Activist and MSNBC contributor Brittany Packnett Cunningham said Monday morning that rising crime rates are the “fault of the police,” not the fault of movements nation wide calling for the police to be defunded.
MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle brought Cunningham and Center for Policing Equity co-founder Tracie Keesee on her show to discuss community policing and rising crime rates in major cities. Crime has become a key issue in New York City’s mayoral race.
When Ruhle asked about the New York City mayoral race, crime, and the defund the police movement, Cunningham said that everyone wants safer communities, but called policing “ineffective.” (RELATED: Cities That Pushed For Defunding The Police Reckon With Record-High Crime Rates)
“Defunding the police is not just about taking money out of an institution that continues to prove ineffective, it’s also about refunding the people,” she said. “It’s about ensuring that the services that people need to ensure safe communities from the ground up are actually being funded and resourced to their full capacity.”
Cunningham blamed police unions and “GOP operatives” for linking the defund the police movement to rising crime. She said that defunding the police never actually happened because in the 50 largest cities in the United States, police spending as a share of general expenditures rose by 0.1%.
After the death of George Floyd, the defund the police movement took off. Activists called for alternatives such as community policing and redirecting funds to invest in the community. Police departments, including those in Minneapolis and San Francisco, told the Daily Caller News Foundation that they saw a drop in applications during calls for budget cuts.
The police departments in Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas put in place a hiring freeze after officials cut $15 million and $150 million from the departments’ budgets, respectively. New York City passed a budget bill in 2020 to defund the police by $1 billion.
“So this rising crime is not the fault of the movement, it’s actually the fault of the police and this has been our point all along,” Cunningham added. “Why should we keep funding systems and institutions that keep rendering themselves ineffective? We should be talking about gun control, livable wages, fair housing, education – that’s where we should be moving the money to, to ensure truly safe streets.”