‘Squad member’ Ocasio-Cortez claims the solution to reducing violent crime is building fewer jails


NEW YORK – At a recent ‘violence prevention’ event, Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez declared that building fewer jails will reduce violent crime.

She uttered this arguably ridiculous assertion at a press conference at Jacobi Hospital in the Bronx on Thursday, June 3, 2021.

At the event, she and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-Westchester) presented a program called Stand Up to Violence, which reportedly is a community outreach program designed to prevent and reduce crime.

However, touting this program was apparently not enough for AOC, a staunch proponent of defunding the police, as she also indicated that reducing one means of separating violent individuals from society was also the way to go.

After dismissing concerns about New York’s bail reform leading to increase in crime as “not evidence based,” and calling jails “garbage bins for human beings,” she told the press:

“If we want to reduce violent crime, if we want to reduce the number of people in our jails, the answer is to stop building more of them.”

AOC continued:

“The answer is to make sure that we actually build more hospitals, we pay organizers, we get people mental health care, and overall health care, employment, et cetera.”

She concluded:

“It’s a support community.

“It’s not throw them away.”

These comments come at a time when the nation is seeing a spike in violent crime, with 63 of the 66 largest cities in the country experiencing an increase in violent crime.

According to the latest NYPD statistics, in police-defunded New York City alone, overall crime rose 22% compared with May 2020, with felony assault increasing 20.5% over last May, and shooting incidents skyrocketing by 73%.  

Violent crime overall in NYC has increased by 30% compared to last year.

Hate crimes against Asians in New York City have also increased by a whopping 335%, with 87 reported incidents through May of 2021, compared to 20 incidents at this time last year.

Backlash for AOC’s comments was, predictably, swift and pointed.

Republican Representative Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) suggested on Twitter that AOC desired a situation like “The Purge,” a fictional movie in which criminals were permitted a 12-hour period to commit – legally – any and all crimes without police intervention.

Malliotakis wrote:

‘If AOC had her way . . . there’d be no jails, no arrests, no police (except her private security). 

“New York City would be turned into a 24/7 movie set for ‘The Purge.’”

She also told the New York Post:

“It’s ludicrous to say this at a time when almost every category of major crime is up in our city and criminals are back onto our streets immediately after being arrested to strike again. 

“She has no regard for public safety, no respect for law enforcement and is a hypocrite because she walks around with private security.”

Republican Congresswoman Elise Stefanik of New York’s 21st District also told the Post:

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and far-left Democrats called to abolish ICE and stop funding for the border wall, and we now have the worst immigration crisis in 20 years.

“They called to defund the police, and violent crime in nearly every city across America has tragically skyrocketed. 

“Now, they want to get rid of jails. While the Democrats continue to dismantle our institutions, safety and security, Republicans stand strongly with the American people on the side of law and order.”

Conservative commentator Liz Wheeler asserted that AOC’s statements were representative of Critical Theory, tweeting:

“1/ AOC is practicing Critical Theory here (the grandfather of Critical Race Theory).

“Intentionally or as a stooge, who knows. 

“She’s painting institutions as inherently unjust (altho it’s not unjust to jail criminals who commit violent crimes).”

Wheeler added:

“Her goal is to tear down the institution itself (first jails, then entire criminal justice system) thru relentless criticism based on the false notion that everyone is either oppressed or an oppressor. 

“Then what will replace the system? Marxism. This is textbook Critical Theory.”

Addressing AOC’s questionable logic, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tweeted:

“AOC says insane Dem policies like doing away w/ bail & defunding police don’t cause crime waves & says ‘want less crime, build fewer jails.’ 

“Don’t want more pandemics, build fewer hospitals!  #1 sign of pandemic? Hospitals full of patients. No hospitals/no patients/no pandemic!”

Writer and syndicated columnist David Harsanyi joined in on poking fun at the logic, announcing:

“I am going to stop buying scales. It’s the only real way to lose weight.”

Progressive writer Zaid Jilani pointed out:

“This is actually really wrong, many prisoners (sic) are overcrowded and antiquated, simply blocking the construction of new ones is inhumane. 

“And you can talk all you want about just having fewer prisoners but you aren’t going to get any significant drop overnight, everyone knows that.”

AOC’s anti-jail comments, as well as her dismissal of bail reform as a problem for New York, fly in the face of recent statements by NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea on rising crime and recidivism.

Regarding a recently arrested homeless man who sucker-punched an Asian woman on May 31, Shea pointed out that the man had been arrested – and released – 8 times this year for assault and arson.

Shea stated:

“What are we doing in society when we are releasing these people right back onto the street? It’s craziness.” 

The New York City Police Benevolent Association appeared to agree, tweeting:

“Whether this individual needs mental health services, jail time or both, the answer CANNOT be to put him right back on the street.”

Although he was standing right next to AOC as she made her comments on reducing jails to reduce violent crime, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer declined to respond to the New York Post’s request for input on her statements.

