Progressive politicians have gone one better than “defund the police” and are now recommending that constituents refrain from contacting law enforcement.
Two Democrats in New York State, Assemblyman Zohran Kwame Mamdani and New York City council member Tiffany Cabán, have collaborated on a “public safety resource guide” distributed to small businesses. The guide, reproduced in a September 27 tweet, urges constituents not to call the police and instead, use “better ways of solving problems …every time a challenge arises.”
In the event of a “conflict that appears to be escalating,” the guide recommends giving “the person causing harm the chance to correct their behavior,” and saying “no,” “stop” or “that is not okay.” “Repeat the same statement until the person causing harm corrects their behavior or exits (ex. ‘Have a good day!’).” If “naming the behavior” doesn’t work, another option is distracting the “person causing harm,” with a suggested script of, “Hey, didn’t I go to high school with you?”
Business owners scoffed at the guide, saying it was “irresponsibly endangering lives,” with one incredulous restaurant owner responding, “Are you kidding me?… Who does [Cabán] want us to call, Ghostbusters?!”
Prior to unveiling her public safety tips, Cabán campaigned on commitments to defund the police and “end the system of mass incarceration.” Her campaign document, A New Vision for Public Safety in New York City, maintains that “New York City is overpoliced and over-incarcerated.” “If someone is in a situation where they need to call 911 because they are afraid for their life, police are unlikely to be able to help,” it states. “Police do not solve most crimes and do nearly nothing to help survivors and victims.” Cabán even distributed “Defund the NYPD”-marked clothing as part of her campaign.
After a woman was potentially blinded on being violently beaten in a random attack at a subway station in Cabán’s borough of Queens, Cabán reacted by downplaying “fear-mongering,” because “[s]ubway violence is a one-in-a-million event.”
Statistics from the NYPD, however, show that year-to-date transit crime has increased by over 40% compared to 2021. A quick scan of Big Apple headlines reveals several attacks at subway stations within days of the Queens assault, including a woman being slashed in the face and another being punched in the head at a Brooklyn subway station, a man being pushed onto the tracks at the Union Square station (the suspect has a reported 45 prior arrests), and a passenger on a train being fatally stabbed.
The defund-the-police Democrats seem oblivious to or untroubled by the spiking crime rates and lawlessness in their jurisdictions. Heather MacDonald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, points to the case of Philadelphia district attorney Larry Krasner, who insists that his progressive policies are “working,” even as they contribute “to the highest number of murders and the highest murder rate in a city’s history, a record number of carjackings, the routine looting of stores, and savage beatings of innocent pedestrians.”
As for Ms. Cabán, not everyone is on board with her silly “public safety” tips or anti-police ideology. After callers to her office last week expressed their disappointment or dissatisfaction with her (and the hope that she’d be “beaten up on the subway” or get her “ass kicked”), someone on her staff reportedly deviated from the official script and contacted the NYPD. (Cabán’s spokesperson denies that her office called 911 but “without elaborating on how they notified cops.”) A local landlord quoted in the news story comments that when “people were getting robbed at gunpoint across the street from [Cabán’s] office she did nothing… Now someone leaves an anonymous message and she is crying and calling cops while she tells her constituents to call 311 – typical do as I say, not as I do phony politician.”