Nine months after convincing New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to support the “defund the police” movement, NYC first lady Chirlane McCray now wants people to “physically intervene” in order to prevent violent crimes.
As the government redirected police funds, the number of shootings that took place in NYC doubled in 2020. In fact, it is up by 75 percent in February 2021 as compared to the same month last year. Additionally, the number of burglaries rose, while unprovoked, violent crimes targetting Asians have become a regular happening in the city.
On Twitter, McCray said that, given such attacks, they are asking for the people of new york to stand up for their neighbors and “intervene when witnessing” such incidents of violence and harassment. She even says that while this is frightening, people “can learn.”
She then added that fear is normal when confronting such cases but “being prepared can help.”
As attacks on Asian American communities continue, we’re asking New Yorkers to show up for their neighbors and intervene when witnessing hateful violence or harassment. I know that can be frightening when you aren’t sure what to do or say, but you can learn.
— Chirlane McCray (@NYCFirstLady) March 6, 2021
NYC First Lady Asks People to Intervene for Their Neighbors
McCray also said that witnesses should directly respond to the aggressor or “physically intervene” but only after analyzing the situation. She described this as “risky” but stated that there are times when all one person can do is speak up.
She also mentioned that New Yorkers could also help a person in crisis by recording a video of the incident on their phones. They could also help by checking in with the person harassed after the incident.
The remarks made by NYC’s first lady came a week following Yong Zheng’s death after intervening in a similar incident in Brooklyn. Zheng attempted to help a strange, a fellow Asian, who was being robbed.
McCray has become a prominent figure in her own right in NYC’s government. She has frequently slammed anti-African American racism, and she doesn’t have a good relationship with the city’s police force.