Major crimes in New York City jumped by almost 60% last month compared to February 2021, yet the new Mayor elected to clean things up seems to be dragging his feet. The city saw unprecedented increases in shootings, homicides, burglaries and car thefts in 2020 as new state and city policies eliminated bail for most arrestees, instituted pandemic releases of thousands of offenders, abandoned proactive policing and lowered the consequences for repeatedly committing crimes. Continued increases last year fueled the election of ex-cop Eric Adams as Mayor after he campaigned on the promise to crack down on criminals. But after more than 2 1/2 months in the Mayor’s office little has changed. Emma Tucker and Mark Morales of CNN report that murders, robberies, major theft, rape and transit crimes are all up. The criminals don’t seem very concerned that Mayor Adams is going drop the hammer on them.
Perhaps they shouldn’t be. Almost immediately after his election the Mayor tried to hire his brother to handle his security to protect him from “white supremacists.” Then video from 2019 surfaced showing then-police captain Adams telling members of the Harlem Business Alliance that “every day in the police department, I kicked those crackers’ ass,” apparently referring to white officers. In February Adams met with President Biden before announcing his joint venture with multiple government service providers to address the symptoms of gun violence with expanded mental health, housing and an effort to confiscate “ghost guns.” It is hard to imagine that the daily open air shootings, brazen carjackings, stabbings and assaults are going to be significantly reduced by mental health interventions, homeless shelter beds more community service programs. During his campaign Adams promised to revive the plainclothes anti-crime units Mayor de Blasio shut down. Under earlier Mayors, those units took thousands of guns off the streets and helped bring about an unprecedented drop in crime. Today Mayor Adams finally announced that the units are being deployed but not by plainclothes officers. Expect race-baiting activists to follow the uniformed cops around with cameras. An effort has also started to move the homeless out of the subways but, as reported by the New York Times, there are no teeth in program. Many who are escorted out of subways by transit workers come back later or go to another station. As one officer told reporters “For us, it’s frustrating. We’re just playing chess with them.”
Like most folks fond of the Big Apple, I was delighted to see voters make a statement last fall by electing a tough-talking ex-cop to run the city. It now appears that Mayor Adams is less than advertised. The city does not need another liberal politician more concerned about avoiding media criticism than protecting lives and safety of New Yorkers.