‘Defund The Police’ Advocate, NY Gubernatorial Candidate, Has NYPD Security Detail, Lives On Army Base In Brooklyn
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - OCTOBER 22: New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams speaks during a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) rally in front of Brooklyn Borough Hall on October 22, 2021 in Downtown Brooklyn in New York City. Democratic NYC Mayoral candidate Eric Adams attended a GOTV event with Jumaane Williams, New York City Public Advocate, and NYC Comptroller candidate Brad Lander on the eve of early voting in NYC. The event comes two days after Adams faced off in the first mayoral debate with Republican Mayoral candidate Curtis Sliwa.
Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images.

A candidate running for Governor of New York on a “defund the police” platform has a NYPD security detail and lives in public housing on a military base in Brooklyn, according to a report from the New York Post

Jumaane Williams, a public advocate in New York City, travels with a security detail provided by the police department, and lives on the Fort Hamilton U.S. Army Garrison in Brooklyn with his wife and stepdaughter. Williams’s home is a corner townhouse with a large backyard and waterfront views of Verrazano Narrows, the New York Post reported. 

Williams took advantage of a little-known block of houses that are technically available for any civilian to rent, but are mostly occupied by doctors, judges, and prominent New Yorkers. Of the 228 homes on the base, 15 percent are open for civilian occupancy. Williams’s rental on the base costs around $4000 a month, compared to similar properties on surrounding public streets which rent for around $5,800 a month. Williams’s salary, funded by New York taxpayers, is more than $183,000 per year, the Post reported.

Residents are required to join a waitlist before moving in, but residents enjoy free parking, a host of amenities like bowling, playgrounds, and a large swimming pool, as well as an Einstein Bagels, Burger King, Subway, a gas station, a dry cleaners, a Post Office, and a barbershop that reportedly offers $14 haircuts. Because it is an army base, the community has armed, round-the-clock security.

“These aren’t apartments listed on Zillow. It’s essentially a gated community with stunning waterfront views protected by tanks and soldiers with M16s,” a local official with knowledge of the housing process told the Post. 

Visitors must go through security checkpoints and submit to a background check to get onto the base. Those protocols led to an incident in 2018 where an illegal immigrant was detained while trying to deliver a pizza. 

Williams, who has advocated for cutting funding to the NYPD and Department of Defense, and called for “stopping ICE” from enforcing immigration law, said, via a representative, that the reason he picked the house, despite it representing the opposite of everything he stands for, was the price point.

“When he needed a new home for his family in 2019, they chose a publicly-available unit in Fort Hamilton not because of its position on a base but because it offered the best unit for his family’s price point and criteria,” Williams’ representative said.  

“The suggestion that his work to protect, promote, and reimagine public safety would change with his address is belied by his record on these issues for over a decade – that work continues as he advocates for policies to advance community in neighborhoods citywide.”

Williams’ fellow New Yorkers were quick to point out the hypocrisy. “Obviously, it’s very hypocritical,” said Joseph Rolland, who lives near the base.

“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,” Rolland told the New York Post.

“What I would say to the elected officials is if you’re so anti-police and so anti-gun, then you should give up all of those privileges that allow you to protect yourself.”

An anonymous source in the police concurred.

“You’re saying defund the police but yet you’ve got the police with you every day taking you all over on the taxpayer’s dime?” the source said. “And then you live on a military base and you’re protected by the military? That’s a joke, what a hypocrite. Not a lot of people get those luxuries.”

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