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Cuomo’s Replacement Chooses Anti-Cop, Defund Police Advocate As Lt. Governor

Albany, NY – Newly-sworn New York Governor Kathy Hochul chose an avowed supporter of the defund-the-police movement to be her lieutenant governor on Wednesday.

Hochul, who had pledged to diversify her administration, chose New York State Senator Brian Benjamin, a black Democrat from Harlem, to be her No. 2, the Times Union reported.

Benjamin, who was running for state comptroller when he was chosen by Hochul, has described himself as progressive and has loudly and publicly supported efforts to defund the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Hochul became governor at midnight on Aug. 23 after now-former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo resigned in disgrace amidst allegations of sexual harassment.

Benjamin publicly endorsed defunding the police in a social media post in January.

“I support the movement to defund the police because I believe that there are parts of the NYPD budget that are not essential for public safety,” Benjamin tweeted along with the image of a longer, more formal statement as part of his campaign for comptroller.

“In the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and the growing unrest in our nation, the need for criminal justice reform has never been stronger or more urgent,” his statement read.

“I support the movement to defund the police because I believe that there are parts of the NYPD budget that are not essential for public safety,” it continued.

“As Comptroller, on day one, I will launch a programmatic audit of the $5.42 billion our city spends on policing to provide a blueprint for responsibly defunding NYPD,” Benjamin wrote. “Post audit, I will be able to make thoughtful recommendations as to where those resources can be reallocated as we look towards reimagining public safety in New York City.”

“Our goal must be to use the power of the office to prioritize more public safety measures, not more law enforcement,” he added

New York Republican State Committee Chairman Nick Langworthy criticized Hochul’s selection of the state senator from Harlem, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

“New Yorkers are being shot, stabbed, raped, robbed and attacked in huge crime surges across our state and Kathy Hochul doubled down on Democrats’ dangerous agenda by appointing a ‘Defund the Police’ radical leftist to serve as her second in command,” Langworthy tweeted.

“This reckless pick proves that she represents a continuation of the same failed policies and underscores the urgency of electing a Republican governor in 2022 who will bring common sense and balance to New York,” the GOP boss tweeted.

Both the former governor and Hochul had called for police reforms during the Cuomo administration; however, neither ever expressed public support for the defund-the-police movement, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

In his farewell address on Aug. 23, Cuomo said that calls to defund police were “misguided” and “dangerous.”

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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