Fox News host Pete Hegseth said Tuesday that “Defund the Police” was the “dumbest slogan of 2021” — and blamed those who advocated for defunding police for creating the “culture of lawlessness” that has plunged a number of major cities into wave after wave of increased crime.
Hegseth joined guest host Arthel Neville on “The Faulkner Focus” to discuss dramatic upticks nationwide in smash-and-grab robberies and violent crime, and he said it all came back to the anti-police sentiment fostered by “Defund the Police” advocates.
Neville began the segment with Los-Angeles-based Fox News reporter William La Jeunesse, noting that some 16 cities — including Philadelphia, Indianapolis, and Austin — had already shattered their all-time records for homicides in a single year.
“Arthel, you know, those statistics you mentioned have started a national conversation about policy and prompted voters in some areas to rethink who they elect,” La Jeunesse reported. “Soft on crime prosecutors in L.A. and San Francisco are both facing recall. As you mentioned those – the cities along with those here in California are facing – seeing violent crime rates hitting levels not seen since the crack cocaine 1990s. California’s four major cities also seeing increases including Oakland.”
Neville then brought in Hegseth to discuss the impact of those “soft on crime” policies and what could be done to turn things around.
“What do you expect when you let criminals out of jail with no consequence, almost no consequence?” Hegseth asked, noting that a failure to address crime left police officers demoralized, which in turn led to police departments being under-staffed because no one wanted to stay on the job.
“I saw it in the military context — if you don’t believe your politicians or military leaders have your back, there is a limit to the risks and proactiveness you’re going to take,” Hegseth, continued. “That’s the calculation law enforcement offices are making. Now many of them are short staffed, there are dispatchers coming out and reporting on the fact we don’t have enough police in certain areas of Chicago and elsewhere to even cover down and basic assignments. All of this creates a culture of lawlessness. Regular people, especially the most downtrodden and especially people hurt the most by crime, are affected even more while the politicians who yell about defund the police — the dumbest slogan of 2021, may we bury it, okay, understanding what good work our police do. Those who spout that have their own law enforcement ultimately often, or a nice gated community.”
Neville agreed, saying that many police officers were questioning why they should put their own lives at risk enforcing the law if the criminals were just going to be put back on the streets — sometimes within hours.
“I want to ask you how can bail reform help solve this crime problem?” Neville turned back to Hegseth.
“What they’re doing is not bail reform. What they are doing is effectively a pro-criminal ‘catch and release,’” Hegseth replied. “There was a reasonable discussion led by the Trump administration about criminal justice reform, ways in which our justice system was stacked against certain people in certain situations. That was a reasonable conversation … When you point at police officers and say, ‘You are racist, policing is racist. All cops are bastards.’ When you say that you create an ‘us against them’ dynamic that makes it impossible for police officers to do their jobs and very easy for criminals to be let right back out.”
“That’s an important point you make there. How do you solve that? There is something to be said about community policing and something to be said about misunderstanding each other. And there is this ‘us against them’ feeling in many communities. How do you fix that? Your opinion?” Neville asked.
“Well, first of all you educate kids not to hate the cops and your country,” Hegseth said, arguing that it had to begin with a focus on border security and the notion that America was a sovereign nation governed by the rule of law. “I think conversations are good but you need pro-active policing either way, whether you call it broken windows policing, community-based policing. You have police. When you let little things go you create bigger things, you create a culture of criminality. White people and black people and brown people and anyone in between equally and justice is blind to that reality.”
“No one wants crime in their neighborhood,” Neville agreed.
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‘The Dumbest Slogan Of 2021’: Pete Hegseth Torches ‘Defund The Police’ Advocates For Creating ‘Culture Of Lawlessness’
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