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Republican AOC challenger backs death penalty for police killings

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Republican AOC challenger backs death penalty for police killings

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A GOP candidate challenging New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is running to bring the death penalty to anyone who kills a law enforcement officer.

Desi Cuellar, who is running in the 14th congressional district to represent Queens and parts of the Bronx, offered such penalties after two New York police officers were shot and killed this week.

“The men and women in blue are being shot in the streets and nothing is being done about it,” Mr Cuellar said in a video on Twitter. “I promise you that when elected to Congress, I will mandate the death penalty for cop killers because we cannot continue to let these animals terrorize our communities and gun down our first responders without holding them accountable.”

Mr. Cuellar, 35, is the descendant of Cuban immigrants who fled the country in 1959 following Fidel Castro’s communist revolution. The candidate is a former bartender, like Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, and a New York Army National Guardsman.

Mr Cuellar attacked his opponent over the “Defund the Police” movement, which she and other left-leaning lawmakers have advocated.

“AOC wants to ‘abolish our prison system,'” Mr Cuellar tweeted in July. “So she wants to abolish prisons. So we “funded the police” and more prisons. Sounds GREAT if you’re a criminal, but to the rest of us it looks like a complete disaster. The longer she stays in power, the worse she gets.

In an interview with ABC News last year, Ms Ocasio-Cortez defended her efforts to cut police budgets to spend more on social services, a move that gained momentum in 2020 with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while in police custody.

“The New York Police Department has a budget of $6 billion a year,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said. “That’s more than we spend on youth, housing, health care and homelessness combined in New York City. … Not enough resources are being invested in the very kinds of social programs that prevent crime and social discord in the first place.

Mr. Cuellar’s latest proposal follows the killing of NYPD officers Jason Rivera, 22, and Wilbert Mora, 27, who were shot and killed in response to a domestic dispute call at a Harlem apartment. Officials said Lashawn J. McNeil, 47, opened the door to a bedroom and opened fire on the officers.

Mr. Rivera died of his injuries on Friday. Mr Mora died on Sunday, having been taken off life support after being in critical condition at a local hospital.

Mr. McNeil died on Monday from injuries he sustained after being shot by a rookie officer who was following Mr. Rivera and Mr. Mora the night of the roll call.

Republican AOC challenger backs death penalty for police killings

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