During a virtual town hall on Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opined about the causes of a wave of crime in New York City:
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: I think there is something about this uptick in crime — Let me make something super clear for everyone: The New York City Police Department has not been defunded, even with these budgetary changes that were proposed in the city council. A.) They’re not fully enacted. B.) They aren’t a real $1 billion in cuts. C.) These cuts aren’t really real. And again, they haven’t even happened yet. Keep in mind that this uptick in crime that is happening right now — this is with a $6 billion annual police budget. So our $6 billion budget has not prevented this uptick in crime. We have shoved more and more money every year into the NYPD — $6 billion. And it has not prevented this uptick in crime. But let’s back up: Why is this uptick in crime happening? The NYPD themselves have told a story that is disproven by their own data. They said it was because of bail reform… But they just released data a few weeks ago that among everyone who committed crimes, almost none have been re-released by the bail reform… Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now? The fact that people are at a level of economic desperation that we have not seen since the Great Recession? Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent and so they go out, and they need to feed their child and they don’t have money so … they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry.