The White House objected to New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio's claim economic conditions are the cause of New York City's recent crime wave.
AOC, remember, had advocated for defunding the New York City Police Department and then claimed the passage of $1.5 billion reduction would not be enough, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Monday.
"You have, most egregious of all, really, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez saying defund the police means defund the police," McEnany said. "She criticized of course the announcement of $1.5 billion being taken down from NYPD [that the cut wasn't enough].
"And this weekend, when faced with 28 shootings in New York, a 600% increase from this time last year, you have Rep. Ocasio-Cortez saying this is just because people are trying to get food with their families.
"That is preposterous."
Instead, McEnany contended, it is a result of a renewed effort to diminish authority of police that is keeping New Yorkers less safe.
"The reality is 63% of Americans in this country fear that criticism of our police departments will lead to no public safety in their streets – and 69% of black Americans," she added, though the source of those figures wasn't immediately clear. "This is a real issue when you call our police cancer, when you talk about dismantling them. And then this weekend in New York, you see a 1-year-old killed in his stroller. His name was Davelle Gardner Jr. and that 1-year-old will be in our prayers."
"I do think that even when you talk about violent crime, I don’t think that poverty and economic desperation are separate from that either," AOC said, per the New York Post.
"When people do not have opportunities, I can tell you from my personal experience and what I saw growing up. When families don't have money, a lot of times young people and teens that feel like they need to support their mom, sometimes they'll turn to selling drugs, which can then lead to an escalated level of trouble, to what police label as gang activity.
"So the idea that violent crime is somehow immune, or totally separated, from the economic situation that people are going through right now, I think that's mistaken. It's true. The desperation, even if we're not talking about petty theft, there is a ladder that escalates into violent crime that is very much connected to the economic situation of a given community."
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