One of New York City’s most high-profile campaigners for defunding the police lives in an Army barracks protected by tanks and soldiers, it has emerged.
Jumaane Williams, who is running for governor of New York, was accused of hypocrisy on Sunday when New Yorkers blighted by rising crime and soaring gun violence learnt that he is living in a fortress.
‘He gets to protect himself, and yet we can’t?’ asked Joseph Rolland, 53, who lives close to Williams’ base in Brooklyn.
He told The New York Post: ‘I’m not upset that he gets to protect himself on a military base as long as the citizens of the city can also protect themselves, whether it’s through private security or our police department, which we pay taxes for.’
Williams, 45, is currently the New York City Public Advocate – an elected position, which means he oversees city agencies, investigates complaints about services and makes suggestions for improvements.
He has long been a vocal supporter of the movement to defund the police, and in June 2020, during the George Floyd protests, he led marches to Brooklyn Borough Hall to demand the cuts.
Williams wanted cuts to the NYPD budget to fund youth and community development as well as social and children’s services, and said that the $1 billion cut agreed in July 2020 was insufficient.