Fox New’ Peter Doocy corrected White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday after she gave him an update on a question about so-called “smash-and-grab” robberies, which are on the rise around the country, from the previous day’s briefing.
After Psaki’s response, she said she looked forward to seeing it on the network even as Fox News was broadcasting the press conference live.
On Thursday, the White House correspondent asked what the Biden administration was doing about the mass thefts in California and elsewhere.
“Big cities are dealing with smash-and-grab robberies,” said Doocy. “A record number of police officers have been shot and killed this year. What is President Biden going to do about all this lawlessness?”
“Well, Peter, I would say that, one, the president proposed additional funding in his budget over the funding that had been proposed by the prior president to increase and support local police departments, to make sure we keep cops on the beat, and we ensure that local communities are working in partnership to crack down on crime and any dangers they see in their community. So, that’s one of the steps,” Psaki replied.
“We’ve also worked with a range of communities across the country on strike forces, as you know — something we’ve talked about in the past. We’re continuing to implement that from the Department of Justice,” she continued. “But the president absolutely believes that community police forces can have an important, instrumental effect in helping keep communities safe.”
On Friday, Psaki provided an update for Doocy.
“The Justice Department, the FBI, and the federal law enforcement have been in touch and in contact with jurisdictions where we have seen this high level of retail theft,” she explained. “So, for example, in Los Angeles we’ve seen a rash of robberies. The FBI is providing assistance to a multi-jurisdictional task force led by the L.A. Police Department.
“I’d also note that on top of that the Department of Justice announced last week, that San Francisco, where a number of high-profile retail thefts have happened, will get money to hire 50 more police officers through the COPS program that the president has championed,” she added. “That came as part of a nearly $150 million in similar grants nationwide.”
After Doocy thanked her for the update, she quipped, “I look forward to seeing it on Fox later today.”
“It’s on Fox right now,” Doocy clapped back, pointing at a camera.
“Okay, I bet it is,” a grinning Psaki said in response.
As to the mass thefts, critics contend the problem does not lie with police but rather with liberal district attorneys, prosecutors, and laws in some Democrat-run states that do not hold the thieves accountable.
For instance, more than a dozen people arrested on suspicion of taking part in L.A.-area robberies were quickly released under a state law requiring zero bail for such cases, which is frustrating police.
“All of the suspects taken into custody are out of custody,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said on Thursday as he blamed California’s “zero-bail criteria” for the release of all but one, who was a juvenile.
“There’s criminal elements that are recognizing that condition and are capitalizing on it,” he warned, noting that criminals were being empowered and emboldened by the soft-on-crime approach.
“We are concerned,” the police chief admitted. “You can be arrested for crimes such as burglary — a serious felony, a person coming into your home or business … and that’s a zero bail.
“Meaning that we book and process, identify you, and then your arraignment date is three to four months from now,” Moore added.
“Remember, the vast majority of crime is committed by relatively few people. And when the few people are constantly gaming the system to understand its weaknesses,” they will easily “prey upon society,” he said.
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