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Brooklyn, NY – Oct. 12…City Council Member Justin Brannan (D-43rd), under fire for defunding the New York City Police Department and pledging to cut its budget even more if re-elected, has dropped out of a scheduled debate tonight with crime-fighting City Council candidate Brian Fox (R-C), the Fox campaign today announced.

In a social media post, Mr. Brannan dubiously blamed Covid-19 protocols as the reason he’s ducking the planned Dyker Heights Civic Association debate.

“Justin Brannan can’t defend his record of defunding the police, so he’ll be nowhere to be found tonight,” Mr. Fox said. “This was a long-scheduled debate and Mr. Brannan’s use of Covid as an excuse to skip it is an insult to a Dyker Heights community with questions they deserve answers to. In reality, Mr. Brannan is totally out of touch with South Brooklyn communities, and he knows that debating will further expose that, so he’s ducking it.”

In addition to defunding the police, Mr. Brannan supports no-cash-bail, something multiple former NYPD commissioners have cited as the chief cause of the ongoing crime wave. Brannan also supported abolishing “Broken-window” policing, arguably the most effective crime-fighting strategy in the city’s history.

“The public deserves to hear from its candidates, and I’m making myself available to them,” Mr. Fox continued. “The incumbent is in hiding and that speaks volumes about his record.”

The 43rd Council District includes areas of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst, and Bath Beach. The election will be held on Tuesday, November 2nd.