Crime spike? What crime spike?
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shrugged off New York City’s frightening rise in crime, suggesting that tough times are forcing parents into committing petty theft to feed their kids.
“They feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry,” Ocasio-Cortez (D-Queens) said last week on a virtual town hall for constituents that was broadcast on her official Facebook page.
The first-term lawmaker blamed the crime wave on the devastating economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Do we think this has to do with the fact that … people are at a level of economic desperation that we have not seen?” she asked.
AOC answered her own rhetorical question by appearing to justify the spurt in crime that has seen shootings and murders skyrocket this summer.
“People aren’t paying their rent and … they need to feed their child and they don’t have money,” she explained.
“It is factually impossible that somebody committed a crime so they could pay their rent,” the governor said, noting that the recent crime uptick is dominated by shootings and other violent offenses.
The governor also argued Ocasio-Cortez’s reasoning isn’t sound because he has signed executive orders and legislation, specifically the Tenant Safe Harbor Act, ensuring New Yorkers can’t be kicked out of their homes for not being able to pay rent during the pandemic.
“If you can’t pay your rent, you cannot be evicted right now,” he said.
The city recorded 43 shootings in the last week, up more than 300% from the same time period in 2019. Ten people were shot over a bloody July 4 weekend
The progressive lawmaker counterintuitively suggested that cutting more funds from the NYPD would help stem the crime wave, apparently because that money could be channeled into social programs.
“The New York City police department has not been defunded,” she said, referring to proposed 15% cuts in the NYPD’s $6 billion budget. “These cuts aren’t really real. And again, they haven’t even happened yet.”
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