After Defunding The Police, NYC First Lady Wants New Yorkers To “Defend Their Neighbors” As Crime Spikes

After helping push the “defund the police” movement last summer through her husband, New York City’s first lady, Chirlane McCray, is now asking the public to physically intervene in violent altercations as assaults cases spike.

The wife of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said New Yorkers should “physically intervene” to stop the rise of violent crimes, nine months after her husband slashed police funds to be “redirected” to “youth initiatives and social services” instead.

“As attacks on Asian American communities continue, we’re asking New Yorkers to show up for their neighbors and intervene when witnessing hateful violence or harassment,” McCray wrote in a series of Twitter posts on March 6. “I know that can be frightening when you aren’t sure what to do or say, but you can learn.”

“Fear is a normal feeling when stepping into a confrontation, but being prepared can help,” she added.

McCray — who has been appointed by her husband in various racial initiatives of the city because she is black — also went to advise her followers to “interrupt” the assault by “ignor[ing] the harasser and engage directly with the person who is being targeted by asking a question like, “What time is it?” 

She went on to say that witnesses can also “support a person in crisis by recording on your phone” and “check in with the survivor after the incident,” she added, noting that this will show “that they are valued.”

“Respond directly to the aggressor or physically intervene and only after assessing the situation. Be confident, assertive, calm,” the New York City First Lady added.

 “This is risky, but sometimes all we can do is speak up.”

Her remarks came a week after a 46-year-old  Asian-American man, Yong Zheng, was fatally stabbed while trying to be a good samaritan and stopping a Brooklyn robbery incident.

McCray sits as co-chair of NYC’s Task Force on Racial Inclusion and Equity. She was also put in charge of a “Commission on Racial Justice and Reconciliation” — to decide the fate of monuments, buildings and statues honoring founding fathers like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, the New York Post earlier reported.

Meanwhile, crimes have been escalating in McCray’s New York City. Reports said shootings doubled last year and were already up 75% just last month over the comparable period in 2020. Burglaries, and violent, unprovoked crimes against Asians have also spiked.

The Big Apple earlier slashed US$1 billion from the police budget amid escalating pressure from progressive sectors to defund the police. The city said it will be reinvesting the money instead into “youth and social services programming.”

“We are reducing the size of our police force by not having the next recruit class. We are reducing our overtime levels. We’re shifting functions away from police to civilian agencies,” de Blasio said then

“We think it’s the right thing to do. It will take work. It will take effort and we’re going to be reforming that work in the meantime.”

Budget cut impacting police response

New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said last year that the budget cut to the NYPD’s funds could be partly blamed for the surge in crime in the city.

“It certainly had a significant impact,” Shea earlier told Fox News. “You think back, crime follows certain patterns and trends. Certainly, we see upticks of violence in the summer. … To have this crazy time happen this year, certainly, and leading to a defunding, it’s really hurt.”

“This defunding movement at a time when we know crime generally takes an upward trajectory in the summer has been a double-whammy. A 60% cut in overtime is going to damage any industry. It’s certainly hitting us.”

The budget cut will eliminate two of the usual four new classes of police officers in 2021, reducing the police department’s officers by more than 1,100.


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