- Several large cities have seen crime spikes after electing left-wing prosecutors with support from organizations that received funding from George Soros.
- Homicides, auto thefts or both have surged in Philadelphia, New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago and St. Louis.
At least six large cities have seen crime spikes after the election of liberal prosecutors backed by groups that have received funding from billionaire megadonor George Soros, a Daily Caller News Foundation investigation found.
Motor vehicle thefts, homicides or both have surged in Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, St. Louis and New York since liberal prosecutors were elected with the help of funding from Soros. Soros, who has used “shell organizations, affiliates, and pass-through committees” like the Texas Justice and Public Safety PAC and Missouri Safety and Justice Committee to steer funds, spent at least $40 million in the last decade on prosecutors’ campaigns, sometimes representing 80 and 90% of their total funding, the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) recently reported.
Experts who spoke to the DCNF believe policies championed by Soros-backed prosecutors have contributed to increased crime, especially violent offenses.
“Policies of non-prosecution, which a lot of the prosecutors that he’s supported have enacted, certainly contribute to crime, especially to the extent that they are triggered in cases involving repeat violent offenders,” Manhattan Institute Policing and Public Safety Initiative Research Head Rafael Mangual told the DCNF.
By refusing to prosecute crimes deemed “low-level,” cities are often releasing repeat offenders and disincentivizing the police from making arrests for such crimes, Mangual explained.
Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner
Soros personally contributed more than $1 million to the Philadelphia Justice & Public Safety PAC in 2017, with the organization spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on campaign media supporting Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner’s first election that year, campaign finance records indicate. The PAC also paid for some pro-Krasner campaign advertising and mailing materials during his 2021 re-election cycle, receiving a $259,000 contribution from Soros that June.
Since he took office, homicides have increased by about 64%, according to data from the Office of the Controller. Auto thefts more than doubled during the same time period, from around 5,688 in 2017 to 14,533 in 2022.
Homicides and motor vehicle thefts have relatively high-reporting rates compared to other crimes, according to a 2021 study by the Federal Bank of Richmond, which makes them optimal indicators of overall crime.
San Diego and Philadelphia are two similarly sized cities with comparable access to crime because they are access points on major highways and close to other large cities, yet they have huge differences in prosecution style, Heritage Foundation Senior Fellow Cully Stimson explained. Krasner “refuses to prosecute misdemeanors, refuses to add enhancements, [and there’s the] 31 career gang and homicide prosecutors he fired the first day in office,” Stimson recently told the DCNF.
In comparison to Philadelphia’s Krasner, San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan’s office prosecutes misdemeanors and aggressively pursues repeat offenders, Stimson argued.
“The difference between those two cities is dramatic. Crime has not gone up in San Diego. Period. Why? Because you have a real prosecutor,” Stimson said. “And so last year in the city of San Diego, about fifty murders.”
Philadelphia had 562 homicides in 2021, the highest number in its recorded history, according to an October 2022 report by the Pennsylvania State House Select Committee on Restoring Law and Order. The committee placed at least some of the blame on Krasner; at the time of the report, the district attorney’s office had withdrawn 65% of all violent crime cases.
Though homicides declined by around 8% in Philadelphia in 2022 compared to 2021, they remained far more common than before Krasner took office, Philadelphia Police Department data reveals.
Further, there has been a significant increase in the percentage of firearm charges withdrawn by the district attorney’s office during Krasner’s tenure. The share of firearm offenses dismissed grew from roughly 25% in 2015 to 49% in 2020, according to data from the Office of the Controller.
Cook County States’ Attorney Kim Foxx
In Chicago, Soros donated $2 million in 2020 to the Illinois Justice and Public Safety PAC, which backed Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s successful reelection that fall, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. Soros sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to a PAC created for her initial 2016 election, according to The Washington Post.
Chicago already had a notorious reputation for violence before Foxx took office. Around 500 murders or non-negligent manslaughters happened there in 2012, surpassing the more populous New York City and Los Angeles, based on FBI statistics.
