Rep. Cori Bush, the initial subject of the officer’s comments, called out the network for “advocating for me to face violence.”
Reacting to news that a progressive congresswoman’s car was recently hit with gunfire, a NYPD officer and commentator told Fox News on Thursday that “we need” Democratic lawmakers “to be victims” of criminal violence so they can “see firsthand how bad the streets really are” and support his preferred policies.
Rep. Cori Bush (D-MO), an outspoken Black Lives Matter ally and criminal justice reform supporter, revealed on Thursday that her vehicle had been struck by gunfire this past weekend in the St. Louis area. A spokesperson for the lawmaker said Bush was not in the car and there was no evidence she was a specific target of the attack.
“I’m touched by everyone who has reached out. Thankfully no one was harmed,” Bush tweeted on Thursday. “But any act of gun violence shakes your soul. That’s why our movement is working to invest in our communities, eradicate the root causes of gun violence, and keep everyone safe.”
Appearing Thursday afternoon on Fox News, New York Police Department Sgt. Joseph Imperatrice took aim at what he described as Democrats’ “soft-on-crime” policies. At one point, Fox News anchor Griff Jenkins brought up the shooting of Bush’s car, wondering if such acts would make “liberal Democrat lawmakers who have supported defunding the police change their minds” on policies.
“The harsh truth is we need the lawmakers to be victims,” replied Imperatrice, the founder of Blue Lives Matter NYC.
“We need them to understand when the worst situation possible hits them, and then they can turn around and say, ‘Wow, maybe it’s an issue. Maybe I need to wake up and do my job and change things for the better,’” he added. “I’m not praying any of these people get hurt or harmed, but they need to see firsthand how bad the streets really are.”
Jenkins echoed Imperatrice’s disclaimer but offered up a similar qualifier. “Joe, of course, we would never wish any harm whatsoever on any American, let alone a politician we disagreed with,” the host said. “But the instances we did see—two instances of carjacking, fortunately, everyone was ok—maybe it will change their minds. Who knows?”
Reacting to the exchange on Twitter, Bush noted that Jenkins added a “but” after claiming he does not hope for lawmakers to be hurt.
“But??? Fox News is literally out here advocating for me to face violence,” she tweeted. “I’m just gonna keep working to get justice. Y’all stay mad and be blessed.”
The NYPD did not immediately respond to a request for comment.