AOC on NYC Mayor Eric Adams Changes in NYPD Policy: ‘Police Budgets Have Nothing to Do with Crime Levels’

New York Post

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Left-wing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ripped Mayor Eric Adams’ public tough-on-crime approach — a key pillar of which has removed more than 20 guns off the street — days after a 12-year-old boy was killed in a senseless act of gun violence.

In an Instagram story Saturday, AOC gave a literal thumbs down to Hizzoner launching a revamped NYPD anti-gun unit and other measures in response to a follower asking for her “opinion on Eric Adams’ changes in NYPD policy & funding” during a Q&A session on the social media platform.

“Cutting virtually every city agency’s budget while raising NYPD’s, bringing back the plainclothes unit notorious for misconduct and responsible for an enormous percent of all NYC police killings, torture in the form of solitary [confinement] at Rikers and destroying homeless people’s sole belongings/ shelter in the middle of winter while defunding the very shelter system they’re supposed to turn to?” Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) posted.

“It’s a no for me,” she added with a thumbs-down emoji.

AOC — a darling of the left who has advocated for lowering police budgets — also made a broader ideological argument against Adams’ moderate stances, characterizing “violence” as something more expansive than just physical acts.

“But as long as people think we can police our way out of problems that our housing, education and healthcare policies created we are going to continue having crime and violence,” the lawmaker wrote. “And by violence I don’t just mean people committing it but also system and power committing it against people.”

AOC declared, “Police budgets have NOTHING to do with crime levels.”

On Thursday night, a 12-year-old boy was fatally shot in the head while he was sitting in a parked car with two relatives in Brooklyn.

Reps for Adams did not immediately provide comment.

AOC’s criticism of Adams’ police tactics came a day after touted the progress of his Neighborhood Safety Teams — a revamped version of the NYPD’s controversial plainclothes anti-crime unit — which hit the streets in mid-March in response to the Big Apple’s uptick in gun violence.
“We have to stop the flow of guns, but we also must do the jobs of getting the guns off the streets that’s on there now, and my anti-gun unit, they’re doing that,” Adams said on “Face the Nation” Sunday. “Just a few weeks out, they removed over 20-something guns off the street. But here’s the interesting number — 70 percent of those who were carrying the guns had prior violent offenses.”

Since its March 14 launch, Neighborhood Safety Teams have made 101 arrests, 22 of which were for guns, a City Hall spokesman said Sunday, citing data through March 30. Seventy of those collars — or 69 percent — were of defendants with prior arrests, the rep said. And, of the 22 people busted with guns, 14 had a prior criminal history.

Then-Commissioner Dermot Shea disbanded the previous iteration of the teams in 2020, because he said the officers assigned to it were responsible for a “disproportionate” share of misconduct complaints and shootings.
Adams, a retired NYPD captain, has repeatedly vowed that the new teams — whose uniforms clearly identify them as NYPD officers, unlike the old plainclothes squads — will not repeat mistakes made by the “abusive” anti-crime units.

Adams has also defended his decision to begin clearing homeless encampments across the Big Apple — insisting that city shelters are the safest place for New Yorkers without permanent homes, despite the sites’ well-documented history of dangerous and decrepit conditions.

“We cannot tolerate these makeshift, unsafe houses on the side of highways, in trees, in front of schools, in parks. This is just not acceptable, and it’s something I’m just not going to allow to happen,” he told reporters last week during a press conference in Brooklyn.
“We’re walking past people that are living on cardboard boxes, in these makeshift, inhumane houses — this is just not right,” he added. “There’s nothing dignified about people living in the streets.”

City agencies have identified 244 sites where homeless people have been living in public, officials said last week. Municipal workers cleaned up 239 of them since a multi-agency task force began conducting sweeps on March 18, according to Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi.

But only five people living at the sites agreed to move into shelters.
In December, Adams ripped into city lawmakers for criticizing his call to revamp the practice of solitary confinement in city jails.

“I am not going to be in a city where dangerous people assault innocent people, go to jail and assault more people,” Adams told reporters at the time. “You cannot have a jail system where someone sexually assaults a staffer, slash an inmate and then say it is all right.”

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