NEW YORK CITY, NY – We are about to say something we never thought we would. On Thursday, Governor Andrew Cuomo was quick to call out officials in New York City over the increase in crime and gun violence in the Big Apple. And in the most unlikely of scenarios, Mayor Bill de Blasio came to the defense of the NYPD.
Citing statistics that show an increase of “over 100% in shooting victims,” Cuomo said that those numbers are “wholly unacceptable.”
“We have a problem in New York City when it comes to crime,” Cuomo said. “That is a fact.”
Pointing to an executive order he signed in June, Cuomo reminded leaders that he expects them to present a plan on “reimagining” policing. Failure to have their plans submitted to the state before April 1, 2021, would lead to the governor’s office withholding all state funding for the city’s law enforcement effort.
“The Mayor can lead it, City Council President can lead it, Comptroller can lead it, Public Advocate can lead it. If none of them want to lead it, I will find someone to lead it,” Cuomo said.
But the mayor, for what may have been the first time in his career, spoke up in defense of the agency commissioned with serving and protecting America’s largest city.
“He doesn’t have his facts straight. It’s just quite clear,” de Blasio said. “If he wants to make personal attacks, he can do that, but he does not have his facts straight.”
His response seemed to light the fuse for the governor’s office, as Cuomo’s Secretary tweeted a three-word comeback:
“Enlighten us, please.”
Enlighten us, please https://t.co/IKepllbWkZ
— Melissa DeRosa (@melissadderosa) September 25, 2020
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea, appearing on Good Day New York, was asked his thoughts on the governor calling his department out for not doing its job.
“Well, I certainly hope he’s not saying that because then I would have some pretty strong things to say,” the commissioner said. “We certainly have right now an uptick in crime that began in January, and the violent crime began in January and really took off in May and then June we know what happened,” Shea said. “We’re starting to get our arms around issues but we need a lot of help.”
The video is courtesy of Fox5NY.
Shea pointed to legislation passed in New York as one of the reasons behind the increase in crime and the perceived lack of police response.
Citing an example in Upper Manhattan, cars were being broken into. And people wondered where the police were. Shea told the anchors that “what was missing from the story, is that we had an individual we brought in three times for breaking into cars.”
All they could do was hold him in the precinct for a few hours, and then turn him loose.
That is all thanks to laws in the state that literally allow criminals, both violent and non-violent, to be released on no bail to await trial.
Meanwhile, the increase in crime comes simultaneously with the city’s decision to reduce the department’s budget by more than $1 billion. Reducing the funding for the NYPD by more than 18% will cause more harm than good.
But, department leadership is still doing everything it can to provide the safest community possible.
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Here’s more on the increase in crime in New York City.
NEW YORK CITY, NY – With violent crime in the rise within certain areas of New York City, the NYPD has announced that strategically allocated overtime for certain precincts that are among some of the areas most greatly impacted by this rising violence.
The current rate of shootings has soared when compared to 2019 data in New York City, with the NYPD showing an overall increase of 87% for the entirety of 2020 and a 143% increase for August alone. With violent crime increasing, there has also been an increase in response times.
Sources tell CBS2's @AliBaumanTV the #NYPD will soon approve small amounts of overtime, sending hundreds of officers to the areas of the city hardest hit by crime. https://t.co/P9hPudnOwP #nycshootings #nycgunviolence
— CBS New York (@CBSNewYork) September 1, 2020
Data shows that officer response times increased by 44% in June of this year and 14% collectively between July and August. Currently, there are two theories being touted as to what is causing these increased response times.
Former police officer and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams suggested that police precincts might be intentionally slowing their response times due to the anti-police sentiments across the country:
“The Department of Investigation must look at precinct by precinct to see if job actions are taking place in certain precincts out of frustration.”
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea denied that there was some collective move by precincts to intentionally slow down their response times:
“New York City police officers and detectives are as dedicated today as they ever have been.”
Surprisingly, Mayor Bill de Blasio presented an alternative theory to Adams’. The mayor reasonably pointed out that the recent cuts to the NYPD budget, which was nearly $1 billion, is going to inevitably affect things like response times:
“If there are fewer police officers and less overtime there are going to be challenges.”
These questions about what’s going on with policing, with respect to response times, comes on the heels of a recent murder of a caretaker for the Bedford-Stuyvesant Church who was gunned down on August 31st.
Deacon Ronald Stewart lamented the loss of the 62-year-old victim, calling him a “good man” and describing how he and his wife took him in off the streets and afforded the victim a second chance at life:
“He was an asset to the church, a very good person. Not only that, me and my wife took him off the street and we fed him. We did everything for him.”
Earlier on August 31st, a Manhattan criminal court judge was randomly attacked by an assailant while she was heading down Water Street on her way to work. A witness to the attack, Barat Mukhtiyi, described the seemingly random assault:
“Somebody hit her on the face and the guy was on a bicycle.”
Not long after the incident involving the judge being assaulted, there was reportedly two men who were shot while standing outside of a daycare facility in Fordham Heights.
Starting on September 1st, small amounts of overtime are now going to be allocated to certain precincts and will be approved until the end of the summer. It’s unclear if the NYPD will be considering any continuance of overtime after the aforementioned period.
Another recent murder in the city has also shaken the community.
Police in New York City recently released captured video surveillance footage of the man that they say murdered a mother of three in the Bronx during the early morning hours of August 22nd.
The video footage in question is said to be when the suspect fired the fatal rounds at the 25-year-old victim.
— New York Post (@nypost) August 23, 2020
Priscilla Vazquez was reportedly shot in the head at approximately 5:20 a.m. on August 22nd along East 152nd Street in Melrose. She was pronounced dead on the scene, according to police.
🚨WANTED for HOMICIDE: Do you know this person? On 8/22 at approximately 5:20 AM, in front of 335 East 152nd St in the Bronx, a 25-year-old female was shot, causing her death. Call 800-577-TIPS, or DM @NYPDTips with any info. All calls are anonymous. pic.twitter.com/UkuthtAHYi
— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) August 23, 2020
The video shows a lone shooter running while firing multiple rounds simultaneously, with witnesses saying they heard approximately 6 rounds fired.
The victim’s sister, Angela, stated that Vazquez leaves behind two sons aged 7 and 8-years-old and a 3-year-old daughter:
“She was the strongest woman. She didn’t need any help from anyone to take care of her kids. She did it on her own.”
Other family members of the victim stated that the rounds fired by the gunman seemed sporadic in aim, leading them to believe that the victim wasn’t the intended target by the gunman. Vasquez was among a group of people at the time when the gunman opened fire.
Police are seeking information on the identity of the suspect involved in the murder of Vasquez and are asking that anyone with information please contact the Crime Stoppers tipline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477). Tips can also be submitted online at the NYPD Crime Stoppers website.
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