New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and his wife gave a revealing interview Tuesday during a TIME100 Talks discussion when they joined other Democrats in imagining a world without police officers.
“That would be like nirvana, a utopia that we are nowhere close to getting to,” Chirlane McCray, his wife, said. De Blasio, who had just praised his daughter after being arrested at a protest in the city, agreed but said that the human race is far from that point.
“Could the human race evolve to a point where no guardians, no structures are needed? I guess in theory. But I don’t see that in the future we’re going to live in the next few generations,” he said.
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The idea of a country without police or “structures”– seems like a dream for many Democrats. They want countries without borders, an urban utopia where everyone works at a food co-op and shares their Netflix passwords. The topic is becoming discussed with far more frequency since the George Floyd death in police custody.
Liberal Democrats have called on police departments to be broken up and, at the absolute minimum, significantly defunded. De Blasio and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti have both promised to slash police funding in the wake of the protests.
Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee for president, has been able, up to this point, to separate himself from the party’s left-wing—headed by Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar—one of whom called police a “cancer.” Political insiders have said the party’s establishment is concerned about the shift left on the issue and see it as a political loser in 2020.
Lisa Bender, the Minneapolis City Council president, likely scared sane Democrats across the country when she told CNN that calling 911 while your home is being broken into comes from a place of privilege before calling on a “police-free society.”
Chris Cuomo, the host, told her: “When you say you see someday being police-free that sounds aspirational, a utopian concept where nobody’s committing any crime, because as long as these communities are being preyed upon, both from within and without, there’s gonna have to be good men and women willing to step up to keep people safe.”
She replied: “I think the idea of having a police-free future is very aspirational, and I am willing to stand with community members who are asking us to think of that as the goal.”