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New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was slammed by Republicans and enterprise leaders following an interview the place she forged doubt on whether or not rampant smash-and-grabs are literally occurring.
“Loads of these allegations of organized retail theft will not be really panning out,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned in an interview with The Washington Times final week.
“I consider it’s a Walgreens in California cited it, however the knowledge didn’t again it up,” she added.
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The feedback sparked pushback from retail leaders and Republican lawmakers, together with from Walgreens.
“Organized retail crime is one of the highest challenges dealing with” the corporate, Walgreens informed The Washington Times, including that the crime “has developed past shoplifting and petty theft to the sale of stolen and counterfeit items on-line.”
“I don’t know what knowledge she is speaking about,” mentioned Rep. Rodney Davis, an Illinois Republican.
“But you don’t really want a lot knowledge from someplace in San Francisco or California. All you want to do is stroll down the road to the CVS in Eastern Market,” he mentioned, referring to an space of Washington, D.C. close to the Capitol. “I’ve seen on a number of events once I’ve been in there shopping for issues, somebody will are available in and raid a shelf and stroll out.”
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Indiana Republican Rep. Jim Banks mentioned Ocasio-Cortez’s feedback had been “tone-deaf and offensive” to the household of Oakland safety guard Kevin Nishita. The former San Jose police officer was shot and killed in November whereas defending a news crew reporting on a smash-and-grab crime.
The Retail Industry Leaders Association additionally took problem together with her remarks in a remark to The Washington Times.
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“Respectfully, the Congresswoman has no concept what she is speaking about. Both the information and stack of video proof makes pretty clear that it is a rising downside in want of options,” Jason Brewer, RILA senior govt vp of communications mentioned in an e-mail. “If she is just not involved with organized theft and more and more violent assaults on retail staff, she ought to simply say that.”
California has confronted repeated smash-and-grab incidents since November, with most of the crimes concentrated in and round San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The crimes have sparked Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to name on native mayors to “step up” and maintain the perpetrators to “account,” and saying they need to be prosecuted. The governor additionally elevated California Highway Patrol’s presence alongside highways close to purchasing locations.
In one city, Walnut Creek, smash-and-grab looters stole about $125,000 in merchandise from a Nordstrom, sparking town council to approve $2 million in funds to beef up its police division and safety.
Police union management within the state has additionally slammed the repeated crimes, blaming California’s Proposition 47 and the ACLU for supporting the poll measure. Under Proposition 47, handed in 2014, shoplifting fees concerning the theft of $950 or much less had been lowered from felonies to misdemeanors.
POLICE UNIONS BLAME ACLU FOR RASH OF RECENT SMASH-AND-GRAB ROBBERIES: ‘VOTERS WERE LIED TO’
“When society removes accountability for unhealthy conduct, criminals get emboldened to commit extra crimes, drug addicts thumb their noses at obligatory therapy and vandalism and petty theft flip into riotous looting and homicide,” the president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Craig Lally, informed Fox News final week.
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“One doesn’t have to be clairvoyant to have predicted that in California the ACLU’s Proposition 47 would flip a household journey to the mall or a Home Depot right into a harmful gamble for our residents.”
Ocasio-Cortez’s workplace didn’t instantly reply to Fox News’ request for touch upon the matter Sunday Morning.