Unlike Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), an activist in her district spoke out against the ‘Defund the Police’ movement during an interview with News 12 The Bronx, citing a nationwide violent crime surge.
“There’s a lot of crime happening in the Bronx. There are shootings every day. There are over two or three shootings a week in the Bronx,” said Melody Jimenez, founder of the organization No Voice Unheard. “And we can’t police ourselves. We need authorities to come into our communities and help us.”
Shootings have surged 68 percent in 2021 when compared to 2020 in Democrat Mayor Bill de Blasio’s New York City, Breitbart News reported. De Blasio slashed $1 billion from the budget of the New York City Police Department in June 2020. The mayor backpedaled slightly this year and is reinstating $92 million to build a new precinct.
Jimenez’s organization seeks to “create unity between law enforcement and the communities they serve while also having little patience for both police brutality and anti-police activists,” Fox News reported.
“Why would we defund officers who come out here and risk their lives?” she said. “There’s a lot of money in these streets for cure violence orgs and nothing is changing.”
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th congressional district (including the eastern part of the Bronx), recently asserted the crime surge is just “hysteria” and making “responsible decisions about what [funds] to allocate” away from police departments is “important.” Once, when asked what an America with “defunded police” looks like, stated that it “looks like a suburb.”
Jimenez, who often interacts with elected officials, said she recently spoke with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY) but did not “really speak in-depth about why many of them are standoffish, as many people are to even say we need some form of unity with NYPD with what the agenda being pushed at this moment,” Fox News reported.
“So it seems like something that’s negative,” Jimenez said, “But I have tried to reach out to them, and no one is willing to come forth and say this is the type of unity needed in our community.”
Jimenez often works with Bronx youth and said she sees her community suffering because of division over law enforcement. “There’s not one person that will probably go to an officer when they feel unsafe because of what’s going on in this world,” Jimenez said. “And we need officers to step up, as well.”
Jimenez added that the community needs to behave respectfully toward law enforcement in return. “They are getting disrespected. They are told we want to defund you, they are getting cursed out all day. These are human people that put on a badge to do a job. Let’s not forget that.”