White House says it’s ‘obviously’ concerned about crime after Secret Service opens fire amid car break-in

The White House on Monday argued that it is concerned about crime in Washington, D.C., and in other U.S. cities the day after a Secret Service agent fired a weapon in Georgetown when three individuals were seen breaking into a government vehicle.

The White House has touted President Biden’s American Rescue Plan, which Biden signed into law in 2021, for its billions of dollars for funding for local, state and federal police, while, it argues, Republicans haven’t acted on reducing crime. The uptick in crime in Democratic-controlled cities, such as D.C., has been a major issue local governments are dealing with and a talking point for Republicans in the 2022 midterms and going into 2024.

“They use this as a political weapon, as a political talking point while the president has taken action to make sure our communities are safer. Are we concerned? Obviously,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre. “Obviously we want to make sure Americans and their families feel safe not just here in D.C. but across communities. But we can’t do this alone.”

She added, “We’ve been very serious on dealing with the crime that we have seen just across the country and we’d love to work with Republicans on this, they have not been serious on this.”

The incident on Sunday night reportedly occurred when the Secret Service agents protecting Biden’s granddaughter, Naomi Biden, approached three individuals breaking a window on a parked and unoccupied government vehicle. One of the federal agents discharged their weapon during the encounter but that it is believed that no one was struck, the Secret Service said.

“We are definitely concerned about what we’re seeing and not just here, across the country obviously,” Jean-Pierre said when asked how concerned Biden is about incidents like this one.

Crime, especially carjackings, has increase this year in D.C., where there have been more than 800 carjackings and 6,112 motor vehicle thefts in D.C. so far, according to D.C. crime data.

In October, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) was a victim of an armed carjacking in D.C.’s Navy Yard neighborhood. At the time, the White House said it is “unacceptable” what happened to him and also reiterated the funding the president has provided for police.

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