Rantz: Pramila Jayapal threat results in criminal justice response she tries to dismantle

Jul 12, 2022, 6:53 PM


Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

(Photo by J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images)

Seattle Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal appears to be the victim of a frightening threat by a bigot. Progressives, including the congresswoman, should learn from this alleged crime. She is now the beneficiary of the very systems she seeks to destroy.

Neighbors said Brett Allen Forsell threatened to kill the congresswoman after yelling something to the effect of “go back to India,” according to police documents. Police responded quickly and arrested the suspect without incident. Then, Forsell was put in front of a judge who found probable cause for a hate crime and held him on $500,000 bail.

Assuming everything happened as witnesses suggest, Jayapal is a victim undeserving of this kind of treatment by, what I assume is, a partisan upset with her political positions. Harassment at someone’s house, in any shape, is one step too far. I only wish Jayapal believed that, too.

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We shouldn’t ignore the hypocrisy

Jayapal did not have sympathy for conservative justices who were being harassed by fringe partisans ahead of the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Maybe it’s because her rhetoric helped fuel their ire, telling her base to “take to the streets” to “fight tooth and nail” for abortion. They seem to have listened.

Scores of extremists showed up outside the homes of the conservative justices with invective and threats. I covered one of the protests outside Justice Amy Coney Barrett for FOX News. The activists seem unstable and their actions were illegal, but President Joe Biden’s Department of Justice won’t enforce the law against its own activists.

Jayapal was one of the 27 progressives who voted against the bill that enhanced security for the immediate families of Supreme Court justices. The assassination plot against Justice Brett Kavanaugh did not move her to offer the support she is currently grateful for.

The congresswoman enjoys the privileges afforded to politicians. When she calls 911, she gets a “swift” response. Kudos to the Congresswoman, via her officer, thanking officers for getting to her home to make an arrest much faster than the 11+ minute response time the rest of us get when reporting a crime. Jayapal, like her progressive colleagues, supported the defund police movement, though framed it as “diverting” police budgets (as if that’s any different).

The suspect was kept in jail with a high bail amount. That is also some privilege. You can be accused of a violent offense, and a judge will release you. Jayapal may be supportive of this move, yet she’s been sympathetic to the movement to end cash bail.

“People should not lose their jobs or their homes because they’re incarcerated while they await a fair trial. Families should not have to choose between putting [up] bail for a loved one or putting food on the table or paying rent,” she said at a House committee.

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Jayapal should take a moment to rethink her views

Jayapal has the opportunity to rethink her views on police, cash bail, and security.

The congresswoman could rethink “diverting” funds from police who can’t respond quickly to threats made against people who aren’t politicians. She could reflect on the high cash bail and judge keeping Forsell in jail, even if it could burden his family while he awaits a fair trial. She might also want to dial back the over-the-top and bad faith rhetoric she uses against people as she tells her mob to “take to the streets” to “fight tooth and nail.” Maybe a little less fighting and harassment at people’s homes and more of a focus on why you disagree with policies? I imagine the accused heard some nasty things about the congressperson.

Until this point, the process worked how it was supposed to: swift police response, a judge who takes this seriously, and a high bail. But under Jayapal’s very policy positions, the system wouldn’t exist. She benefits while we suffer.

I wish Jayapal didn’t have to experience this. No one deserves this for holding positions one disagrees with. But I also hope that Jayapal realizes she’s benefiting from the very systems she’s trying to dismantle. And if she is pleased with the process so far, perhaps she should fight harder so that other victims of crime can feel safe, too.

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3–6 pm on KTTH 770 AM (HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here. Follow @JasonRantz  on  Twitter,  Instagram, and Facebook. Check back frequently for more news and analysis.

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Rantz: Pramila Jayapal threat results in criminal justice response she tries to dismantle