Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said at a virtual town hall meeting last week that the reason crime is surging in New York City is because of unemployment that is forcing people to “shoplift some bread or go hungry that night.”
“Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now?” Ocasio Cortez 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,” Ocasio-Cortez said:
AOC on increased NYC crime: "Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren't paying their rent & are scared to pay their rent & so they go out & they need to feed their child & they don't have money so… they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry." pic.twitter.com/oHSTWWJZ6a
— The Hill (@thehill) July 12, 2020
Ocasio-Cortez also said in the video, which has been viewed 2.4 million times, that the New York City Police has not been defunded, and even with its $6 billion budget, it cannot stop the ongoing crimes.
“So keep in mind this uptick in crime that’s happening right now is with a six billion-dollar New York City police department budget,” Ocasio Cortez said.
In fact, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in late June that he plans to cut the police budget by one billion dollars in the next city budget.
The New York City CBS affiliate reported on other changes taking place in city policing:
Effective immediately, those 600 undercover officers citywide in the Anti-Crime Unit will be reassigned to other divisions, and will no longer be working anti-crime patrols.
Police Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch said in a statement: “Anti-Crime’s mission was to protect New Yorkers by proactively preventing crime, especially gun violence. Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have clearly decided that proactive policing isn’t a priority anymore. They chose this strategy. They will have to reckon with the consequences.”
“Police data shows that shootings in the city last month were up 130 per cent year on the year – from 89 shootings last year to 205 this year,” the Daily Mail reported.
And at least one leader in New York has a different take on the spike in crimes in the state. A Long Island sheriff warned about the current state of lawlessness.
“’When you see the vandalism in all our own communities — when you see the assaults — you see Molotov cocktails being thrown at law enforcement vehicles, you have to start to realize that we’re starting to lose control,” Errol Toulon, Suffolk County sheriff, said in a Fox News report. “And once we start to lose control, we’re not losing control to peaceful protesters; these are criminals.”
“And so once we start to relinquish authority to them, we’re going to have chaos in our streets,” Toulon said.
Follow Penny Starr on Twitter
Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.