Progressive darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) defended cuts to the New York City Police Department (NYPD), saying an uptick in crime proves the police are ineffective. According to the freshman congresswoman, the real reason crime is rising is because people are struggling to pay their rent and feed their children.
"This uptick in crime that is happening right now is with a $6 billion dollar New York City Police Department budget. So our $6 billion dollars – up to $11 billion – but up to our $6 billion dollar budget, has not prevented this uptick in crime," she explained during an online town hall. "We have funded more and more, we have shoved more and more and more money every single year into the NYPD – $6 billion dollars – and it has not prevented this uptick in crime."
According to AOC, the NYPD blamed bail reform for crimes on the rise, but their own data proves that to be false.
"But wait, they just released data a few weeks ago that show that out of almost all the people who have been found to have committed crime, etc. almost none have been re-released due to the bail reform," she said.
Ocasio-Cortez offered her own take on why crime is happening. And yes, it's eye-roll worthy.
“Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now? The fact that people are at a level of economic desperation that we have not seen since the Great Recession?" she asked.
"Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren't paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent and so they go out, and they need to feed their child and they don't have money, so they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry that night," AOC hypothesized. "Maybe it's the fact that unemployment provisions haven't been given to everyone. Maybe it's the fact that some people still haven't gotten their stimulus checks yet."
Apparently AOC missed the memo about the data. This uptick in crime is directly related to the anti-police sentiment that is plaguing our nation. The movement to defund the police (whether that's reallocating resources or completely abolishing law enforcement agencies) has had a direct impact on crime. Criminals know that they can take advantage of the public's disdain for law enforcement. They know they're more likely to get away with committing crimes because officers are afraid of doing something that will get them fired, or worse, facing criminal charges.
From the Wall Street Journal:
In New York and Los Angeles, which have seen falling numbers of homicides for years, killings this year are up 23% and 11.6%, respectively. Kansas City, Mo., has recorded 99 killings since January, far outpacing any record for the first six months of the year.
New York City disbanded its anticrime unit of plainclothes officers on June 15, part of a $1 billion reduction in the city’s police budget. The city logged 205 shootings in June, the highest for the month since 1996. Police cited the release of some prisoners from Rikers Island amid coronavirus concerns and bail reforms that went into place earlier in the year.
Some departments, including New York City, have expressed concern that officers are filing for retirement in larger numbers than usual since the protests began. Between May 25 and July 3, 503 New York Police Department officers filed for retirement, compared with 287 in the same period in 2019.
AOC can make these criminals sound like they're just moms and dads wanting to feed their kids and keep a roof over their head. The data says otherwise.