She Ran on a Platform of “Radical Love.” Now She’s Facing Radical Hate.

Harlem, New York City—Welcome to the hot, punishing glare of New York media, Kristin Richardson Jordan!

The 35-year-old political newcomer shocked Harlem’s Democratic Party machine last year, defeating longtime City Council member Bill Perkins, 71—he served two terms, totaling 11 years, with a 10-year stint in the state Senate—by only 100 votes. That was thanks largely to the city’s new ranked-choice local voting system, in which being enough voters’ second choice pushed her ahead of Perkins, who led by 500 votes in the first-choice tally.

But the victory of this self-described “Black, queer” democratic socialist, who ran on a platform of “radical love,” got almost no media attention, outside of a few hyper-local news outlets. I pretty much had the story to myself when I profiled her early last July.

All that changed when two New York Police Department officers were shot responding to a domestic violence complaint in Jordan’s district. One, 22-year-old Officer Jason Rivera, died at the scene; his partner, Officer Wilbert Mora, succumbed to his wounds a few days later. The alleged killer, mentally ill felon Lashawn McNeil, also died of gunshot wounds from a third officer’s gun after a brief hospitalization.

Jordan happens to be an advocate of prison and police abolition—which she described to me in July as “long-term views, but I actually believe in moving towards a world without cops.” She helped run some of the neighborhood’s Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin in the spring of 2020. Suddenly, Rupert Murdoch’s empire found her. The New York Post (which, to be fair, had briefly profiled Jordan and her views on policing after her primary win) immediately pilloried the newcomer for tweeting about a district community garden controversy the day the officers were shot. She said she was told not to tweet about the crime, later sent her condolences to both officers’ families, and headed to Harlem Hospital with the city’s new mayor, Eric Adams—a Black former cop—and other elected officials that night, as Mora fought for his life.

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