As Violent Crime Rises And Police Quit ‘In Droves,’ Ocasio-Cortez Dismisses Concerns As ‘Hysteria’

After A Year Of Activist Far-Left Democrats Calling For Defunding The Police And Many Democrat-Run Cities Following Suit, Crime Is Surging And Violence ‘Has Continued To Grow,’ While Police Officers Who Felt Abandoned Are Leaving Their Forces, Yet Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) Scoffs At ‘Hysteria’ Over Crime

SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH McCONNELL (R-KY): “Last summer, across America, peaceful protests were overtaken by lawless rioters. For nights on end, violence and looting left cities in flames. And in too many state capitals and city halls, local officials froze under pressure from the Left and failed to protect their citizens, their homes, and their businesses. In fact, at every level of government, elected Democrats instead rapidly embraced radical calls to ‘defund the police.’ To the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars, they succeeded in gutting local law enforcement budgets and validating the worst instincts of anti-police agitators…. The Biden Administration has amplified these efforts by appointing avowed supporters of defunding the police, like Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke, to high ranking positions in the Department of Justice – the agency charged with enforcing federal criminal law. We didn’t have to imagine the consequences of betraying the brave officers charged with keeping the peace. Millions of Americans have been living this dangerous new reality for months. Last year closed with the nation’s sharpest one-year increase in homicides in decades. In New York City, the murder rate jumped nearly 45 percent. And in my hometown of Louisville, it’s already on pace this year to exceed last year’s all-time record.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/24/2021)

  • “In city after city, powerful Democrats vocally refused to uphold their responsibilities to protect public safety. Violent crime filled the void. Against this backdrop, the American people chose to defend themselves by exercising a core constitutional right. But now, as Democrats at the state and local level play politics with public safety, Democrats here in Washington want to make gun ownership in America more burdensome than ever. Prominent voices on the left – including some of our colleagues -- fanned the flames of a dangerously misguided experiment. And law-abiding Americans are paying the price.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/24/2021)


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) Dismisses Concerns About Nationwide Increases In Violent Crime As ‘Hysteria’

“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D, N.Y., has expressed concern that recent headlines referring to spikes in crime across U.S. cities are stirring up ‘hysteria.’ ‘We are seeing these headlines about percentage increases,’ Ocasio-Cortez said during a conversation with New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman over Zoom. ‘Now, I want to say that any amount of harm is unacceptable and too much, but I also want to make sure that this hysteria, you know, that this doesn’t drive a hysteria and that we look at these numbers in context so that we can make responsible decisions about what to allocate in that context.’” (“AOC Dismisses Concern Over Crime Spikes In Major Cities As ‘Hysteria,’” Fox News, 6/28/2021)

REMINDER: Far-Left Democrats Called For ‘No More Policing’ And Declared, ‘We Need To Disinvest From Police,’ ‘Defunding Police Means Defunding Police’

REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): “Defunding police means defunding police.” (“Ocasio-Cortez Dismisses Proposed $1B Cut: ‘Defunding Police Means Defunding Police’,” The Hill, 6/30/2020)

REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): “I will never stop saying, ‘Not only do we need to disinvest from police but we need to completely dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department.’” (“‘Defund The Police’ Movement Hits Semantics Roadblock,” The Hill, 6/14/2020)

REP. CORI BUSH (D-MO): “Defunding the police isn’t radical, it’s real.” (Rep. Bush, @CoriBush, Twitter, 1/27/2021)

REP. RASHIDA TLAIB (D-MI): “… Policing in our country is inherently & intentionally racist. ... I am done with those who condone government funded murder. No more policing, incarceration, and militarization. It can’t be reformed.” (Rep. Tlaib, @RashidaTlaib, Twitter, 4/12/2021)

REP. AYANNA PRESSLEY (D-MA): “From slave patrols to traffic stops. We can’t reform this.” (Rep. Pressley, @AyannaPressley, Twitter, 4/12/2021)


But In Ocasio-Cortez’s Home Of New York City Alone, ‘Overall Shooting Incidents Have Increased 53.2% Year-To-Date And Murders Have Increased 13.3% Year-To-Date’

“The exchange comes as New York City's overall shooting incidents have increased 53.2% year-to-date and murders have increased 13.3% year-to-date, according to the latest available NYPD crime data covering the week ending June 20.” (“AOC Dismisses Concern Over Crime Spikes In Major Cities As ‘Hysteria,’” Fox News, 6/28/2021)

