Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defended her support for “defund the police” Thursday night after an election season in which Republicans weaponized the mantra to paint Democratic opponents as anti-cop and soft on crime.
Democratic leaders complained that two issues closely associated with AOC — defunding the police and socialism — contributed to Democratic losses in House races last week, including Republican challenger Nicole Malliotakis ousting first-term Democratic Rep. Max Rose in the Staten Island congressional race.
AOC defended her position when a 14-year-old student asked her during a virtual town hall meeting to define the meaning of “defund the police.”
Ocasio-Cortez, the Democratic Socialist congresswoman who was easily reelected to a second term last week in the 14th district taking in parts of The Bronx and Queens, admitted that some critics were “apoplectic” over defunding the police.
But she complained that too much funding is pumped into the NYPD at the expense of other preventive safety measures, such as mental