Progressive DC bar proprietor stands by defund the police tweets after tried armed theft


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The founding father of a preferred progressive Washington, D.C.-area restaurant chain stood by his earlier calls to defund the police and abolish prisons after certainly one of his joints was hit by an tried armed theft late Sunday night time.

Busboys and Poets, which operates as a restaurant, bar, bookstore and “safe space” for progressives to collect, is the newest instance of the violent crime wave gripping the nation’s capital.

Andy Shallal — the founder and CEO of Busboys and Poets — confirmed to Each day Put up Digital that nothing was stolen from the enterprise within the theft and that he believes it was possible dedicated by native “kids with nothing better to do” that need to “terrorize people.”


“I think there’s been an uptick in crime, not just in D.C. but throughout the country, and D.C. is no exception, of course,” Shallal mentioned within the Monday cellphone interview.

The restaurant chain founder defended his previous “defund police” tweets on Monday, saying he stands by them “more than ever.” 

“You cannot reform a broken system. You have to dismantle it and start over. Kudos to Minneapolis City Council for taking the lead to dismantle the police department,” Shallal tweeted in June 2020. “Next is abolishing prisons. #DefundPolice #protests #BlackLivesMatter #keepthemomentum”

“I think the problem we have here is when the police show up, the incident has already happened. The problem has already occurred,” Shallal instructed Each day Put up Digital. “So for us to have the police — it’s nice to have them to show up, but what are we doing to stop the root causes of what makes people do stuff like this?”

Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department Robert Contee speaks during a press briefing. 

Chief of the Metropolitan Police Division Robert Contee speaks throughout a press briefing. 
(Drew Angerer/Getty Photos)

Shallal mentioned that when he calls the police, it’s “usually something terrible that’s just happened” and mentioned that regulation enforcement “can’t un-terrible something.”

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“When we talk about defunding the police, just to be clear, it is to divert some of the funds that go to the police to services that make it easier for the police to do their jobs,” Shallal mentioned, including he believes police departments ought to rent extra social employees and psychological well being counselors to “take away” the police’s duty to “have to deal with all that and divert them from what they really need to do.”


Shallal mentioned he sees the COVID-19 pandemic, social media and an absence of financial alternatives as just a few elements driving the nationwide crime surge, however mentioned he doesn’t “imagine” how the altering view of policing influenced by the “defund the police” motion would have an effect on the surge in crime.

“Again, we have to look at the root causes, right? I mean, it’s one thing to put a Band-Aid on an injury, and it’s another thing to find out how the injury started and make sure that it doesn’t keep bleeding,” Shallal mentioned. “We continue to bleed, we continue to put Band-Aids on, and it doesn’t help.”

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Shallal mentioned he’s “not against police” and that he speaks to them “all the time,” and mentioned that the police are coping with the “most ridiculous things” they’re “expected to deal with,” like “homelessness,” “mental health” and “social dysfunction.”

“It’s very hard for them to do their job,” Shallal mentioned, including that he has “never called the police other than if there’s a problem.”

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser conducts a news conference to announce new traffic safety enhancements around schools at Van Ness Elementary School in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Nov. 30, 2021. 

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser conducts a information convention to announce new site visitors security enhancements round faculties at Van Ness Elementary Faculty within the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, D.C., Nov. 30, 2021. 
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Name, Inc by way of Getty Photos)

Shallal referred to as for defunding the police whereas claiming the violent protests after the homicide of George Floyd that led to riots have been turning into extra peaceable as a result of the police “have become less violent.”

“The demonstrations are getting more peaceful according to news. Nothing changed with the protesters, it’s the police that have become less violent,” he wrote in June 2020. “Defunding police and Refunding much needed social services is the way forward. #BlackLivesMattters #protests2020 #DefundPolice”

The bar chain founder has a historical past of calling for the defunding of police.

Shallal, who has donated hundreds of {dollars} to Democrats, together with Kamala Harris’ presidential marketing campaign, has been within the headlines a number of occasions lately, together with when he laid off lots of of employees at the start of the pandemic and when progressive “Squad” Reps. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., defended their anti-Israel stances at his restaurant in 2019. 

From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., take questions during a news conference about Islamophobia on Capitol Hill on Nov. 30, 2021, in Washington, D.C. 

From left, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Rep. Jamaal Bowman, D-N.Y., take questions throughout a information convention about Islamophobia on Capitol Hill on Nov. 30, 2021, in Washington, D.C. 
(Drew Angerer/Getty Photos)

Busboys and Poets made headlines in January after the restaurant chain canceled an occasion being held at a location by pro-life Democrats.

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“While we welcome conversations from individuals expressing different viewpoints and pride ourselves on being a venue for respectful conversations between diverse groups, we are also a safe space,” a restaurant spokeswoman instructed the Washington Free Beacon. “As such, we can not knowingly accept events designed to fund an agenda which our community members believe to be trampling on the rights of others.”

Three suspects walked into the D.C. bar late Sunday because the enterprise was closing up store, brandishing rifles and a handgun whereas demanding cash.

Nothing was taken from the restaurant, and the robbers drove off in a four-door sedan, in line with native studies.

This is not the primary time certainly one of Busboy and Poets’ places has made it into the headlines for being on the middle of against the law scene. Final July, a gunman opened fire exterior and hit a number of buildings, together with the Hyattsville location of Busboys and Poets. 


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