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Criminal paroled after hate-crime attack gets slashed on subway, claims NYC crime ‘has gotten out of hand’

May 21, 2021

NEW YORK CITY – A man who was paroled last year for a hate crime attack said New York City needs more police to crack down on the rising levels of crime, including subway slashings.

Dimitrios Zias, 44, was paroled last year for a 2017 hate-crime attack on a Jewish woman and her mother, but became the victim of a knife slashing on a subway platform on May 18.

In an interview with New York Post, Zias said:

“I feel like a lot of these guys, they feel like they are not going to be held accountable and they just feel like they can go out to harass people or attack them.

“They need to be more strict on crime so people will think twice about, you know, about randomly stabbing people, harassing people.”

Zias also added that more police are needed, especially on subway platforms:

“It has gotten out of hand. The only thing they can do is basically have more police officers.”

Zias was slashed on the side of his neck by an unidentified man who used a pocket knife to attack him during an argument that escalated into violence around 4 p.m. on an L train platform in Union Square, according to New York Post’s report.

His assailant then entered a subway car and left the area.

Zias told New York Post that he served in the military and used his training to remain calm and covered his neck wound with his face mask after the slashing. He estimated that he lost about a pint of blood and said it required three stitches to close the wound.

The New York Post looked into his background and noted that while he claimed he was an accountant, online state records did not show him licensed as one.

Zias told the newspaper he practices privately because of the felony conviction of his unprovoked attack on a mother and daughter.

The hate crime happened in Queens on Sept. 13, 2017. Zias approached two women he assumed were Muslims and yelled at the 37-year-old daughter, “Get out of my country, you dirty Muslim!”

Zias then spit in her face and punched her several times, according to a report by Jewish Telegraphic Agency. When the mother, 57, intervened, Zias grabbed her hair and punched her several times too.

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Zias was later arrested and pleaded guilty the following year to third-degree assault as a hate crime and was sentenced to 1-1/2 to 3 years in prison, according to New York Post’s report.

Zias was released on parole from the medium-security Woodbourne Correctional Facility in Sullivan County in June 2020, according to online prison records. His parole expired in early April, the records show, according to New York Post.

He was also arrested in 2015 for taking photos while aiming his cellphone under a woman’s skirt inside a store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, according to Jewish Telegraphic Agency’s report.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of unlawful surveillance in that case, according to prison records, and was apparently on probation when he got busted for the Queens attack.

In a follow-up interview with New York Post, Zias acknowledged his criminal history and expressed remorse for his past actions and pointed out that he is a crime victim too and deserves justice:

“I paid my debt to society. I took full responsibility for what I did. I’m not the same person today that I was when I committed the crime.

“But in this case, I am the victim. This is attempted murder. He stabbed me in the neck. He tried to kill me.

“He should be held accountable for what he did just as how I was held accountable for what I did.”

Crime has been spiking in New York City, and there has been an uptick in knifings, shootings and assaults since defunding of the police kicked off.

On May 18, a 54-year-old woman was slashed several times in an unprovoked attack inside a Manhattan subway station. 

The New York Post reported the victim was standing on a platform inside the 14th Street-Union Square station when she was attacked from behind by a 22-year-old man at about 10:10 p.m.

The suspect slashed the woman across her left shoulder, left collarbone area and the upper chest, sources said.

A witness to the attack jumped into action and subdued the suspect until police arrived, according to sources.

The woman was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Also on May 18, a man was slashed during a fight with two others inside a Manhattan subway station, according to another New York Post report.

Three men were on the platform of the Cathedral Parkway – 110th Street 1 train station in Morningside Heights around 1 a.m. when a fight erupted and one 26-year-old man was slashed in the arm.

The victim was taken to Mount Sinai Morningside for treatment. One suspect was in custody and the other was still at large.

On May 16, a 16-year-old suspect was arraigned for his alleged role in a string of brutal subway slashings in Manhattan. Prosecutors said he was involved with a gang initiation ritual.

The teen was charged with first degree assault, robbery and criminal possession of a weapon and held on $50,000 bail.

According to a report, the suspect and his cohorts entered the subway station at 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue and robbed multiple individuals along the 6 train line.

One victim was slashed in the face. One accomplice encouraged the teen to slash the victim again.

Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to temporarily add 250 more police patrols to city subways, but it won’t be enough to tackle the surge in transit crimes, transit officials and police sources said last Monday.

MTA Chairman Pat Foye said at a briefing:

“I think we need more beyond that, but the dialogue between the MTA and the state and the city should continue and I thank the mayor for the additional police officers.

“We need a commitment from City Hall that these patrols will remain dedicated to the transit system as we recover.”

One unidentified NYPD officer told New York Post:

“It’s crazy. Those subways are a mess. You have no idea how crazy it is. 250? You need at least 1,000 cops there, and if they see something they don’t want to do anything ’cause they feel they are not being backed.”

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