Ten people were shot at a Brooklyn subway station in April.
The subway shooter was arrested the day after the crime.
AOC once opposed the funding of more transit cops.
The NY congresswoman has long been an advocate of defunding the police.
(NewsReady.com) – In 2019, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Board voted 9 to 3 to approve an $18-billion budget. The money allowed the MTA to hire an additional 500 transit cops to work in the subway system to keep travelers safe. However, not everyone wanted the budget to pass.
Opposition to Funding
After the MTA Board voted in favor of the funding for the additional transit officers, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and a group of other Democrats sent then-Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) a letter begging him to prevent it from happening. The Leftists claimed the officers would be “over-policing” the communities and claimed police officers were “brutalizing individuals” on the subway already.
Punishing the poor does not create a safer environment. Instead it threatens the very foundation of our community. That is why my New York colleagues and I wrote a letter to @NYGovCuomo asking him to help put an end to MTA's dangerous policing policy. Check it out here: pic.twitter.com/g1AOWHA7Lh
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) December 17, 2019
The Democrats claimed adding more police to the subways wasn’t “cost-effective” because crime had decreased on mass transit. The letter even claimed there were “historic racial discrepancies in enforcement” on the subway, implying cops are racist.
The governor didn’t stop the funding, but the agency did not immediately hire 500 transit workers because of another issue.
COVID-19 Throws Wrench in Plans
The pandemic broke out just a couple of months after the board approved the funding. Subway travel dramatically decreased. People were forced out of their jobs while the Big Apple tried to get the virus under control and MTA put the plan to hire the officers on the back burner during the summer of 2020 after hiring just 168 officers.
In February 2021, the agency finally started accepting applications to fill the remaining positions. That happened just in time because crime was on the rise.
The funding battle is back in the news because of the Brooklyn subway shooting that left 10 people with gunshot wounds and injured more than 2 dozen others on April 12. Although MTA and NYPD officers weren’t able to stop the shooting when it went down, they secured the area and helped the injured in the aftermath.
AOC and many other Democrats have repeatedly called for police departments to lose funding over the last few years. This week’s shooting demonstrated the need for more officers in high-traffic areas, not fewer.
Do you agree with the MTA’s controversial decision in 2019?
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