NYC Black leaders say blood on hands of Mayor de Blasio for city’s gun crime
The powerful Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams, has said it was a mistake to entirely disband the NYPD’s anti-crime unit, as illegal gun crimes soar throughout New York City in June and July.
Adams, who is running for mayor in 2021, is called New York City’s “most influential Black politician.” He’s also a former police officer.
The anti-crime unit was created in the 1990s by Rudy Giuliani as a plainclothes squad that was meant to keep guns out of neighborhoods. It was largely successful as gun crimes went down over the next thirty years, but was widely criticized by community progressives as aggressive.
So now, in their absence, the environment favors the criminals, and gun crime has surged in June and July.
“The gun police are no longer out there,” said John Jay College professor Joe Giacalone. “The criminals are opportunists. You know that.”
The New York Times says that the number of shootings this year threatens to be the highest in three years after the first three months started below average.
Over the weekend, a one-year-old was shot and killed amid this wave of increased gun crime.
“Babies are not supposed to be wearing these in a coffin,” Adams told CBS News in New York, holding up a pair of baby shoes.
“I think that a total elimination is something we need to reevaluate. Right now, bad guys are saying if you don’t see a blue and white you can do whatever you want,” he added.
Another prominent Black leader agreed.
“The guns keep going off and now we have a 1-year-old and the blood is on the hands of the mayor and the state legislature,” said Tony Herbert, a community activist.
Adams says that there is a way to keep the anti-crime unit doing its job while also safeguarding the rights of citizens.
“Moving forward on police reform does not mean we have to move backward on public safety. The problem with the precinct level anti-crime unit wasn’t the strategy behind it — it was some of the officers in it,” said Adams.
CBS News New York slammed Mayor Bill de Blasio for decrying the crime wave, while acting powerless to stop it.
“[The] mayor did not propose any new solutions to ending the gun violence,” says the TV station. “This, as shootings for the week went up 277%, 49 compared to 13 in 2019. The number of victims is up 253%, 60 compared to 17 in 2019.”
In fact, the leadership in New York seemed to relish the opportunity to usher in a new crime wave.
“Make no mistake, this is a seismic shift in the culture of how the NYPD polices this great city,” said NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea as he championed dismantling the anti-crime units last month.
“It will be felt immediately in the communities that we protect.”
He didn’t know how right he’d be, or how quickly.
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