As violent crime surges across major American cities, former veteran and law enforcement officer, Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) said our nation has a choice to make about policing.
Higgins said it’s liberal policies and defund the police movement that is spurring the crime wave. The number of police officers is declining due to fears about being targeted by criminals.
“When I left law enforcement to serve in Congress, we were really seeing the disturbing trend, wherein police departments and police officers would be targeted and vilified and demonized and persecuted and prosecuted for just doing their job. So, we have to turn that around in America or, or the criminals will run the street,” said Higgins.
“So, the defund the police movement has echoed through liberal cities, and the effectiveness of the police departments has served those cities is obviously going to be impacted by that tone, that persecution of a street cop just trying to do the job,” Higgins added.
"A lot of parents went to work during the day thinking their teenagers were logged on for remote learning, only to find something else. And I ask, ‘Is there some new market for stolen cars?’ And unfortunately, the answer was no—that for many of these kids, some of whom had no prior involvement in the criminal justice system, this was pure boredom," Lightfoot said at a recent press conference to announce a carjacking task force.
“Mayor Lightfoot is reflective of a part of the problem. You know, our municipalities, our cities, are in trouble largely because of mayors like that, that don't get it or worse, perhaps they do get it maybe they do understand and they're purposefully hindering professional law enforcement,” said Higgins.
The Epoch Times reached out to Mayor Lightfoot's office for comment.
The spokesperson for the National Police Association, Sgt. Betsy Brantner Smith told Newsmax on Feb. 7 that liberal law enforcement policies and anti-cop rhetoric are fueling the rise in crime.
“We need zero tolerance for street gangs, for drug pushing, for attacking police officers. We need to rein in the bail reform. We need to rein in incarceration information. We need to take on the woke, progressive prosecutors that are gaining a foothold in this country in places like New York, L.A., Chicago.”
Higgins thinks another way officers are being targeted by the left, is their push to take away qualified immunity (a rule that prevents a police officer from being sued by an offender), so they can do their jobs without worry.
“But the bottom line is that if a police officer is doing a job within the parameters of his training and department policy, then he's protected from lawsuit minus the department itself and the legal team that comes with that,” he said.
“And we have to maintain that reasonable and lawful level of insulation from frivolous lawsuits that police officers currently have and have always had. But there's a lot of talk about pulling that now. So, cops will just leave the job,” said Higgins while adding police officers cannot afford the legal costs of being sued so they will leave their jobs.
National Fraternal Order of Police President Patrick Yoes told Fox News’ Fox & Friends during a Feb. 2 interview that liberal cities officials need to end soft policies that allow criminals to be released back into the community after being arrested and support officers so they can do their jobs.
“We recognize that there's a serious problem in this country, and we need to pull together and we need to get past, this is not political, it's our officers that are out in the streets, that are putting themselves in harm's way. They could care less about the politics, but they took this job because it's important to them to serve their communities,” he added.
Higgins emphasized the importance of the issue.
“The number of certified police officers across the country is rather small, you'd be surprised there's only about 750, 000s certified full-time police officers across the country. So, it’s just the thin blue line between order and horror,” he said.