Guardian Angels founder on defunding the police: 'This is a recipe for insanity'

In 1979, Curtis Sliwa, then a night manager at a McDonald's in the Bronx, was tired of seeing his city overrun by crime so he gathered a group of 12 other volunteers to patrol the subway trains at night. Over the next 13 years, his group, known as the Guardian Angels, helped clean up a neglected New York City that was overrun with crime and on the brink of fiscal collapse.

Now, 40 years later, Manhattan faces a new dilemma amid protests and riots following the death of George Floyd. Sliwa says he fears we are watching history repeat itself. 

“It's déjà vu for me all over again. These were many of the same situations that I faced back in 1979," Sliwa told Fox News. "There were no cops. And so crime was rampant. Gangs grew everywhere. The drug dealers control parts of the city, not just at night when the sun went down, but during the daytime, too. That's why the Guardian Angels came about. We have a brand-new generation of hipsters -- the Millennials -- [who say,] 'Let's defund the police.' OK, and who are you going to call if you're getting mugged?”


During the recent looting, Sliwa says he and other NYC Guardian Angels were on the front lines trying to protect private property.

“For two days in many of these neighborhoods, the only thing separating them from breaking into the retail establishment were us, the Guardian Angels," he said. "And on this one night, three different battles ensued involving myself and just five of the Guardian Angels against hundreds of looters.”

Sliwa was attacked by random looters and sustained a fractured jaw while a fellow angel had his eye socket broken.

Sliwa says they continue to protect New York not for the shop owners or to protect the buildings, but to stop anarchy.


“If you allow the rabble of anarchy to continue to loot in an uncontrolled manner in which there are no checks and balances, they're going to come to your house. They're going to come to your community,” the Guardian Angel warned.

Although Sliwa has immense love and respect for the city that never sleeps, he says he has no faith in the government’s continued handling of the ongoing crises and fears the country will continue down a path of overreaching and overspending.

“This is a recipe for insanity. But, of course, who are the easiest people to blame? The police," said Sliwa. "But if you're really pragmatic and use common sense with this pandemic taking place, with the draconian fiscal restraints that are going to come into place in every town, village, bureau, city, county, state, there is not going to be money for anything. So forget about defunding the police. You're going to have to defund everything because what are we going to do? Keep printing money in Washington and then we're going to look like Venezuela where the currency is worthless.”

Today, Guardian Angels can be found patrolling high-crime areas in 130 cities around the world.