New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has disputed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ’s claim that a surge in crime is because people can’t afford to pay their rent or feed their families, saying her theory is ‘factually impossible’.
The Democratic congresswoman, who represents parts of Queens and the Bronx, last week tried to pin the blame for the skyrocketing bloodshed in the Big Apple on people not being able to afford their rent and resorting to ‘stealing bread to feed their children’.
But Cuomo brushed off the idea in a press conference in Manhattan Monday pointing out New Yorkers cannot be evicted from their homes amid the pandemic due to his eviction freeze and that the spike in crime is mainly shootings and other violent offenses.
The debate comes as recent research revealed a quarter of New York City tenants haven’t paid rent in four months.
Police data shows shootings are up 185 percent and murders 50 percent compared to the same week last year.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (left) has disputed Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez ‘s (right) claim that a surge in crime is because of rent struggles saying her theory is ‘factually impossible’
‘It is factually impossible that somebody committed a crime so they could pay their rent,’ Cuomo said at Monday’s press conference when asked about AOC’s claims.
‘If you can’t pay your rent, you cannot be evicted right now.’
Cuomo issued an executive order back in March banning landlords from evicting tenants for not paying their rent due to financial hardship during the coronavirus crisis.
The eviction moratorium was extended in May until August 20 and on June 30 Cuomo signed a bill extending it through the end of New York’s state of emergency.
‘People have theories but an incorrect theory doesn’t wind up being correct because there’s a void,’ Cuomo said.
‘I don’t think there is one answer. There are a number of contributing factors [to the rise in crime] and you put all those factors together and that’s what you’re seeing going on.
‘There’s no one factor.’
The governor pointed to data that shows the rise in crime has come from violent crimes and murder rather than robberies.
Protesters have called for rent to be canceled in light of unemployment amid COVID-19
Demonstrators in Bushwick, Brooklyn, called for more help during the pandemic on July 5
NYC VIOLENCE IN THE LAST WEEK COMPARED TO THE SAME WEEK IN 2019:
- Shooting victims +206%
- Shooting incidents +185%
- Murders +50%
- Burglary +29%
- Grand larceny auto +68%
- Rape -15%
- Robbery -27%
- Felony assault -8%
‘You have violent crime, murder etc. more than robbery – the violent crimes have been more drug-related etc. on the facts,’ he said.
Cuomo’s comments come in response to AOC’s claims during a virtual town hall last Thursday about plans to defund the police.
‘Do we think this has to do with the fact that there’s record unemployment in the United States right now?’ she asked.
‘Maybe this has to do with the fact that people aren’t paying their rent and are scared to pay their rent,’ said AOC, who has repeatedly called on Cuomo to go further in reducing the burden on renters, including scrapping rent in New York altogether during the pandemic.
‘And so they go out, and they need to feed their child and they don’t have money so they feel like they either need to shoplift some bread or go hungry,’ she added.
Doubts have been cast on AOC’s comments after research last week revealed that a staggering one in four NYC tenants haven’t paid rent at all in the four months since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Data from the Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) found that around 25 percent of the 5.4 million people renting in the city have not made a payment since March.
The Big Apple has been rocked by a surge in violence in recent weeks, with the latest NYPD data showing the number of shooting victims is up a staggering 206 percent in the last week, compared to the same week in 2019.
In total, the NYPD recorded 101 people were shot in the week from June 29 to July 5 – up from 33 in the same week last year.
Shooting incidents were also up 185 percent and murders up 50 percent compared to the same time last year, according to the NYPD CompStat 2.0.
Burglaries are also on the rise – though to a lesser extent – up by 29 percent compared to the same week last year.
Fears are mounting over where New York City’s violent streak is headed, after yet another weekend of bloodshed which left a one-year-old boy dead following a shooting near a Brooklyn playground Sunday.
The spike in crime comes as the City Council voted to scrap $1 billion from the NYPD’s annual $6 billion budget, after weeks of protests calling for the force to be defunded in the wake of the Memorial Day death of black man George Floyd.
Fears are mounting over where New York City’s violent streak is headed, after yet another weekend of bloodshed which left a one-year-old boy dead following a shooting near a Brooklyn playground Sunday. A stroller was left at the scene as well as several chairs on the sidewalk
Cops were pictured on the scene at the Marcus Garvey Boulevard and Madison Street cross-section following the shooting
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio on Friday asked the NYPD to place more cops at violent hotspots despite having just cut the department’s budget by $1 billion.
The mayor unveiled his new ‘Take Back the Block’ initiative to curb gun violence in the Big Apple saying: ‘We will take back our streets in Harlem and all over our city but we’re going to do it from the ground up.
‘We are going to break the cycle of violence.’
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea accused de Blasio of ‘bowing to mob rule’ by cutting the department’s budget and said the subsequent violence over the Fourth of July weekend was ‘predictable’.
Members of the NYPD investigate the fatal shooting of a 23-year-old man in Harlem on July 5
NYPD Chief Terence Monahan also weighed in on the weekend violence on Monday, calling it ‘unacceptable’.
He said the surge was due to ‘a combination of things’, including the pandemic, new reforms and heightened tensions between police and citizens.
‘The animosity toward police out there is tremendous,’ Monahan said.
‘Just about everyone we deal with is looking to fight a police officer when we make an arrest, so it is vital that we get communities together supporting and speaking up for police.’
The mayor acknowledged that the city saw ‘too much violence’ between Friday and Sunday.
‘We have a lot of work to do to address it,’ he said.
But he argued that ‘there is not one cause for something like this’, citing failures by the court system, economic uncertainty and the fact that residents are restless after months in coronavirus lockdown.
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