This story was produced in partnership with the Garrison Project, an independent, nonpartisan organization addressing the crisis of mass incarceration and policing.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the rise in shootings and homicides that began amid the turmoil of 2020 has undermined support for progressive-leaning criminal legal reform. But the apparent schism within Democrats—with many moderate Democratic leaders, including the president, calling for fairly conventional policing responses to the rise in violence—may be more unexpected.

Notably, the break within the Democrats runs alongside a fault line across institutions. The divide isn’t just between “moderate” and “progressive” Democrats. It’s between moderate mayors and progressive prosecutors. It’s Eric Adams vs. Alvin Bragg in New York City, Lori Lightfoot vs. Kim Foxx in Chicago, London Breed vs. Chesa Boudin in San Francisco, LaToya Cantrell vs. Jason Williams in New Orleans.

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