To the untrained observer, the sharp rise in violent crime in New York City in recent weeks seems readily attributable to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s reckless behavior in the wake of anti-police protests. These behaviors include disbanding the NYPD’s plainclothes anti-crime unit in late June. He has also promised to slash a sixth of the department’s $6 billion annual budget, which will mean fewer cops on the beat. Not surprisingly, police retirements are up nearly 50% compared with last year.
But appearances can be deceiving. What may seem to the average Joe to be a simple cause-and-effect situation may actually be more complex. That is the message from learned Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who explained the sharp rise in crimes thus:
Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent & are scared to pay their rent & so they go out & they need to feed their child & they don’t have money so… they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry.
AOC on increased NYC crime: "Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren't paying their rent & are scared to pay their rent & so they go out & they need to feed their child & they don't have money so… they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry." pic.twitter.com/oHSTWWJZ6a
— The Hill (@thehill) July 12, 2020
Her explanation should ease the mind of the 6-year-old daughter of Anthony Robinson of Brooklyn. The little girl witnessed the violent death of her father at the hands of a drive-by gunman last week as the two crossed a street in Ocasio-Cortez’s home borough of the Bronx. Now the child can grow up knowing that people are essentially good and that the man who murdered her father simply needed money to feed his child.
Something like that.