“[New York City] recorded 680 shootings from Jan. 1 through June 20, up from 444 during the same period last year, according to the NYPD. There were 204 homicides in the city through June 20, up from 180 in the same period last year, police officials said.” (“New York City Police Increase Payments for Anticrime Tips,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/21/2021)

“It has been another violent weekend [June 12th & 13h] in New York City. As CBS2’s Christina Fan reports, 22 people shot, five dead, all within 72 hours.” (“Another Violent Weekend In New York City: 22 Shot, 5 Dead Within 72 Hours, CBS New York, 6/14/2021)

“The New York Police Department is increasing payments for crime tips as it seeks to end an increase in shootings and homicides, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said [June 21st]. The NYPD’s Crime Stoppers program would raise payments for anonymous tips to $3,500 from $2,500 to aid detectives in investigations, Mr. de Blasio said. The changes were announced after a violent weekend in the city in which the NYPD recorded 19 shootings and two homicides on [June 19th and 20th]. A volunteer for Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams ’ mayoral campaign was also stabbed on a sidewalk in the Bronx on [June 20th].” (“New York City Police Increase Payments for Anticrime Tips,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/21/2021)

In Midtown Manhattan ‘The Residents Are Afraid To Come Out’

“The New York Police Department has set up a mobile command post and increased patrols in the heart of Midtown Manhattan following a surge in robberies, assaults and shootings along a corridor popular with tourists and office workers…. The NYPD counted 174 felony assaults in Patrol Borough Midtown South, which includes the Eighth Avenue corridor, from Jan. 1 through May 30 this year, up from 53 such assaults in the same period last year. There were about 150 robberies in the Patrol Borough from January through May, triple the number last year. NYPD data shows that typically at this point in previous years, there weren’t any shootings in the Patrol Borough Manhattan South. So far this year, there have been four shootings. Three of the four shootings occurred on Eighth Avenue, Chief Hughes said. The victims include two tourists who were shot in separate incidents within a block of each other on Eighth Avenue, in April and May. Meanwhile, a 4-year-old girl and two women were hit by stray bullets at 44th Street and Seventh Avenue, in Times Square, on a Saturday afternoon in early May. ‘The residents are afraid to come out,’ Chief Hughes said. ‘The businesses are concerned about bringing their workers back.’… Police have counted 38 unprovoked assaults in Midtown South in the first five months of the year, up from nine in the same time last year. Chief Hughes said such attacks are often carried out by people suffering from mental illness and addiction. He also attributed the rise in violent crime to a slowdown in court operations during the pandemic and changes in state laws that have led to fewer accused criminals being held in jails before trial.” (“New York City Police Target Midtown Crime Increase With Patrols, Blockades,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/14/2021)

  • “Local business owners and residents say the recent rise in crime and public drug use as well as the increase in people passing out on sidewalks and harassing outdoor diners is hindering the area’s recovery. Some described seeing people injecting drugs in the street and women being followed or groped. Waqar Khan, the manager of Midtown Gifts & Souvenir, said people can be unpredictable. ‘Two times a guy came inside and was showing me a knife and was trying to stab me,’ he said.” (“New York City Police Target Midtown Crime Increase With Patrols, Blockades,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/14/2021)


‘Homicide Rates In Large Cities — Many Of Them Run By Democrats — Were ‘Up More Than 30 Percent On Average Last Year, And Up Another 24 Percent For The Beginning Of This Year,’ ‘Foreshadowing A Violent Summer’

“Homicide rates in large cities — many of them run by Democrats — were ‘up more than 30 percent on average last year, and up another 24 percent for the beginning of this year,’ foreshadowing a violent summer, the N.Y. Times reported June 1.” (“The Democrats' Wake-Up Call,” Axios, 6/23/2021)

“As the homicide rate climbed through a year of pandemic-imposed shutdowns and civil unrest, officials held firm to their belief that the rise was driven by that exceptional set of circumstances. As life returned to normal, the theory went, the killings would slow. But even as coronavirus restrictions have been lifted and protests have quieted in recent months, the violence has not subsided. Indeed, it has continued to grow…. New York City police reported 462 homicides last year, up from 319 the previous year. Police in Phoenix said there were 200 homicides last year, up from 139 in 2019. In Philadelphia, there were 499 homicides last year, up from 356 a year earlier, according to police. In the first quarter of 2021, homicides were up over the same period last year in several cities including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Indianapolis, Orlando, Pittsburgh and Tampa, according to data collected by the Major Cities Chiefs Association, a group of law enforcement leaders. The violence has extended into the summer. In Philadelphia, homicides and shootings are both already ahead of last year. As of June 13, there were 238 homicides, up from 179 at the same point last year, along with more than 1,600 shootings, up from more than 1,300, according to police. In New York, there were 181 slayings as of June 6, up from 162 on that date last year, police reported. And there were 687 shootings by that date, up from 409 a year earlier. Police in Los Angeles reported 148 homicides by last week, up from 121 over the same period in 2020.” (“As Homicides Soar Nationwide, Mayors See Few Options For Regaining Control,” The Washington Post, 6/22/2021)

