New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who has expressed support for defunding the police, was ushered out of a news event with Capitol Police protection.
Ocasio-Cortez joined Democrats at a news conference on Tuesday to call for passage of a bill granting the Biden administration the authority to implement an eviction moratorium. Ocasio-Cortez, a climate action advocate and sponsor of the Green New Deal, left with Capitol Police protection in a large Chevy Suburban SUV at the conclusion of the news conference.
Ocasio-Cortez has supported the “defund the police” demand of the Black Lives Matter activist group.
“Defunding police means defunding police,” Ocasio-Cortez said last year. “It does not mean budget tricks or funny math.”
Capitol Police protection is assigned to congressional leaders in the House and Senate, such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. In some cases, Capitol Police officers protect traveling members of Congress.
Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo., was ripped by viewers on Thursday after telling CBS News that the police “need” to be defunded, despite shelling out thousands of dollars for her own personal security detail.
Bush slept outside the Capitol this week to protest the end of the first eviction moratorium that was put in place because of the coronavirus pandemic. The representative was once homeless herself. She and Democratic leaders celebrated a short-term victory on Wednesday after the moratorium was extended to early October, albeit in a constitutionally dubious fashion.
But in recent days Bush has been called hypocritical for spending $70,000 on private security while pushing to defund the police. CBS anchor Vladimir Duthiers asked Bush to respond to the criticism.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez paid thousands for personal security to a former Blackwater contractor, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.
AOC’s campaign spent at least $4,636 at Tullis Worldwide Protection for “security services” between January and June of this year, according to the filings.
The Franconia, Virginia-based company is owned by Devin Tullis, whose other clients include the royal families of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to his website.
AOC, a New York Democrat, has been among the most vocal proponents of the defund the police movement since coming to Congress, and has insisted the idea would turn blighted communities into suburban paradises.
“[Suburban] communities have lower crime rates not because they have more police but because they have more resources to support healthy society in a way that reduces crime,” she said in a June 2020 Instagram story.
When New York City moved to defund a billion dollars from the NYPD, Ocasio-Cortez slammed the measure as insufficient. “Defunding police means defunding police,” the congresswoman said in a statement at the time.
As crime surges across the nation, Democratic mayors in approximately 20 U.S. cities that have called for defunding the police have received millions in taxpayer funds towards their own personal security details, according to a new report.
New data compiled by Forbes auditor Open the Books through Freedom of Information Act requests reveals that the city of Chicago, for example, spent $17.3 million between 2015 and 2020 to guard “unnamed city officials.” Despite Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s claims that she is opposed to cutting funding for the police, records show the city quietly cut 400 police officer positions in 2020 while the cost of her security detail hit an all-time high of $3.4 million for 22 officers, according to the report.
Chicago reportedly spent $2.8 million for 17 officers in 2019; $2.8 million for 16 officers in 2018; $2.7 million for 20 police officers in 2017; and $2.9 million for 16 officers in 2016.