‘We Are Defunding Safety’: Ocasio-Cortez Slams Eric Adams For Increasing Police Wages

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Democratic New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams for boosting police pay, claiming that his actions made the city less safe.

Ocasio-Cortez, who represents part of Brooklyn, argued during a Monday episode of “The Daily Show” that funding should be redirected to social programs rather than the New York Police Department. The congresswoman told guest host Jordan Klepper that the city should approach crime as a public health issue. (RELATED: New York State Hit With Huge Crime Surge In 2022, Data Shows)

“What the data has shown us is if you respond to violence as a public health issue instead of as an incarceration issue, violence decreases,” the congresswoman told Klepper.

Ocasio-Cortez then slammed Adams’ decision to increase police pay, arguing that the decision to increase police funding while cutting other services makes the city less safe.

“We are now at a point where officially most officers are paid more than a teacher with a master’s degree, serving the same kids involved in the same incidents,” she said. “We are defunding safety, defunding our public schools, defunding our public pools, defunding our parks, defunding our libraries. When we are taking all of those resources and demanding that every single department except the militarized one be cut, we are sending a message about who and what we care about.”

Adams announced in early April that the New York City Office of Labor Relations had reached agreement with the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association to raise pay for some 23,000 NYPD officers and boost rookie pay to $55,000, a local NBC affiliate reported. The mayor had previously asked other city agencies to cut a total of $1 billion per year from their budgets.

Fox News notes that, according to the New York City Department of Education, the salary for a starting teacher with a graduate degree is $68,252 with no prior teaching experience or $83,972 with eight years of experience. Crowdsourced compensation site PayScale lists the average salary of an NYPD employee as $81,258.