OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author’s opinion
A fellow New York Democrat is blasting Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez after comments she made in which she downplayed “smash-and-grab” robberies which are on the rise in many major cities.
The Washington Examiner reports:
Former New York Assemblyman Dov Hikind took aim at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for doubting the rise of smash-and-grab robberies in the United States.
Hikind said Ocasio-Cortez has been pushing for policies such as defunding the police and bail reform, which Hikind claimed have led to an increase in crime.
“AOC is out of control. I don’t think she’s living on this planet,” he said in an interview with Fox News . “She’s a danger — I really think she’s a danger. These crimes that are being committed — there are real victims out there.”
He went on to call on other members of the Democratic Party to speak out against her.
“She is a disaster for the average American because of her policies and the things she advocates for and the fact that so many Democrats are fearful of her and the radical Left,” he said. “AOC doesn’t care about victims. She cares about the criminal.”
Ocasio-Cortez recently expressed doubt about the rise in smash-and-grab crimes across the U.S. in an interview with the Washington Times.
“A lot of these allegations of organized retail theft are not actually panning out,” she said. “I believe it’s a Walgreens in California [that] cited it, but the data didn’t back it up.”
The paper noted:
She made the claim after scores of videos documented a rash of attacks by rampaging thieves and reports from big-box stores across the country about an uptick in organized retail theft and violence against employees.
Republicans pounced on the sophomore ‘Squad’ member.
“I don’t know what data she is talking about,” said Rep. Rodney Davis, Illinois Republican.
“But you don’t really need much data from someplace in San Francisco or California. All you need to do is walk down the street to the CVS in Eastern Market,” he said, in reference to a public market about a mile from the U.S. Capitol. “I’ve seen on multiple occasions when I’ve been in there buying things, someone will come in and raid a shelf and walk out.”
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) called the New York Democratic socialist’s remarks “tone-deaf and offensive” to the family of Kevin Nishita, an Oakland security guard and former San Jose police officer who was shot and killed last month while defending a news crew that was reporting on a smash-and-grab theft.
She also got major pushback from the Retail Industry Leader’s Association.
“Respectfully, the congresswoman has no idea what she is talking about. Both the data and stack of video evidence makes fairly clear that this is a growing problem in need of solutions,” Jason Brewer, senior executive vice president of communications for the trade association, told the Washington Times in an email. “If she is not concerned with organized theft and increasingly violent attacks on retail employees, she should just say that.”
“Organized retail crime is one of the top challenges facing” Walgreens the company told the newspaper, adding that the incidents have “evolved beyond shoplifting and petty theft to the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods online.”
Many of the crimes are taking place in California cities, the Times reported:
Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore told reporters [last week] that the wave of organized retail theft began in early November in Chicago, New York and the Bay Area of California and spread to his and other cities.
These crimes, he said, are characterized by multiple people working together to steal merchandise while destroying property and assaulting store employees. Caravans of waiting vehicles park close to high-end retail stores, he said.
“From Nov. 18 to the 28th, the city of Los Angeles had 11 of those types of crimes involving similar [methods] where groups of suspects, working in tandem, worked to steal from high-end clothing stores, often using weapons and physical force to overwhelm and intimidate store employees and other patrons,” Chief Moore said.