OAKLAND: “Two armed robbers held up a television news crew that was interviewing Oakland's director of violence prevention outside City Hall on Monday afternoon, just hours after the police chief warned of worsening crime amid cuts to the police budget. Oakland police reported that the two suspects approached the newscasters at 3:09 p.m. and tried to steal a camera. After a scuffle, a security officer pulled out a gun and ordered the suspects to leave. They fled without the camera. No injuries were reported.” (“Armed Robbers Held Up News Crew As It Interviewed Oakland's Chief Of Violence Prevention,” San Francisco Chronicle, 6/28/2021)

  • “Less than three hours before the attempted robbery, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong held a news conference in which he criticized the City Council for passing a budget that reduced police spending by $18 million — diverting much of those funds to the city’s department of violence prevention in an effort to support alternatives to policing. Armstong said a surge in violent crime makes it more crucial to increase police funding and warned that police response to 911 calls could be delayed as a result of the cuts.” (“Armed Robbers Held Up News Crew As It Interviewed Oakland's Chief Of Violence Prevention,” San Francisco Chronicle, 6/28/2021)

BUFFALO: “According to Buffalo Police, part 1 crimes decreased 16% from 2018 to 2019. Part 1 crimes include murder, manslaughter, sex offenses, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft and arson. They increased 1% in 2020. Six months into 2021, part 1 crimes are up 5.8%. Buffalo Police say that increase is driven by motor vehicle thefts and shootings.” (“How Crime Is Becoming A Central Topic In The Race For Buffalo Mayor,” WKBW Buffalo, 6/29/2021)

MIAMI: “A series of shootings in Miami-Dade County over the Memorial Day weekend has law enforcement concerned the spike in violent crime seen in many major American cities could be taking hold here…. Sunday morning’s [May 30th] mass shooting outside El Mula banquet hall -- which killed two and wounded 21 -- was just the largest of the shootings dating back to [May 27th]. That's when a man hanging out of a moving car window shot wildly at another car, hitting two occupants and grazing a bystander as the cars rolled into the Casino Miami parking lot. Friday night [May 28th], 25-year-old Quinton Valbrun was shot and killed as gunmen opened fire on people standing outside a rented event space in Wynwood…. Add to the list a shooting death [June 1st] in Golden Glades, two wounded by gunfire [the previous] night in Miami Beach, an accused armed robber shot to death by one of his also-armed victims near Midtown on [May 31st] and you might sense a pattern.” (“Miami-Dade Concerned Violent Weekend Could Signal Trend,” NBC South Florida, 6/01/2021)

LOS ANGELES: “Police Chief Michel Moore told the city's police commission on [April 27th] that the number of people shot in Los Angeles in 2021 has increased 73% compared to this time last year. So far in 2021, 445 people have been shot, compared to 257 people this time last year, Moore said. Violent crime, in general, has risen 4.7%, with 380 additional violent crimes this year compared to last year. Moore said the two primary areas of increase are homicides and aggravated assaults. The city has had 108 homicides this year as of last Saturday, Moore said, while that same period in 2020 had 83 homicides. Homicides classified by the department as ‘gang-related’ increased by 44% and represent just under half of shooting victims this year, according to Moore, and the city has experienced a 41% increase in victims shot in gang-related shootings. Additionally, the city has experienced a 20% increase in motor vehicle thefts this year, and a 38% increase over a two-year period.” (“LAPD: Shootings in LA Increase 73% During First Four Months of 2021,” City News Service, 4/27/2021)

CHICAGO: “A surge in shootings over back-to-back weekends in Chicago has brought fears of a violent summer to the city. Five people were killed and at least 55 more were injured in shootings over the [June 5th-6th] weekend. The violence followed a Memorial Day weekend in which three people were killed and 34 others were wounded…. Homicides are up by 5 percent and shootings are up by 17 percent this year compared to the same period last year, Police Superintendent David Brown said at the news conference. Homicides tend to peak in the summer in Chicago and elsewhere.” (“Chicago Police Look To Slow Down Crime As Shootings Spike,” NBC News, 6/07/2021)

