Black lawmakers in New York City are speaking out against leftists' calls to defund the police, arguing that cutting the city’s police force would hurt communities where shooting and homicide rates have surged this summer, the New York Times reported.
West Bronx councilwoman Vanessa Gibson told the Times she disagreed with Democratic mayor Bill de Blasio's $1 billion cut to the NYPD's budget and that her constituents actually want to see police in their communities. Brooklyn councilwoman Laurie Cumbo likened defunding the police to the "white progressive" push to teach "colonization." Her colleague Robert Cornegy Jr. called the movement "political gentrification."
Newark, New Jersey, mayor Ras Baraka (D.) also spoke to the Times and called defunding the police a "bourgeois liberal" movement.
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The report follows a Gallup poll released last week, which found that more than 80 percent of black Americans favor maintaining or increasing police presence in their communities.
As activists continue to push defunding the police, shootings in New York City have spiked. According to the latest NYPD crime statistics, year-to-date shootings are up 76 percent. With 793 shootings this year, the city has already surpassed the total number of shootings in 2019 and is on track to have more than 800 shootings for the first time in three years.