McCarthy, Jordan demand Biden's DOJ reject 'radical demands' to defund police amid crime spikes


House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan pressed Attorney General Merrick Garland in a letter Friday to speak against “radical demands” to defund police in major cities that are seeing crime spikes ahead of what may be a “violent summer.” 

“In the face of deteriorating public safety in American communities, it confounds us, and we hope you, that cities across the country even entertain the idea of defunding their police departments. Yet, over the past year, we have seen several major cities pursue these radical and reckless policies,” McCarthy, R-Calif., and Jordan, R-Ohio, say in the letter, first obtained by Fox News. 

“As local law enforcement agencies brace for a difficult summer, we ask that you reject the radical demands of those who wish to weaken law enforcement by defunding the police and other tactics,” they told the newly-minted attorney general.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) does not have control over local decisions to reduce funding for police, which have happened in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and elsewhere. 

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And Garland during his confirmation hearing emphasized that he doesn’t support defunding police, which is consistent with President Biden’s stance dating back the the presidential campaign when he said police need more money for better training. 

“President Biden has said he does not support defunding the police and neither do I,” Garland said.

McCarthy and Jordan said that as the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, Garland and his DOJ can “provide federal leadership in preventing crime” by “rejecting radical and reckeless proposals to defund the police.”

Among the consequences of the police defunding movements, McCarthy and Jordan said, is that, “crime is on the rise in nearly every category, but perhaps most disturbing is the increase in homicides in major American cities.”

“The early data shows no improvement in crime rates for 2021,” they continued. “According to recent data, several major American cities have reported increased homicide rates in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks about a jury's verdict in the case against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, at the Department of Justice, Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Attorney General Merrick Garland speaks about a jury’s verdict in the case against former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, at the Department of Justice, Wednesday, April 21, 2021 in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)

Late last month Garland announced a DOJ effort aimed at protecting “communities from the recent increase in major violent crimes.”

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That effort, according to a DOJ press release, focuses on building trust between law enforcement and communities; spending more on violence prevention programs; targeting resources at “the most significant drivers of gun crime and other violent crime”; and aiming to properly measure whether there’s a decrease in crime verses simply an increase in prosecutions. 

“The Deputy Attorney General is issuing a comprehensive strategy to deploy our federal resources in the most effective way, disrupting the most dangerous threats and supporting the ground-level efforts of local law enforcement,” Garland said.

Fox News’ Jon Michael Rasch contributed to this report. 

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