New York City mayor Bill de Blasio won’t sign a package of police reform bills as planned on Thursday, amid concerns from both New York City residents and New York Police Department bigwigs that the bills would handicap NYPD officers just as violence is spiking in the city.
The New York Daily News (NYDN) reported Wednesday that de Blasio is, instead, “reviewing a package of police reform bills including a chokehold ban, following angry backlash from police department leaders who said the legislation would weaken cops amid a major spike in crime.”
The police reform bill package, passed by the New York city council last week, includes provisions “banning chokeholds and other measures of restraint,” and expanding citizens’ ability to sue the police department over officer interactions.
The NYDN notes that the package also contains “the ‘POST’ Act, which requires the NYPD to disclose its use of surveillance technology; creation of a ‘disciplinary matrix’ aimed at creating uniform punishment for cop infractions; expansion of the NYPD’s ‘early intervention’ system that tracks excessive force and other problems posed by officers; a bill requiring officers to show their shield numbers, and a bill codifying New Yorkers’ right to film police and peace officers while they’re on the job.”
A second police package passed the New York legislature, per CNN. De Blasio is also working on a budget provision that slashes police funding by nearly a billion dollars.
Earlier this week, Bill de Blasio hailed the package as a major step forward in curbing police brutality, “a watershed moment for our city,” per the NYDN.
But just as plans came together for Bill de Blasio, things fell apart for New York City.
“Gun violence in New York City ‘spiked significantly’ during the month of June compared to the same time last year, according to the NYPD’s monthly crime briefing,” per CBS News. “Between June 1 and June 30, there was a 130% increase in the number of shooting incidents across the city.”
“There were a total of 205 shooting incidents in June — up from 89 last year — spread across all five boroughs, according to the NYPD. The violence continued into the July 4th holiday weekend as the NYPD reported 44 shooting incidents,” the outlet noted.
Although in other cities, like Chicago, crime is down overall aside from homicides, in New York City, crime is actually up across the board, according to CBS: “In addition to shootings last month, murders, burglaries, and auto thefts also rose with the start of summer. Burglaries increased most significantly, from 817 to 1,783, an 118% uptick.”
New York Police Department commissioner, Dermot Shea, connected the spike in crime directly to de Blasio’s efforts to weaken the police department.
“The sharp increase in shootings and violence in New York puts innocent people at risk and tears at the fabric of life in our city,” he said in a press conference last week.
On Monday, Shea targeted de Blasio’s proposed reforms.
“Police officers should not have to worry more about getting arrested than the person with the gun that they’re rolling around on the street with,” he said.