NYC council candidate wants to completely defund NYPD: ‘Get to…where we are no longer funding police – period’

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NEW YORK CITY- What could possibly go wrong with this scheme? A city council candidate in New York City is proposing to slash the $6 billion dollar NYPD budget by half—and that’s only the beginning.

She claims that her end goal is to build a system where police wouldn’t be needed at all, according to an article in the Jackson Heights Post.

Tiffany Caban, a 33-year-old former public defender and previous candidate for Queens District attorney announced the scheme this past week. And it’s a doozy. Caban wants to take funds from the NYPD and redirect it into social services.

This, a year after the crime rate in the Big Apple skyrocketed.

Caban unveiled a 48-page plan which she said provides a “roadmap” as to how funds would be reallocated to areas such as mental health, job creation, housing security and legal issues.

“My goal at the end of the day is to ultimately get to a place where we are no longer funding police—period,” she told the Queens Post.

“That is not going to happen tomorrow, that is not going to happen next year, but it’s important to have that goal in mind—understanding that there is no connection between police and public safety, and we have to stop pretending that there is.”

Her scheme looks to remove police from complaints involving so-called “low-level” crimes and 911 complaints, such as prostitution, minor narcotics offenses, traffic incidents, mental health crises and quality of life problems. She also wants police removed from schools.

In its place, Caban suggests a number of non-policing emergency and crisis response units.

Caban believes public safety to be a “public health issue,” and she suggests there are existing models used elsewhere she claims have been successful.

Caban claims that if people are provided with resources within their respective communities, everything will be sunshine and lollipops.

Her proposal suggests “neighborhood hubs” be crated, where people would be able to receive services such as family support, safe consumption areas [places to shoot up “safely” in other words], homeless mitigation programming, immigration legal services, school counseling, mental health crisis responders, etc.

“It lays out an ecosystem,” she says. “It shows all these solutions and programs in relationship to one another.”

Caban claims these solutions are nothing new and have been tried elsewhere, claiming they are the result of organizing by minorities. She says she has worked with so-called “experts” and community-based organizations and activists to hatch the scheme.

“Everything in this plan, it exists somewhere else,” she said. “So we’re talking about taking things that we know are supported by empirical evidence and scaling them to service our entire city.”

But what of the increase in violent crime and gun violence? Caban said her scheme addresses that.

She claims officers spend only a small amount of time dealing with violent crime, and resources should be more directed toward preventing crime.

“We know what works better,” she said. “For example for gun violence—violence interruption programs like Cure Violence and LIFE Camp here in the city reduce gun violence at rates that the police are not able to do.”

Cure Violence has been brought into several high-crime precincts in New York City, and Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a $10 million expansion of the program last June. The program addresses violence as a public health problem.

Caban tied the increase in gun violence into the economic crisis brought forth by the pandemic, yet apparently dismisses the connection between the increase in violent crime and the bail reform act which went into effect January 2020.

“We see upticks in violence throughout history whenever there is an economic crisis,” Caban says. “That goes back to our argument of saying that we have to provide housing, healthcare, education and jobs because that is the best way to keep our communities safe.”

Caban’s youthful naivete is showing however in that she ignores statistics. As of last September, the city’s murder rate soared by 27 percent, with gang violence increasing by 50 percent, according to the Daily Mail.

Likewise, burglaries had increased by 20 percent and grand theft auto by 30 percent. In addition, juvenile arrests for major felonies were up 54 percent.

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Caban mentioned the program “Cure Violence” as a solution to eliminate police. Last month, we reported on the head of a similar program in Baltimore being shot and killed by the violence he was tasked in helping prevent. For more on that, we invite you to:

DIG DEEPER

BALTIMORE, MD- A local community leader is dead as violence continues to plague Baltimore into the new year.

Police are investigating the shooting death of Dante Barksdale, who was shot to death Sunday morning. Officers responded to the 200 block of Douglas Court at around 11:17 a.m. and found Barksdale with a gunshot wound to the head.

 

Barksdale was transported via EMS to Johns Hopkins Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Barksdale’s death was confirmed by Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott, as well as Baltimore police, according to WJZ in Baltimore.

Scott described Barksdale as “the heart and soul of Safe Streets,” where he worked for nine years.

In 2018, WBAL-11 reported that Safe Streets is a program that “operates with violence interrupters—people who try to help others resolve conflict without picking up guns.”

The outlet reported that the program started in 2007 and was taken over by the city in 2018 under the auspices of the Health Department.

“My heart is broken with the loss of my friend Dante Barksdale, a beloved leader in our community who committed his life to saving lives in Baltimore. He was the heart and soul of Safe Streets, where he worked for 9 years.

“His death is a major loss to Safe Streets, the communities they serve and the entire City of Baltimore. I send my deepest condolences and prayers to Dante’s family in this tragic time,” Scott said in a Sunday statement, WBAL reported.

Scott said that he would not “let those who chose to violently take his life dampen the light of his work.”

“While I am devastated by the loss of my brother in the fight to save lives in Baltimore, I will not let those who chose to violently take hi life to dampen the light of his work. The work that Dante did, and the work that so many in Safe Streets and other street-based organizations do to actively interrupt violence, is critical to my priority of reducing violence and making Baltimore’s neighborhoods safer.”

Shantay Jackson, director of the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement said:

“Dante was not only a respected Safe Streets team member but a beloved friend to so many in Baltimore. He turned his life around and worked tirelessly for nearly a decade to prevent gun violence in our communities by working with those who were at the highest risk of being a shooter or the victim of shooting.

“Our office mourns this senseless loss of life with the rest of Baltimore City and is committed to honoring his life and his light by continuing to work to end gun violence in our city once and for all.”

Barksdale’s death should serve as a wakeup call to politicians and activists across the country who have been demanding the defunding of police officers and using civilians such as Barksdale to intervene with violent criminals.

Simply put, this is what law enforcement authorities and police advocates have been warning about since the “defund the police” mantra came into vogue last summer.

The Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department, Michael Harrison released as statement on Sunday:

“The men and women of the Baltimore Police Department offer our heartfelt condolences to the family of Dante Barksdale. His work in outreach, mediating conflicts and reducing gun violence in our city was invaluable and he embodied a message of redemption and peace to the many young people of our city.”

The Associated Press reported that Baltimore recorded 335 homicides in 2020, which was actually 13 fewer than in 2019. However the AP said that 48 women and girls were killed, which is double the number of females killed in the city compared to only three years ago. Much of that increase has been attributed to domestic violence.

In 2018, Barksdale told WBAL-11:

“If there is a Safe Streets site next to your community, you are welcome to walk in and engage with one of our violence interrupters, and if they have a rapport or a relationship with some of the people that you might be having a conflict with, then I encourage you to tell them about it because I really believe that they can help you mediate a conflict.”

Baltimore police authorities are seeking the public’s help in trying to apprehend Barksdale’s killer by either calling detectives at (410) 396-2100 or if they wish to remain anonymous contacting the Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

Those considering the use of civilians in law enforcement roles might want to rethink that strategy. The death of Mr. Barksdale should serve as a cautionary tale to the defund the police crowd, or there will be more blood on the streets from innocent people such as he.  

Law Enforcement Today will update this story as additional information becomes available. 

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