“Sneaky Pete’s” Crime Narrative Clashes With Reality

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg recently made comments minimizing concerns about crime in Washington, D.C., suggesting that there is an exaggerated portrayal of the city’s safety issues.

During an MSNBC interview on Sunday, Buttigieg remarked, “We need to talk about the reality here. There’s a lot of funding and a lot of energy going into telling a different story in news outlets and online.”

He further highlighted his own sense of security in the city, stating, “But the simple facts and the simple reality are right here staring us in the face, including the fact I can safely walk my dog to the Capitol today in a way you couldn’t do when we all got here.”

Despite these statements, it’s important to note that Buttigieg benefits from security measures not available to the general public due to his government role.

The context of Buttigieg’s comments was contrasted by recent violent incidents in the vicinity of the Capitol. On the day of his interview, a quadruple shooting occurred approximately six miles southwest of the Capitol, as reported by Fox 5. Moreover, there was an incident just days prior where a woman narrowly avoided injury during a shooting in southeast D.C., with a stray bullet breaking her car windshield.

The broader issue of crime in Washington, D.C., has been a subject of significant concern. For instance, an individual was charged earlier this year with breaking into a Secret Service vehicle parked outside the home of President Biden’s granddaughter, Naomi.

Amidst attempts by city leaders to calm public fears, crime rates in Washington, D.C., have seen a notable increase. Data from the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department indicates a sharp rise in criminal activities in the past year, with homicides up nearly 35% and robberies increasing by 67% from 2022 to 2023. Overall, violent crime in the city rose by almost 40% in 2023 compared to the year before.

However, recent data up to April 8 shows a decrease in violent crime rates compared to the same period last year.

Requests for comments on Buttigieg’s statements from the Department of Transportation had not been responded to at the time of reporting.