Governor Cuomo blames Mayor de Blasio’s Riker’s Island inmate releases for NYC crime spike

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New York City, NY- In a press call on Tuesday July 28th, Governor Cuomo said he was “very concerned” about the “devastating” crime wave sweeping across New York City.  He cited several reasons including casting blame on anti-police sentiment, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s decision to release inmates from Rikers Island during the COVID-19 pandemic and the suffering economy.

It is no secret that crime has skyrocketed since the death of George Floyd. There were 47 shootings just last week. which is a 176% increase compared to the 17 reported shootings from the same time period last year, according to NYPD statistics. Over all, shootings are up 253% year to date.

Cuomo is quoted as saying: 

“I am very concerned about it,” 

He continued: 

“The result is intolerable and is devastating and is, long term as we’re trying to get New York City back up and running, it’s also a negative in getting New York up to speed,”

The Governor stated that a strained relationship between the community and the police, since the beginning of protests and riots in the wake of George Floyds death, is also a factor contributing to the crime. 

He said:

“The situation with the NYPD and the tension with the protests groups and community groups is a factor. How that is playing out? I’m not sure exactly that anybody knows, but I know the NYPD feel they are under significant pressure, which they are. And that tension is in the mix,” 

Gun arrests have dropped nearly 60% over the last four weeks. This time last year 308 gun arrests were made, as opposed to the 127 this year, official NYPD figures show. This has a lot to do with the fact that officers have been told not to perform their normal police duties

Cuomo then listed de Blasio’s decision to release 1,500 Rikers inmates for COVID-19, as a possible reason for the increase. 13% of the prisoners that were released were re-arrested, including seven people for gun charges and one for a murder charge, according to City Hall data.

Of course a mayoral spokesman is disputing this saying that the re-offense rate is similar to that for non-coronavirus releases.

Cuomo said:

“A number of people were let out of Rikers during COVID. I understood the health concerns there but that might be a factor,” 

Finally, the Governor stated that “general economic pressure” could be a possibility as the unemployment rate continues to remain high. 

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Here is more on how shootings increased after New York City disbanded its plainclothes unit.

NEW YORK CITY, NY – Gun violence soared this past weekend in New York City with nearly two dozen people injured by the shootings. 

The shootings came after a long, violent week in NYC that tallied close to 28 incidents and 32 victims that were reported between Monday, June 15th and Friday, June 19th

The violence began on the same day that the NYPD disbanded its plainclothes anti-crime unit.  The decision to end the unit comes nearly six years after one of its officer’s, who was dressed in plainclothes, killed Eric Garner with a chokehold. 

This incident would later spark the cry of “I can’t breathe” for the Black Lives Matter Movement

Police Commissioner Dermot Shea describes ending the unit as a “seismic” shift culturally in the NYPD.  His decision comes at a time when gun violence in New York hits a two-year high. 

Patrick Lynch, the president of the largest police union in the city, voiced his opinion on the decision:

“Shooting and murders are both climbing steadily upward, but our city leaders have clearly decided that proactive policing isn’t a priority anymore…they chose this strategy and they will have to reckon with the consequences.”

Those consequences came almost immediately, with the first weekend of summer and shootings happening all across the city.  At least 19 people were injured in 13 separate incidents across NYC on Saturday alone. 

At the time, six were in the borough of the Bronx, two in Queens, four in Brooklyn, and one in Manhattan.  “It’s safe to carry again,” Commissoner Shea exclaimed about a week before the violence, the same time he disbanded the last unit that was focused on keeping guns off the streets.

Prior to the decision to disband the “plainclothes” cops that were fighting to keep guns off the streets of NYC, the NYPD released some statistics. 

The citywide crime statistics for May showed 100 shooting incidents, which is a 64% increase from May 2019.  Just in the last week, shootings skyrocketed by more than 358% compared with the same time period in 2019. 

It seems that within the first week of disbanding undercover anti-crime units gun violence is out of control, but is it solely because the anti-crime units have been put back in uniforms and are now patrolling the streets? 

Additional sources are sharing data that shows an increased number of parolees are on both sides of NYC shootings.  Prior to this violent weekend, “there had been 276 shooting incidents with 19% of suspected or arrested gunman having been released on parole in 2020…more than 315 of those victims were parolees.” 

In addition to this, since 2018 the share of early-release inmates committing and falling victim to shootings has been on the rise. 

The shootings from the weekend carried over into Monday morning.  Two people were shot in the Bronx as the bloodshed continues on.  An NYPD police chief warned, “hundreds of gun-possession defendants have been allowed to prowl the streets, thanks to coronavirus-closed courts.” 

Suspects arrested on gun-possession charges, among many other non-violent charges have been set free because coronavirus court closures have caused many backlog issues. 

Commissioner Shea warned city officials in the fall that, “a storm was on the horizon” and that the shootings from this past weekend are, “just the latest symptom of a much bigger problem.” 

