A conservative is a liberal who has been mugged, goes the old saying.
Does that apply to Democrats who vote to radically reform police, then get carjacked?
It happened this week — twice within 24 hours.
On Wednesday afternoon, two men carjacked the Acura MDX of Democratic Pennsylvania Rep. Mary Gay Scanlon at gunpoint in South Philadelphia.
The previous night, three masked individuals hijacked the black Mercedes containing Democratic Illinois state Sen. Kimberly Lightford as she and her husband drove in suburban Chicago, the New York Post reported.
Lightford, a majority leader in the Illinois Senate, and Scanlon in Congress have co-sponsored bills calling for mental health workers instead of police to be dispatched in some situations.
There was no report of mental health workers involved in the capture of five suspects in Scanlon’s car in Delaware within hours of the carjacking.
If lawmakers become crime victims, will they rethink the laws they pass?
But in Illinois, a statement from Lightford indicated trauma she underwent in the hijacking of her car.
“First and foremost I am thankful that my husband and I are alive and physically unharmed,” Lightford said. “I am trying to process the trauma of what happened. I want to thank everyone who has offered their love and support.”
Scanlon was “physically unharmed,” according to Lauren Cox, her communications director, after two men demanded at gunpoint that Scanlon give them the keys to her car.
“She thanks the Philadelphia Police Department for their swift response,” Cox said in a statement reported by WCAU-TV.
Lightford was an Illinois Senate co-sponsor of House Bill 3653, signed into law in July which, among other things, would eliminate cash bail.
— Kimberly A. Lightford (@LLCoolK_4) April 6, 2021
After the carjacking, Lightford told WBBM-TV, “My husband and I survived it. If nothing else I just have a new take on life.”
But her new take on life so far doesn’t indicate any public change to her stance on crime. While saying she had been humbled being a crime victim, Lightford said there need to be resources focused on young men often involved in criminal activity, according to WBBM.
There also needs to be attention to advocacy for crime victims, she said.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny said, “I am appalled to learn of this violent crime that was perpetrated against my friend Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon.”
“My thoughts are with her in what I’m sure is a traumatic time,” Kenny said, according to a report from WCAU.
The carjackings are more evidence of the crime wave affecting Democrat-controlled major cities.
“We have a congresswoman from Philadelphia getting carjacked,” said Anthony Giordano, part of a neighborhood activist group, Stand Up South Philly.
“We have individuals walking these streets that are not afraid of anything, not police, not the consequences,” Giordano told WCAU.
He said he hoped that a member of Congress being carjacked would bring national attention to crime in Philadelphia. “Something needs to be done.”
Giordano’s thoughts were echoed by Kenyatta Johnson, the city council member representing South Philadelphia: “At the end of the day, the level of gun violence and violence, carjackings, is totally unacceptable.”
Johnson told WCAU his constituents believe their area is in a condition of lawlessness. There needs to be an effort to arrest and prosecute criminals “to the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
But it doesn’t seem as though Scanlon has been helpful.
She, along with 123 other Democrats (and Republican Michelle Steel of California), is a co-sponsor of House Resolution 1368 which calls upon mental health professionals instead of police to be called in certain circumstances. It also promotes de-escalation and anti-racism training.
Scanlon is an advocate of changes in policing beyond what some might consider needed reform, such as in constitutional protections regarding civil asset forfeiture and perhaps images of police militarization or the overuse of no-knock warrants.
Changes Scanlon favors include the banning of chokeholds, racial profiling, militarization and no-knock warrants, along with the establishment of federalizing the crime of lynching and developing “21st century police practices,” according to a video she tweeted.
We have seen too many lives taken and communities devastated by police brutality and racial profiling. Action is long overdue. @HouseDemocrats are fighting for REAL reform in our country’s police departments. #JusticeInPolicing pic.twitter.com/IS9n6LZXCg
— Congresswoman Mary Gay Scanlon (@RepMGS) June 8, 2020
After armed carjackers ordered Lightford and her husband out of their car, they put her husband on the ground and stole their belongings, she told WBBM. Her husband told her to run and she heard shooting.
“I think they were shooting at my husband and me and luckily enough my husband is concealed carry and he saved us,” Lightford said. She confirmed that her husband shot at the carjackers. “I call my husband my hero.”
Thankfully, all victims are safe following the incidents. And perhaps the politicians among them may start rethinking the effects of some of the laws they pass that affect the rest of us.
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