New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has demonstrated incompetence rare even among big-city mayors. An epic failure in responding to the pandemic was matched by his incomprehensibly stupid response to the riots that tore up the city last summer.
But he’s not alone among Democratic big-city mayors in delusions about why their cities are so violent. Blaming guns for the violent crime wave coursing through America now may be ignorant, but it works politically. And answering the spike in crime by hamstringing police is something else de Blasio has in common with other Democratic mayors. Today, de Blasio will unveil the initial draft of a plan to “reform” the NYPD. As expected, the plan wants to make police invisible in high-crime areas — “reduce the police footprint” is how the draft puts it.
Under the plan, the NYPD would work with violence interrupter groups to launch a Joint Task Force to End Gun Violence and would be required to produce a website providing the disciplinary records of officers, including the charges against them, penalties incurred and trial decisions.
Other new initiatives include consolidating victim services into one agency to better support survivors of crime, restorative justice training for police brass and expanding mental health services for rank-and-file cops.
The city also plans to call on the state to rewrite its own laws to give entities like the CCRB access to sealed records to assist it in probing police matters.
Meanwhile, criminals are on the rampage taking aim at innocent civilians and gangbangers alike.
The New York Police Department (NYPD) recorded 77 shootings in February compared to the 44 reported during the same month last year, police officials announced Thursday. Meanwhile, February saw one less murder this year, with 21, and a decrease in felonious murders by just under 8%, the department said.
As of Tuesday, there were 160 shootings reported this year, with 173 victims, compared to the 115 shootings and 131 victims reported during the same timeframe in 2020, police said. Ten of the shooting victims so far this year have been between the ages of 10 and 17, up from the six reported year-over-year.
Overall crime has fallen during the pandemic, so a 75 percent increase in shootings in February should raise alarms about the way the police are doing their jobs. Instead, it’s led to further erosion of trust between the police and the city.
The end result was summarized by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
“It’s teetering, to use a word. Crime is way up. Homelessness is way up. Many people have left New York City,” he said during a news conference Wednesday. “We have to get New York City functional again and safe again. And viable again. And we have to do that quickly.”
How quickly? Judging by what the city’s mayor believes, there’s no urgency at all.
“It’s important to set a foundation here that even though we experienced some real challenges in 2020, particularly with gun violence, in fact, if you look at all of the numbers, overall crime decreased in 2020,” he said during a news conference Thursday. He outlined not only how overall crime had decreased, but also how police responses are now about “deepening the tie between police and community, deepening neighborhood policing.”
“We are the safest big city in America,” he added. “We will continue to be.”
I suppose compared to Chicago, New York City is a peaceful paradise. But when 77 people get shot in 28 days, you have to question the sanity of someone who says that.