January 19, 2024

RNC: Biden’s Capitulation to Crime

2023 was another violent year for cities across the United States.

By the Republican National Committee


  • Violent crime continues to ravage cities across the country – a direct result of Biden’s and Democrats’ pro-criminal policies.
  • In several Democrat-run cities, murder rates increased last year.
  • In most cities, homicide rates remain higher than pre-pandemic levels.
    • Homicides in Chicago are up more than 23 percent compared to 2019.
    • Murders in New York City are up 23.1 percent from 2019 levels, while felony assault is up 35.4 percent. 
  • Communities across the country are becoming more dangerous as a result of Democrat policies.
    • Violent crime in Washington, D.C., has increased 39 percent from 2022.
    • Chicago recently saw the largest spike in robberies in a five month period since 2001.
  • Nationwide, the U.S. experienced near-record levels of auto theft.
    • Across 32 cities, car thefts increased 33.5 percent in the first half of 2023.
    • Carjackings in Washington, D.C., are up 98 percent from 2022, rising for the sixth straight year.
    • Car thefts doubled or tripled in certain areas of Baltimore County, Maryland.
    • Motor vehicle thefts in Chicago increased 37 percent from 2022.
    • In San Francisco, car thefts are up 64 percent from 2018 levels, and are up almost ten percent from 2022 to 2023.
    • Car thefts in New York City are up 194.5 percent from 2019.
  • This continues the violent wave of crime that has been building for the past few years, ever since the defund the police movement – championed by Democrats – began.


  • Retail theft is causing big businesses to flee major cities and hurting small businesses who can’t afford the losses. 
  • Numerous retail stores have closed in Democrat-run San Francisco, including Nordstrom, Whole Foods, Target, Starbucks, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Crate & Barrel and the Container Store, due to high retail theft and other safety concerns.
  • Target announced plans to close nine stores due to retail theft and safety concerns across Seattle, New York City, San Francisco, and Portland.
  • Wawa has closed six stores in Center City Philadelphia since 2020 due to continued safety and security concerns
  • Businesses are projected to have lost $122 billion due to retail theft in 2023, $20 billion more than in 2022.
  • 28 percent of retailers reported closing at least one location due to retail crime, while 45 percent reduced operating hours.
  • 79 percent of small business owners surveyed by Forbes said that retail theft accounted for losses of $500 - $2,500 per month, while 10 percent said retail theft cost them more than $2,500 per month.
  • 64 percent of small business owners said they have had to increase prices to compensate for losses due to retail theft.


  • Polling consistently shows the American people are fed up with Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies. 
  • 63 percent of Americans believe crime is a very serious or extremely serious issue – the highest percentage in over two decades, according to a recent Gallup poll.
    • 77 percent of Americans believe there is more crime in the U.S. than a year ago.
  • Just 42 percent of Americans approve of the Biden administration’s handling of violence and crime in the country, according to the latest Harvard/Harris poll.
  • More than half of Americans disapprove of the way Biden is handling the issue of crime, according to an Economist/YouGov poll.
  • Six in 10 Americans feel less safe than they did when Joe Biden entered office, and just 14 percent think he is doing a good job tackling crime, according to a Daily Mail poll.


  • Police departments are struggling to combat both a lack of funds and a lack of respect as they try to do their jobs.
  • The Police Executive Research Forum found a nationwide decline of 4.8 percent in police numbers compared to three years ago.
  • Since 2020, several small towns have had to completely disband their police departments due to hiring challenges as well as budget constraints.
  • The San Francisco Police Department has more than 500 openings while the San Francisco Police Academy is struggling to recruit new potential officers.
  • More than 2,500 police officers resigned from the New York Police Department in 2023, 43 percent more than in 2018.
    • As part of city budget cuts, New York City will suspend police academy classes for 1.5 years, making it even more difficult for police precincts to find new officers.
  • The Washington, D.C., police force is at its smallest size in 50 years amidst a staggering rise in carjackings and homicides.
  • Over 140 Illinois police departments report being understaffed, forcing the departments to lower standards for educational and criminal records to achieve “bare minimum staffing.”
    • Illinois is losing officers who are transferring to more conservative and police-friendly states such as Indiana, Missouri, and Kentucky.


  • The Democrat Party has become the pro-criminal party.
  • Last year, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson refused to condemn hundreds of young people who wreaked mayhem in downtown Chicago, including looting and burning vehicles, saying he doesn’t want to “demonize youth.”
  • In March, 173 House Democrats voted to support “reduced sentences for violent crimes” in Washington, D.C.
  • In April, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said that raises for police officers in New York City were “misplaced” only hours after a uniformed NYPD officer was attacked by a man with 11 previous arrests.
  • In July, White House Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden still supports eliminating cash bail even as crime rates remain at historic highs and law enforcement warns it will make cities more dangerous.
  • In November, New York Mayor Eric Adams unveiled budget cuts that are expected to drop police officer numbers to their lowest since the 1990s.
  • When Republicans brought attention to crime victims earlier this year, Democrats dismissed these victims as “props in a MAGA Broadway production.”


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