Al Sharpton: Defunding police is something ‘a latte liberal' may like, but ‘proper policing’ is necessary

By Brian Flood | Fox News

‘On the ground it is certainly feeling more violent, feeling more unsafe in unsafe communities,’ he said.

MSNBC’s Al Sharpton said Tuesday that defunding the NYPD is something “a latte liberal’ may support, but “people living on the ground need proper policing.”

“Morning Joe” namesake Joe Scarborough asked Sharpton about the crime in his native New York City, which has seen a surge in shootings during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“We’ve always heard about the tale of two cities. On the side of the city that I come from, which is Blacker and poorer, we’ve seen more in terms of gun usage. I got a lot of attention when I did the eulogy for George Floyd’s funeral, but I also, a month later, preached a 1-year-old kid’s funeral in Brooklyn who was killed by a stray bullet,” Sharpton said.

“Six people were shot over Labor Day weekend at a festivity in Brooklyn, so I would say statistically we’re not much higher than where we were, but on the ground it is certainly feeling more violent, feeling more unsafe in unsafe communities,” Sharpton added.

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Scarborough then brought up the “defund the police” movement – which demonstrators have been calling for across the country, since the death of George Floyd in police custody in late May – noting that some feel it would largely impact minorities and people in already unsafe neighborhoods.

“We need to re-imagine how we do policing, but … to take all policing off is something a latte liberal may go for as they sit around the Hamptons discussing this as an academic problem. But people living on the ground need proper policing,” Sharpton said.

Demonstrators calling to “defund the police” want taxpayer funds diverted from policing systems to support initiatives that focus on community and youth programs. Activists say the move would help prevent racial injustices by providing opportunities for underprivileged communities.

New York City lawmakers voted in July on budget changes that shifted $1 billion from the New York Police Department to programs that assist in youth and community development, a number that fell short of what many protesters in the city have demanded.

The City Council said in a statement that the city’s 2021 budget will include $837 million in cuts and transfers to the New York Police Department (NYPD) expense budget, which removes $1 billion from the NYPD’s spending when combined with associated costs.

The amount was far less than what some protesters demanded. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., said earlier that $1.5 billion in cuts would not be enough.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall contributed to this report.

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