COLUMBUS: “There continues to be a spike in homicides in the City of Columbus. So far this year, there have been 86. However, Columbus police are also seeing a spike in non-fatal shootings. The increase in crime is draining resources and creating a low solvability rate. ‘As of this time last year, we were at 46. That's an increase of about 87 percent in our homicide rate from the same period that we were in 2020 which was our historic year,’ said Commander Robert Strausbaugh, Columbus Police Major Crimes Bureau. The rising number of homicides in Columbus is putting a drain on Columbus police's resources. ‘Detectives are doing their best from run to run and there are sometimes when there are 3 or 4 shootings in a night and the detectives have to use a lot of valuable resources to go to each one of those,’ said Strausbaugh…. So far this year, there have been 642 felonious assaults. Compare that to this time last year, there 442. In 2019, in the same time frame, there were 278. Because of the heavy workload, Columbus Police is pulling property crime detectives to help the assault unit.” (“Spike In Homicides, Non-Fatal Shootings Straining Columbus Police's Resources,” ABC 6 Columbus, 6/04/2021)

PHILADELPHIA: “Philadelphia is experiencing an ongoing surge in fatal shootings that could set a new record at the end of 2021: the deadliest year in city history when it comes to homicides.” (“Philly Could Set New Record For Homicides, Officials Say During First Gun Violence Briefing,” WHYY, 3/17/2021)

  • “Gun violence continued to rage across Philadelphia overnight [June 29th] leaving a dozen people shot and two dead in less than two hours, according to the Philadelphia Police Department. The spate of shootings began around 10 p.m. in the city's Tioga section. Police said a 43-year-old man suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds to his legs. Officers drove the man to Temple Hospital where he was placed in stable condition. Less than a half-hour later, officers in Southwest Philadelphia brought a 21-year-old man to Penn Presbyterian Hospital after he was shot in the face and neck, according to a Wednesday morning update…. Around the same time, officers in West Philadelphia said a 19-year-old and 21-year-old suffered gunshot wounds to the lower body when someone opened fire on the 5900 block of Lansdowne Avenue…. Just before Tuesday turned to Wednesday, Philadelphia endured two homicides that happened minutes apart from each other. A 45-year-old man was found shot and killed outside an apartment building in Frankford, according to police. Investigators said at least 8 shots were fired, including three from close range…. Across the city in West Philadelphia, police said a woman was killed and another was critically injured when a shooter opened fire on them while they were sitting on the front steps of an apartment building…. Between 11:25 and 11:45, Philadelphia police officers responded to four different shootings, including another double shooting that happened just blocks away from where the 21-year-old and 19-year-old were wounded…. The owner of a Frankford candy shop suffered a non-fatal gunshot wound to the arm during an attempted robbery. Investigators said the 22-year-old man was closing his shop on the 5400 block of Rutland Street when he was shot and robbed. According to the latest data from the Philadelphia Police Department, there have been 271 homicides this year, a 35% increase from June of 2020.” (“12 Shot In Less Than 2 Hours Overnight In Philadelphia, Police Say,” Fox 29 Philadelphia, 6/30/2021)

BALTIMORE: “Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said Tuesday that he would like to see more ‘boots on the ground’ and additional funding for his department amid a surge in violent crime in cities across the country. During an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, Harrison noted that Baltimore like other big cities is seeing a spike in violence, with the Maryland city recording 18 homicides in the past 10 days alone…. Harrison, who said his department is roughly 230 officers short of its current budget, argued that his department is in severe need of more officers for ‘not just law enforcement,’ but also to ‘build those relationships because we need the community’s help in helping us solve these murders so we can hold these bad actors accountable for terrorizing our community.’” (“Baltimore Police Chief Calls For More 'Boots On The Ground' To Handle Crime Wave,” The Hill, 6/22/2021)

