Despite hard data indicating that violent crime and murder rates are skyrocketing in major American cities around the country — including her native New York City — Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez called concerns over those spikes mere “hysteria.”
“We are seeing these headlines about percentage increases,” said “AOC,” as she is known, during a Zoom discussion with New York Democratic colleague Rep. Jamaal Bowman. “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.”
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) June 27, 2021
Her remark to Bowman appears to dovetail with statements she made earlier this month when she said that officials ought to end prison construction and use the money instead to concentrate on public health issues, calling it “not acceptable” to use jails for “garbage bins.”
“If we want to reduce violent crime, if we want to reduce the number of people in our jails, the answer is to stop building more of them,” the self-described democratic socialist said. “The answer is to make sure that we actually build more hospitals, we pay organizers, we get people mental health care and overall health care, employment, etc. It’s to support communities, not throw them away.”
And in 2019, she also called for abolishing prisons outright, saying that the country should have “a real conversation about decarceration [and] prison abolition in this country.
“A cage is a cage is a cage. And humans don’t belong in them,” she added.
As an alternative to prison, Ocasio-Cortez, Bowman, and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have proposed Congress earmark $400,000 for a program called “Stand Up To Violence,” which addresses gun crime via community outreach and counseling.
Ocasio-Cortez’s ‘hysteria’ comment was derided online by investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, who tweeted Sunday that she is “mocking ordinary people as ‘hysterical’ who are afraid of violent crime in their neighborhood” while she voted last month to “ensure $2 billion more in spending on the police that protects her.”
AOC is mocking ordinary people as "hysterical" who are afraid of violent crime in their neighborhood: people who, unlike her, don't have reams of private security.
Yet she just acted to ensure $2 billion more in spending on the police that protects her: https://t.co/Kc1BDwd5O2
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) June 27, 2021
In a Substack column, Greenwald noted further that AOC and two other “Squad” members — all of whom have recently called for ‘defunding’ police — could have killed the spending increase but instead voted to support House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s effort to add the funds to a budget request.
Meanwhile, crime and murder rates are soaring around the country, particularly in cities run by Democrats. In Portland, Oregon, murders have increased 800 percent over the past year, for instance, according to a graphic published last month by the National Fraternal Order of Police, which noted that crime rates in 63 of 66 major cities have gone up over the past year.
In March, the Center for Criminal Justice reported “double-digit percentage increases in homicide above and beyond normal seasonal changes,” which the organization called “deeply troubling and suggest that the homicide rise of 2020 has continued into early 2021.”
“Any guesses of what these cities have in common? In addition to having some elected officials that don’t do their jobs, the leadership in all of these cities turned the keys over to the ‘Defund the Police’ mob,” the NFOP tweeted in response to the dramatic hikes in violence.
To illustrate the point, Samuel Poulin, a 21-year-old U.S. Marine was struck in the back by a stray bullet in broad daylight while visiting Times Square in New York City with his family Sunday afternoon. Police said a group of about a half-dozen CD vendors were arguing about something when one of them pulled out a gun and fired a shot, striking Poulin. His wound isn’t life-threatening, reports noted.
And late last week, a man stuck in traffic in Chicago had a front-row seat to a shootout that involved at least one fully automatic weapon — again, in broad daylight.
“They don’t really care anymore when they go out, who sees them or what they do,” Huber Pereznegron, who caught the incident on his vehicle dashcam, said in reference to criminals in Chicago.
“I’m not sure what’s going on through their mind. This stuff needs to stop. There was a lot of innocent people around them,” he added.
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