It was a bloody holiday weekend, with 28 shot across the city, 11 on Labor Day alone. Yet Mayor Bill de Blasio, answering a question on the shootings at a doubly illegal pre-dawn J’Ouvert, insisted: “Overwhelmingly we had a peaceful weekend in central Brooklyn.”
Tell that to the 6-year-old shot along with his mom early Monday morning while exiting a taxi — and to the two dozen other victims. The Police Benevolent Association gave the mayor’s “peace” some larger context, tweeting: “Last week we had 51 shootings and 14 homicides. That’s anything but peaceful.”
Any ordinary mayor would be outraged that the shootings continue, week after week, far above recent levels, not accepting it by talking of “minimal violence.” Are New Yorkers supposed to be happy at the lack (for now) of arson and looting?
Police Commissioner Dermot Shea needs a reality check, too. He told 1010 WINS that the weekend shooting total “was kind of in the range” of gun incidents in prior years.
Huh? Labor Day weekend 2019 saw 19 people shot in 16 incidents. This year’s 28 shot in 22 incidents is a jump of 40 or 50 percent.
The top cop told 1010 WINS: “With the way things have been going lately, I would deem that a success.” At least he added, “But we have a lot of work to do, clearly.”
He noted a truly good sign: The NYPD hit a 25-year high in gun arrests last week. But that follows a month that, The Post found, had firearm arrests down 20 percent over last year. Maybe it’s the result of Shea’s redeployments — beefing up weekend hours and restoring some semblance of the anti-crime units that the mayor forced him to shutter.
De Blasio, when he isn’t denying the carnage, blames the mayhem on a “perfect storm” of the coronavirus, sick cops, unemployment and closed schools.
Conveniently, he never mentions his role in signaling that New York is wide-open for lawlessness. Since only one in five shooting incidents results in an arrest, it’s too early to know what role his decision to empty Rikers of dangerous criminal suspects played. The state no-bail law is no help either.
If the mayor really wants to console crime victims, maybe he should offer them some of whatever it is that he’s smoking.