SAN FRANCISCO: “The reopening of San Francisco’s restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues and the gradual return of visitors to the city has swiftly collided with a sharp rise in smash-and-grab thefts from cars in tourist-heavy parts of the city, according to city data…. Statistics from San Francisco police show that break-ins have risen sharply in tourist areas, particularly the San Francisco Police Department’s Central District — the northeastern corner of the city, home to seven of the city’s top tourist attractions, including Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown, according to a police website. Last month, the Police Department’s Central Station saw a 753% increase in auto burglaries compared to the previous May…. The number of break-ins also increased 94% between April and May of this year, tracking with the city’s gradual reopening from the pandemic…. The most recent data for the Central District, through June 6, shows that 2,048 cars were looted so far this year, compared with 858 through the same period of 2020 — an increase of nearly 139%. Park District, home to part of Golden Gate Park, saw about a 3% increase.” (“Car Break-Ins Are Up As Tourism Returns To San Francisco,” San Francisco Chronicle, 6/27/2021)

  • “On as many as six occasions this year, Mark Dietrich has seen the aftermath of apparent tourist-center theft strewn throughout his neighborhood in the Richmond District. After apparently making off with suitcases, thieves are fleeing populated tourist zones, preferring to sort out their hauls in the streets of quieter locales, Dietrich said. Dietrich’s home security camera captured one such sorting session outside his home, where apparent thieves can be seen rifling through suitcases, extracting valuables and dumping the rest on the street. ‘Now that the tourists are back, the break-ins are just more brazen,’ said Dietrich, who has taken to picking up the discarded belongings, sifting through them and trying to reunite them with their owners.” (“Car Break-Ins Are Up As Tourism Returns To San Francisco,” San Francisco Chronicle, 6/27/2021)


Meanwhile, ‘Thousands Of Police Officers Nationwide Have Headed For The Exits In The Past Year’ With Some Citing ‘A Sense That The City Itself Did Not Back Its Police’

“Thousands of police officers nationwide have headed for the exits in the past year. A survey of almost 200 police departments indicated that retirements were up 45 percent and resignations rose by 18 percent in the year from April 2020 to April 2021 when compared with the previous 12 months, according to the Police Executive Research Forum, a Washington policy institute.” (“Why Police Have Been Quitting in Droves in the Last Year,” The New York Times, 6/24/2021)

“New York City saw 2,600 officers retire in 2020 compared with 1,509 the year before…. Minneapolis, which had 912 uniformed officers in May 2019, is now down to 699. At the same time, many cities are contending with a rise in shootings and homicides. Asheville was among the hardest hit proportionally, losing upward of 80 officers, more than one third of its 238-strong force.” (“Why Police Have Been Quitting in Droves in the Last Year,” The New York Times, 6/24/2021)

“[Asheville, NC] Chief David Zack, 58, said that officers were pushed to quit because the protests were directed at them. ‘They said that we have become the bad guys, and we did not get into this to become the bad guys.’ A sense that the city itself did not back its police was a key reason for the departures, according to officers as well as police and city officials. Officers felt that they should have been praised rather than pilloried after struggling to contain chaotic protests.(“Why Police Have Been Quitting in Droves in the Last Year,” The New York Times, 6/24/2021)

  • “To make do, the department has trimmed its services even as shootings and other violent crimes escalated during the pandemic. The police received about 650 calls for ‘shots fired’ last year, Chief Zack said, and there were 10 homicides, compared with seven the year before. Aggravated assaults were also up. The department shuttered a downtown satellite office, stopped bicycle patrols and is making fewer traffic stops. It published a list of 10 incidents to which it would no longer dispatch officers, including some vehicle thefts, and urged citizens to file simple complaints online rather than calling. All but one of the seven officers who investigated domestic violence and sexual assault left, so the department is trying to get three officers up to speed on the skills needed. ‘A lot of our experience is walking out the door,’ Chief Zack said.” (“Why Police Have Been Quitting in Droves in the Last Year,” The New York Times, 6/24/2021)

In Seattle, ‘Activists Have Applauded’ Over 200 Cops Leaving The Police Department While ‘The City Council Is Considering New Cuts Of $5.4 Million To The Police Department’s Budget’

“The Seattle Police Department has said that more than 200 officers left their jobs since last year, citing an anti-police climate in Seattle, City Council policies and disagreements with department leadership. Police Chief Adrian Diaz said Tuesday that the department is in a ‘staffing crisis’ after more than 180 police officers quit last year and another 66 officers left their jobs so far this year, according to police data. ‘We are at record lows in the city right now. I have about 1,080 deployable officers. This is the lowest I’ve seen our department,’ Diaz told KING-TV.” (“Over 200 Seattle Police Officers Quit Amid Nation Protests,” The Associated Press, 4/28/2021)

And Portland Can’t Recruit Officers To A Reconstituted Gun Violence Prevention Unit That Was Criticized And Then Defunded By The City Last Year

