Not all that long ago, this story would have been seen as a shocking example of malfeasance in law enforcement. Sadly, in 2024, it’s just another Groundhog Day. As anyone who pays the slightest attention to the news already knows, Washington, D.C. has devolved into a dangerous landscape of crime, with shootings and carjackings being too common to even merit a spot on the nightly news. Sometimes those two crimes combine to deadly effect as they did on Monday, with a violent carjacking spree leading to one person being killed and another, a former Trump administration official, being critically injured by a bullet to the head. As the Attorney General for the District, Brian Schwalb is supposed to be the person responsible for addressing these issues. But during a discussion panel this week, Schwalb stunned the audience by declaring that more law enforcement is not the answer. He said that the District could not “prosecute and arrest our way out of the problem.” (Daily Mail)
AG Brian Schwalb was specifically talking about the epidemic of violent crime – including enormous numbers of carjackings – that is currently plaguing the nation’s capital.
It’s circulation and the AG’s shocking statement come in the wake of a violent criminal spree by a carjacker on Monday evening that left one area resident dead and another – a former Trump administration official – in critical condition.
Here’s the clip of Schwalb making these horrendous comments that’s been making the rounds on social media. You’ll want the volume turned on for this.
During a panel, DC residents voiced their frustrations and demanded accountability from city leaders in addressing the violent crime epidemic that’s plaguing our nation’s capital.
DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb’s response: “We cannot prosecute and arrest our way out of it.” pic.twitter.com/hEUT8GG7Al
— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) January 31, 2024
This is one of those instances where I feel the need to address Mr. Schwalb directly and state what should have been obvious to everyone from the beginning. You were elected last year to be the Attorney General for the nation’s capital. Identifying, capturing, arresting, prosecuting, and locking up criminals is literally the definition of your job. You were not hired to be a guidance counselor or a social worker. Those are important professions also, but you’re supposed to be keeping the community safe by ensuring that violent criminals are not free to roam the District and prey upon the law-abiding. If you don’t understand the fundamental nature of your job you should resign and make way for someone who does.
Schwalb was specifically addressing the growing issue of juvenile crime. He immediately fell back on the liberal trope of blaming inequality or poverty as the source of crime, suggesting that simply giving people more “resources” would address the issue. It’s true that juvenile crime is more common in low-income communities, particularly communities of color. But there are many (sadly far too many) families of limited means where young people don’t wind up joining gangs or turning to a life of crime. Going out and breaking the law in this fashion is a choice. And such choices come with consequences.
This wasn’t a case of a hungry person stealing a loaf of bread. This also was not a “young person” in distress. The murderous carjacker, Artell Cunningham, was 28 years old and already had a criminal record. He approached multiple people in their vehicles, shot two of them (killing one), and attempted to steal their cars. He was shot dead by the police later, sparing us the need for a trial. No amount of “resources” would have prevented this. Stronger law enforcement and the removal of people like Cunningham from the streets is what is required.
If the District Attorney doesn’t realize this, he needs to be replaced immediately. Washington is hardly the only city experiencing an epidemic of violent crime today, but it’s one of the more glaring examples. The entire city is littered with cameras and the media. Elected officials live and work there. If any place in the country should be relatively safe, you would think the District of Columbia would be near the top of the list. Sadly, it’s turned into yet another example of how the Democrats’ efforts to “defund the police” have been working out. And people like Schwalb are part of the problem, not the solution.