Kansas City police chief on surge in violent crime
Richard Smith, Kansas City, Missouri police chief joins ‘CAVUTO Live.’
Richard Smith, police chief in Kansas City, Mo., predicted on Saturday that his city's recent spike in violent crime would continue for some time, and defended the presence of federal authorities to counter violent protests in the city.
Smith said Kansas City had a 38 percent increase in homicides and almost 347 people shot during the year. By the end of the year, he predicted the city would see "close to 700 people" getting shot.
"I don't see this easing, at least in Kansas City, anytime soon," he said on "Cavuto Live."
"Even last night, we had — again, we start out very peaceful during the daylight hours and when it gets nighttime, then we start seeing property damage and other things happening. So here we made some arrests last night for property damage here at police headquarters. So, I think we are going to see some more of this — I'm hoping that people understand that the police departments across this country, all of us want to facilitate peaceful protests — that is no problem."
Smith said issues started arising when the protests became less peaceful. His comments came amid widespread demonstrations surrounding George Floyd's death.
In Portland, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deployed federal officers to deal with the unrest. That prompted backlash from Democrat politicians, who accused the Trump administration of utilizing inappropriate techniques while arresting protesters. Earlier in the show, Acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan emphatically told Fox News host Neil Cavuto said the tactics used were "absolutely necessary."
Cavuto asked Smith about the federal government's efforts in his own city.
"So, what we have in Kansas City is we have federal agents coming here. This will be mostly behind-the-scenes, investigative, going after violent felons that are in our streets today. And the goal is to reduce those — that population, who are shooting guns in our city, to stem the violence. So, it's going to be a very surgical look at crime in Kansas City. It's not a broad-based look at crime, so to my point here in Kansas City, I don't know about the truth in the scenario in Portland so much but I do know here, it's going to be a very concentrated effort," Smith said.
Referring to federal authorities, he added that "we have these people in Kansas City every day. We work with them every day hand-in-hand. We sit next to FBI agents, ATF agents, U.S. Marshals, DA, we sit next to them every day so this is nothing different in our city than happens every day here."
"We're just getting increased resources to come to our city to help on this violent crime, so those resources that we have every day, the public may or may not have any interaction with them at all. If you're not involved in that kind of violence or in that realm of criminal activity, you wouldn't know they were here for the most part. So, I would imagine that's the same thing when more resources come in."
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