“Only a few Portland police officers so far have volunteered to staff a new uniformed team to proactively address gun violence with greater community oversight. The trouble finding officers has prompted a special recruiting effort to get bureau members to sign up. The team is supposed to have 12 officers and two sergeants.” (Portland Police Struggle To Fill New Uniformed Team To Stem Shootings, Citizen Oversight Group Holds Initial Meeting,” The Oregonian, 6/04/2021)

  • “Sgt. Ken Duilio, who had served on the prior Gun Violence Reduction Team and has advocated for a renewed uniformed team, said officers are hesitant and cautious, considering the perceived lack of support from City Council. ‘There’s so much uncertainty and doubt,’ Duilio said. ‘Officers are cautious to go to a unit like that and inherit this extra risk personally and professionally, especially when a lot of things haven’t been worked out yet. Everyone recognizes the gun violence is in a crisis stage, and that it’s important, meaningful work but there’s so many questions about what the expectations are going to be and what its parameters are.’ Police Chief Chuck Lovell has acknowledged that some officers may be reluctant to join the team in light of the heightened scrutiny and criticism of the former team.” (Portland Police Struggle To Fill New Uniformed Team To Stem Shootings, Citizen Oversight Group Holds Initial Meeting,” The Oregonian, 6/04/2021)


At The Same Time, The White House Is Brazenly Attempting To Gaslight About Which Party Actually Favors Defunding The Police

“Democrats, in private and public, are warning that rising crime — and the old and new progressive calls to defund the police — represent the single biggest threat to their electoral chances in 2022…. President Biden sees this rising threat …” (“The Democrats' Wake-Up Call,” Axios, 6/23/2021)

FOX NEWS’ PETER DOOCY: “And on another subject: You mentioned, at the last briefing, that you think Republicans wanted to defund the police because they did not support the American Rescue Plan. Which Republican ever said that they did not like the American Rescue Plan because they wanted to defund the police?
[T]here are lots of examples of Democrats explicitly saying they want to defund the police. We’ve got Congresswoman Cori Bush, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar.  Are there any examples of Republican members of Congress saying they want to defund the police?”
WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY JEN PSAKI: “I think most people would argue that actions are more important than words, wouldn’t you say?” (White House Press Briefing, 6/30/2021)

‘Actions Are More Important Than Words, Wouldn’t You Say?’

LEADER McCONNELL:The Biden Administration has amplified these efforts by appointing avowed supporters of defunding the police, like Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke, to high ranking positions in the Department of Justice – the agency charged with enforcing federal criminal law.” (Sen. McConnell, Remarks, 6/24/2021)

VANITA GUPTA, Now Associate Attorney General: “While front-end systems changes are important, it is also critical for state and local leaders to heed calls from Black Lives Matter and Movement for Black Lives activists to decrease police budgets and the scope, role, and responsibility of police in our lives…. Ultimately, it is becoming clear that Congress must redirect government dollars away from policing practices rooted in the criminal-legal system and the carceral state, and toward policy goals that reflect a vision of public safety that promotes community health and safety.” (Vanita Gupta, The Leadership Conference On Civil And Human Rights, Statement to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, 6/16/2020)

KRISTEN CLARKE, Now Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights: “I advocate for defunding policing operations that have made African Americans more vulnerable to police violence and contributed to mass incarceration, while investing more in programs and policies that address critical community needs…. We must invest less in police and more in social workers…. We must invest less in police and more in social supports in our schools…. We must invest less in police and more in mental health aid…. To be sure, there are some parts of police budgets that should be eliminated immediately … These examples demonstrate that we can be smart and strategic about how and where we look to ‘defund the police.’” (Kristen Clarke, Op-Ed, “I Prosecuted Police Killings. Defund the Police—But Be Strategic,” Newsweek, 6/11/2020)

ABC’s GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: “So does that mean you support a proposal like what we’ve seen in Los Angeles, Mayor Eric Garcetti saying take some of the money from policing, about $150 million, invest it in health initiatives, training initiatives for youth?”
KAMALA HARRIS: “I support investing in communities so that they become more healthy and therefore more safe. Right now what we’re seeing in America is many cities spend over one third of their entire city budget on policing … We’ve got to reexamine what we’re doing with American taxpayer dollars and ask the question: are we getting the right return on our investment, are we actually creating healthy and safe communities? And that’s a legitimate conversation and it requires a really critical evaluation. I applaud Eric Garcetti for doing what he’s done.” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” 6/09/2020)



Related Issues: Law Enforcement