of George Floyd. Black Lives Matter activists and Democratic lawmakers pushed for local governments to redirect funding from law enforcement into social programs aimed at those living in poverty.
In the wake of the movement against police, police departments have hemorrhaged officers as crime has spiked in numerous major American cities. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released a statement on Sunday blasting Democrats for the crime surge.
“Over the past year, Democrats’ sustained movement to defund, dismantle, and demonize our cops is taking a toll on our communities,” McCarthy told The Daily Wire. “It has manifested in the crime crisis our nation faces today, yet President Biden remains soft on crime and silent on Democrats’ radical policies.”
“Supporting the police and striving for safe communities should not be partisan objectives – they are shared values of the American people,” McCarthy added. “It’s troubling that Democrats continue to vilify the police at a time when they truly need our support.”
Related: Refund The Police? Major Cities Are Backtracking On Police Cuts After Explosion Of Violent Crime