NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio blames spike in violent crime on the court system – again


New York City, NY – In yet another not-so-shocking turn, Mayor Bill de Blasio has blamed the rise of violent crime in New York City on the court systems not functioning as they normally would in a pre-COVID era.

This marks at least the second time this month that the mayor has blamed violent crime increases on the courts.

In a 28-day period within the Big Apple ending on July 19th, there were 250 shootings reported. Most recently, there was a triple-shooting that left an 18-year-old and a 16-year-old dead while they were outside playing basketball reportedly.  

On July 28th, Mayor de Blasio addressed the ongoing violence in the city, and pointed the proverbial finger at the court system that isn’t “functioning”:

“It’s a perfect storm where we’ve seen so much dislocation in this city, so much pain, so much frustration, and in the middle of all that we don’t even have the normal things that we depend on to make sure we can stop violence like a functioning court system.”

According to the mayor, if the courts were “functioning normally”, then all the sudden the crime rate would dissipate to more normal levels:

“If everything was functioning normally, some of the people committing the violence would not be out on the street and we need the court system up and running 100 percent as quickly as possible.”

Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark was not thrilled that the city’s mayor is characterizing the court systems as being non-functional, and finds that trying to correlate the current state of the counts, to shootings in the city is “wrong”:

“It is wrong to say that the District Attorneys are not prosecuting or that the court system is not functioning. It is certainly wrong to suggest that the recent uptick in shootings has been caused by the changes in court.”

While trials have been stalled lately, arraignments are still moving forward at a respectable pace. In fact, since March, over 19,000 people have been arraigned for criminal charges by way of the virtual manner courts are functioning.

New York Courts spokesman Lucian Chalfen noted that just because the mayor habitually references that somehow the courts are to blame for the crime in the city, it doesn’t make his narrative factual:

“By the Mayor repeating the same factually incorrect narrative doesn’t make it magically come true. Today, a felony jury trial resumed in Bronx Supreme Court. The Mayor used the word innovative, well, creating a virtual court system that never existed before and has done 21,000 arraignments since mid-March should qualify as innovative.”

The only semi-respectable thing Mayor de Blasio mentioned on July 28th was that the “City of New York will do anything and everything to help,” the court systems to operate in an expedient manner.

As mentioned earlier, this isn’t the first time Mayor de Blasio took a jab at the court systems over rising crime and violence.

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According to Mayor Bill de Blasio, the reason that there has been such an increase in violence and murder within the Big Apple, is because of aspects related to the economy, COVID, and the court systems.

Well, a representative from the state’s court system didn’t take the allegation lightly that the courts have something to do with violence transpiring throughout the city.

During a press conference held on July 6th, Mayor de Blasio stated the following when addressing the copious amount of murders and shootings New York City has endured as of late:

“It’s directly related to all the dislocation that’s happened over these last four months with the coronavirus. We particularly saw a concentration of shootings in Upper Manhattan – particularly in Harlem and Manhattan North command. This is something we have to double down on to address.”

The city mayor continued with his theory on what caused the likes of dozens having been shot and many killed over the previous weekend:

“And it’s not because of one thing, let’s be really clear. There’s not one cause for something like this, there’s a lot of different pieces. And again, the fact that the court system is not working, the economy is not working, people have been pent up for months and months. So many issues underlying this challenge.”

While there is likely some merit to the notion that aspects related to COVID could be partially influential in the increased violence, Office of Court Administration spokesman Lucian Chalfen found de Blasio’s citing of the courts being partially at fault, as out of touch with reality:

“The mayor’s blaming [of] the Courts for the recent spike in violence in New York City is absurd, patently false and ridiculous. The Courts have operated continuously, operating throughout the pandemic, arraigning defendants, holding 100s of hearings, and conferencing 1,000s of cases.”

Considering the perceived jab stemming from the mayor about the courts having influenced recent violence in the city, Chalfen added his own sort of jab toward the mayor’s handling of the matter overall:

“He should be looking in the mirror, not gazing out a window.”

During the July 6th press conference, Mayor de Blasio made claims that because the courts are unable to function properly, that it is a “central issue” to all the violence:

“I think, from my point of view, the most central issue is the fact that the court system is not functioning — that when our police effectuate an arrest, they don’t have the same follow-through they’re used to seeing from the court system.”

Perhaps if people were actually held in custody after police “effectuate an arrest,” then even the notion of a slower-functioning court system wouldn’t be that much of an issue.

While some power has been restored to the courts after bail reform was enacted in January of this year, there’s still numerous crimes that will see people released shortly after being arrested. 


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