The war of words between California Gov. Gavin Newsom and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has heated up in recent months — with both men touting the virtues of their state.
However, a recent report showed that Florida’s crime rate is “trending down” while California’s “skyrockets,” according to Fox News.
Several “crime control policy experts” commented to Fox News that the rise in crime in California “can be attributed to liberal district attorneys in big cities who promote a ‘culture of lawlessness.’”
Heritage Senior Legal Fellow Cully Stimson commented: “If [California] had law and order DAs, if you had a governor of California – like previous governors, including Reagan – who were pro-law enforcement, pro-law and order, and were hammering [DAs] George Gascon and Chesa Boudin and Pamela Price campaigning for law and order DA candidates, you wouldn’t have the disparity between Florida and California in terms of crime rates.”
Comments follow the annual release of the FBI’s crime release data, which profiles 2022 crime trends. The report showed that on a national level violent crime decreased by 1.7%, approximating 2019 levels.
However, stats from Florida and California tell a different story. Violent crime in Florida fell by nearly 32% in 2022, while California saw an increase of approximately 13% since 2019.
The FBI established the National Incident-Based Reporting System in 2021. The new reporting system provides increased transparency on crime trends across the country.
The FBI reported the most recent report represents data collection from 93.5% of the U.S. population.
One of the authors of the Heritage Foundation’s report titled “The Blue City Murder Problem” told Fox: “Crime, especially violent crime, is demographically and geographically concentrated in the inner cities. That’s just a fact.”
The Heritage Foundation and various conservative groups have pushed back against the Democratic assertions that America has a “red state murder problem.”
Proponents of stiffer penalties for criminals and increasing support to law enforcement officers point out the FBI’s report reveals that out of America’s top 30 cities with spiraling homicide rates, 27 were led by Democratic mayors and “at least 14 Soros-backed prosecutors.
The three California cities with spiraling crime problems are Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco. Notably, two of those cities are represented by Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Rep. Maxine Waters.
Florida’s Jacksonville was the only city in the state where an increase in crime was reported.
The report stated: “There were 2,554 homicides in those 30 cities through June 2022. In the 14 cities with Soros-backed rogue prosecutors, there were 1,752 homicides, representing 68 percent of homicides in the 30 top homicide cities in the United States.”
The Heritage Foundation has noted that Florida’s “law and order policies” are significantly stronger than in California.
The Heritage Foundation noted: “When you look at the crime rates in big cities in Florida and you see that unlike California, the Florida constitution empowers the governor to remove elected officials who are not fulfilling their fiduciary duties. DeSantis [got] rid of Andrew Warren and Monique Worrell, two DAs in two separate counties because they’re not doing their job.”
Noting how district attorneys impact crime stats, the Heritage Foundation’s Stimson observed: “The DA is the gatekeeper to the criminal justice system … So it’s important to give credit to the governors, where they create a culture of lawfulness across the state, or a culture of lawlessness.”
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