The self-branded “Democratic-socialist” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is receiving some pushback after she appeared to be downplaying the crime wave that has devastated retail establishments in recent months.
According to a report in Breitbart News, Ocasio-Cortez was blasted for dismissing the allegations of “organized retail theft” as a hoax with insufficient evidence, southing that those with a stake in retail were unimpressed with.
“[A] lot of these allegations of organized retail theft are not actually panning out,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “I believe it’s a Walgreens in California cited it, but the data didn’t back it up.”
However, the congresswoman’s words were contradicted by a report from The Associated Press that cited tens of billions of dollars in losses as the crime wave makes its way through the nation:
“National retail groups last month estimated the annual losses to be in the tens of billions of dollars,” reported the AP. “Some states’ attorney generals are supporting a congressional bill that would require more prevention efforts by large online marketplaces, where experts say many of the stolen goods are fenced.”
Authorities from the San Francisco Bay Area conducted “one of the largest retail theft busts in California history,” that yielded them more than $8 million worth of merchandise from CVS, Target, and Walgreens on Friday, indicating again, that the efforts were coordinated.
“This level of violence has taken it to a whole new level,” Rachel Michelin, president of the California Retailers Association, told the New York Times. “No one has seen this before.”
Ocasio-Cortez has been consistently favored by the Democratic Party as one of their up and comers and a beacon of what the party is ready to become; young, popular and drastically progressive. However, she has once again infuriated some of the more cautious in her party with unfounded claims that could serve to alienate would-be donors.
“Respectfully, the Congresswoman has no idea what she is talking about. Both the data and stack of video evidence makes fairly clear that this is a growing problem in need of solutions,” said Jason Brewer, Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) senior executive vice president of communications. “If she is not concerned with organized theft and increasingly violent attacks on retail employees, she should just say that.”