De Blasio Blames New York's Soaring Violent Crime on Coronavirus
Surge in shootings come amid massive funding cuts to the NYPD
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio blamed the surge of violent crime over the weekend in the city on the coronavirus.
The Mayor defended the recent policing reforms, which saw $1 billion in cuts to the NYPD with his support.
De Blasio vowed to keep New York City “the safest big city in America.”
But the city saw another weekend of violence that left at least eight people dead and more than 44 people shot and injured.
“I want to talk about what happened this weekend," de Blasio began.
"Many were out there celebrating, but we saw too much violence, and we have a lot of work to do to address it,” de Blasio said, adding, “there is not one cause for something like this.”
“This is directly related to coronavirus,” de Blasio continued.
“This is a very serious situation… As we’re getting into warmer and warmer weather, we’re feeling the effects of people being cooped up for months; the economy hasn’t restarted – we have a real problem here.”
“This is all hands on deck,” de Blasio said, arguing the city had “been dealt a really tough hand.”
“It was the health care crisis in March and April, May we were coming out of it, the warmer months."
"People are cooped up … they don’t have the normal things to engage their lives,” he explained.
“But we’re going to overcome it. It’s going to be tough and take hard work.”
“I know it feels very unsettling for people, but we’re going to fight it back.”
So far this year, there have been 540 shooting incidents in New york.
In 2019, the shootings in the city were at 365.
NYPD Chief of Department Terry Monahan said there are various reasons for the increase in shootings, which included the controversial new bail reform law in the state, following George Floyd’s death.
Cuomo’s bail reform law virtually eliminates bail for a number of nonviolent and violent crimes.
"If you listen to the city council, they want less policing," Monahan said.
"They want to defund the police, but as I look out there right now with the violence going on, it's not a good sign," he added.
Last month, de Blasio's wife, Chirlane McCray, claimed New York would become a "utopia" if it abolished its police department.