His comments come after a violent week and weekend where NYC saw a total of an estimated 72 injured in close to 53 shooting incidents.    

Here’s an example of the violence occurring in New York brought to you by Law Enforcement Today last week.

He lost a tooth…but could have lost his life.

An NYPD supervisor is lucky to be alive after being hit in the head with what was believed to be a brick in Brooklyn Friday night.

Lt. Robert Corbett typically works in the legal department of the NYPD.

In an image he shared on social media Saturday morning, he’s seen with a blood-stained shirt and a bloody face.

The images were posted to Corbett’s Facebook page and were shared through police sources with Law Enforcement Today.

“So … my face is a brick magnet,” Corbett said in the post.

“Apparently word travels fast so thanks everyone for reaching out. My head hurts and it’s a little hard to talk.”

He was one of many officers injured as protests turned into violence Friday night.

Riots exploded in multiple cities again Friday night.

And in California, two Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents were shot.

One of them did not survive.

It happened during violent unrest in Oakland, California.

“Two Federal Protective Services officers stationed at the Oakland Down Town Federal Building suffered gunshot wounds. Unfortunately, one succumbed to his injury,” Oakland Police told CNN Saturday morning.

Federal Protective Services is part of DHS.

Their role is to defend the federal government’s “critical infrastructure, services, and the people who provide or receive them.”

Police said that more than 7,000 protestors demonstrated Friday night in Oakland.

It quickly erupted into assaults on police officers, extreme vandalism, damage to businesses and arson.

On Saturday morning, Interim Chief of Police Susan Manheimer took to social media to urge more Californians to join the protests.

But keep them peaceful, she said.

“They started out peacefully and we stood with our community here in the city of Oakland to provide safe spaces and respectful spaces for our demonstrators.

What we saw later on in the evening turned violent and disruptive, and we want to call on everyone who would come to Oakland and stand with us to respect the memory of George Floyd and the community — to ensure that they are peaceful and are respectful of the city of Oakland and especially our downtown businesses, which have been suffering since the pandemic began.”

In the meantime in Los Angeles Friday night, onlookers laughed and filmed as a Los Angeles police officer was attacked by a violent mob on Friday… and that’s not all.

As that police officer was attacked in the street (footage below), the windows of squad cars were smashed out on Friday night.

The riots broke out at Fifth and Olive streets and officers were quick to subdue the violence.

As the city simmers and pockets of violence start to pop up, Los Angeles police said Friday that they wouldn’t tolerate violence or property damage during local demonstrations.

They’re expecting large crowds throughout the night, and the Police Department issued a statement saying it’s concerned about “an increasing level of violence and property damage committed by small number of detractors.”

LAPD says they threw projectiles at officers and damaged businesses in the area.

According to agency spokesmen, those incidents as “isolated,” but said they would “take enforcement action” on anyone who acts unlawfully.

“We stand with our communities and rebuke any instance of police brutality as well as acts of violence or property damage,” Chief Michel Moore said in a statement.

L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti held a press briefing Friday evening to address the protests.

“We’re going to protect your rights to protest,” he said.

“Don’t violate any laws in doing that, but we absolutely need, as a nation, certainly as a city, to voice our outrage.

It’s our patriotic duty to not only stand up for George Floyd, but for everybody who has been killed unnecessarily, who has been murdered, for the structural racism that we have in our country.”

He supported the demonstrators on social media.

“Angelenos should follow their conscience in response to the pain and senselessness of this horror,” he wrote in a tweet. “I will always believe in expressing ourselves powerfully, peacefully, and safely.”

Under L.A. County’s current coronavirus health order, protests are allowed but participants are still expected to use face coverings and keep their distance as much as possible.

That’s according to Barbara Ferrer, the county’s top public health official.

“The ability for people to protest in a peaceful way is in fact one of only two event gatherings that are allowed across the state,” she said. “We do ask people to adhere with the guidance.”

Yet demonstrators could be seen smashing police car windows and dragging a police officer into the crowd.

You can see in the video as they throw him to the ground and beat him before he managed to get away – it was all captured from Sky5.

The latest news from the ME is sure to make things worse.

The Hennepin County medical examiner said he’s found no physical evidence that George Floyd, 46, had been suffocated or strangled by the Minneapolis Police.

What he DID find, however, were underlying health conditions and possible intoxicants.

Surprisingly, those results were part of the criminal complaint used to charge former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter on Friday.

The charges came in connection with Floyd’s death during his arrest on Monday.

Reads the complaint:

“The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. 

The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings. The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation.”

“Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease,” the complaint continued.

“The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death.”

According to the complaint, Officer Chauvin kept his knee on Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds in total.

That includes 2 minutes and 56 seconds after he appeared to have lost consciousness.

The complaint said the Hennepin County District Attorney’s Office charged former Officer Chauvin with murder based on a presumption.