Prior to Foxx’s election, far fewer criminal cases were dismissed in Cook County, according to data posted by the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. In 2015, 263 weapons charges were dismissed, compared to 1,217 in 2022.
The Cook County Medical Examiner Case Archive registered 619 homicides countywide in 2015, rising to 937 homicides in 2022.
“Public safety is the top priority of this office, and we will continue to hold those accountable for driving the violence in our communities when police make an arrest and charges are approved,” Foxx’s office told the DCNF.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner
There were 188 homicides and 3,058 motor vehicle thefts in St. Louis in 2016, the year Kim Gardner was elected circuit attorney, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department data shows. In 2022, there were 200 murders or non-negligent homicides and about 7,397 vehicle thefts.
Soros donated more than $100,000 to the now-defunct Missouri Safety and Justice Committee in June 2020, which contributed to Gardner’s re-election campaign that year, disclosure records show. The Soros-funded Safety and Justice Committee had given a nearly $68,000 in-kind donation to Gardner’s initial campaign in July 2016.
St. Louis saw the second-highest number of homicides in city history in 2020, according to police data. At the same time, Gardner’s office increasingly declined to prosecute cases and issued fewer arrest warrants, according to an investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“Our state gun laws changed in 2017 and we became an open carry state. While we believe that has had the most impact on gun/armed violence, we have worked on strengthening our relationship with community partners and resources to help curb these types of incidents.” Evita Caldwell of the St. Louis Police Department told the DCNF.
Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascon
There were 258 homicides in Los Angeles County in 2019, the year before George Gascon was elected, according to a report by the Los Angeles Police Department. Through Dec. 24, 2022, there were 373 homicides, a 45% increase, according to LAPD statistics.
Vehicle thefts increased by roughly 20% from 2020 to 2022, according to police data.
Soros put more than $2.5 million into the CA Justice and Public Safety: Committee to Support George Gascon in fall 2020.
There have been two attempts to recall Gascon over his prosecutorial practices, but both failed. In the most recent effort, opponents were about 40,000 signatures shy of what they needed to get his recall on the ballot.
Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot
Soros is listed as having given more than $1.5 million to the now-dissolved Texas Justice and Public Safety PAC in both 2018 and 2022. That PAC made tens of thousands of dollars in in-kind donations to John Creuzot’s successful 2018 Dallas County, Texas, district attorney election effort and his 2022 re-election campaign.
In 2022, Dallas recorded about 214 murders and non-negligent manslaughters, an increase compared to 2018, based on police statistics. Motor vehicle thefts also rose significantly.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg
Federal Elections Committee data shows that Soros donated $1 million to Color for Change PAC in May 2021, the month the organization pledged more than $1 million in support of now-Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who was elected that November. A January 2022 memo from Bragg’s office said it would treat armed robberies without a seriously-injured victim or “genuine risk of physical harm” as misdemeanors and not pursue prison sentences for crimes other than murder, other violent felonies, sex offenses or major white-collar crimes.
After members of the public expressed disapproval, Bragg said in a February 2022 memo that his office would charge commercial armed robberies as felonies and prosecute anyone “who harms or attempts to harm a police officer,” calling the earlier memo “a source of confusion” that had been meant to give a “framework.”
Though New York City murders fell by about 11% in 2022 compared to 2021, grand larceny auto jumped by around 32%, based on NYPD statistics.
“I understand the urge to act based upon the disparities in enforcement, but we have to remember that there are also disparities in victimization and that those disparities deserve attention too,” Mangual told the DCNF.
The Philadelphia police commissioner’s office, the Chicago Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, NYPD, Krasner, Gardner, Gascon, Bragg and Creuzot’s offices and Open Society Foundations did not respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
Post written by Erinn Broadus And Trevor Schakohl. Republished with permission from DCNF. Images and headlines via Becker News.
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