A street racing incident in Austin, Texas, over the weekend that left one police officer injured and several patrol cars damaged has reignited the debate over the impact of the defund the police movement.
Street racers took over an intersection at South Lamar Boulevard and Barton Springs Road on Saturday, drifting in the middle of the street and setting off fireworks. An Austin City Council member was reportedly on hold with 911 for 28 minutes after calling about the takeover as the city grapples with a staffing crisis.
Fox News’ Will Cain said Monday on “The Five” the anarchy that occurred in the city’s streets is “symbolic of what’s happening across this nation where bad policies create bad culture, and then you get a bad town.”
“You have the former Mayor Steve Adler. You have this councilman, Greg Cassar, who was part of the ‘let’s defund it’ to the tune of one-third of the police budget,” he explained. “Although they tried to refund it one year later, the police left in droves. They haven’t been able to rehire to the levels that [are] necessary – this leads to moments like this.”
AUSTIN POLICE, 911 STAFFING LEVELS QUESTIONED AFTER STREET RACERS TAKE OVER MAJOR INTERSECTION, INJURE COP
Cain added that he lived in Austin for three years, but sees the city headed in the same direction as San Francisco.
“It will be lost [but] I hope the entire state can protect itself from turning into California,” he said.
Co-host Judge Jeanine Pirro argued the young teenagers and adults involved in the incident feel empowered, knowing they won’t be held accountable due to soft-on-crime policies.
“They’re saying things like, ‘You know, sorry, the police officer got hurt, but he should have stayed in his own lane.’ You know, and ‘they can’t catch us,'” she said.
“We created these monsters. We have allowed them to get away with it. We, as a society, are allowing anarchy to take over in our streets.”
Pirro added that “social justice nonsense” has played a key role in emboldening criminal activity.
“You violate the law, you go to jail. It’s really as simple as that. We’ve given them criminal privilege,” she said. “They know they’ve got criminal privilege; they’re empowered. And the irony of all of this is that they are playing by the rules. And the rules today are no bail. Well, you’re not going to be able to catch us. And even if you do catch us, I’m going to get away with it.”
Fox News’ Paul Best contributed to this report