The president of the largest police union in New York City assailed Democrats on Thursday at the Republican National Convention for walking away from law enforcement.
Patrick Lynch, whose union endorsed President Donald Trump last month, began his remarks by invoking the “public safety disaster” that has arisen in cities across the country.
“Every day, our communities are asking us, why is this happening,” Lynch of said of surging crime rates. “The answer is simple, the Democrats have walked away from us. Democratic politicians have surrendered our streets and institutions.”
Arguing that the “loudest” and most extreme voices have taken control of most urban settings, Lynch lambasted Democratic elected officials who are “scrambling to catch up.”
“In city after city, they have slashed police budgets. They have hijacked and dismantled the criminal justice system,” he said. “They have passed laws that made it impossible for police officers to do our job. The violence and chaos we’re seeing now isn’t a side effect.”
Lynch’s speech comes as the issue of defunding the police continues to gain traction among some Democrats in the wake of George Floyd’s death. The cause, in particular, has been favored by progressives and social justice activists, many of whom feel that Floyd’s death presents an opportunity to reform law enforcement practices and invest in broader community programs.
Some, like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), argue that reducing and defunding police department budgets would help provide for more funding for education and public housing.