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AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

New York Congressman Ritchie Torres (D) told CNN on Saturday that what the Abolish and Defund the Police crowds want will not help inner-city communities deal with the surge in violent crime.


CNN host Jim Acosta noted Torres had previously said the "defund the police" movement is dead in New York City, "and good riddance."

"Since 2017, the murder rate in New York City is up by 60 percent. Shootings in January of 2022 are up by 30 percent compared to the same period last year. So there’s been an explosion of gun violence and calling for the police department to be defunded during an outbreak of gun violence is a little like calling for the fire department to be defunded during an outbreak of a fire. It comes off as profoundly tone-deaf and out of touch," Torres said. 

"The majority of Americans, the majority of Republicans and Democrats are in favor of reforming, rather than abolishing or even defunding the police. What most Americans want is not under-policing or over-policing, but better policing. More constitutional and accountable and transparent policing," he explained.

Torres blamed the violent crime on firearms being brought in from out of state, which is why he says the federal government needs to implement more gun control on a national level because there's "a limit" to what new Mayor Eric Adams (D) can do.


"But one of the greatest challenges that we face to public safety is Republican obstructionism against gun safety," he added.

A Pew Research poll found there was an increase of Americans wanting more funding for police departments in 2021 compared to 2020, at the height of the movement's popularity:

"The share of adults who say spending on policing in their area should be increased now stands at 47%, up from 31% in June 2020. That includes 21% who say funding for their local police should be increased a lot, up from 11% who said this last summer.

"Support for reducing spending on police has fallen significantly: 15% of adults now say spending should be decreased, down from 25% in 2020. And only 6% now advocate decreasing spending a lot, down from 12% who said this last year."

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