De Blasio Blames NYC Crime Spike On Coronavirus Instead Of Bail Reform

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks at the 2019 American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference in March. (Photo: Jose Luis Magana/AP)

NEW YORK (VINnews) — New York City saw a troubling spike in violent crime this July 4th weekend. From Saturday through Sunday night, nearly 50 people were shot, 8 of them fatally. These troubling numbers also follow a record violent month of June in NYC.

While it has been obvious to most New Yorkers that de Blasio’s controversial bail reform has been destroying any hope for relative calm in this city, the Mayor himself seems to want to blame the recent criminal activity on something entirely different: Coronavirus.

De Blasio addressed the issue during his daily City Hall press briefing, saying that over July 4th weekend, “a lot of people out there, very peacefully celebrated our nation’s birthday … but we also saw too much violence this weekend.”

In explaining away the cause for the uptick in crime, de Blasio said the shootings were “directly related to all this dislocation that we’ve seen over the last four months,” due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“People have been pent up for months and months,” said de Blasio.

But at the very same press priefing, NYPD leadership brought up the more likely source of the problem.

NYPD Chief of Department Terence Monahan said that the coronavirus is only part of the problem. Among the other problems, Monahan noted, are de Blasio’s bail reform, animosity from the citizens towards police officers after the George Floyd incident, as well as the new bill that outlawed chokeholds by police officers in any scenario and also restricts other forms of contact.

“It’s a combination of things — bail reform, COVID releases from prison, court shutdown, which has Rikers [Island] at half of where they were,” Monahan said at the briefing.

Regarding the chokehold bill, Monahan said “We mentioned this insane diaphragm law the City Council passed. It has our cops hesitant to enforce some of these quality-of-life issues. They are afraid if they’re making an arrest that if their knee goes on the back of someone that they are fighting their life for — that they could be prosecuted, that’s a problem.”

“It makes our cops take that step back,” Monahan continued.

Monahan explained that it isn’t the banning of chokeholds specifically that’s the issue, but rather any form of compressing the diaphragm, such as a scenario where the offcier’s knee would end up on a detainee’s back.

“Anyone who’s ever arrested anybody who’s fought and struggled knows that there’s a good chance that the knee may end up on someone’s back in the course of a struggle,” Monahan said. “To criminalize that has the police officer concerned about whether or not he may be arrested for his knee going on the back.”

De Blasio, for his part, did not take ownership of his shortcomings, but rather he finished off suggesting other solutions to curb the violence such as using the efforts of “the clergy” and community groups like block associations.

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