AOC criticized for looting denial
Republicans, businesses, and social media users have blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for an interview in which the Democrat questioned the existence of organized retail theft, calling her remarks “tone-deaf.”
Speaking to the Washington Times, the congresswoman – known by her initials, AOC – said that many “allegations of organized retail theft are not actually panning out,” and that the data “did not back up” pharmacy store chain Walgreens’ claims on organized theft.
Walgreens, which recently announced the closure of several of its California stores, citing organized retail crime as a reason, told the Washington Times that it considered organized retail theft one of its top challenges, and that this sort of criminal activity “has evolved beyond shoplifting and petty theft to the sale of stolen and counterfeit goods online.”
The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) also expressed its disappointment with AOC’s comments.
“Respectfully, the congresswoman has no idea what she is talking about. Both the data and stack of video evidence make fairly clear that this is a growing problem in need of solutions,” RILA Senior Executive Vice President of Communications Jason Brewer said, as quoted by the Washington Times.
He added that if the New York Democrat is “not concerned with organized theft and increasingly violent attacks on retail employees,” she should say so directly.
GOP Rep. Greg Murphy took to Twitter to criticize AOC’s remarks, which, in his opinion, represent the ideology of what he calls the “Progressive Left”.
“The pure tone deaf arrogance of the Progressive Left is astounding. They want to Defund the Police and then deny that the result is an increase in crime,” he wrote.
Rep. Rodney Davis said that he was not sure what data AOC was referring to, but he recommended that anyone who has doubts about the existence of looting should simply “walk down the street to the CVS in Eastern Market” in Washington, DC.
Many social media users added to the criticism, with one calling the congresswoman an “ostrich” for denying the obvious facts.
Los Angeles police have reported an increase in the number of smash-and-grab robberies this year: 7,542 as of November 27, up 3.9% compared to last year’s total. Meanwhile, according to the Coalition of Law Enforcement and Retail, organized theft costs retailers around $45 billion in losses a year – something that the trade association’s president, Ben Dugan, called “a perfect storm.”