Critics slam ‘delusional’ de Blasio for saying NYC is ‘safer’ and ‘better’ with FEWER people in jail as violent crime surges – while Westchester PD bans its cops from entering city over ‘reckless’ law restricting arrest procedures
- De Blasio made the remarks as he signed ‘police accountability’ bill Wednesday
- Bragged that New York now has the lowest number of jail inmates since WWII
- ‘We are safer for it and better for it,’ the mayor added in his remarks
- Shootings in NYC rose 130% in June, to their highest level since 1996
- Murders are up 23% for the first six months of the year as NYPD budget is cut
- New NYC law bans police from using chokeholds or knees during arrests
- Westchester PD says it makes arrests too risky and halts enforcement in NYC
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is facing criticism after saying emptying jails had made the city ‘safer’ even as violent crime surges.
De Blasio made the remarks on Wednesday while signing a new ‘police accountability’ law that included a slew of measures that have come under fire from police unions and officials.
At the bill signing, de Blasio bragged about policies that have seen suspects and offenders released by the hundreds from Rikers Island, including the elimination of bail for many categories of crime.
‘We now have fewer people in our jails than any time since World War II, and we are safer for it and better for it,’ the mayor said.
The mayor’s critics slammed the comment, with Fox News host Sean Hannity calling de Blasio ‘delusional’ in a tweet.
Violent crime in New York has surged alarmingly in recent months, with NYPD data showing shooting incidents rising 130 percent in June from the same month last year, reaching the highest level since 1996.
Burglary increased 118 percent in June and is up 46 percent year-to-date through June 30.
Murders rose 30 percent in June and were up 23 percent for the first six months of the year, the department said.
NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea has blamed the rise in crime on policies that released inmates from Rikers Island during the coronavirus pandemic.
It follows a recent measure cutting the $1 billion from the NYPD’s $6 billion annual budget.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, white shirt, helps paint the new Black Lives Matter mural in the Bronx borough of New York on Wednesday. Later de Blasio signed a police accountability bill while sitting at a desk set up on the street near the mural
For the week ending July 12, shooting incidents in NYC were at the highest level since 1996
Standing at a podium emblazoned ‘Black Lives Matter,’ de Blasio on Wednesday touted the package of new laws that include the criminalization of police kneeling on a suspect’s torso while handcuffing them.
‘The Black Lives Matter movement has been at the forefront of change in New York City and across our nation. I’m proud to sign these sweeping reforms into law and honor the work they’ve done,’ said de Blasio.
However, the new laws came under fire from police unions and officials in New York and neighboring departments.
The general counsel’s office of the union representing most NYPD cops called the new laws ‘more pro-criminal legislation that demonizes police & makes the job of enforcing the law more difficult… the people of NYC continue to suffer the consequences.’
The neighboring Westchester Police Department issued an order on Thursday banning its officers from enforcement actions in New York City.
The order says that the provision that criminalizes kneeling on a suspect’s torso while handcuffing them makes it too dangerous to effect an arrest, and bans Westchester officers from pursuing a suspect into the city.
The union that represents New York State troopers has also called for its officers to be pulled out of New York City for the same reason.
The new law ‘puts an undue burden upon our Troopers,’ said PBA President Thomas Mungeer in a statement.
‘It opens them up to criminal and civil liability for restraining a person during a lawful arrest in a manner that is consistent with their training and is legal throughout the rest of the state. Furthermore, this legislation will prevent Troopers from safely and effectively arresting resistant subjects,’ he continued.
‘I am demanding that New York State Police Superintendent Keith Corlett immediately remove all uniformed State Troopers currently stationed within New York City and cease any law enforcement activities within that jurisdiction,’ Mungeer said.
Roughly 200 state troopers are currently assigned to roles in New York City.
NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan, who was injured in an attack on cops on the Brooklyn Bridge this week, has also taken issue with the law banning pressure on an individual’s chest or back.
‘Anyone who has ever arrested anybody who has fought and struggled knows that there is a good chance that your knee may end up on someone’s back,’ Monahan said earlier this month, according to NY1. ‘It’s a big issue to our cops.’
Monahan called the new law ‘insane’ and predicted that crime would continue to rise if police were barred from using force on suspects who resist arrest.