An armed robbery occurred at a New York City coffee shop directly across the street from Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán’s office, who is an advocate for defunding the police.
On Wednesday at 3:15 p.m., two suspects arrived on motorcycles outside the Under Pressure Espresso Bar located in the Astoria neighborhood of Queens at 30-92 31 Street, according to a New York Police Department (NYPD) spokesperson. They demanded victims hand over their personal property at gunpoint.
Chains and bracelets were among the items stolen from victims, according to witnesses via the New York Post. No victim was injured.
After the suspects were finished the robbery, they fled northbound on 31st street toward 30th avenue on their motorcycles. Police have not identified the suspects and are still investigating.
The coffee shop is located directly across the street from City Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán’s office on 30-83 31 Street.
Cabán has publicly voiced her support numerous times to defund the NYPD’s budget.
In February 2021, she tweeted:
When we say #DefundThePolice we are laying out a vision – something that is possible[.] When we say “defund the police,” we are saying invest in community-led solutions, holistic support infrastructure and public health approaches to public health problems.
When we say #DefundThePolice we are laying out a vision – something that is possible.
When we say “defund the police,” we are saying invest in community-led solutions, holistic support infrastructure and public health approaches to public health problems.
— Tiffany Cabán (@tiffany_caban) February 3, 2021
The councilwoman criticized the deployment of an NYPD anti-gun unit within her district while also taking aim at “stop-and-frisk” policing in a February tweet, the Post reported.
Our district is already home to some of the highest stop-and-frisk rates in the city. Now we will also have to contend with the unit that, despite containing roughly 5% of the force, committed nearly 1/3 of all police murders in the 20 years before it was disbanded.
Later in Cabán’s statement, she called for the police to abandon “failed strategies” in reference to stop-and-frisk and the deployment of the anti-gun unit, along with other policies.
Many have characterized stop-and-frisk as one of the successful policies that led to the Big Apple’s crime rate being drastically reduced under former Mayors Rudy Giuliani and Mike Bloomberg. Former President and New York City resident Donald Trump is among those who vocally support stop-and-frisk to reduce crime rates.
When an employee at Under Pressure Espresso Bar was informed of Cabán’s anti-police policies by the Post, he called her a “clown.”
“Is she serious? She‘s going to defund the police? Ha! She got no good reason, bro,” he added.
Crime in the 114th district – where the robbery took place – has risen by 23 percent from the first week of August of 2021 to 2022, according to the NYPD statistics. Robbery is up by 19.5 percent, while grand larceny is up by 26.9 percent.
As crime rises, residents in the Big Apple are expressing concern about their safety, as 76 percent fear they could be the victim of a violent crime, a recent poll found.
You can follow Ethan Letkeman on Twitter at @EthanLetkeman.