A veteran Harlem lawmaker blasted Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for backing her rival within the Democratic major and vowed that the socialist firebrand’s “defund the police” agenda might be roundly rejected.
“AOC helps defunding the police. My neighborhood opposes defunding the police,” mentioned Assemblywoman Inez Dickens, who’s in search of re-election to a fourth time period after beforehand serving within the Metropolis Council.
Ocasio-Cortez is backing housing activist Delsenia Glover within the seventieth Meeting District towards incumbent Dickens.
As The Publish reported Monday, AOC has endorsed a slate of rebel candidates together with the left-wing Working Households Occasion in a bid to topple seven veteran meeting incumbent Democrats, together with Dickens.
The defund the police mantra turned a rallying cry for AOC and different progressives following the police killing of a handcuffed and susceptible George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.
However Republicans attacked Democratic candidates within the common election of 2020, saying the defund the police motion condoned lawlessness amid a spike in crime. Some Democrats blamed the leftists’ push to defund the police with costing the celebration seats whereas Eric Adams gained the New York Metropolis mayoralty final 12 months as a foe of gutting the NYPD.
Now mainstream Democrats like Dickens, dealing with primaries from AOC-backed challengers from the left, are making the congresswoman eat her personal phrases as violence has gripped town.
Dickens mentioned Ocasio-Cortez is out of step with Harlemites fed up with crime.
“There have been so many shootings in my neighborhood. My constituents are hollering for extra police. They need to have the ability to name the police,” Dickens mentioned.
Dickens in March was one the primary distinguished black Democratic lawmakers to publicly say the legislature wanted to tighten up the no-cash bail legislation to curb against the law wave and proposed a invoice that might make throwing or smearing a sufferer with feces or different bodily fluids a felony crime — after a sicko allegedly smeared his personal crap on a girl on a Bronx subway platform.
“AOC is making an attempt to construct a political agenda my neighborhood doesn’t agree with. She’s making an attempt to take over the Meeting, she’s making an attempt to take over Congress,” Dickens mentioned.
“She’s speaking about her political agenda after a subway capturing, after ten individuals have been slaughtered in Buffalo, after an harmless 11-year outdated was shot and killed from a man on a scooter Who’s going to police us? We will’t have a police much less society — until we’ve got a junta,” Dickens mentioned.
The AOC-backed problem to Dickens, 72, shouldn’t be an idle menace. Democratic socialist Kristin Richardson final 12 months was elected to the Council representing Harlem.
Dickens is a part of the Harlem institution. She adopted within the footsteps of her father, Lloyd Dickens, a former state assemblyman, and uncle, Thomas Dickens, who additionally was an assemblyman and a state choose.
Ocasio-Cortez had no rapid remark.
However the congresswoman has typically defended her assist of defund the police, claiming her place has been mischaracterized. It’s about shifting sources from legislation enforcement to different providers to cut back poverty and forestall criminality, she mentioned.
“What does an America with defunded police appear to be to you? The excellent news is that it truly doesn’t take a ton of creativeness. It appears like a suburb,” AOC mentioned in June 2020.
“Prosperous white communities already stay in a world the place they select to fund youth, well being, housing and so forth greater than they fund police. These communities have decrease crime charges not as a result of they’ve extra police, however as a result of they’ve extra sources to assist [a] wholesome society in a approach that reduces crime.
“When an adolescent or preteen does one thing dangerous in a suburb (I say teen bc that is typically the place lifelong carceral cycles start for Black and Brown communities), White communities bend over backwards to search out alternate options to incarceration for his or her family members to `shield their future’, like neighborhood service or rehab or restorative measures.”
Ocasio-Cortez continued, “Prosperous White suburbs additionally design their very own lives in order that they stroll via the world with out having a lot interruption or interplay with police in any respect except for neighborhood occasions and rushing tickets (and lots of of those communities attempt to scale back these, too!)”
Throughout a city corridor assembly after the 2020 elections, AOC mentioned, “I consider the trail towards justice is a protracted arc. Security isn’t just an officer with a badge and a gun.”
“Our [police budget] is just too excessive,” she mentioned, citing a $6 billion determine for the NYPD.