Just after the ball dropped in Times Square on January 1, 2022, former New York City Police Department (NYPD) Captain Eric Adams was sworn in as the 110th mayor of New York City. Adams was selected largely based on his promise to reduce crime.
But eight months into his term, Mayor Adams and Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell have failed miserably to keep that promise. In fact, they have done the exact opposite: crime is soaring. According to the NYPD’s Compstat Crime Statistics, from January 1 through August 7, 2022, the seven major index crimes (murder, rape, robbery, felony assaults including shooting victims, burglary, grand larceny and grand larceny auto) are up significantly in all five boroughs of New York City compared to the same period last year.
On Staten Island, those crimes rose 33.4%, in Queens North 48%, in Queens South 33%, in Brooklyn North 28%, in Brooklyn South 37%, in the Bronx 32%, in Manhattan North 28%, and in Manhattan South a whopping 51%.
If you live in an exclusive, traditionally safe area of the city, you may think you’re immune to this burgeoning crime wave. But I’m here to tell you, you’re not.
Crime is up in 76 of New York City’s 77 police precincts. Only the 101 Precinct in Far Rockaway Queens saw a modest reduction in crime. Manhattan’s sixth precinct in the West Village, an area that boasts Carrie Bradshaw’s apartment from “Sex and the City” and the “Friends” apartment, has seen an increase in crime of a whopping 82%–the highest of any precinct in the city. This is proof that no one is immune to the crime wave.
But why is this crime wave happening at all?
Former President Barack Obama was correct when he said elections have consequences. New bail reform measures enacted by the New York State legislature and signed into law by its former Governor Andrew Cuomo are the main culprit. And don’t let any of the liberal, bleeding-heart law professors tell you otherwise. You don’t need a fancy advanced degree to know that more criminals on the street leads to more crime.
Sprinkle in the election of soft-on-crime District Attorney Alvin Bragg in Manhattan – backed by a George Soros funded PAC – along with a cadre of leftist district attorneys in Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx and you have a recipe for disaster.
The New York State Legislature and its current woke Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul have refused to reverse the insane bail reform policy that has eliminated cash bail for most crimes including second-degree robbery, second-degree burglary, and many other serious felonies.
So in today’s New York City, criminals can punch an elderly woman in the face, steal her purse, break into someone’s home, steal from a local store, deal drugs in front of your home without fear of serious consequences. The message to New Yorkers is clear: screw you, screw the police officer who risked his or her life to make the arrest, and screw the victims.
A couple of weeks ago, the NY Post reported on ten career criminals who are responsible for over 500 crimes since bail reform went into effect. That is more than 500 new victims terrorized by only ten emboldened criminals. Extrapolate those numbers to thousands of other criminals set free to roam the streets of our city and you can begin to understand why crime is up everywhere.
Allowing retail theft to continue – as if it’s some version of reparations and not a crime – is driving up the price of goods and services in the poorest neighborhoods of our city as many small businesses and retail chains shutter their doors and no longer able to absorb the cost of doing business in low income, high crime areas.
Career criminals, who used to be locked up awaiting court dates, are now roaming the streets, some living in tents on the sidewalk outside of your buildings, breaking into your cars, homes, and businesses, or bashing you in the face and taking your money. Meanwhile, the New York State Legislature, the governor, and the borough district attorneys are acting as the lookouts.
To be fair, Mayor Adams and Commissioner Sewell have spoken out against bail reform. But what have they actually done to solve the problem? Where is the urgency?
Adams should be using the bully pulpit every day to demand a reversal of that policy and the reinstatement of Qualified Immunity that protects police officers who make a mistake but are acting in good faith. He should be pounding the lectern, demanding the abolition of laws that prohibit police officers from using headlocks or putting weight on a criminal’s diaphragm who is violently resisting arrest. These are the policies that have forced the NYPD to revert back to a time when they stand on the corner with their hands in their pockets, waiting to take a report rather than proactively seeking out criminals and protecting the people they were sworn to protect and serve.
Why would any cop in their right mind, with everything to lose, including their lives, engage with a violent criminal when they can just fill out a report and hand it to a detective? Well-intentioned cops who persevere and continue to try and make a difference are risking their lives and livelihoods with both arms tied behind their backs.
So, where is the mayor in all of this? According to a report in the NY Post last week, “Adams has been all over at the city’s ritziest, A-list events and venues, dining with Naomi Campbell, multiple Grammy-winner Jon Batiste at Zero Bond, partying with rapper French Montana to celebrate his new album, hanging out with Jennifer Lopez during the Tribeca Festival and hitting the opening of Avra in midtown.” And let’ not forget his jet ski lessons out in the Hamptons a few weeks ago. Maybe he’s asking his famous new friends for advice on how to bring down crime.
By all accounts, Commissioner Sewell is a decent, smart, competent person with an impressive resume. But if the NYPD were corporate America and she were the CEO with more than 98% of its franchises failing, she would be marched out the door carrying her belongings in a box. And while Mayor Adams dithers, partying into the night in his fancy suits, making empty promises and shallow proclamations, crime is creeping into every crevice of what was only a few short years ago the safest big city in America.
John Dove is a retired NYPD Detective Lieutenant and the former co-executive producer of CSI-NY starring Gary Sinise.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.