A New York City councilwoman is still pushing to abolish the police days after a shooting in her Harlem neighborhood left two NYPD cops dead.
Kristin Richardson Jordan (D.), a self-described socialist who represents the city's Ninth District, campaigned on a platform that promised to "hold police accountable" and move toward "a world without police." She opposed the election of Mayor Eric Adams (D.), a former police captain, calling it "a huge step backwards," and has referred to the NYPD as "the biggest gang in New York City." So when Officers Jason Rivera and Wilbert Mora were fatally shot in the line of duty on Friday, Jordan lamented the violence but insisted that abolishing the police was still the solution.
"I stand with the families of the fallen," Jordan said following the shooting on Friday in her district. "To be clear," she added, "the death of police officers is not what abolition is. Abolition is an end to violence altogether."
In response to instances of police brutality and police-involved deaths of black Americans in recent years, members of the Democratic Party, including the far-left "Squad," and activist groups like Black Lives Matter have advocated to defund or abolish police departments. Organizers of the Defund the Police movement have called for "investing in housing, health care, income support, employment, and community-based safety strategies" as opposed to law enforcement. And proponents of police abolition, such as Tracey Meares, a member of the Obama administration's President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing, have argued that "policing as we know it must be abolished before it can be transformed."
The murder of George Floyd in May 2020 catalyzed both movements and catapulted far-left members of Congress, such as Cori Bush (D., Mo.), into office. But critics have pointed to some of Bush's actions as proof of the necessity of police. The congresswoman faced backlash in 2021 when campaign records revealed she spent $70,000 on a private security detail even as she decried law enforcement.
According to a study by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, which surveyed millions of 911 calls across nine different police departments, only 1.3 percent of calls involve mental health incidents. Of those incidents, just 4 percent resulted in a police officer being dispatched to handle the call.
"We find that the amount and types of incidents for which people call the police are voluminous, with the vast majority not obviously transferable to other organizations or government sectors without significant resource expenditures or adjustments," the study's authors concluded.
Lashawn McNeil shot Rivera and Mora in Harlem on Friday night as the officers responded to a domestic disturbance call. Rivera was pronounced dead that night. Mora was taken to the hospital, where on Tuesday he succumbed to his injuries.
Jordan did not respond to a request for comment.