NYPD Speaks Out About Having Their Powers 'Taken Away'

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Posted: Jul 08, 2020 4:00 PM
NYPD Speaks Out About Having Their Powers 'Taken Away'

Source: AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews

Crime has spiked in New York City in recent weeks. Over 200 shootings were recorded in June, up from 89 in 2019, marking a 130 percent increase. Murders have ticked up by 23 percent for the first six months of 2020, from 147 to 181.

Conservative New York assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who is running for Congress against Rep. Max Rose (D-NY), blamed the carnage on the Democrats in power.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has argued that the coronavirus has played a large factor in the violence. But the NYPD says a better reason is the city's ill treatment of the men and women in uniform.

"There is a multitude of reasons why shootings have increased in New York City," Chief of Crime Control Strategies Michael LiPetri declared at a press conference on Monday. "We have the knowledge to stop shootings; it’s unfortunate that most of our powers were taken away to stop the shootings. Knowledge is power? Well, we have the knowledge, we don’t have the power."

LiPetri cited the Democrats' bail reform that went into effect earlier this year, which eliminated pretrial detention and cash bail as an option in a majority of arrests. Add to that the police department's $1 billion budget cut. But De Blasio may be right. The coronavirus has indirectly led to more crime, considering city officials released hundreds of Rikers Island inmates, some of whom went on to commit more crimes. As of mid-June, at least 250 prisoners out of the 2,500 who were released early have gone on to commit at least 450 more crimes.

"The NYPD is not happy," News 4 New York reporter Melissa Russo said at the time.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) is one of several figures calling for De Blasio's resignation or immediate removal.