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Scanlon Says Carjacking Doesn't Change Her Justice Reform Views

Last month, in unrelated events, two Democratic lawmakers were carjacked at gunpoint. On December 21, Illinois state Senate Majority Leader Kimberly Lightford had her car stolen in suburban Chicago. The next day, U.S. Representative Mary Gay Scanlon’s car was boosted in Philadelphia. Lightford and Scanlon both have been vocal advocates for criminal-justice-reforms. Last year, Lightford helped shepherd through a package of reforms, which included requiring body cameras for all police officers in Illinois and ending cash bail. Scanlon, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, has pushed for changes to the justice system since before entering Congress. Her carjacking crimes drew some snarky and smug coverage from the right, reports The Atlantic.

During the encounter, Scanlon thought of conversations she’s had with law-enforcement officials about firearms that can be assembled from parts and can’t be traced because they have no serial number. “I’m looking at this 19-year-old who has a gun pointed at my chest, and I’m looking at the gun, speculating ... hat looks like a kit gun. It looks plasticky. It looks like I could assemble it.” By the time she’d finished speaking with police, calling her insurance provider, and making it home, Scanlon started receiving messages from friends and family wishing well—and a cousin, who was surprised to hear in the news that Scanlon supported defunding the police. Scanlon was surprised too: She said she’s never been in favor of defunding. One conservative columnist wondered if the incident would change Scanlon's views on justice reform. “I’m afraid it really doesn’t,” she said. “I don’t know that there’s been a big change in my views. I have always supported community policing and good law enforcement, and I will continue to do so.”


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