“Defund the Police” Was About Punishing Police Departments

Dr. Munr Kazmir
4 min readFeb 11, 2022

Funding for better social services could have come from literally anywhere. Tying it to police budgets was unnecessary, misguided…and personal.

Photo by Flow Clark on Unsplash.

“The defund police movement is dead in New York City,” New York Congressman Ritchie Torres told MSNBC’s Joe Diaz-Balart on Thursday.

“And good riddance,” Rep. Torres continued before delivering the coup de gras. “Any elected official who’s advocating for the abolition and/or even the defunding of police is out of touch with reality and should not be taken seriously.”

Torres was at the time agreeing with new NYC Mayor Eric Adams that cutting police budgets is not in the best interests of the city. Their voices join a growing clamor of moderate Democrats attempting to drown out chants to “Defund the Police” still emanating from the far left.

Even as crime has spiked wildly in cities, some of which took steps to defund their police departments before backtracking in recent months to refund them, some progressives Democrats have doubled-down.

Minnesota Democrat and progressive squad member Rep. Ilhan Omar was recently asked to respond during an interview on the Medhi Hassan show: “How do you feel when you see even self-proclaimed progressives in your party like NY Congressman Ritchie Torres saying that ‘defund the police’ is dead in New York City and where many Democrats, including the new mayor, a former police captain, are loudly distancing themselves from the defund movement?”

“When you see the rise in mental health crises, when you’re seeing domestic violence increase because of COVID and other measures, when you see so many people with addiction problems, and you see the level of homelessness we have in our communities, and you still say more resources shouldn’t be allocated to that, to keep our communities safe and healthy, I really don’t know what your point is in saying that you represent the most vulnerable in our communities,” Omar answered. “Because if you care about those who are vulnerable, then you have to do everything that you can to keep them safe.”

As others have pointed out, linking funding for social services with police budgets has created a false dichotomy. Presenting the choice as one between a robust funding of…