Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents told Fox News they oppose defunding the police as crime in the district continues to rise.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea to defund the police,” one local, Daniel, said. “I think we need more police in the area.”
Another man, Tom, told Fox News that Democrats’ calls to defund the police were “absurd.”
“It’s completely ridiculous,” Tom said.
Major crimes in Ocasio-Cortez’s district have risen 57% compared to the end of July 2020, according to an analysis former New York Police Department inspector Paul Mauro released Monday. Compared to last year, major felonies such as murder, rape and robbery are up 44%.
“The more and more time goes on, and you see these crimes go up in the city, especially around this area, it’s gotten a lot worse,” one man, Max, told Fox News. He said defunding the police isn’t working.
Ocasio-Cortez, a Democrat, has advocated for less policing across the nation. She even criticized then-New York Mayor Bill de Blasio’s proposed $1 billion cut to the police department budget in 2020 as not going far enough.
“These proposed ‘cuts’ to the NYPD budget are a disingenuous illusion,” the congresswoman said in June 2020. “This is not a victory. The fight to defund policing continues.”
Paul, a former military policeman who resides in Ocasio-Cortez’s district told Fox News: “My father always said, if you’re afraid of the police, you’re doing something wrong.”
But another local, Zion, said there needs to be better oversight of police, regardless of their budget.
“I wouldn’t say defund the police, but I would say force accountability,” he told Fox News.
“They do a good job. There are some who are great,” Zion said. “But then there are others who are like they came from the pits of hell.”
The defund the police movement gained significant attention in 2020 after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd. A number of major U.S. cities, including New York, Austin, Seattle and Washington D.C., reduced their police budgets following widespread anti-cop protests.
“At the time, a lot of people thought that it was an efficient solution to a problem,” Max said.
Paul told Fox News: “When you see a police officer, you respect them. They’re protecting you.”
“So, no, you can’t defund the police,” Paul said.
Ocasio-Cortez did not respond to a request for comment.