Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo publicly opposed defunding the police, calling the idea “misguided and dangerous” in his gubernatorial farewell address Monday.
“I disagree with some people in my own party who called to defund the police. I believe it is misguided, I believe it is dangerous,” Cuomo said. “Gun violence and crime are savaging inner cities. Look at New York City, the majority of victims are poor, black and brown.”
“Reforming police must be the goal. Ending discrimination by the police, ending the unnecessary use of force and then building back trust and respect between the police and the community they serve, that’s the real answer.”
In response to the police-involved death of George Floyd in May, 2020, the murder rates in major cities skyrocketed as several Democratic politicians and Black Lives Matter activists called to defund the police. After Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio cut $1 billion from the police budget, New York City experienced a 40% surge in murder rates at the end of 2020 in comparison to 2019.
The city’s murder rates began to decline in July, 2021, after experiencing a steady increase in homicides and shooting throughout the year, New York Police Department (NYPD) data shows. However, the overall crime index increased by 0.2% from the previous year, including a 13% increase in Grand Larceny and nearly a 9% rise in robbery. (RELATED: Cori Bush Says She Will Pay Private Security, But ‘Defunding The Police Has To Happen’)
In 2020, 60% of murder and non-negligent manslaughter victims in New York City were black and 26% of them Hispanic, while only 6% of victims were white and 2% Asian, according to a report by the Police Department of New York. Black and brown people were disproportionately the victims of homicides as rates surged in Chicago, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles and Minneapolis.
The NYPD has reportedly been focusing on building “comprehensive long-term cases” against gun violence and homicides, the NYPD said. NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea vowed to keep New Yorkers safe in a statement published by the NYPD.
“Keeping all New Yorkers safe is what drives us, and your police officers are working with community members around the clock to do just that,” Shea said. “Through targeted deployment and collaborative efforts with those we serve, the department continues to stamp out criminal activity and hold those who commit acts of violence to account.”