New York Democratic Representative Jamaal Bowman has repeatedly called for defunding the police. However, since taking office, he has seen violent crime rise disproportionately in the districts he represents.
Bowman has been called a hypocrite by various media outlets because, despite constantly criticizing law enforcement, he asked for police protection at his home days after the Capitol attack. Yonkers Police Department Detective Lieutenant Dean Politopoulos told the New York Post that, "In response to the representative's request, the local police station set up a patrol car at the congressman's home for the next two weeks."
Background and contradictions
Bowman has gone so far as to decharacterize the police system, "A system this cruel and inhumane cannot be reformed. Defund the police and defund the system that is terrorizing our communities," he tweeted the month after his election.
We're fighting in your memory, Tamir. You won't be forgotten.
A system this cruel and inhumane can't be reformed. Defund the police, and defund the system that's terrorizing our communities. https://t.co/OwFg32pbZ3
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) December 29, 2020
The representative also criticized funding granted by then-Mayor Bill de Blasio in the 2021 fiscal budget, cutting some $382 million to the NYPD. "I stand with the movement demanding a real $1 billion cut to the NYPD and reallocating resources to public health and the social safety net. We don't need to hire more cops."
I stand with the movement demanding a real $1 billion cut to the NYPD and reallocating resources to public health and the social safety net. We don't need to hire more police.
Let's keep building power and organizing to transform our communities.https://t.co/Tp4rnSKPfN
— Jamaal Bowman (@JamaalBowmanNY) July 1, 2020
Change of heart
But apparently the current crime wave, which includes a spike in homicides, may have changed the representative's mind. At an annual Democratic retreat event he told reporters that he was not anti-police: "No one is anti-police, at least I'm not...We need a smarter approach."
Fox News Digital analyzed the total number of violent crimes posted on the official NYPD website. These crimes include: murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, grand larceny and grand theft auto.
Wave of violence
So far this year, there has been an increase of 787 crimes over the previous year in the districts represented by Bowman. The most significant increase occurred in the 50th precinct. This precinct, which includes the Spuyten Duyvil, Fieldston and Riverdale neighborhoods, saw a 124% increase in robberies and a 153% increase in grand larcenies since last year.
The nationwide crime spree is due in large part to the poor conditions under which police forces operate. This, in turn, is causing an increasingly common police exodus. In the case of the Big Apple, the New York Post reported that 2,465 Police Department officers have filed to leave the agency so far in 2022. This includes 71% who did so before they were eligible for their full pensions. The figure is a 42% jump from the 1,731 officers who left the job at the same time in 2021, the report said.
A similar case in San Francisco
San Francisco Mayor London Breed was among the progressive politicians in major cities across the country who defunded police in the summer of 2020 following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. However, the following year she regretted her decision due to rising crime in the city.
San Francisco's crime data also rose like New York's. FBI figures show that murders were up nearly 17% in 2021 compared to 2020. Robberies have gone up by 2.4% this year and rapes have gone up by 10% compared to 2021, according to data from the San Francisco Police Department.
This led Mayor Breed in December 2021 to reverse the defunding of law enforcement and announce an emergency request to the city's Board of Supervisors for more money to bolster the police department and tackle crime. "I am proud that this city believes in giving people second chances," Breed said. "However, we also need to have accountability when someone breaks the law.... Our compassion cannot be mistaken for weakness or indifference..... My grandmother raised me to believe in tough love, in keeping the house in order, and we need it, now more than ever."