Crime in New York is still soaring, too many gunslingers are still walking free because of flawed bail laws and Albany pols are still sitting on their hands while Gotham bleeds.
It’s time for Mayor Adams to get mad as hell and refuse to take it anymore. Being polite and reasonable isn’t working.
NYPD stats tell the sordid tale. As of last Sunday, combined reports of the seven major felonies show an increase of 43% over last year, and that includes a welcome 13% reduction in homicides.
Over two years, murder is still up 9% and all major crimes are up 31%.
These are unsustainable trends and they don’t capture the severe and continuing erosion in the quality of life. Organized shoplifting is out of control and the random mayhem on streets and subways creates far more fear than any statistic can capture.
Adams continues to say all the right things, including on “60 Minutes” Sunday, where he argued that the so-called policing reforms under former Mayor Bill de Blasio went “too far to the left.”
“We only talk about ‘How do we protect the rights of those who commit a crime,’” Adams said. “How about start talking about ‘How do we protect the rights of people who are doing the right thing?’ ”
And he used his pomp-heavy State of the City address Tuesday to renew his vow to tame the monster, declaring that “safety and justice are the prerequisites of prosperity. We cannot have a city where people are afraid to walk the streets, ride the subway, or send their children to school.”
Yet facts forced him to acknowledge that is what we have, saying, “there is still far too much violence in our city.” After detailing a searing list of examples, he put names on some of the victims, reading out “Kristal, Jayquan, Kade, Sally, Angellyah. Detectives Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera.”
Then he addressed the families of the dead invited to his speech, telling them: “I can only imagine the loss you feel and the pain you live with. But I will not rest until we have addressed the conditions that led to that loss. We will do what is necessary to make all of our communities safe. You have my word, as a former police officer, a fellow New Yorker, and your mayor.”
Needs bail fix
Clearly, New York has a mayor who feels the pain violence causes. This alone is a giant leap from his predecessor, who couldn’t even pretend to care.
When a child was killed by gunfire, de Blasio would call it “unacceptable” but never talk about it again or do anything about it.
Adams is trying to do something about it, especially with his Neighborhood Safety Teams tasked with getting handguns off the streets. The units report they have seized 2,300 illegal firearms but that hasn’t stopped the carnage and the mayor risks missing a unique opportunity to get help if he doesn’t raise the volume of his demands on Albany.
The Post’s Sunday story about the four suspects caught with guns who were quickly released reveals that lawmakers’ recent changes made for good press releases but didn’t dent the reality that too many perps are treated far too leniently. Gov. Hochul and the Legislature refused to give Adams the most important thing he wanted — judicial discretion to assess the dangerousness of a suspect before ordering release, a power judges have in the other 49 states and the federal system.
Now’s the time
This is a fight among Democrats, with Republican officeholders too few to make a difference. In that sense, Adams is trapped in a tradition where New York City mayors almost always feud more bitterly with governors and lawmakers of their own party than with the opposition.
Just the recent roll call makes the point: Ed Koch and Mario Cuomo famously battled each other on a host of issues, as did Republicans Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki. Of course, de Blasio and the disgraced Andrew Cuomo set a new low for childish disputes and personal hatred.
The take-away from that history is that, no matter the personalities or eras, mayors never get what they want without a bare-knuckled fight with Albany. Moreover, timing is on Adams’s side.
While he recently completed his first 100 days of a four-year term, this is an election year for Hochul and every member of the Legislature. Adams, with his 61 percent approval rating, is far more popular than anyone in Albany, and should use his bully pulpit to enlist his supporters in the fight.
His endorsement could be a difference-maker in key races, especially Hochul’s, and he shouldn’t give it away without getting something big for the city.
Put it this way: If he doesn’t use his political capital to get help fighting crime now, what would he use it for and when? The city is fairly flush with cash and Adams isn’t asking for the power to raise taxes or any other big-ticket item, so he should spend that political capital on the city’s most critical need.
Moreover, if he doesn’t make a huge dent in crime in his first year, he’ll likely lose much of his public support. In that case, he will have wasted a singular opportunity to change the course of the city and keep the central promise of his mayoralty
‘Border line’ insane
A Texas Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar, asks the political question of the year.
In a blunt Fox Digital interview, he said President Biden’s border policies are damaging the party’s chances in the midterm elections. He cited the plan to end the Trump-era health policy known as Title 42 that allows the feds to deport illegal immigrants because of the pandemic.
“This is not good for Democrats in November,” he said. “You know, in talking with some of my Republican colleagues, they’re saying ‘We can’t believe the White House is giving us this narrative. We can’t believe that they’re hurting Democrat candidates for the November election.’ ”
Cuellar added: “The Republican voters are not happy by what’s happening at the border. The Democratic voters are not happy. And if you look at the independent voters, they’re not happy about this decision. So who are we trying to please?”
Bingo. Who exactly is the White House trying to please by inviting the world to cross the border? The obvious answer, of course, is the far left, but how many of them are there?
Meanwhile, the majority of the country is saying “No, hello no!” which is why sensible Dems like Cuellar are right to be worried about November.
Elon tweaks lefty Twits
Elon Musk not only owns Twitter, he also made Tuesday’s best tweet. Watching the left’s panic and pearl-clutching over his purchase of the company, he reacted this way: “The extreme antibody reaction from those who fear free speech says it all.”
Indeed it does.