Conservatives on Capitol Hill and social media are reacting with calls to confront a crime crisis in Washington, D.C., that they say many Democrats recently voted against addressing, in response to Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar being carjacked on Monday night.
“My friend, @RepCuellar (D. TX), became the victim of a crime tonight in what’s considered a nice part of D.C. D.C. is dangerous,” Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Something’s gone terribly wrong here—for far too long. Congress has the sole power to make D.C.’s laws, and must intervene.”
“The crime wave in poorly-run liberal cities like DC is unacceptable & more importantly, preventable,” Ohio’s Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose posted on X. “Hire more police Enforce the law Remove prosecutors who refuse to do their job I’m glad Rep. Cuellar is okay, but it’s time for Congress to act.”
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“Anyone who denies crime has skyrocketed since the defund the police movement is, well, a denier and part of the problem,” Rep. Dan Meuser, R-Pa., posted on X. “Glad Henry Cuellar is okay after being carjacked, but countless citizens face unruly crime everyday. It’s time to stop crime, not deny its rampant existence.”
“Rep. Cuellar was carjacked near my same DC apartment building,” Rep. Burgess Owens, R-Utah, posted. “This chaos is the result of Democrat-led Soft on Crime policies, no different than their Open Border debacle. It’s time for Democrats to start taking the safety of Americans seriously.”
Cuellar was carjacked in Washington, D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood around 9:30 p.m. Monday by multiple armed assailants who police say have not yet been apprehended. He was not injured in the incident and told reporters on Tuesday, “I’m good.”
“Three guys came out of nowhere, and they pointed guns at me,” the Texas Democrat said, explaining they did not harm him and were only after his car. “I looked at one with a gun, and another with a gun, a third one behind me. So they said they wanted my car, and I said, ‘Sure.’”
Cuellar said he would defer the decision to increase security around him or near his home to House administration and the police.
“Yeah, I don’t know,” the Democrat said. “I will leave that to House administration. But this happened less than a mile away from the Capitol… you got our leader Hakeem [Jeffries] there, Katherine Clark, who lives there, a whole bunch of members that live in that place, so I’ll leave that up to the police.”
Many social media users pointed out that 173 House Democrats voted in February to reduce penalties for many violent crimes in D.C., including carjackings.
“Murderers given reduced sentences,” the National Republican Congressional Committee said in an ad in response to those votes. “Carjackers given slaps on the wrist by pandering politicians. Not just the DC City Council. 173 House Democrats supported reduced sentences for violent crimes. So crazy, even Joe Biden won’t support the anarchy.”
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“You got to support law enforcement. And I’ve been doing that for a long time. I have three brothers who are peace officers,” Cuellar added. “I do want to thank the Capitol Police and I certainly want to thank the Metro Police. I’m a big law enforcement person. I got three boys in law enforcement. So I certainly appreciate the good work that the police did.”
The nation’s capital has endured a crime surge this year that includes a homicide toll that has exceeded 200 before October for the first time in a quarter-century
In 2023, total violent crime is on the rise in D.C., up nearly 40% year-over-year, according to police data. Property crime is also surging, with motor vehicle thefts increasing 106% and robberies up 65%.
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“There is a crime wave going on in the District of Columbia,” former D.C. homicide detective Ted Williams told “America’s Newsroom” on Tuesday morning.
Fox News Digital’s Megan Myers, Tyler Olson and Lawrence Richard contributed to this report.