Two things going on here.
1. Black elected officials are increasingly pushing back against the defunding police movement. The polls show that black voters have their back.
2. Between its piece on Portland and this latest article, the New York Times has pivoted to going after the radical edge of the BLM riots by pitting black people against white lefties. That’s the common theme of the Portland piece and this article coming out of New York City.
Why is the Times going this route? It’s about the election.
With the polls tightening up again, the Democrats need to get Biden across the finish line and get their political movement away from unpopular positions that have a real life impact. Destroying statues is widely opposed, but has limited impact on most people. Police defunding is a mess and with crime rates shooting up, it’s a dangerous one. So the New York Times, the official media organ of the big city Democrat consensus, is starting to push back.
With New York City on the cusp of cutting $1 billion from the Police Department, a city councilwoman, Vanessa L. Gibson, told her colleagues that enough was enough.
They “want to see cops in the community,” Ms. Gibson said.
“They don’t want to see excessive force. They don’t want to see cops putting their knees in our necks,” she said. “But they want to be safe as they go to the store.”
Ms. Gibson is not a conservative politician speaking on behalf of an affluent district. She is a liberal Black Democrat who represents the West Bronx, and her stance reflects a growing ideological rift over policing in one of the country’s liberal bastions.
Laurie Cumbo, a Black councilwoman from Brooklyn who is majority leader, compared calls to defund the police to “colonization” pushed by white progressives. Robert Cornegy Jr., a Black councilman also from Brooklyn, called the movement “political gentrification.”
The wave of shootings, especially homicides, is hitting the black community hard. And, as I’ve been reminding people, it was black communities that made the War on Crime of the 80s possible.
But her district has also experienced an uptick in violent crime, like the fatal shooting of Brandon Hendricks, a 17-year-old basketball star expected to attend St. John’s University. A week later, on July 5, Anthony Robinson was fatally shot while crossing the street with his 6-year-old daughter.
“I hate to say that’s our everyday reality, but it is,” Ms. Gibson said. “Many residents equate public safety with more policing. If I go to them and tell them there would be less police, they would not be happy.”
Alicka Ampry-Samuel, a Black councilwoman from Brooklyn, said that defunding the police any more than what the Council authorized “would be detrimental to my community” in Brownsville, which has one of the highest poverty rates in the city.
Some council members accused Mr. Reynoso and others on his side of “being the product of gentrified” communities and being a part of a “white-led movement” to defund the police.
“The real message is we are not going to compromise the safety of our communities. There are a number of ways to achieve reform,” said I. Daneek Miller, co-chairman of the Council’s Black, Latino and Asian Caucus.
About a week after the Council’s vote, Councilwoman Diana Ayala, who represents East Harlem and the South Bronx, reflected on the movement to defund the police.
She said that she had received thousands of emails in favor of it, but that most came from people who lived outside her district or in another state. She also said she had heard from about 60 callers from East Harlem who had voiced their support, and “half were white or new to the community.”
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