‘The Rundown’: The Utah Sheriffs’ Association blames George Soros and ‘defund the police’ for rising crime

Group vows to push back against “anti-law enforcement agenda”

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The Utah Sheriffs’ Association blames George Soros and “defund the police” for rising crime numbers

On Tuesday, the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Identification released the 2020 Crime in Utah Report.

According to the report, the overall crime rate in Utah is down, but the number of violent crimes have increased. Homicides spiked 44% last year. You can read a breakdown of the report from Fox 13 here.

The response to the report from the Utah Sheriffs’ Association was very, very spicy and unexpectedly political.

Cache County Sheriff and president of the association Chad Jensen did not hold back.

“The George Soros catch and release, cashless bail, defund the police, radical agenda is good for criminals and a disaster for public safety. Unfortunately, it has caught up with us. The result is a seemingly endless cycle of career criminals who believe there are few consequences for their actions. They will continue to offend, get released, and re-offend until we stop this nonsense,” Jensen said.

It’s breathtaking how easily Jensen could invoke popular right-wing boogeyman George Soros and connect him to the progressive “defund the police” talking point.

The rest of the statement goes on to warn about staffing shortages for law enforcement across the state while vowing to push back against an “anti-law enforcement agenda.” The statement did not say where such an agenda was coming from nor who may be behind it.

Here’s what you need to know for Wednesday morning

🏛 Sen. Mitt Romney says he will join his GOP colleagues in the Senate to block a planned vote on raising the debt ceiling. [Tribune]

🏛 Democrats are considering the “nuclear option” of eliminating the filibuster to raise the debt limit to avoid a financial default. [Politico]

💵 President Joe Biden is warming up to a smaller price tag for his multi-billion dollar financial package. Democrats were pushing for a 10-year $3.5 trillion spending package. [AP]

🛑 President Donald Trump plans to order his top aides to ignore subpoenas from the House committee investigating the attempted insurrection on January 6. [Guardian]

💻 Sen. Mike Lee zeroed in on whether Facebook uses artificial intelligence to deliver objectionable ads to young users of their products during a hearing featuring a former employee of the social media giant turned whistleblower. [Tribune]

🎓 The Department of Education is overhauling a student loan forgiveness program to make the process easier to navigate and will expand eligibility. [CNN]

💉 Johnson & Johnson is seeking emergency authorization from the FDA for a booster for its COVID-19 vaccine. [WaPo]

🧪 The Nobel Prize in chemistry was awarded to two scientists who created a tool that lessens negative impacts on the environment. [WaPo

👀 The head of the NYPD union resigned suddenly after the FBI raided his home and union office. [CNN]

Wednesday morning’s Utah news roundup


  • Will Salt Lake need new Olympic venues? Organizers weigh in. [Tribune]

  • Pay gap between men and women remains wide in Utah. [Fox 13]

Salt Lake City

  • ‘Why is he walking the streets?’ asks past robbery victim of man suspected in Aaron Lowe killing. [Tribune]

  • Homeless coalition reevaluating options after shelters put on hold in SLC. [Fox 13]


  • Medical experts urge eligible Utahns to get a COVID-19 booster shot. [Tribune]

  • Parents ask judge to grant restraining order on school mask law. [Fox 13]

In the opinion pages

  • Kelsey Wellington: Please, tourists, don’t pet the wildlife. [Tribune]

  • Letter: Utah’s leaders have put the health of the economy ahead of the health of the people driving it. [Tribune]

— The Tribune’s Jordan Miller contributed to this report.