According to the presumption, it was that he knew that holding a suspect in that position was “inherently dangerous,” even though he didn’t directly kill Floyd.

Details in the complaint state that it started at about 8:08 p.m. on May 25.

That’s when Minneapolis Police Officers Thomas Lane and J.A. Kueng responded to a 911 call.  That call was a man had used a $20 counterfeit bill at a deli called Cup Food in the 3700-block of Chicago Avenue.

Store management told responding officers that the man was sitting in a parked car around the corner from the deli.

According to the complaint, police bodycam footage showed three people in the vehicle – with Floyd as the driver.

The complaint says that Officer Keung spoke with the passenger.  Officer Lane, in the meantime, ordered Floyd out of the car – and when Floyd refused to cooperate, Officer Lane pulled him out.

The complaint also states Floyd actively resisted arrest while Officer Lane struggled to put handcuffs on the suspect.

Floyd was over 6 feet tall and weighed more than 200 pounds.

After he was handcuffed, Floyd briefly complied with the orders from Officer Lane, who walked him over to the sidewalk to sit.

The charging documents state it was at that point that Officer Lane asked Floyd if he was “on anything”.

In a conversation that lasted fewer than two minutes, he explained why he was being arrested.

Now it was 8:14 p.m.  According to the report, when Officers Lane and Kueng stood Floyd up to put him the back of the police car, Floyd snapped.

He stiffened up, dropped down and then told the officers he suffered from claustrophobia.

At that point, Minneapolis Police Officers Derek Chauvin and Tou Thoa arrived on the scene to provide back up.

The suspect actively resisted multiple attempts to put Floyd in the back of the police car, according to the documents.

“Mr. Floyd did not voluntarily get in the car and struggled with the officers by intentionally falling down, saying he was not going in the car, and refusing to stand still,” the district attorney’s complaint said.

When he first told officers he couldn’t breathe, Floyd was still standing beside the car, the documents state.

That’s when Officer Chauvin went around to the driver’s side of the vehicle.  He then to pull Floyd into the vehicle from that side.

At this point, it was 8:19 p.m.

Officer Chauvin put Floyd, handcuffed, on the ground in a prone position, putting his knee “in the area of Mr. Floyd’s head and neck” while Officer Kueng held his back and Officer Lane held his legs.

Those details are according to the charging documents.

According to the complaint, Floyd said “I can’t breathe” several times and repeatedly begged “please” and called for his “mama” while they held him still.

Apparently Officer Lane expressed concerned about Floyd’s position.

Officer Chauvin told him they were staying put.  The documents state he told him “that’s why we have him on his stomach,” and they then held the positions for almost 9 minutes.

The complaint says that Floyd stopped moving and breathing during that time.

At this point, Officer Lane again expressed concern.

When Officer Kueng checked Floyd’s pulse but did not find one, they for some reason still held their positions on top of the unconscious suspect until EMS arrived on the scene.

Officer Chauvin removed his knee from Floyd’s neck at 8:27 p.m. and then the suspect was transported to the hospital – already deceased.

According to the autopsy, which was conducted on May 26, there were no signs that Floyd had been suffocated or strangled during his arrest – a fact that was in the complaint.

On Friday, Officer Chauvin was arrested and charged with Floyd’s murder.

Minneapolis, Minnesota – After days of protests, riots, and rallying cries from locals and elected officials, former police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested for the murder of George Floyd.

The announcement came from Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman on May 29th, who said that the official charges are third-degree murder and manslaughter.

Chauvin was taken into custody by the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension within Minneapolis.

There was some speculation about whether Chauvin had managed to leave the city to a home in Florida recently, but with the arrest happening in Minneapolis, those speculations can be obviously put to rest.

Freeman explained on May 29th that through the course of the expedited investigation, enough evidence has been obtained to warrant criminal charges against Chauvin:

“We have now been able to put together the evidence that we need. Even as late as yesterday afternoon, we did not have all that we needed.”

It’s unclear as to what other evidence was obtained, outside of the heavily circulated video of Chauvin pressing his knee against Floyd’s neck that has been the source of protests and riots across various cities within the country.

Freeman explained that this investigation was “by far the fastest” one performed when involving a police officer as a suspect:

“This is by far the fastest that we’ve ever charged a police officer.”

While none of the other officers featured on the video have had charges levied against them yet, Freeman stated that he “anticipates” charges to eventually come their way.

However, at this time, their actions and involvement are still being investigated.

Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family during this case, released a statement online in response to the arrest of Chauvin. According to the statement released, the arrest was described as a “welcome but overdue step on the road to justice.”

Apparently, what makes the case all the more interesting, is that Floyd and Chauvin actually worked together – for the entire year of 2019.

Both were employed at the El Nuevo Rodeo Club, with Chauvin working outdoor security and Floyd working indoor security.

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