New York Mayor Bill de Blasio blasted a New York Post report titled, “You’re 45% More Likely to Be Murdered in de Blasio’s Manhattan,” characterizing the report as “fear mongering.”
Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, de Blasio brought up the report, whining, “I think the way to look at it is where we’re at this year compared to last year and previous years. We’re still at one of the lowest murder rates we’ve ever had in the history of this city. We have had some sore spots that we have to work on. There’s no two ways about it.”
The Post reported that sixteen people were killed and 50 “shooting incidents” occurred around the borough since the beginning of 2015. In 2014, the same period showed 11 murders and 31 “shooting incidents.’’ Shooting victims skyrocketed from 33 in 2014 to 61 in 2015.
De Blasio, who has resisted calls for hiring 1,000 more police officers, instead extolled technology instead of boots on the ground: “the ShotSpotter system and handheld technology” will be given to police.
Somehow, de Blasio conveniently interpreted the Post’s article as an attack on the police, not on him, asserting, “I think anyone who says that is denigrating the efforts of the NYPD and really needs to look at the facts.” He ignored the Post‘s quote from a police source, stating, “City Hall better wake up soon.When murders and shootings go up in Manhattan, everyone is affected.’’
De Blasio bloviated:
We went through some of these ups and downs last year. I mean, I remember very vividly you were all here for every moment of the drama. There were points last year where we were very concerned things were trending in the wrong direction. What happened at the end of last year? We had set an all-time record in terms of overall crime. And obviously in terms of murders, it was the lowest number of murders we have had in decades.
He added that the murder problem derived from a “relatively small set of gangs and crews,” then postulated, “And more and more police resources are going to address that problem. And you’ll see a series of strategic changes coming up to go at that problem very directly.”
He tried to argue that the problem wasn’t widespread, that it was primarily gang related, saying that 2015 is a “different reality” from the “bad old days” when “everyday citizens were getting caught in those crossfires… It’s much more localized to gangs and crews. Now, as painful as that is—and we have to end the loss of life—it also means that our police have a lot more information to work with.”
The New York Daily News reported on March 2, 2015, that 54 murders had occurred in all of New York City since the beginning of 2015, nine more than the same period in 2014.