NYPD Under Fire Over Dance Team Controversy

The New York Police Department has stated in response to a viral video that shows an NYPD “dance team” in action.

Legislators and residents of New York City have taken to social media to voice their disapproval of the NYPD and Mayor Eric Adams, claiming that public funds funded the money for the dance team. Notable personalities like Joe Rogan and Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez have spoken out against the team, saying that it might take resources away from public safety and crime prevention in a city already struggling with high crime rates.

Some have rebutted Ocasio-Cortez’s gripe by pointing out that her progressive policies are to blame for defunding Gotham’s police. They would be off-base, however, because the dancing squad does not get any funding from the New York City Police Department, as Tarik Sheppard, the department’s Deputy Commissioner of Communications, made clear.

The dance squad’s captain, Autumn-Raine Martinez, defended the dance team by pointing out that the New York Police Department also has basketball and volleyball teams. According to her, the dance team’s goal is not to become professional dancers but to create inclusive choreography allowing each member to express themselves freely. 

In light of the criticism, the NYPD Dance team, the department, and the city’s mayor provided further information on their activities. According to an NYPD representative who talked with The National Desk, the squad buys its outfits and doesn’t work out in uniform while on duty. Additionally, New York City Mayor Eric Adams verified that neither the city government nor the police department supported the squad financially.

The officers of the New York cops Department’s dance team have stressed that their involvement is just a fun way to engage with the community and show that the cops are people. In addition to relieving some of the pressure and stress from their professions, it gives them a much-needed way to unwind on a personal level.

The morale and efficiency of law enforcement forces may be severely affected by negative media coverage of their actions. Initiatives to involve the community and humanize the police force might be misunderstood, resulting in public outcry and unfavorable press coverage; the NYPD Dance Team instance illustrates this point.