Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., told Newsmax that "catch and release" policies in big cities led by Democrats are causing the recent nationwide rise in crime.
"There's a crime wave," Johnson said Wednesday on "Eric Bolling: The Balance," "We have open borders, we have catch and release. In the south, at the southwest borders, but we also have catch and release in the criminal justice system. It is primarily emanating from Democrat-controlled big cities, and it spills over into other areas as well."
Johnson pointed to the Nov. 21 Waukesha Christmas parade in his home state of Wisconsin, where Darrell Brooks Jr. allegedly plowed his SUV into a crowd, killing six and injuring more than 60.
According to USA Today in January, Brooks was out on $1,000 bail after he was charged with driving over the mother of his baby days before the deadly attack on the parade. He now faces dozens of charges, including first-degree intentional homicide.
"The six individuals that lost their lives, the 62 people who were injured, had their lives altered forever," Johnson said. "The children that witnessed it, that didn't have to happen. That happened because a murderer was let out on $1,000 bail after he'd run over the [mother] of his child a few days prior to that."
Johnson said that it was not only bail reform that has caused judges to release suspects in even violent crimes back out on the streets with low or no bail, but also the lack of will of some Democratic prosecutors to prosecute the crimes in the first place.
"They refused to prosecute crimes," he said. "They go so far as to say, 'well, we're not going to prosecute shoplifting unless you shoplift more than what $1,000.’ That is just inviting people to go rob $999, and it is is absurd. It is the denial of reality by Democratic governance and Democratic policies that is causing these tragedies."
Johnson attributed a sharp rise in crimes being committed by homeless people to drug addiction and the supply of heroin and fentanyl coming across the southern border.
"All this fentanyl coming from China through Mexico and into America, poisoning our cities, poisoning our youth, creating a record number of overdoses, over 100,000 last year," he said. "This is something that Biden administration is in complete denial of."
Johnson said more attention needs to be paid to the victims of these crimes and the impact it has on their lives, instead of focusing on the perpetrators.
"We need to think about the victims. We need to think about their families, again, how their lives are altered forever, and we need to get tough on crime," he said. "We've got to crack down on this. We need to put violent criminals in jail and keep them in jail. We can't let them back on the street to create more violence, more crimes, more murders, and more rapes."
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