New York’s embarrassment of a Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the uptick in violence over the weekend on the coronavirus pandemic, while defending the city’s latest decisions to weaken its police force.
De Blasio held a press conference Monday after a weekend of violence across New York City that left at least eight people dead and more than 44 people shot and injured.
“I want to talk about what happened this weekend. Many were out there celebrating, but we saw too much violence, and we have a lot of work to do to address it,” de Blasio said, while adding that “there is not one cause for something like this.”
“This is directly related to coronavirus,” de Blasio claimed. “This is a very serious situation… As we’re getting into warmer and warmer weather, we’re feeling the effects of people being cooped up for months, the economy hasn’t restarted – we have a real problem here.”
De Blasio also said it was going to take “neighborhood policing” and cooperation from clergy and elected officials.
“This is all hands on deck,” de Blasio said, while adding that the city has “been dealt a really tough hand.”
New York City Police Department Chief Terence Monahan weighed in on the violence, agreeing that the surge in violence over the weekend was due to “a combination of things,” including the court system being shut down and new reforms in the city, such as bail reform.
“A lot of different individuals are on the street that should not be on the street,” Monahan said Monday, noting that inmate releases from Rikers Island due to COVID-19, bail reform and the newly imposed ban on chokeholds contributed as well.
“It has our cops hesitating to enforce some of those quality-of-life issues,” he said, noting that police do not have a problem with the ban on chokeholds, but that other language in the new legislation makes it difficult for officers to make arrests, including using their knees on a suspect’s back.
“The animosity toward police out there is tremendous,” Monahan said. “Just about everyone we deal with is looking to fight a police officer when we make an arrest, so it is vital that we get communities together supporting and speaking up for police.”
Last month, the NYPD announced it was disbanding its anti-crime unit and reassigning hundreds of plainclothes officers to other divisions amid widespread criticism over the department’s handling of protesters.
De Blasio, on Monday, said that the city is “going through a rough patch in terms of crime, but we will not go back.”
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany shredded the mainstream media over failing to ask about the increased violence over the weekend in Democrat run cities like New York City.
“I was asked probably twelve questions about the Confederate flag. This president’s focused on action. I’m a little dismayed that I didn’t receive one question on the deaths that we got in this country this weekend. I didn’t receive one question about New York City shootings doubling for the third straight week and over the last seven days, shootings skyrocket by 142%. Not one question.”
“I didn’t receive one question about five children who were killed. And I’ll leave you with this remark by a dad; it broke my heart. A dad of an eight-year-old lost in Atlanta this weekend: “They say Black Lives Matter? You killed a child; she didn’t do nothing to nobody,” was his quote. We need to be focused on securing our streets; making sure no lives were lost, because all black lives matter. That of David Dorn and that of this eight-year-old girl.”