Top Dem Sides With GOP on D.C. Crime

( – In a break with most of his party, and also his past statements, Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown said he would vote with Republicans to overturn a local Washington, D.C. bill that would lower the penalties for several crimes.

The Democratic senator said he was going to take the same “side” that D.C Mayor Muriel Bowser and city law enforcement took. Democrat Bowser vetoed the crime bill presented to her by the D.C. City Council in January, but the Council overrode her.

Brown’s vote may surprise observers who recall his enthusiastic support for the “defund the police” sloganeering effort that swept across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020. After Floyd died during an encounter with police caught on tape (officer Derek Chauvin was seen restraining Floyd with his knee on Floyd’s neck, and was thereafter convicted of his murder) riots broke out in American cities.

Democrat-run cities were hardest hit, with government buildings set ablaze and entire city blocks taken over by lawbreakers calling themselves citizen activists.

In 2020, Sherrod Brown said “policing didn’t create our nation’s institutionalized racism. It’s a product of it, and it reinforces it.”

Brown apparently feels differently today. Or, as some observers speculate, he may be worried about his Senate seat in 2024 as the American appetite for going soft on crime appears to be waning.

At issue is a bill from D.C. City Council would lower penalties for crimes such as burglary and carjacking. At the same time, the bill would have guaranteed full jury trials for those accused of mere misdemeanors, a highly unusual move.

The Constitution gives Congress the sole right to govern the District of Columbia. It is only because of a voluntary act of Congress in the 1970s that D.C. is allowed its own city council and mayorship. The upcoming Congressional defeat of the D.C. bill that most expect will serve as a reminder that the D.C. government exists at the pleasure of Congress.

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